Skip main navigation

Undergraduate views on structure

Undergraduate views on structure
7.9
I find developing my own opinion on topics quite difficult. Most lectures encourage your own opinion to be heard because everyone’s is going to be different. And that’s what they encourage you to put into your essays. At University, it’s all about your opinion, your voice on that particular theme. Sometimes, I’ve written an essay in the past where I find myself sitting on the fence. And that’s perfectly fine. Because that’s still an opinion. I think the structure of writing is really different from what was required at A level. The structure of writing that you need differs a lot to the structure of writing at school.
39.9
{That’s_pretty} because you’ve got to go in a lot more depth and a lot more detail than you’re being asked to at school. And you have access to a lot more sources. It’s the case of trying to fit much more into a smaller word limit and trying to be concise about your writing. The writing style is very much different, and you’re required to be much more fluid in your writing. At college in sixth form you have an A, B, C, D structure or language form structure. Whereas at University, you are narrowing down an argument. So instead of having the A, B, C, D, it’s all jumbled up.
72.6
I found the structuring of the thesis of essays a bit more complex at University. But then again, the university level require more in-depth analysis of the topic of your choosing. Before I came to University, my essays were full of waffle. Absolutely full of it. But once I’ve come to University, I’ve seen my word count shrink. Everything’s changed. You write everything more concisely and to the point. It’s harder at University to structure an essay. But in the end, because you can research, it’s more rewarding, and you end up with probably a piece of writing that you’re prouder of because it’s less confined to the structure of an A-Level essay.
Given what you have heard, is there anything you could do to help yourself prepare for the transition to a university-style essay?
This article is from the free online

Preparing for University

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education