After going back to my home country for Christmas break, I have been enjoying my holiday to the fullest that I forgot I have an upcoming essay due on the first day back to school. After coming to the realization that the essay is due within exactly 24 hours right before I board the flight back to Birmingham, which flight is 17 hours long, meaning that I would not have wi-fi for the upcoming 17 hours, I then started panicking and began brainstorming about what I have done over the past year on the plane. The long contemplation started from looking back at the beginning since I came to the United Kingdom in my first year to the end of the winter term of my second year.
I believe that every student has seen other students of different races all around on campus no matter where and which university they attend to. Being an international student myself, I have always wondered about the lives of other international students who are also studying at the University of Birmingham Law School. I doubt if they are facing the same problems as I am or if it is just me. Therefore, I chose to work on this topic for my blog.
What inspired me to write the sub-topics are the actual problems that I have been facing for the past year and the legal system of Hong Kong. For example, I just had conversion exams on criminal procedures in Hong Kong during the Christmas break, which inspired me to write about PCLL and also complain about the hectic schedule. Writing this blog is like writing my own summarised version of a diary and I find it easy to come up with different ideas as it is an actual representation of my life doing law as an international student in the United Kingdom.
Finally, after deciding the topic for my POW, which is confession on the life of an international student doing law at the University of Birmingham, I have decided to start my work after a long while of procrastination by choosing which type of POW I should do. I was struggling hard between blog and artwork as I am really passionate about art. However, it might be too vague to express what I have encountered last year over merely an artwork, thus I decided to write a blog on this topic according to my own experience so that it would be more relatable and interesting.
What I have learned from my feedback is that one of the keys to constituting my POW as a good blog is to have a focused target audience. The target audience for my blog is any students in general especially international students. I hope that this blog not only will help the audience to learn more about what it is like to study law, but also motivate them to provide help or provide assistance to foreigners as international students in particular may not be familiar with the environment or are not proficient in different languages.
It is important to note that keeping a blog relatable is also one of the keys to constituting a good blog. What makes my blog different from an essay is that essays are usually formal and narrative, which is the exact opposite of my blog - the usage of first-person pronouns and having short paragraphs keep the blog in a good flow so that it is easier for people to read. The usage of media such as inserting memes and other images of no copyrights between the paragraphs also helped keep the blog more engrossing to the audience.
However, I have faced several difficulties by far. The most obvious one is on quoting legal resources in the blog. D despite several attempts at drafting the blog, I could not find spaces to add legal resources to my blog. Back then I was panicking about my other essay on tort law and contract law that is also due soon, all of a sudden I decided to go through some of my notes as a break from this essay. Reading the notes on offer and acceptance and negligence inspired me to quote the most infamous cases and the most memorable cases to me in the blog: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co and Donoghue v Stevenson, which fulfilled the requirement of quoting legal resources.
The most significant thing that helped this essay is that I shared my POW with many people of different target groups so that I can receive feedback from different perspectives. Their feedback helped me to understand how I can do better in my final drafts such as improving the tone and the language of the blog and helped me recognize the focus of the blog. It helped me to know whether the blog is understandable to students that are not doing law as well.
All in all, I believe there is still room for improvement. For instance, R v Brown could also be mentioned in order to add more legal knowledge for those who do not do law as the case is equally infamous in criminal law. Yet, the blog is still very experience-based overall, more evidence on legal research on the difference in legal system between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom such as the legislative council versus the parliament could be shown in order to improve.
Ultimately, I should bear in mind that it is of utmost importance to have good time management and never rush your essay last minute. I believe most of the students have experienced completing your assignment last minute under immense stress. In my opinion, I should have reserved at least a week to brainstorm, draft and finalize their work instead of cramming all the stuff that comes to their brain on first thought.