Assessed work is subject to the examination regulations as set out in the University Calendar.
In writing and preparing work you should consult the handout provided by the Department on Course Regulations and Presentation of Assessed Work.
- The Dissertation must represent the results of YOUR OWN work on the ancient sources and modern studies relevant to the subject you have chosen. You will be expected to seek advice from the appropriate member of staff on your choice of topic. The topic MUST be approved by the Department. You should report to your supervisor regularly on your progress and submit to the Departmental Office a draft chapter (or equivalent) of your work for discussion and criticism no later than the end of Week 11. A second chapter should be worked on over the Christmas vacation.
- Consultation and use of the ancient sources is essential. Modern studies include both references and summaries of ancient sources. References should not be reproduced without verification from the original. Summaries should be your own. See Plagiarism below.
- Dissertations must be word-processed.
- Dissertations MUST be between 8,000 and 10,000 words in length. Over-length dissertations will be returned. The word count includes main text and footnotes. Bibliography, table of contents, and lists of illustrations / abbreviations are excluded from the word-count. Appendices are not to be used unless you have specific permission from the module co-ordinator.
- All pages should be numbered except the cover sheet.
- The cover sheet should only have your dissertation title (in bold, or italics), your student ID number (no name), a picture if you wish and the following in italics:
Completed in partial fulfilment of a BA in [add your degree course here] 20--.
- The final version of the Dissertation should be presented double-spaced, single-sided, and in a binding sufficiently strong to hold the sheets securely (metal/plastic spiral bound or book bound) and provide an adequate front and back cover. Use margins of at least 3 centimetres all around to aid binding as well as the writing of markers’ comments.
- Dissertations must be handed in to the Departmental Secretary not later than 12 noon on the last day of the spring term.
Problems can arise (computer failure, printer out of ink, printing or binding queues, payment card declined etc.) so make sure you do not leave anything to the last day/minute. Marks will be deducted for late submission.
- Dissertations are not returned. Remember to print out or xerox a copy for yourself.
Criteria for 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.
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.