Thousands of students at University of Salford have taken the Wordscope writing workshop programme and found it an incredibly useful and beneficial experience, one which enhanced their academic writing and gave them a set of valuable skills to take into the job market. We hope that in reading these testimonials you will feel that committing yourself to Wordscope would be one of the most important actions you should undertake while studying at Salford.
Carl Davis, English and Creative Writing, 2004-07
“I have found Wordscope highly beneficial, both during my time at Salford and after. The programme has significantly enhanced my writing practice and made my understanding of good practice more comprehensive. As an undergraduate it helped me approach written assignments with much more confidence. Post-degree, my employment involves proofreading professional documents. It would be no exaggeration to state that Wordscope in part helped me secure the position, and that it constitutes a constant resource: a substantial body of technical material and guidelines to call upon. Wordscope is a valuable and rewarding programme. It is well-structured, well taught and inclusive. I think that participants are likely to benefit no matter their initial English ability. I appreciate being given the opportunity to participate, and would not hesitate to recommend it to all students.”
Amanda Fairbrother, English Literature, 1998-2001
“I insisted on attending (despite the fact that we weren’t required to) and sure enough it had a huge impact on my essay marks. After attending the class I quite often got marks in the 70’s (something I hadn’t been able to achieve beforehand no matter how hard I tried).”
David Royle, Military History, 2007-2008
“I joined the Wordscope course when I commenced my postgraduate degree – MA Intelligence and Security Studies – during the period 2007-2008. I believe that it was one of the most useful courses that I attended since it provided me with a refresher on the things that I already knew, helped establish new methods and skills for writing essays, and provided an opportunity to create new friends. The teaching standards were excellent and the classes were the optimum size to encourage inclusion in the discussions. I really regret not having participated in the programme during my undergraduate years. I would recommend this course to those who would like to improve their writing abilities and to those who want to improve their grades, regardless of their degree.”
Claire Longden, English Literature, 2006-2009
“I would recommend Wordscope to any undergraduate studying at Salford, as I feel that the skills you learn can have a direct impact upon the marks attained for written work. For example, I found the advice about paragraph structuring useful when organising ideas for my dissertation, and this helped me to improve the quality of my argument and achieve the grade I wanted. Wordscope sessions have also taught me to rethink how I use punctuation, and I now use commas as tools to create sentence clarity, rather than just inserting them by guesswork. Considering that the entire course spans only a few hours, Wordscope is a worthwhile investment for students wishing to reduce essay stress and boost their grades.”
Mark Yates, English Literature, 2006-2009
“Wordscope taught me that language is a medium to be respected. I learned that if its many rules and conventions make displaying our thoughts difficult, it is possible to overcome these difficulties and become an effective communicator.
Wordscope deconstructs language and grammar. As a result, my general faults and ill-use of language became clear. It was astounding to discover how often I used punctuation incorrectly; the tutor’s highlighting of other personal faults enabled me to rethink the way in which I both write and structure my thoughts on the page. Wordscope taught me that clarity is key, and as a result essay-writing is no longer an uphill struggle. Reaching proposed word counts ceased to be a problem following the precise tuition of Wordscope. More often than not I now find myself surpassing the word limit. This enables me to select which sections are the most relevant to the subject at hand, dismissing those weaker areas which previously added unnecessary weight to my essay. The final product is now a much tighter and coherent argument.
Wordscope has proved to be most beneficial to both my grades and future career aspirations. Writing is no longer a burden; rather, I have learnt to take pride in my work. Upon completing the module–ten sessions in all–my essay marks gradually increased from an average 2.2 to a recurring 1st. Indeed, it would not have been possible to achieve a 1st in my dissertation without the ever-handy Wordscope booklet. I am sure that my writing will continue to improve as I integrate and optimize the skills that I have learnt from Wordscope. I highly recommend the course to all those who wish to unlock their hidden literary potential.”
Amanda Etherington, BSc in Integrated Complementary Therapies in Practice, graduated 2010
“Initially, I thought that the Wordscope workshops would be better suited to the English language student and would have no real benefit to my specific field: how wrong I was. It was my third year of the BSc in Integrated Complementary Therapies in Practice when I was offered the ten Wordscope workshops to improve and assist academic writing skills. What a momentous gift this proved to be.
The ten bite-size sessions took me, step-by-step, through the grammatical guidelines to help write clear and coherent work. Furthermore, as my writing skills developed, the confidence to eliminate the bad habits I had previously accumulated increased with ease. However, the knowledge gained doesn’t end with the final essay hand in. With Wordscope under your belt, it allows a confident freedom to stretch outside the box into every aspect of writing that you may encounter: applications, personal statements, reports, letters, internet data, web pages. The list is infinite and it has continued to be a vital tool in my work ever since. Thank you.
So, you may think that you don’t need it: Clearly, though, you do.”
Lee McCarthy, Contemporary Military and International History, 2008-2011
“I began Wordscope at the start of the second semester of my second year in 2010. In truth it was because it had been put on my timetable, as our lecturer thought it would benefit us. I have never been the strongest writer and my marks before Wordscope reflected that, scraping some 2:1 but mostly 2:2. Since Wordscope I have seen a dramatic improvement in my marks, and it is amazing how such little errors can cost you the higher grades. Wordscope is a must for people wanting to achieve more than they currently are, and will prove much more than just a refresher to a lot of you. The classes are useful in getting you to think more about your writing, punctuation, and presentation, the easy parts of essay writing, where marks should not be lost. With the amount of money a degree costs, surely it’s just common sense to get the best out of it, and I assure you this will help.”
William McGowan, Criminology, Level 4, 2010-2011
“I completed the Wordscope course during my first semester at Salford university after being out of education for more than two years. It definitely improved the style and delivery of my written work, as well as reminding me not to forget simple literary rules. We often adopt ‘bad habits’ in our writing without even thinking about it, and Wordscope helps to correct them. I was slightly apprehensive prior to starting at Salford, having not written a single academic sentence for so long. However, I’ve been more than happy with my marks so far, and I attribute this to brushing up on my writing using Wordscope.”
Joanne Pritchard, Bsc (Hons) Psychology, Level 5, 2011-2012
“Wordscope has been a fantastic experience. It has enabled me to be more objective about my writing, looking at it from the perspective of the reader, to create work with more clarity and structure. Since completing the course my grades have improved and the feedback I have received has complimented me on my writing style. More importantly Wordscope has given me confidence in my ability to produce work to a ‘consistently’ high standard.”
Gil Michel, BA (Hons) Translation and Interpreting (French and Spanish), level 5, 2011-2012
“It is quite ironic that out of all the modules I had in my second year, the most useful one was actually optional. Wordscope was simply fantastic; not only does it help you get higher marks, but it also teaches you principles that can be applied to any piece of writing, whether academic or not. When thinking about learning things like paragraph coherence or how to use punctuation, students tend to associate the idea with “learning grammar,” which often involves a teaching method that is tedious, such as one that follows a book to the letter on a serious, monotonous tone. Wordscope could not be more different. It is an engaging course with a ton of humour, which makes the learning experience all the more agreeable. If you have the motivation to learn and actually make some progress in your writing, Wordscope is a must.”
Ellen Watts, BA (Hons.) English Literature and English Language, Level 6, 2012
“I took Wordscope in the first and second year of my degree to improve my reading and writing skills. It helped me to appreciate that reaching my own academic potential was achievable when equipped with the relevant tools and knowledge. The skills covered in the workshops provided effective strategies for planning, researching, and structuring assignments. My essay and exam percentages increased by around 35% throughout second and third year thanks to completing the course and applying the skills I had learned. Wordscope took me from being a student with few A levels and few prospects to a confident writer with a first class degree. I am currently studying for an MA with ambitions to continue onto a PhD.
Wordscope reinforces the fact that producing excellent academic writing must be done through a process of self-reflection and repeated practical application. Wordscope emphasises the importance of the re-drafting process by working on short assignments during the workshop, including the unique opportunity to get detailed feedback from the tutor in a way that is not usually possible in module assignments, and then setting achievable weekly homework assignments based on the work done in that session. Therefore, Wordscope enables the student to become an effective proof-reader of their own work, and the material given out in the workshops provides an essential guide for future reference when structuring any piece of writing, whether academic or otherwise. It is for these reasons that Wordscope is suitable for students on every degree course which involves writing, researching, and structuring information. In my opinion it is an essential for anyone who wants to get the best out of their time at University.”
Verity Chandler, Bsc (Hons) Social Policy 2018; currently studying for MA Social Work
I received my grade today for my first Masters level essay with a mark of 69 (my highest ever grade). I graduated my Bsc with an average mark of 52. I just wanted to thank you for all the time and work you put into Wordscope as the benefits for me have been huge. So thank you."
Christina Sims, BA Hons (First) 2016 and MA (Distinction) 2017
“I first took Wordscope in my second year of my undergraduate degree and immediately recognised its value. While many of my friends dropped off after four or five weeks, I was determined to stick with it, and my subsequent Firsts in every essay thereafter was a gratifying reward for my stubbornness.
The following term, I decided to take the course again to sharpen my skills as I completed my third and hardest year. During this second attempt, I began to understand certain concepts that confused me the first time, and the entire process of essay-writing became less and less overwhelming. I graduated with a First Class BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, having received a First in almost every essay that I wrote since taking Wordscope.
To my honour, the Wordscope Director, Dr. Carson Bergstrom, recognised my “knack” for Wordscope and offered to train me as a Wordscope Tutor. I happily accepted, and after months of training, I spent the next four academic years teaching other students the benefits of Wordscope (I also completed an MA in Creative Writing during this time and graduated with Distinction– another achievement that I attribute to my Wordscope skills).
After years of gratifying work teaching the Wordscope method, I found it time to move into new employment alongside other upcoming changes in my life. I immediately began searching for work in appropriate fields such as copywriting, proofreading, and a few social media marketing roles. Within a few months, I was interviewed for a social media marketing position– a rigorous, four-hour interview process– and I was up against other candidates with impressive employment and educational backgrounds.
A few days after the interview, I was called back to discuss a job offer that looked a little different from the initial role: the directors of the company had recognised my writing skills as an outstanding benefit, and so they had decided to actually re-structure the role so that I was immediately adopted into a senior position as a copywriter overlooking both the writing and social media management of the department. I was honoured and extremely grateful that my writing skills had made such an impression and actually earned me a higher position in the company.
Needless to say, the process of committing to Wordscope and teaching it over four years has equipped me with so many skills that have allowed me to excel professionally: Wordscope has improved my verbal and written communication, it has given me tools to assemble my ideas constructively, it has taught me the humility to refine my ideas and develop my understanding, and it has given me confidence to present myself to a board of directors with faith in my own ability.
When essay-writing is a new concept, it can be very stressful, but I encourage every Salford student to recognise that developing our writing skills can reap more rewards than we ever anticipated. So, I encourage you to stick with it, trust the process, do your best, and, as I always said to my students at the end of their final Wordscope lesson, ‘Go forth and conquer’.”