For the second 1500 word essay pick one of the following essay titles from section 2.
1. Has race been replaced by religion as the key fault line in modern societies? Discuss the situation in the UK in relation to Barker’s conception of the ‘new racism’ (1982).
2. Does the vote for Brexit mark the end of the multicultural project in the UK?
3. What impact has terrorism from groups such as ISIS had on forms of ethnic and national identification in Europe?
Essay Marking Criteria:
These criteria are for guidance only and are not prescriptive.
First class essays (70% or above):
are neatly presented;
are clearly structured;
are correctly referenced throughout;
demonstrate a very wide range of reading and a clear understanding of the material;
show marked independence of thought and/or research in their discussion;
provide a critical discussion of ideas and readings;
answer all aspects of the question.
All essays must be word processed, one and a half or double-spaced and on one side of paper with wide (approx. 3cm) margins. They must be on or above the minimum word limit. You must keep a copy of the essay you hand in. Essays will not be accepted by fax, or post.
All assignments must submitted electonically via Turnitin
All quotations must be referenced (this includes page numbers). You can do this either by using brackets in the text (Bauman 1995:123).
A comprehensive bibliography (in alphabetical order by the author’s surname) must be given at the end of the essay.
The ‘quality’ press – The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times (and their Sunday equivalents) – also contains many articles of sociological relevance. Which newspaper you read will depend on your cultural and political preference.
The Internet is a growing source of information, and there are numerous sites of interest to social scientists. A great deal of general information of the topics covered can be found on the Internet. However, you need to be careful how you use this information and how you reference it. This means writing out the full URL in the bibliography and the date the site was visited. But you cannot expect to pass an assignment with material drawn solely or even mainly from internet sources. You must engage with the course material specified below.
A Brief Guide to Essay Writing
There is detailed information about how to prepare, make notes, write and present your essay in your Study Skills Handbook, and we advise you to read the Handbook carefully and follow the guidelines it gives you. The information below is just intended to be a quick summary and checklist to help get you started.
Remember you are marked on the quality of the argument you make.
Use a 12-point font, nothing too fancy (this font is Arial), use one and half or double spacing, justify margins, leave a space between and/or indent the start of each new paragraph, try to avoid short paragraphs
Rephrase the question in the introduction, set out clearly how you intend to answer the question. The introduction is where you interpret the question and give it structure and focus. Set out what the reader can expect to find in the essay below
Body of the essay:
Follow the steps set out in the introduction, write clearly, ensure sentences are grammatically correct and spell check the work (make sure names are spelt properly, e.g. Durkheim). Relate back to the question on a regular basis, don’t drift off the topic and inform the reader what you are doing and where you are going with the discussion. It is for you to establish the relevance of the material you use. Clearly set out views of the theorists under consideration. Be fair to each side in a debate. Don’t attempt to include everything in your essay. It is better to leave material out in order to ensure your essay is well focused and well structured. Stick to a clear theme throughout. Adopt a confident style (even if you don’t feel confident with the material). Don’t say ‘there is a German sociologist called Karl Marx…’ Just say ‘Karl Marx…’
No new material should appear in the conclusion, sum up the argument and relate it to the question, come down on one side of the debate if you like, or explain why you feel unable to do so
Try to avoid phrases that are too colloquial. Try to develop your own ‘academic’ style, one that you are comfortable with. Personal experience is relevant but you must relate it to the wider theoretical debate of which you are a part.
You may use the personal pronoun ‘I’ but remember your own views and opinions must be supported by and expressed in terms of evidence and theories from credible (sociological) sources. Don’t say ‘in my opinion…’ or ‘I feel…’ Just launch straight into the point. Remember the whole essay expresses your opinion – not just the bit where you pop up and say ‘I think…’ avoid the latter and steer the essay – using the ideas, theories and evidence you select – to the conclusion you want (that reflects your viewpoint).
Many of the debates covered on your degree programme are controversial. You can take any side in the debate and ensure it wins (if you like). Just make sure you treat the other side fairly and marshal evidence and theories on both sides of the debate. The more you do justice to the other side of the debate the stronger will be your argument against it.
If you do not reference your work properly marks will be deducted from your essay or it may not be given a mark at all
Whether you are paraphrasing an author or citing them word for word reference the work as follows (Cannon 2005, p.123). In the bibliography I will expect to find the full reference for the source:
Cannon, Bob (2005) The Sociology of Everything, London: Routledge.
