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Tips on doing well in MA Linguistics/TESOL?

 
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MsRT



Joined: 25 Nov 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Tips on doing well in MA Linguistics/TESOL? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm currently doing MA and it's been a while since formal study.
I want to achieve really high marks and I know there's a big jump from BSc (science) to MA linguistics/TESOL. Any specific pointers in achieving very good essay grades?? Anything you would have done differently in your studies? Or what you found really useful?

Here's what I learnt so far:

1. Be more critical rather than descriptive
2. Clear and concise
......

Thank you!!!!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4035
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MsRT wrote:
Any specific pointers in achieving very good essay grades??

No one can give specific pointers without a clear picture of what it is you're concerned about. Obviously, you should first consult with your instructor(s) for guidance and feedback. I also suggest you check with your university; there should be a writing center available to assist students. If not, you'll find many university writing centers online as well---Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a good one. Additionally, your library and bookstore will have books on academic writing.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you've described so far are some of the very general differences between undergrad and postgrad work- it's not specific to the field

. You might think about the differences in demands between the two - and maybe ask some professors or school counselors if you have any to give you some insights on this.
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Some suggestions for an MA Linguistics/TESOL paper Reply with quote

MsRT wrote:
Any specific pointers in achieving very good essay grades?? !


nomad soul wrote:
No one can give specific pointers without a clear picture of what it is you're concerned about


spiral78 wrote:
and maybe ask some professors or school counselors if you have any to give you some insights on this.



def try to speak to your tutors/professors and fellow students. As nomad soul and spiral78 note, you need to give us more information about what your topic is. But for general writing help, Purdue's OWL is a great starting point. IF you're doing your MA in the UK, your tutors might want to see a clear outline of your assignments/dissertation.. it might be a graduate school policy that tutors will only give general feedback on an entire draft ONCE

OR

specific feedback on a section of the paper. this is tough, to be sure, because what is "logical" to them might not be to you, especially if you don't have a background in formal instruction in TESOL/ Applied Linguistics (i.e. a BA in Applied Linguistics, TESOL, etc..) like I didn't...

SO....

again, talk to your tutors.. you might try to organize your thoughts in an assignment/dissertation under the following headings:

Introduction
-What are you going to talk about? -- Whats the general map of the paper?

Rationale
-Why are you writing about this topic -- what's the "urgency" of your chosen topic?

Literature review
-What do some of the major thinkers in your chosen topic have to say about it? How do you create a research space -- in other words, how is your analysis unique? What areas of your chosen research area are under -researched?

Methods and research instruments
-Do you use qualitative (interviews, questionnaires) or quantitative (statistical tests) methods?

Results and discussion
-What are some of the salient points in your analysis of the topic?

The text-task relationship
-What do students have to do with English regarding the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking... What methodological implications/ suggestions are there to me made?

Conclusion (some suggestions might be...)
-Future trends and directions in your chosen area?
-Issues regarding assessment?

these are only very general suggestions, and others might have something to add .. best of luck and hang in there! keep your head up and focused on your ultimate goal, work hard, and everything should turn out ok! if you're studying in the UK, you might get ONE chance to re-write the paper if you fail it. Take this as a positive, because then you will have very specific feedback on how to improve from the people who will be assessing it, for a second time ... They will want to see you succeed and will support you and help you through it...

it may seem like a long, dark tunnel at times, but there is light at the end somewhere!


ttxor1


Last edited by ttxor1 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 885

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some useful study skill resources on the LearnHigher website.

http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learning-at-university/

For the jump to postgrad the critical thinking/reflection skills section is particularly helpful.

http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learning-at-university/critical-thinking-and-reflection/
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1339

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Some suggestions for an MA Linguistics/TESOL paper Reply with quote

ttxor1 wrote:
MsRT wrote:
Any specific pointers in achieving very good essay grades?? !


nomad soul wrote:
No one can give specific pointers without a clear picture of what it is you're concerned about


spiral78 wrote:
and maybe ask some professors or school counselors if you have any to give you some insights on this.



def try to speak to your tutors/professors and fellow students. As nomad soul and spiral78 note, you need to give us more information about what your topic is. But for general writing help, Purdue's OWL is a great starting point. IF you're doing your MA in the UK, your tutors might want to see a clear outline of your assignments/dissertation.. it might be a graduate school policy that tutors will only give general feedback on an entire draft ONCE

OR

specific feedback on a section of the paper. this is tough, to be sure, because what is "logical" to them might not be to you, especially if you don't have a background in formal instruction in TESOL/ Applied Linguistics (i.e. a BA in Applied Linguistics, TESOL, etc..) like I didn't...

SO....

again, talk to your tutors.. you might try to organize your thoughts in an assignment/dissertation under the following headings:

Introduction
-What are you going to talk about? -- Whats the general map of the paper?

Rationale
-Why are you writing about this topic -- what's the "urgency" of your chosen topic?

Literature review
-What do some of the major thinkers in your chosen topic have to say about it? How do you create a research space -- in other words, how is your analysis unique? What areas of your chosen research area are under -researched?

Methods and research instruments
-Do you use qualitative (interviews, questionnaires) or quantitative (statistical tests) methods?

Results and discussion
-What are some of the salient points in your analysis of the topic?

The text-task relationship
-What do students have to do with English regarding the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking... What methodological implications/ suggestions are there to me made?

Conclusion (some suggestions might be...)
-Future trends and directions in your chosen area?
-Issues regarding assessment?

these are only very general suggestions, and others might have something to add .. best of luck and hang in there! keep your head up and focused on your ultimate goal, work hard, and everything should turn out ok! if you're studying in the UK, you might get ONE chance to re-write the paper if you fail it. Take this as a positive, because then you will have very specific feedback on how to improve from the people who will be assessing it, for a second time ... They will want to see you succeed and will support you and help you through it...

it may seem like a long, dark tunnel at times, but there is light at the end somewhere!


ttxor1


That's sound advice, but generally only for the dissertation. At least on my MAAL course.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4035
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, the OP really should be asking his/her instructors and university advisors for assistance and feedback. They have first-hand knowledge of 1) the university's requirements/standards; 2) the program's course content and objectives; and 3) the quality of the OP's submitted assignments to date. Even distance-learning programs provide assistance to students, which is why it's puzzling that he/she would turn to a public forum for guidance.
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MsRT



Joined: 25 Nov 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice! I truly appreciate it! I'll def take this all on board. As someone mentioned, at times I do feel it might be more than I can chew...esp coming from irrelevant first degree.

Yes, nomad soul, you're right but no harm in asking people who are more experienced in the field....

Thank you all again
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 24
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found it useful to search for Ph.D. dissertations on similar topics to my essay topic-especially the literature review section. It gives you an idea of how you might organize your essay and which sources are really important and why. That helped me.
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