Pavlov's Couch

A Psychology Student's Mental Experience

Work Placement Reports – Problems with essay plans

I have completed my reflective account for my work placement and I am pretty proud of it. I managed to use (vaguely) a recognised model of reflective practice and I suspect I may be one of the few people to write a reflective account with references 😛 (Not that this is necessarily a good thing, I hope I don’t get marked down for it! :S)

The other part of my assignment is coming along nicely although I think I really should have had a tighter focus considering the word limit of 1,500 words. Out of that limit I have so far written…4,000 words :S And even then I’ve dropped out two sections that I had in my plan!

My very detailed essay plan!

I write very detailed plans in mind mapping software, branching off topics and subtopics until I know exactly what I am going to write for almost every sentence and what references I am going to use where. My biggest problem is that I tend to find references first then decide what I want to write, and then I want to use every reference I have found. The problem with this is that it can lead to a very disjointed final essay as it is effectively a collection of many points that don’t always flow particularly well.

While looking again at mind mapping software I came across Rationale, which due to the cost I am not especially interested in but I did like the template they demonstrate on the video on their website – starting an assignment it lays out boxes for you to input two reasons with support, and an objection and rebuttal. While this is a little oversimplified for a final plan (for me) I think starting with this approach would really help the focus of my assignments.

Another approach I have heard of that I would like to start using, which could be tied in with the above, is to create a plan that has a point on it for each paragraph you intend to write. This again helps focus and streamline the writing.

For now I have to stick with what I’ve done and learn for next time. I am juggling 47 references now and I just don’t have the energy to start the plan again!

If you are interested in mind mapping software, XMind is available for free and is very good.

Single Post Navigation

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s