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Renee's comments

How I structured the essay

I interpreted the topic by keeping to my three questions relating to agendas... And I went about that by keeping to those three points in my essay. I was writing about those three points, I felt that writing about these points kept me grounded and kept my essay evenly flowing. And you had to write them basically evenly so writing evenly between genders and age. So not writing a whole two pages on gender and then two paragraphs... And I always made myself come back to the topic by relating to the words, like there was words like... so I made sure that by the end of each sentence or each paragraph I wrote about how this was contructurally enforced by adding examples

How I researched

I went about my research process by going to the library; the main way I looked at that was I looked at some books going through the voyager catalogue, by finding books underneath those, say under headings, say media, social stereotypes, gender, ethnicity and age. Then I put in sentences like 'official sterotypes, media'... So then I found certain books under those. I started a few weeks before by looking through my books which were... textbooks that we had-looking up the references at the back, which they said things like 'the references obey you'. So then I thought, "Oh, ok there's my topic, I'll look some of them up." But I found it a little difficult at first because a lot of the books that were used were either American or were a lot of journals that our library didn't have. Either that or they were used from ...Some of them I wanted to order, but would take me about 2-3 weeks, which because I didn't have that much time I couldn't actually wait for those books to be in. So the best thing was to be better organised and to keep the essay, to do the essay early, to get the books that you need in. And also with the library they run out of books pretty easily because everybody's looking up a certain topic at the same time. So it's very hard to get all your books in, so...

How I wrote the essay

Plans pretty early in advance just so I could just make sure that I got all the books before anybody else, since I didn't want to be disappointed when I arrived at the library. So I spent a lot of time planning and researching, that was really good because I used that in my essay. So because I had limited time writing up my essay, I felt that my planning assisted me by keeping everything organized and just everything planned out. So then I just had to write it out, and that was pretty easy because I had everything organized.

I felt that I could've spent more time revising my essay, just taking more time to polish it, to edit a few things out, keeping my synthesis a bit more concise by not saying a sentence in so many words. By cutting that down when I could've added more detail into my essay, added a bit more weight to my essay. So I thought, yeah I could've spent a bit more time editing out just maybe some irrelevant passages or changing a few words around to make it sound a bit more...

Differences between VCE and uni

Compared to Year 12, I found it to be a little different between the way I approached essays this year to how I approached them last year. I felt that with writing up the essay you don't have any consultation times with teachers or anybody else, whereas in school we had a lot of consultations, like the proof-reading of drafts, analysis of topics - those kind of things. Whereas in University our lecturer or tutor is not allowed to read over a full essay. They're only allowed to read over either a draft or an introduction or a rough plan. So it makes things a lot harder because you're not quite sure where you're directed or where your essay is heading. So you're basically left on your own, but in a way it's good because you're independent and your essay has to be of a high standard. So you've got to do a lot of it on your own to make sure your essay's your own individual work. So I found the change between those a little bit harder; hard to get used to it at first but its good because you're on your own so you can make your own essays. And I also found that in First Year Uni there isn't that much criteria; like you do have obviously have to get things clarified. But in Year 12 we had six or seven topics that we had to ...and that we had to adhere to. Whereas in first year uni you don't have that so in a way I was a bit more free to put whatever I wanted into my essay, with reason of course. But just keep things I felt, so you are a bit more liberated...

Managing my time

I also felt that it was a little harder to manage my time this year at Uni, because I didn't have somebody saying "Oh, you've got an essay due in 5 weeks or you better start your draft and have it due by tomorrow." So unless you've read over your handout like your course outlines, knowing when you have an essay due, what the topic is; then you're not going to know. So the best thing to do is to read over your information firstly, know exactly what you have to do and when your essay's due so that you can be organized. Because if you've got four subjects you have to know each topic and each subject so you know where you're heading with every essay.

My advice to new students

I have some advice to give new students, and that would be to make sure you're organized, make sure you take library tours- to familiarise yourself with the library because you will be using it a lot with a lot of your essays. To familiarise yourself with the Voyager Catalogue and to always get to know your lecturers. Always attend your lectures for one, because they give out vital information - not only for your essay but also for exams, as well as for other purposes. Ask questions in your tutorials so that you have a firm understanding of your topic and the other topics that may be related to your essays or exams. So just familiarise yourself, because Uni is pretty much independent, you don't have anybody on your back telling you what you're supposed to be doing. So just keep everything organized, just make sure you ask questions and just...

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