WHAT IF I HAVE NEVER STUDIED BEFORE AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY?
Many students have never studied before or have come back to study after a long break. Our course is structured to help students learn the skills needed to write essays. In addition, staff members are available to help those with special difficulties. You will need to make appropriate arrangements with your tutor if extra tutorials or one-to one assistance is required.
The skills needed to structure assessments at an acceptable standard for tertiary education are detailed in our Introduction to Counselling Studies. This includes making outlines, writing, analysing, critiquing and compiling answers, as well as writing summaries and completing bibliographies. A section on English grammar is also available to assist students in producing basic levels of appropriate and acceptable written English.
IF THE ASSESSOR DOESN’T AGREE WITH MY OPINION, WILL I BE MARKED DOWN?
Everyone has different opinions, ideas, thoughts and understanding of a topic. At CCS, you are encouraged to express your ideas in assessments, providing the ideas are relevant to the question being asked. At the same time, for the purpose of answering the assessment question adequately, you must support your ideas with evidence. This evidence may be from a book or journal reference or it may be based on anecdotal experience from your own life. Be sure you credit any material you obtain from outside sources.
Remember CCS places more importance on teaching how to think rather than what to think.
DO DIFFERENT ASSESSORS HAVE DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS?
One section of the Introduction to Counselling Studies Manual provides information on how to set out assessments. This includes information on the rules required by tertiary institutions such as writing the question on the first page, double spacing, numbers referencing style etc. Some markers may have preferences in addition to this. For example, one marker may be more lenient than others in regard to the designated word count. All assessors require students to answer the question which is asked.
I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GET THE INFORMATION FOR MY ASSESSMENTS. WHERE DO I START?
When looking for information always start with the module course manuals. The best assessments, however, will always contain information obtained from other reputable sources in addition to the notes. Some modules include handouts sent with the material. Some information can be sourced directly from the Internet using a search engine such as Google. You will also find a list of relevant books and articles in the notes. Some of these may be found in the CCS library.
Others may be found at academic libraries Alternative sources of information include:
- Your local town library
- The local TAFE library
- The library at the local hospital (NB Tamworth Base Hospital has an excellent library including various academic journals)
- Local community health or mental health services
- Local medical practices
- Personal libraries of counsellors, psychologists, doctors or nurses
- New or second hand bookshops
- Local government departments
- The World Wide Web – Much information can be downloaded from the Web. Note that if this information has not been through a review process by academics or other experts, it may not be good information! A copy of articles, which have been downloaded from the Web and are NOT from an academic journal, should be included with the assessment for the marker to read. A selection of Websites are listed in the Appendix of the Hand book.
SOMETIMES I GO OVER THE DESIGNATED WORD COUNT WHEN WRITING AN ASSESSMENT. IS THAT A PROBLEM?
It is recommended that you adhere to the word count of the assessment. Editing skills form a part of the discipline of study at higher levels of education and learning. Generally a 10% variation on the word count is allowed. If you have problems staying within the word length, speak with you tutor or assessor.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL AN ASSESSMENT?
You are encouraged to seek assistance from your tutors or assessors if you feel you are having problems. If an assessor decides that an assessment has not fulfilled the requirements, it is never simply ‘failed’. Instead, you will be asked to re-submit the assessment and offered personal assistance from one of the staff to help with the re-writing. There will be an automatic extension of 4 weeks to allow the assessment to be re-written and marked.
If you feel that your assessment has been unreasonably marked down, you may appeal the assessors’ result to the Principal after consulting with the assessor.
DO I NEED TO REFERENCE MY WORK?
Students are required to acknowledge all sources of information in their assessments. The use of other people’s work without acknowledgement being given, is a serious offence. It is plagiarism.
There are many areas of common knowledge that do not need to be referenced; however when a student draws on someone else’ research or uses another person wording, this must be acknowledged.
Students are required to sign a declaration on each of their assessments that it is your own work and does not belong to someone else. There are consequences for a student who is suspected of plagiarism.