The reading dossier


The official rules for the reading dossier are here.

We are now in the second year of this device, and I have some idea of how it works and what its implications are. It is important to realise that

1. It actually counts for very little towards your final degree. Your assessment for a specialist option, such as Literature and the Internet or Theories of the Mind, counts for one of the six marks that you will carry forward to finals from the second year. But third year marks count double, so the weight of the reading dossier is one quarter of one half of one ninth (single honours) and one eighth (joint honours) of the final degree marks. In other words, 1-2%.

2. Nonetheless: your degree is arrived at by an averaging procedure; losing even one percent of the total could make a difference between a 2.1 and a 2.2.

Upshot: just in terms of finals, pay attention to the reading dossier rules. They can make a difference.

Another important realisation: you can get a first class mark for your reading dossier if you simply satisfy the requirements. You don't have to be brilliant: you just have to do as you're told. But, you do have to do just that: week by week, for the whole two terms. You can't catch up on the reading dossier in May, it's too late.

What I will do is specify, week by week, what I expect the reading dossier to contain, and that specification will be up on the website, very clearly. Do what it says, and you get a first for your reading dossier. It's simple...