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Med schools that require 1st year english... what if I'm not good at it?


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I know some schools require 1st year english (both semesters) or at least expository writing. Since my back up plan is US schools, some require it there as well.

 

So naturally it makes sense to keep more doors open by taking 1st year english at some point. My concern is what if I'm not good at english courses?

 

In grade 12, my science/math marks mostly being >90 or at least in the 80s if I put in minimal effort. English I have never done better than a mid 70. I'm just not motivated to do well in english + just dont succeed at it.

 

So how is 1st year english/literature? It seems that it would be something only there to drop my GPA.

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English courses can be easy! My best marks in English in high school were mid 70's and I got A's in both of my English courses. Talk to people about profs, find one that gives a good chunk of marks to class participation, lots of profs want to discuss books and lots of students want to sit there and do nothing, so some profs will implement mini quizzes on the reading material or give marks for participating in discussion. Find those classes and PARTICIPATE IN DISCUSSIONS! Even if you can't find profs like that just go to class and participate, do all your readings when you are supposed to and talk about them with the prof.

 

When you participate in discussions you will also figure out where the prof stands on various topics that are likely to come up in written assignments. While I don't like the idea of writing a paper to appease a profs views, it is the easiest way to do well in these courses. The profs have done a lot of reading on many of the topics they will ask you about, and have formed a very solid argument for their own beliefs, you are more likely to get support for your argument when it aligns well with the profs and better arguments = better grades. If you provide a counter argument to the profs view, you can still get a good mark and it is probably better for you as a person to establish where you stand on various topics, but if the prof doesn't agree with you they will be able to pick holes in your argument at will.

 

I wouldn't worry about it too much though, if you participate in class discussions and do all your readings you should at least do okay in the course. For all written assignments make an outline and take it to the prof before you start writing, they are usually pretty good about helping out. But in all honesty learning to motivate yourself will be your best strategy, hard work pays off.

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here's a tip, do it spring/summer session and find the easiest prof you can on ratemyprof.

 

a lot of the students that do english in spring/summer are foreign students (for the intro english class i took it was like 80 percent of the people) who failed english in the regular term and have to do it again puts your papers in a much better context, our class was so bad our prof started giving grammar and content tests out and made it worth 30 percent of the mark, beat writing an extra paper! plus, it wont hurt your regular semester gpa at most schools if you do do bad since you did it in spring summer term.

 

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White (4th Edition) is also a totally good book for learning basic grammar and style (active versus voice, when to use semi-colons effectively, how to recognize run/confusing on sentences etc. ), I remember before working in a psychology lab where I wrote a lot of the papers my prof made me sit down for three hours and read it, the best thing about it it's all meat, no filler, it's only about 85 pages long but if you read it I guarantee you'll write awesome essays. It's been in print and revision for 92 years now so you know it has to be good ;)

 

I know some schools require 1st year english (both semesters) or at least expository writing. Since my back up plan is US schools, some require it there as well.

 

So naturally it makes sense to keep more doors open by taking 1st year english at some point. My concern is what if I'm not good at english courses?

 

In grade 12, my science/math marks mostly being >90 or at least in the 80s if I put in minimal effort. English I have never done better than a mid 70. I'm just not motivated to do well in english + just dont succeed at it.

 

So how is 1st year english/literature? It seems that it would be something only there to drop my GPA.

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