Length: 2000 words (bibliography excluded)
Question: Select one among the weekly questions on Moodle from Topic 6-10
Structure (Indicate how the rest of the essay will develop answer the question)
Clearly divides in sections with sub-headings
Re-state the argument
(implications of the analysis)
What are the main arguments that have been put forward by other authors to answer that question?
Identify relevant CPE debate
Organize the existing explanations in a coherent fashion
Try to incorporate in your analysis more than one analytical lens. Show you are familiar with the broad literature, beyond the one informing your argument
Have you considered all the relevant arguments in response to the question set? (Even if you believe some arguments to be weaker than others, you should still explain).
Avoid discussing literature that is irrelevant for the specific question
Read beyond the required readings and the lecture notes consult additional readings
Need to put forward and justify an argument in response to the question
Argument need to directly answer the specific question
Need to situate YOUR argument in the context of the literature you are discussing
Your argument can
Adjudicate among competing claims
Bridge competing explanations
Develop your own original explanation (difficult!)
Use empirical evidence to adjudicate among competing theoretical arguments
Review quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence from existing literature
Possibly use of case study
Referencing & Bibliography
You need to cite at least 5 readings from the required and additional readings of this module
(but don’t limit your readings to these 5)
Non-academic sources are welcome but
consider the quality of the source
Need to engage with academic literature
Word count does not include bibliography
Each element of the essay that draws substantially from another source must be referenced. No matter if you translate it or rephrase it a little.
Self-plagiarism (drawing from previous assignment) is plagiarism.
Direct quotes need to be in “…” and with reference, always.
Indirect quotes (i.e. you rephrased the content) need no “…” but still a reference, or it’s plagiarism.
Common knowledge statements (e.g. China is one of the BRICSs) do not require references
Things to avoid
No point to the essay; central theme/ thread/ point of the essay unclear throughout
Bad structure: confuses, takes away from your argument: be clear
No references. Fake references. References you have never looked at.
Purely descriptive – no analysis
Purely theoretical – no empirical evidence to support the argument
Discuss literature and evidence that is not directly related to the question
Conclusion not justified by the material in the preceding sections of the essay
How to get a distinction?
Accurate reading and exposition.
Excellent understanding of complex theories and concepts.
Very good ability to evaluate complex arguments and reach reasoned judgements.
Main themes and issues are clearly identified and thoroughly explored.
Argument is very well supported with accurate and insightful use of evidence.
Argument is clear, coherent and logical.
Very good ability to challenge received explanations of topics and controversies in social life.
Shows good signs of original thought, analysis and evaluation.
The content is thoroughly related to the question.
Material is very clearly structured and well organised.
Work is based on wide reading.
Essay is fully referenced and contains a well set out bibliography.
Written expression is clear and fluent.
Correct punctuation, grammar, spelling and paragraphing.
Accurately typed essay.