Please note, book titles must be italicised. Quotations should be cited exactly as they appear in the source – do not put them in italics or use bold if not the original. If you do make any changes to the text cited you must indicate this. For example, if you italicise a word or section (for emphasis) then in the brackets afterwards put ‘my emphasis’.
If you use a quotation (from Marx 1996, p.123) that you found in another text (Cannon 2005) then you reference Cannon (2005, p.123) and not Marx (1996, p.123).
Ensure that every source referenced appears in your bibliography and every reference in your bibliography appears in the essay. This includes internet sites, newspapers, etc.
The bibliography must be set out alphabetically by the author’s last name (there is a sort by A to Z command under ‘Table’ in Microsoft which will do this for you). You do not need to cite lecture notes but you should only use them for background purposes.
As it is hard to identify authors in a long list, use ‘hanging indents’ (you can do this automatically in Word, use Format / Paragraph / Indents and Spacing / Indentation / Special – hanging indents is an option). This will make your bibliography look like this:
Hall, S., ed (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage.
Harvey, D. (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Held, D., McGrew, A., Goldblatt and Perraton, J. (1999) Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture, Cambridge: Polity.
Short quotations of less than 30 words should be included in the text with quotation marks like so: ‘Sociology is the study of society. The term was invented by August Comte in 1823’ (Cannon, 2003: 123).
Longer quotations of 30 words or more should be set out as below. I have put the quotation in a smaller font (11 point), indented it and used single spacing. Please note there is no need for quotation marks and the final stop comes after the brackets.
Sociology is the study of society. The term was invented by August Comte in 1823. It is an amalgamation of a Latin word socio – meaning ‘companion’ and a Greek word logos – meaning ‘to study’ (Cannon, 2003: 123).
In the case of citing an article from a journal or a chapter from a book the title of the piece should be put in quotation marks in the bibliography like so: ‘A Very Good Article about Sociology’. The title of the journal or book from which it came must be italicised.
Your essay should refer to the reading you have done. This means that you must put at least one reference into every paragraph (apart from the introduction and conclusion), and that you must list at least 5 separate pieces of reading in a bibliography at the end of the essay.
YOUR ESSAY WILL FAIL IF IT CONTAINS NO REFERENCES TO READING MATERIALS
Ensure that every source referenced appears in your bibliography and every reference in your bibliography appears in the essay. This includes internet sites, newspapers, etc. The bibliography must be set out alphabetically by the author’s last name (there is a sort by A to Z command under ‘Table’ in Microsoft which will do this for you). You do not need to cite lecture notes but you should only use them for background purposes.
Support with referencing your work
The University has developed an on line support system to help you with writing your work. This has beencarefullydevised to support you with your studies. This support package can be found atWrite it right at UEL Connect.You can find a guide to referencing on the UEL Plus site for this module“HowtoHarvard reference”.
There are simple, easy-to-follow guidelines on how to present your references and bibliography in The Study Skills Handbook pp.124-5. You can also get detailed help and advice from your personal tutor, and/or from your lecturers and seminar tutors. It will probably take you a while to get the hang of referencing but do persevere. It is an essential study skill.
Before you hand in your essay, ask yourself these questions:
What is my argument?
Is this essay all my own work? If it is not, then it will be treated as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious form of cheating and the penalties are severe. It is described in more detail below.
Have I checked the relevant sections of The Study Skills Guide?
Have I followed any other instructions given in this module guide about this particular piece of work?
Have I answered the question in the essay title, and is every paragraph relevant to the topic?
Have I shown that I understand the ideas and readings we have looked at on this Module?
Have I used at least five pieces of reading in the essay?
Is there at least one reference to reading in every paragraph (apart from the introduction and conclusion)?
Have I included a bibliography in the Harvard style?
Are all of the references in the essay included in the bibliography, and vice versa?
If I have quoted directly from an item of reading, is the quotation within quotation marks, and is it properly referenced?
You need to provide a reference:
when you are using or referring to somebody else’s words or ideas from an article, book, newspaper, TV programme, film, web page, letter or any other medium;
when you use information gained from an exchange of correspondence or emails with another person or through an interview or in conversation;
when you copy the exact words or a unique phrase from somewhere;
when you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, or photographs.
You do not need to reference:
when you are writing of your own experience, your own observations, your own thoughts or insights or offering your own conclusions on a subject;
when you are using what is judged to be common knowledge (common sense observations, shared information within your subject area, generally accepted facts etc.) As a test of this, material is probably common knowledge if
you find the same information undocumented in other sources;
it is information you expect your readers to be familiar with;
the information could be easily found in general reference sources.