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GUIDELINES FOR WRITING AN ACADEMIC ESSAY

Essays, in the required word length, should have a title page providing the title of the essay, the student’s name and/or candidate number (as specified in the module specification), programme, module, lecturer’s name, date of submission. It is highly recommended to have a separate page as a table of content, listing the headings of the chapters and sub-chapters and the respective page numbers. If necessary, a page providing abbreviations, survey of tables, figures, or similar, should follow.

Clarify the meaning of a given essay topic or field of research. Relate it to your lecture notes and what you have read during the teaching period. An essay question always contains a question you need to answer, or a thesis you are expected to discuss. It is essential that you focus your essay accordingly. This will help you structure your material and to decide on what is relevant or irrelevant for your work. Seek help if you are in any doubt about remit of the topic.

The structure of the essay should reflect a logical arrangement, and it should be an argumentative essay. Structure your essay clearly: introduction, main section(s), conclusion, and bibliography (mention only books and other sources that you have actually quoted in your essay). The essay should start with a clear outline of its aim and an overview of its structure. The introduction should also indicate why your topic is of interest and relevance, what the essay attempts to achieve, and what you have established to be the main conflicting views (if any). The body of the text (i.e. the main sections) should reflect a critical engagement with existing literature. It should unfold the main line(s) of your argument as backed up by relevant quotations. Quotes from the literature need to be contextualised and commented on. Do not leave quotations uncommented and make the relevance of the quotation for your argument clear. Where necessary and/or appropriate, examples should be provided. The conclusion should not be a mere summary of the body of the text, but should be devoted to discussing the consequences of the topic/question/hypothesis etc. studied. If explicitly required, an abstract is to precede the essay (after the title page).

Style:

Avoid using the first person singular (“I think that…, in my opinion…” etc). Do not use commonplaces or state the obvious. Avoid paraphrasing the material you have read; your job is to interpret it critically. What you argue in your essay has to be supported by evidence (e.g. data in your corpus and/or quotes from primary or secondary sources. The exact location of quotes needs to be referenced properly.

Format:

Use word-processing software. Handwritten essays are not acceptable. Take advantage of the spell-checking facilities. Use the software facilities for automatic numbering of pages and footnotes (if any). Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc) rather than roman numerals (I, II, III, etc) or symbols (*). Seek help from IT support personnel if unsure about software facilities.



All quotes must be indicated by quotation marks. Make sure you understand the crucial difference between plagiarism (disciplinary offence) and quoting (the very characteristic of an academic essay)!! The essay must be typed double spaced throughout on one side of A4 paper, with wide margins. Use at least a 12-point font. Titles and section headings should be clear and brief. Lengthy quotations (over 40 words) should be displayed, indented, in the text. Tables and figures (if used) should have short descriptive titles.

Notes should only be used for additional information or explanations. They should be indicated by superscript numbers in the text and appear as footnotes on the respective page. References cited in the text should read as follows:

 

• direct citation: Nord (1997: 55)

• reference to publication: Nord (1997), Nord (1991, 1997), Hatim and Mason (1997)

• Use ‘et al.’ for more than two authors

• The letters a, b, c, etc. should be used for different works by the same author in the same year.

 

All text references should be listed alphabetically (by author or editor) at the end under the heading References. For each title, the following information is to be provided: author, year of publication, title, where published, town of publication, publisher, page numbers. For journals, the volume, the issue, and the page numbers need to be provided.


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 224


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