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!


Writing better

Here, we thought we would share a list of the tips that have helped us to write better essays. We hope this will help you as much as it did help us.

1. Write!

As hard as this sounds, we have found that instead of trying to figure out what the best way of expressing yourself is, it often helps to just write it out.

Instead of seeing writing as something that will be definite, see it instead as a way that you can process your thoughts. Writing is thinking as well!


2. Re-writing

Making your essays better is about writing, re-writing, and re-writing it yet again. Reading your essay once again can make a valuable difference to the final mark.

Look at your essay as a continuous conversation between your marker and yourself that never really ends until you submit it. Seeing it this way, you can always keep improving it.


3. Passing it to your friend for checking

It is often ideal if you can get a friend to check your work for you. If it doesn’t make sense to your friend, you should probably consider rewording it.



The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Deciding to do this has been a great step into the great unknown. For one, we do not know how this will work out, but on the other hand, we truly believe that proofreading is more than just a way to make money. We believe that offering such services is about empowering students to express themselves better, and to bring a clarity of expression to whatever they may wish to say.

And that’s why we believe that ultimately, gutenhag is worth doing.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton