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nehal

Guidance

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Hi,

iam wondering about the jounals for essay.how do we know which journal is important for exam as ther are loads of journals and how to select the imp ones.pls

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well this is interesting. i think it all depends on how keen you are on reading journals. i know a few people who read a lot of journals from most of the available american ones such as clinical journal of psychiatry, etc to obscure stuff in archives, the swedish journals, etc. Presonally such individuals intend to probably go into an academic career. After my preamble i believe it varies from person to person how many journals that you read. The answer i believe in passing the essay is in the strength of your argument relating to the question asked not necessarily quoting the latest references. I think you get more marks if you show you can think originally and creatively.

Good Luck!

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Have a look at editorials in the BJPsych and APT from the last 12-18 months. This gives some ideas for what is currently making the news or under discussion in psychiatry. It's not reliable as a technique for question-spotting but it can give you a basis for making an essay plan and reading more widely. Some of the research papers can also be used as references in essays although you have to be quite selective at times.

Psych Bulletin is also good for discussion of topical issues.

BMJ often has psych-related papers or editorials so is also well worth a look.

The above is all I managed to get through before part 2. Other journals are probably up to you. Personally I didn't want to spend all my time reading lots of international journals, although I'm sure you would find plenty of useful stuff in many other journals. This website has a lot of previous relevant editorials in the Library section. Doctors.net website also has a 'JournalWatch' feature which summarises latest offerings from lots of journals.

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not to disagree extensively with the last respondent but i feel question spotting is energy sapping, anxiety provoking and a complete let down if your question does not appear on the day! you might then try to start squeezing in your ready made prepared answer into a completely different question. Unfotunately to a lot of people chagrin this more often than not ends up in tears. Read widely arond the subspecialities in psychiatry so that you are well versed in most topics. Then you will have the confidence to answer any of the essay questions. Contrary to popular belief references do not matter a great deal. I didn't give too many when i did the exam and loads of people have passed without using any at all.

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Toyota,

Maybe my post was misleading

I don't advocate question-spotting as I think it is usually a waste of time (just look at all the 'question-spotting' attempts on this forum before each part 2, and compare them with the questions that come up on the day - they're usually completely different).

However, the reason I suggested looking at journal articles is that they can give some guidance on a particular topic. They are more up to date than text books and can often generate discussion and debate both of which are useful for essay construction. The field of psychiatry is so vast, at the beginning of part 2 revision it can often be a bit overwhelming with so much to learn.

I passed the part 2 essay using only 1 reference so I would be the last person to suggest that the number of references are the most important thing!

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Passed the last written without quoting a single reference , did'nt even remember to mention ''Rusell'' in the eating disorder question !

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There is no clear answer to this.I prepared an essay by question spotting that came up.

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Toyota,

Maybe my post was misleading

I don't advocate question-spotting as I think it is usually a waste of time  (just look at all the 'question-spotting' attempts on this forum before each part 2, and compare them with the questions that come up on the day - they're usually completely different).

However, the reason I suggested looking at journal articles is that they can give some guidance on  a particular topic. They are more up to date than text books and can often generate discussion and debate both of which are useful for essay construction. The field of psychiatry is so vast, at the beginning of part 2 revision it can often be a bit overwhelming with so much to learn.

I passed the part 2 essay using only 1 reference so I would be the last person to suggest that the number of references are the most important thing!

i totally agree with timtam, essay spotting is waste of time. but the journal is only useful to learn how to write a typical essay and to become familiar with the common languages in essay.

it is better to limit the number of references. manchester course is very useful as a universal reference for any possible essay question. i used manchester essays from 2003 to 2005.

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I agree with all the posts.

I think reading journals will give you an idea about the current situation. I read the main british journals and listed about 23 essay topics and wrote essay plans. Also wrote 2 full essays in strict exam conditions. In my experience all these helped me. If possible get somebody to correct or give some cunstructive criticism.

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I also agree that essay spotting is rather futile. One piece of advice I would give though is that of the 3 questions that are asked in the exam answer the one that is the most straight foward, I have heard of many people that fail (including myself on an essay on 'stress') when writing about the the more quirky questions that get asked.

Reading journals should give you a broad enough knowledge to write on any subject that comes up without necessarily having to quote the exact paper.

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i think the essay is a test of how you think not how many journals you have read. develop a style of how to put your arguments foward rather than nervously trying to grasp the latest information from hot off the press. at the end of the day even though a lot of articles have evidence supporting a kind of intervention your skills for this are tested in the critical appraisal paper.

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I've seen people exhausting themselves by collecting journals from everywhere and in the end unable to digest the material. Unnecessary qouting of references can be lethal for the candidates, so avoid as much as possible.

Try to keep your essay simple but interesting and never go off track. Always keep going back to the question asked. It is cruicial to use your head rather than regurgitating the facts.

If you've been asked to write an essay about donkey and you write everything you know about the horse, I'm afraid you need to write down the cheque for the next exam at the same time. If you have no clue about the question asked still you can pass with your own rational arguments. It is probably the easiest component of the exam if tackled sensibly because you have plenty of time to finish.

I suggest not to omit essay plan, even if you have to add in few headings retrospectively. Good plan creates the primacy effect and tranqulise the examiners and they'll be compelled to pass.

Good luck to all who believe in themselves.

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All you stalwarts...hulllo!

I am trying to do Forensic over the next couple of days...PLZ can you tell me what are the hot topics eligible for essays...would reallly appreciate ur input

Many thanks

CR

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There was a lot on managing violence in guildford course,

also stuff on DSPDs,

new MHA - treatability etc

haven't quite got there yet my self :P

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There'e some really good advice on this forum. I spent about 3 weeks looking through all the major journals (well actually 2) for the last 18 months - it got me absolutely nowhere, and I felt more confused compared to when I started - total waste of time. However I did find that APT articles were helpful in devising plans/layouts for certain topics.

I think having a broad based approach and thinking about what the relevant issues are is really important. I can understand that having references may help score bonus points if the lucky topic comes up, but that's about it. When I sit it, I'm going to take quite a while devising up a plan.

Hope this helps - cheers

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Hey Maverick...sounds good..thx

Can you plz tell me what topics are u preparing for..??

cheers and thx again

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For each major topic, I've tried to come up with a few plans. Obviously you plan more for the topics you like!! I'm not into predictions at all, but I've focused a few on PSYCH SERVICES - how to set one up. You can then tailor it to any aspect.

A lot of people say that MHA is long overdue. Thing is, there are 7 MHA's in the British Isles. There are people from Hong Kong sitting the exam, so it's pretty unlikely.

I'm also looking at FORENSIC/VIOLENCE - stuff like that.

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