When you get to university, you will soon notice the huge jump from A-Levels to your degree. When you were completing your A-Levels, you had to hand your essays in physically and you had to go through the hell of having to ask the IT technician for more print credits.
You have since received your A Level results and will be moving away to university, where things are a little different. Although you may be used to using some VLE’s at school, like MathsWatch VLE or the like.
While some courses at university will expect you to hand in essays physically, the majority of courses will require you to use an advanced piece of software that will not only submit your essay for marking but will also check your essay for plagiarism. Understanding these programmes and preparing for university will help you in a big way and you will be a step ahead of other students! Different universities will use different programmes for this, but the most widely accepted software used for this is Turnitin.
Turnitin is an American software that has mainly been adopted by universities and high schools who usually buy licenses to submit student essays to the Turnitin website, which checks the essays for unoriginal or copied content. A lot of high schools have started to adopt the software to show their students how they may run into issues regarding their referencing on essays.
In fact, many universities offer a crash-course in the software when students start too. However the software isn’t without its criticism, a lot of students have flatly refused to submit their work to the software as many students feel that it constitutes a presumption of guilt.
Although, regardless of your overall feeling of the software, you’re going to have to use it whether you like it or no. Your lecturer’s notes on your essay will also appear on there too. Also, you can just use the software as a way of checking for plagiarism before submitting too. It has a guide to referencing for students too, when to use them and how to use references without compromising the integrity of your essay.
But you won’t be able to download it at home, it’s an expensive software that is used by universities that can obviously afford them, you won’t be getting Turnitin free.
Blackboard Learn is a lesser-known software that is used by universities and is very rare in the context of actual face-to-face courses.
Blackboard mainly works as a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) that will allow you to take courses online or to chat with your tutor and will allow you to find anything that you may be struggling with. If you do need to take a course online then this platform is the most widely used in that sector. Using this programme as well as exam revision tips, you’ll be giving yourself the best start to any upcoming exams or coursework!
EndNote, is a software that is used for writing essays. This is used as a means to be able to not only reference things effectively but also to present those references effectively. The system has a number of different upgrades that are carried out as often as possible, these ensure that the software is operating at the maximum effectiveness.
EndNote has a number of different modules in there and also has a comprehensive guide to referencing too, much like Turnitin. There are several ways to add a reference to a library, whether that be manually, or by exporting, importing, copying from another EndNote library, or connecting from EndNote.
All UK universities will have their own intranet. This will be exclusive to the university itself and will have everything from useful links to help you with your essays to campus maps. The intranets won’t have too much by way of plagiarism checkers or much by way of anything else with regards to submitting your essays, but they will have a few useful resources that can help you out. They will display any timetables or room changes and any updates or events occuring in and around the university. Students with placement can also be notified with any changes that may occured. This will very much depend on the university that you go to as well, as different universities will have different intranets.
A very useful system that more and more universities are starting to adopt. SITS Vision is a database application that is used for various course and student management tasks. It is currently used by roughly 70% of the UK higher education sector.
The system works in the same way as Turnitin and is the system’s closest rival. This is also used by a number of companies outside of education as well as they love the way that the user interface works and the way that the universities have worked with the programme.
Many of these will be used to allow students to upload essays or to allow students the ability to check for any potential plagiarism infringements, you don’t want a Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke-style copyright issue, do you? However, if you’re looking to have your grammar checked, you will need to use a proper grammar-checker. The best one that we can recommend is Grammarly.
Grammarly is a software that can be downloaded from the Google Chrome extensions store and can be downloaded from the website for free.
We recommend using it as the company has gone for strength-to-strength over the years and has had a lot of good press over the years for the work that it has done. Most of the VLEs that we have listed above are unlikely to have grammar-checking software built in, or if it does, it will be very low-grade tech that won’t work in the same way that Grammarly does, which is constantly changing and is updated with all the latest spellings, prepositions and sentence structures that you need.
It should be used when writing a student CV, when you search for that part-time job during university or a student internship over the summer, first impressions are vital when it comes to a CV. Be sure to manage working and studying, finding the right balance is important!
Now, this is a very touchy subject at university. There are plenty of services that our there and readily available for students that can write your essay for you, we cannot recommend these less than we already do! People get caught out with these sorts of things every single day and even have their entire degree rescinded as a result. Universities aren’t stupid, they know what you’re doing, they know what your tactic is and they have ways to combat them, so don’t even bother.
In fact, the money that these can cost (Some of these enter the £10,000 mark) is half the cost of an actual degree, so imagine paying the extra money on top of the £46,000 you’re already roughly paying and then having another £10,000 on top of that, to then have spent £56,600 on a degree that you won’t even achieve. Don’t doubt yourself, using an essay writing service is a very good way of getting your degree nullified and a great way of getting yourself into very serious trouble.
With these programs, they will very soon become a part of the way that you work as a student and the way that you are looking at writing essays, you will adapt almost instantly to the idea of essay submission with these. Becoming familiar with these programs will give you a step ahead of other students, which is why planning at university is going to help!
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