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Matt Staples
Hello my name’s Matt Staples and I’m a staff tutor with the Open University. Joining me today is Kevin Randall, a level one social sciences tutor to talk about TMA 03.
Kevin, TMA 03 is a three part TMA like the others on DD102, but it’s divided into an essay plan, an essay and a self-reflection exercise. What are students asked to do in Part 1?
Kevin Randall
In Part 1, students are asked to submit an essay plan that will form the basis of the essay that they write in Part 2 of the TMA. In many ways this part of the assignment is formally testing what students should be doing as part of their preparation for every TMA, which is taking the time to think about and prepare a plan for their essay. This means that when they start to write the essay itself, they have a clear sense of how it will be structured and how the content will fit into this structure and, importantly, how different parts of the essay relate to each other, with a clear introduction, paragraphs that make a clear point and link with the next paragraph, and a conclusion that summarises the essay succinctly and coherently.
That’s really useful Kevin. Are there any tips that are particularly helpful here?
Two things come to mind. It’s always important to read the student notes that support a TMA but this is key for TMA 03 as they contain very clear advice on how to produce an essay plan. The other important thing to do is to work through the Skills Activity on ‘Outlining a social science argument in an essay plan’ which is contained in week 11 as this goes through the process of how to plan an essay in an interactive way.
That’s sound advice and to add to it, what Part 1 is doing is getting students to consciously think about planning their essays and assessing their ability to do it. But although only one of their future essays will be asking for this or indeed assessing it, it’s really important for students to make planning a part of their future work on the...