Tertiary tricks

January 12, 1996

Probing another stereotype, psychologists at the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education questioned fresh-faced undergraduates to find how they ensure they do well in their essays. Tender first years admitted they try choosing the easiest essay title; using obscure references and littering their work with impressive-sounding technical terms, among other tricks. The researchers, Linda Norton, Thomas Dickins and Neil McLaughlin Cook, found that third years had developed more tricks than first years - obviously an important learning curve during apprenticeship in academic life.

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