Sunday, 26 May 2019


It gives you an experience of writing at university level.

I cannot explain the extent of how much the EPQ aided me when I got to university. The EPQ is 5000 words, which means 2000 word essays at university seemed easy. Moreover, I gained experience in referencing, which is extremely important at university to right; they encourage accuracy of referencing in first year where your mark doesn’t count towards your final degree. This also meant that from my first assignment, I didn’t find referencing hard at all, due to my familiarity with it. Also, you have a lot of freedom in terms of how you write your EPQ; it certainly emphasised to me that at university, I wouldn’t have to write in an elevated style to achieve high marks.

It gives you confidence in presenting.

The presentation component of the EPQ is extremely helpful in allowing you to gain an awareness of how the process of the EPQ helped to shape your work. The presentation is advised to be 10 minutes long, which is roughly the length of presentations that you do certainly in your first year at university. The questions that are asked at the end of your presentation are another element that gives you a full experience of presenting. You come out of the presentation feeling confident in yourself and the detailed feedback that you will receive is vital to allow you to reflect on how you may improve if you have to do presentations as part of your university course.

It is completely different from A levels.

A levels can be extremely restrictive, with tight coursework word counts and exam timings. Also, in terms of marking criteria to achieve, it can sometimes seem mundane and ‘tick box’ like. With the EPQ, you can explore a multitude of topics; often people pick a topic that is closely linked to what they will be studying at university: this could potentially aid you in deciding or even ruling out topics that you may want to explore in your dissertation at university.

Sunday, 12 May 2019


An extremely important book, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche draws on her own personal experiences to illustrate the importance of feminism in society today. I think that a real strength of the book is the fact that it was originally a TED Talk; if you haven’t heard of Ted Talk before, it’s where people talk at an organised conference on a variety of subjects. This means that the book is simple, concise and hard-hitting in terms of the points that it is making. It creates a logical argument, urging you to open your perspectives concerning feminism as well as tracing where the discrepancy starts - at young children, or more correctly, parents raising their sons and daughters. What I liked particularly about the book is the explanation that societal conventions insist that males are unemotional, strong and are ridiculed for being any other emotions. It therefore alters the stereotype that men themselves are directly responsible for the inequality of genders.

I can’t recommend this enough for a short read; it could easily be read in one sitting, whether that’s on the commute to work or in your lunch break. The size of the book itself is perfect to slot into a bag; however, the size doesn’t reflect the content bursting out of it!

Monday, 15 April 2019


As I’m coming to the end of my first year of my English Literature degree, I thought I would document three expectations that I had before I started my degree, that turned out to be completely wrong.

There isn't as much reading as people believe there to be. 

The general stereotype of never having your head out of a book might put you off of applying for an English Literature degree, or if you’ve already firmed a place in September, it might be worrying you. In my first term at university, I was expected to read one text a week (whether that was a novel, play or a set of poems), for two modules, along with some critical reading for two other modules, which could range from a short article to between 5 and 30 pages of theory books or papers. It’s also important to try and read around especially any texts that you’re interested in while you’re studying them, as if you’re interested in writing about them for your end of module essays, doing some wider reading weeks in advance will help you a lot in the long run.

You aren’t expected to have read everything!

As an English Lit student, some people, whether that’s other students, family members or friends, expect you to have read a lot of classics, which therefore is the reason why you’re studying the subject at university. Never worry if you haven’t read books that people think you should have read as an English student, especially since you’ve just spent two years of your life studying multiple texts for your A level, making it difficult to read for pleasure. At university, you aren’t expected to have read the entire literary canon. Just ensure that you are open to widening your reading whilst you’re studying for your degree.

‘University level’ writing? 

There is a definite expectation, especially for an English degree, that when you start your degree you have to start writing in an elevated and complex style. You really don’t. A simple and coherent style is best, allowing your argument to be as clear as possible in your essays. I hope this helps for anyone who is going to study English Literature at university in September. Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


Paperless Post is an impressive online service, as well as an app, which allows you to create birthday cards, thank you notes and invitations seamlessly. Operating online means that you can also easily keep track of RSVP’s, making event planning easy.

With a plethora of beautiful designs to choose from, sorted into different categories, you are really spoilt for choice for every event. Paperless Post operates in digital coins that you will need to buy; there are both ‘free’ cards and cards that cost a certain number of coins. However, I was shocked at how the quality of the free and priced cards was the same. The app was extremely easy to navigate and I was impressed with the features when I was sending my housewarming invite out, such as a comment wall, RSVP question and photo gallery.

Have a look at some of my screenshots of designing my housewarming invite, where you can see how clean, clear and simple the app interface is. I highly recommend Paperless Post; especially for families, it is a must have app on your phone or tablet, or one website to keep in your favourites. Thanks to the lovely people at Anagram Interactive for sponsoring this post and subsidising my account with some digital coins to try out this great service.

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