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Greek Culture and Society - Assessment

Assessment of the module for all students is 50% for work submitted during the year and 50% for a 2-hour exam paper in the summer. Please note that students are required to pass both the essay and the examination components of the module.

Please refer to guidance given in the undergraduate course booklet and departmental style-guide for information about the presentation and content of written work.


Students are required to produce two essays during the module of 2,500 words each.

These are to be submitted anonymously, using a cover-sheet available from the office, and must be word-processed. If you think that you will have difficulty in meeting a deadline, it is vital that you arrange to see the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Head of Department well in advance to explain the position. In the case of essays which are submitted late without an extension, 5 marks will be deducted per day for each day the essay is late.

General guidance on essay writing

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.


Essays will be returned to students within 20 working weeks or at the beginning of the following term. The marked copy of an assessed essay is retained by the Office. Copies of cover sheets and other comments can be made available to students once marks have been finalized and recorded. Essays will be handed back individually, when there will be a chance to discuss them face-to-face. It is essential that students attend these tutorials. Keep a copy of your essay, and re-read it before your feedback session. You will also find it helpful when re-reading your essay to complete the departmental 'Essay checklist' template, which can be found online, and which will help you to understand how you can improve your work:


The exam paper will be in two parts. The first part will invite detailed commentary on one literary passage and one piece of visual evidence. In the second part, students will be required to write two essays from a range of questions on both specific and more general aspects of the course.

First Year Class Descriptors

1st class essay will present a clear answer to the question posed as well as a reasoned and analytical argument. Individual points will be presented in a manner that generally displays a logical flow between paragraphs. It will demonstrate critical use of primary and secondary sources; the referencing of these will be clear and accurate, following the dept styleguide. The essay will also display ability on the part of the student to advance ideas with some level of sophistication and originality, going well beyond what has been discussed in lectures/seminars.

Upper 2nd class essay will present a fairly clear answer to the set question as well as a relatively reasoned and analytical argument. Individual points will be presented in a manner that displays some logical flow between paragraphs. It will demonstrate thoughtful use of primary and secondary sources; the referencing of these will generally be clear and accurate, following the dept styleguide. It may demonstrate good use of material discussed in lectures/ seminars and evidence of independent research.

Lower 2nd class essay may not clearly answer the set question or may lack a clearly structured argument, relying heavily on a narrative, from which salient points will or are expected to emerge. It will use primary and secondary sources with proper referencing, but will show limited interaction or analysis of these materials. It may have too many different points, which are treated in an unsophisticated and somewhat superficial manner. It may be heavily reliant

3rd class essay will 1) either fail to answer the question posed and/or fail to provide a structured argument, deviating from the set question in whole or significant points; or 2) will be presented in a manner that shows few signs of coherent thought or basic understanding of the evidence, presented in a form that is ill-referenced and poorly formulated. It may show little evidence of engaging with much material discussed in lectures/seminars.

Fail essay will display considerable ineptitude in terms of knowledge, essay-structure, use of English, and referencing. It will show little if any attempt to answer the question, use primary or secondary sources, or employ the lecture and material resources that have been provided.