That crucial difference between a 1st and a 2:1

Today, I had an interesting conversation with my tutor on how I could make that jump from a 2:1 to a 1st. Having often been stuck between the range of 60 – 69, I often wondered… what is that crucial difference that distinguishes a 1st and a 2:1?

I learnt a few things that I thought I should share.

1. Depth of analysis

A great essay is not merely descriptive, but is critical as well. Instead of merely describing what authors have said, a great essay takes the effort to analyse what these arguments are, and if they are valid.

2. Critical analysis of references

Crucially, what a great essay has is an ability to synthesise arguments from different thinkers, and then give your own personal, creative and critical opinion on it. That is what distinguishes an average essay from a great essay. Rather than merely being descriptive about what a particular essay says, why not try to add your own opinion on what you think he/she is saying?

In this manner, you show that you fully understand the various arguments that have been expressed, and what your own critical reflection on these arguments are.


This may seem difficult, but fret not! As long as you keep working on it, I am more than sure that you will improve!


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