Rachel Cladingbowl

Rachel Cladingbowl

Rachel Cladingbowl is a freelance writer and part of the writing team for the PreUniversity Skills Programme at UEA.


  • Great - it seems that the more we read the poem, the deeper we delve in terms of meaning and perspective, which is really interesting.

  • It is - were you able to recognise which type of Sonnet?

  • Does it deter from conventionality in parts, though?

  • Glad it was helpful!

  • I agree, it's really important to have passion as well as aptitude.

  • Taxes are interesting. My question would be, how much does the rate of tax affect the wellbeing of society? Is it better to have greater personal wealth, or is it better to invest more in taxes, ensuring public services are better funded and thus improving the lives of everyone? I was having a similar conversation with my son a couple of weeks ago as he is...

  • Interesting questions.

  • Yes, asking questions is a process that continues throughout life; it's not just for studying! I hope you enjoy your return to education.

  • I agree- asking questions is not only about clarifying a query - it takes us so much further, into areas that we might not have ventured otherwise. Essentially, all learning is based on an endless search for answers.

  • Great :)

  • There is a time for being critical of one's writing, but in the first draft it is important to simply get things down. Before you begin, have an idea in your mind of the basic points about yourself, including your achievements and experiences, that are relevant and that you know you want to include. Polished writing is essential, but that comes later - it...

  • In this case, it doesn't matter who the reader is - you just want to portray a picture of yourself as you would like to be seen. What are your interests, your strengths, your ambitions, your passions? In essence, who are you? What can you put across enabling us to get to know you better?

  • Yes, that's true!

  • When you are doing the first draft of any piece of writing the most important thing is to write something down. As you know it isn't going to be the final product, it doesn't matter if it isn't polished, or you think it isn't 'good', or if you don't end up including what you have written. Many people with this issue end up sitting and staring at a blank...

  • Yes, it is a life-long skill used in many different scenarios.

  • Definitely - reading the whole book unnecessarily would be extremely time-consuming!

  • That's good - yes, it makes a huge difference.

  • I agree - daunting but exciting, and so much more scope!

  • It's true that information found via Google might not be reliable- that is why it is essential to be able to identify credible sources. Google Scholar is also a good option.

  • We definitely gain knowledge and understanding by asking questions - what's more, it can lead to new discussions and points of debate, as you have mentioned.

  • Yes, asking questions can certainly bring clarity to a problem or issue.

  • Yes, asking questions and the discussions that arise from that can bring about many different concepts and ideas that we might not otherwise have considered!

  • @AnneMaguire I agree, everything we experience certainly has the capacity to touch the work of a writer, whether they are conscious of it or not. I nearly read the book you mentioned - I think with a book like that, it would undoubtedly be much more believable when written by an author who has truly experienced the life portrayed. But when writing more...

  • Yes, I was going to add that one would hope all university students want to further their knowledge and abilities, then found you'd already brought it up!

  • Great - I'm glad you pointed out both 'consciously' and 'unconsciously' because it's really important to understand that simply 'forgetting' or not knowing the procedure is no excuse for ommitting a reference.

  • It does make sense! Certainly, it seems likely that most texts definitely can lead to some kind of discussion, although the depth of those points of discussion and any arguments that might arise from them could vary greatly depending on the issues portrayed.

    Can you write something without your life influencing the work? I would say 'yes' because you...

  • Great - it's interesting to think about how we feel about the poem now, and how much more depth it might suddenly appear to have.

  • I think it is rather interesting that a poem discussing 'liberty' appears to be breaking out of its expected form somewhat.

    I'm not sure about the syllables on line 13, but I would guess he wrote it like that to make the words fit and flow in a satisfactory way - although 10 syllables is the expected guideline, I don't think the format is so strict that it...

  • Reputability is really important, in terms of printed material and online resources, so it's good to point this out. I hadn't heard of Blinkist - that's interesting!

  • Revision cards are good, a lot of people find them very useful.

  • Is that the method you would usually choose?

  • Yes, I think that is a good idea - it helps to reinforce the material.

  • Motivation is everything - I don't know you but I can still feel your drive and enthusiasm! Doing something you are really passionate about is the key to reaching your potential. In my personal life, I have several friends who have returned to studying later in life and they are mostly single parents - they have all completed their degrees, and felt a great...

  • Contact time varies enormously, depending on what subject you are studying, but preparation before a lecture should not be too overwhelming, just some basic research and some thoughts on what might come up. If you do too much beforehand, you might find the lecture doesn't take the direction you were expecting.

  • Interesting points - there has been quite a lot of discussion on the idea of a universal basic income recently, but the point that has stuck with me the most is that, according to the article I read (which I can't recall now, sorry!), universal basic income is much more than just a handout, it could actually inspire people to achieve more because the stress of...

  • There is an extremely extensive library of papers, books and resources available for use at university. The approach to study is, of course, much more independent but also much more inspiring - my son tells me that at his university in the North of England there are more than 1 million books and even more online resources on top of that.

    Any good lecturer...

  • There is definitely a lot to be said for smaller group settings when it comes to having the confidence to speak out and voice your thoughts and opinions. Tutorial groups at university tend to be small, which is really beneficial in this way.

  • Peer-reviewed sources are excellent - as you have pointed out, it's really important to use credible sources from the internet.

    It's great the way questions lead to further questions and can expand the topic so much more!

  • Yes, freedom in confinement is certainly a relatable topic at the moment! It's a great example of how poetry can be timeless, irrespective of what the poet's thoughts were at the time of writing.

  • Yes :)

  • Hi Cathy, I gave a quick description of my thoughts on ''pensive citadels' below. Sundry means 'various; different types' so 'sundry moods' would presumably apply to 'various, different moods.' 'Sonnet' refers to the style of the poem itself, which should be written in a certain style and follow certain rules to be classed as such.

    I agree with your...

  • A citadel is a fortress, or a tower. So I would say that 'pensive citadels' would be referring to the students as contented and thoughtful, up in their towers of learning. It's a personification, as of course, the citadel isn't pensive, but rather the students are. It doesn't have to be an actual tower, of course, although many of the oldest universities were...

  • That's great!