Edition 1 2021

How to Write an H1 Arts Essay

5 March 2021

The Elusive H1.

H1, not to be confused with H1N1—the viral disease from 2009 better known as the Swine Flu, is the top mark you can receive at the University of Melbourne.

However, while H1N1 is acquired by inhaling the glycoproteins haemagglutinin and neuraminidase through droplets in the air, H1s are awarded for achieving over 80% on a particular assignment. 

Sadly, you cannot just inhale an H1.

To make the task even trickier, the quantity of H1s in some subjects is capped since you are scored against the rest of your cohort. 

Oh, so you thought savage competition between students was over since you left high school?

Whoever said arts degrees don’t prepare you for the cutthroat horrors of late-stage capitalism was clearly an H3 student. Or worse, a commerce kid. 


A Newer, Superior-er Essay Structure. 

Lots of people like to use the T.E.E.L. method (Topic, Explanation, Evidence, Link) but I prefer to use the far more refined and intellectually sound A.S.S.B.U.M method.

The method is as follows…

A – Awesome first sentence 

S – Sick-as second sentence

S – Shit, this method is totally useless. I thought that I really could give the smug bastards who created TEEL a run for their money. Hold on, quickly, we gotta

B – Back that ass up and

U – Understand that there’s really only one sure-fire way of getting an H1 in literally any essay across literally any arts major and that is to simply…

M – Mention Marx

That wasn’t so hard, was it? 

I find acronyms make everything easier to remember. 



When shooting for that oh-so-shiny H1, just remember that under no circumstances should you do anything I’ve told you to do in this article. 

If I get any emails from tutors telling me their students didn’t spend enough time “explaining concepts” and “providing evidence” but instead, wasted far too much of their word count “backing that ass up”—I’ll be most displeased.

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