Here is a selection of tips on writing better essays from students and academics.
Liz Davies, London Metropolitan University
Be careful in your use of references.
Students should make good use of recommended websites, texts and journal articles. I always look at the references section before reading an essay and the quality of referencing is an excellent indicator of the overall quality of the essay. If a student lists references which are obscure and unknown to the marker, this may demonstrate a creative and interested approach to the subject but it also alerts me to the likelihood of plagiarised work.
A long list of references, without clear relevance as to how the student has made use of the exact source, is another alert to plagiarism and a “cut and paste” approach.
Use non-academic sources too.
Students often state that they should not quote Community Care as a source because they have been told to only make reference to peer-reviewed and academically sound material.
I do not agree with this approach because social work is a fast-developing field and Community Care provides a good pointer to other source material. I expect students to search the Community Care website as a useful source of current material. However, I expect them to use this information to direct themselves to other source material.
Alison Higgs, Open University
Refer to the marking guidelines for your stage of the degree.
Find out what markers are looking for. Remember that tutors want you to do your best – so use their feedback!
Barry Cooper, Open University
Keep to the word count.
There may be penalties if you go more than 10% over the maximum allowed.
QueenB (via CareSpace)
Use your tutors and feedback to improve future essays.
Your tutors have a vested interest (their reputation and their jobs!) in getting you through so most will be willing to assist you in any way they can. If you’re not doing as well as you want to be, or if you fail a piece of work, go and see your personal tutor with samples of your essays and ask for tips about how you can improve.
Spread your work out so you don’t end up with five essays due in the same week.
This might sound simple and obvious but I’ve seen so many people saying something similar to “I’d planned my workload but now the deadline/ exam date has been changed and it means I’ve got two due on the same day/ week”. Plan well in advance – aim to finish the assignment well before the due date so if you get flu/ computer failure/ changed deadline you don’t end up struggling.
Sannah (via CareSpace)
Always make a detailed essay plan.
The essay will just flow if you use a plan. Also try to get a family member to check over it. And you could also ask your tutor to check your plan to make sure you’re on the right track.
Hovis (via CareSpace)
Use journal articles to access the most up-to-date research and information.
There are so many interesting articles out there and including them in your essays can potentially improve the quality of your work and this may boost your mark. It may also improve your practice.
Read your marker’s feedback and take it on board.
In the majority of cases, what they are saying makes sense. The university should have staff to support you with your academic work, especially if there are specific areas you are struggling with (citations, sentence structure, grammar, etc). Use this support and it will be of great benefit to your essay writing and your future practice.
Student (via CareSpace)
Read the question carefully and make sure you understand exactly what is being asked of you.
Each word in an essay question has meaning – make sure you understand what this is for each essay and how this will influence the structure of your answer. Take the title apart word by word and think how each links to the criteria against which you are being assessed.
For more information go the Essay Help section of CareSpace, where you can see many more tips and post your own requests for help.
Do you have questions about writing essays?Get advice from fellow students on CareSpace.
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Social Work Values and Ethics Essay
Ethics and values often go hand in hand. There is always some form of correlation between one’s actions and a doer of actions. It is a combination of the two that can play a crucial role in the determination of one’s values, standards, and subsequently, morality. Social work, to a great extent, entails the interaction between individuals. In social work as a field, the code of ethics always plays an important role. It forms the basis of everything that the field is all about. A value carries various meanings and definitions but generally, entail the combination of reasons and drive that are behind every action that an individual does, be it right or wrong.
Values in social work can be exemplified by respect to everyone, as well as the aspect of self-determinism. Since social work traces much of its existence in the various interactions between people, it also recognizes the complex nature of such interactions, especially when it comes to doing with human beings and the surrounding. It has taken a great deal of its knowledge body from such complexities, in order to influence individual change in one way or another. Subsequently, such values play a key role in helping the social worker to be able to make wise decisions when it comes to sociocultural challenges and injustices. Social work professionals aim at empowering members in the society who are vulnerable, oppressed or impoverished. Ethics and values in social work outline that social work entails various core values for instance dignity, social justice, integrity, valuing human interrelationships and competence.
The core of the social work profession is the social work code of ethics and values which helps the workers make sound judgments while handing clients if caring ethnicity, race or religion. Value and actions link directly, and thus we are judged according to the values we express through an action once we perform it. Ethics and values in social work dictate how we can interpret and resolve dilemmas between different values in a professional manner. The article grants guidelines on some ethical practices and their roles in the determination of actions basing on the social work significance.
Ethics and values in social work illustrates how we can access the ethics concept and show how it is employed to examine daily operations in the social work practices. These two aspects of social work also allows us to analyze the major role of governance among the representative bodies within the social work activities. Ethics and value in social work describe values as set guidelines and rules in the wrong or right decisions individuals make.
It’s evident that values facilitate the recognition of the actions as valuable or worthy and thus we can evaluate what is vital and what is less important in case a conflict of values erupts. Ethics and values in social work explain that the core values within a social work practice inform our understanding of diversity. The values and ethics in social work are not just part of the whole field, they actually constitute the entire field. They literally dictate how social workers interact with real life problems or challenges, by providing them with the set platform through which they can use to do it. From a sociocultural point of view, this helps in understanding the complexities of human interactions, while helping to make sense out of it.