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From Confucius to Constantine: Ancient Global History - Assessment Criteria

Guidance on essay writing (Term 1 Assessment):

1. Presentation: Marks will be awarded for good English expression; marks will be deducted for poor presentation, including poor grammar and spelling. Marks will be awarded for correct presentation of footnotes and bibliography

2. Clarity of analysis: Marks will be awarded for work which is organised coherently on the basis of arguments and deducted for work which is incoherent or presents a mass of amorphous material. The case the student is arguing should be clear to the assessor in every paragraph - don't fall automatically into a chronological arrangement of your material, or a line by line examination of a text, unless you are making a specific point, narrowly argued, about development or change over time.

3. Primary data: Marks will be awarded for good use of a range of ancient texts and other materials - inscriptions, images, coins, archaeology etc. - and deducted for unsubstantiated arguments and opinions. Marks will be awarded for pertinent quotation and for thoughtfulness about its usefulness as evidence. Don't use quotations of primary materials or images merely as illustrations. Think about what contribution they make to your argument, what role they play as evidence, where the producers of the text or artefact are 'coming from'.

4. Secondary material: Marks will be awarded for isolating the main issues and debates in modern scholarship on the subject. Marks will be deducted for overdependence on a single unquestioned modern authority. Think also about where modern scholars are 'coming from', e.g. by reading reviews of their work from the websites of JSTOR, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, or Project Muse.

5. Originality and Sophistication: Marks will be awarded for thoughtfulness, well-founded scepticism and original ideas which attempt to surpass the issues and debates found in modern discussions in order to take the argument in a new direction.

Refer to the departmental essay-writing checklist in order to help ensure that you meet these criteria.


Plagiarism, defined as 'the attempt to pass off someone else's work as one's own' is a variety of cheating or fraud. It is taken very seriously by the University and students who are caught can suffer penalties which are extremely detrimental to their career. If in doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, please consult the online tutorial at

To avoid any confusion however you should take special care with two things:

1: Cite the sources you are using
2: Use quotation marks for the quotes you are quoting.

Avoiding plagiarism

All written work produced for assessment must be entirely yours. Your work will often use material covered in lectures and seminars, but your work must demonstrably be your own representation of that material. You must not quote from other people's work word-for-word without acknowledging this by use of "quotation-marks". If you present someone else's thoughts, words, or other work as your own, then you will have committed plagiarism. In general it is poor practice to scatter quotations from other scholars throughout your essay; you should attempt to rephrase what other people have said in your own words, and then also include a reference to the source of your ideas in a footnote. When taking notes from journals and books, make sure that you indicate clearly in your notes, using quotation marks, if you're copying directly word-for-word. This will ensure that you do not inadvertently reproduce someone else's words in your essay. In general, however, the best practice is to paraphrase and analyse as you read and make notes so that your notes do not simply copy out chunks of other people's work. You should also avoid referring to what a lecturer has said without finding out for yourself on what his/her ideas are based. You may cite primary sources on handouts.

Rules for avoiding plagiarism

Good study technique, writing style and correct referencing of quotations will help you to avoid unintentional plagiarism. If you follow these simple rules you will always be safe:

* Always take down a detailed reference for each text that you read and take notes from.

* While copying quotations, make sure you clearly mark them as quotations in your working notes.

* Gather and use your own examples whenever you want to support a particular view.

* Ensure that all quotations are surrounded by quotation marks.

* Ensure that your references can be used to locate the original source text.

Criteria for Assessment in Term 2:

You have 3 options to choose from for Assessment in Term 2.

- Option A: an essay as in Term 1 (with same assessment criteria as above for Term 1)

- Option B: an essay based on your own research question developed from use of portal.

- Option C: the creation of new entries + a narrative chain within + the completion of a reflective essay.

Assessment Criteria for Option B:

To complete Option B, you must:

- Submit your planned essay titles to the module convenor + 250 essay plan through Tabula by Wednesday 16th January (Term 2 week 12).

- Once you have the agreement of the module convenor for your essay title, complete your essay and submit via Tabula by the deadline.

In addition to the criteria set out for an essay (see above), your submission will be marked according to the following additional criteria:

Clarity of Research Question: marks will be awarded for the clarity and phrasing of the research question formulated, which the essay seeks to answer.

Pertinence of the Research Question and Essay: marks will be awarded for the degree to which the research question formulated, and responding essay, is related to the original data entries in the student cites as inspiration.

If students fail to submit their 250 essay plan to Tabula by the deadline, or fail to reach agreement with the module convenor on essay title, they will be required to revert to option A for Term 2 assessment.

Assessment Criteria for Option C:

To complete Option C, you must do the following:

- Express interest in Option C assessement by Term 1 (week 10) and log on to the portal to register.

- Attend the Term 2 (week 11) digital training session (Tuesday 8th January 2019 11am-1pm)

- Submit a 250 word plan via Tabula outlining your choice of entries + narrative chain (by Wednesday 16th January 2019)

If students fail to undertake any of the above steps by the deadline, they will be required to revert to Option A assessment for Term 2.

- Once you have agreement of the module convenor for your data entries + narrative chain, complete the assessment project (see details on Essays and Project page), and submit your entries (C1) + reflective essay (C2) as a combined PDF document via Tabula.

Your assessed work will be marked according to the following criteria:

C1. Data Entries + Narrative Chain within

• Completion of entry: the degree to which you have accurately filled out the database entry for each of your data entry ‘points’, as well as completed an entry related to your ‘narrative chain’

• Primary sources:
the degree to which your entries are based on accurately-referenced primary source material

• Secondary sources:
the degree to which your entries are based on accurately-referenced secondary source material

C2. Reflective Essay:

• Presentation: Marks will be awarded for good English expression; marks will be deducted for poor presentation, including poor grammar and spelling. Marks will be awarded for correct presentation of footnotes and bibliography.

The quality of your reflections on the choices you made in data entry + creation of your narrative chain.

• Extent of independent research
you demonstrate surrounding your data entries and the historical societies in which the data is situated.

• Analysis you make
of the contribution of entries and narrative chain to the wider picture of ancient connectivity represented within