Assessment of the module for all students is 50% for the module essays and 50% for a 2-hour exam in the May/June session of examinations.
Students are required to produce 2 essays during the module (length: 2,250- 2,500 words, essays over 3,000 which do not meet this criteria will be returned, essays below 2,000 words risk a reduction in mark), 1 each term. Essays should answer the question directly and completely. An analytical essay with clear and systematic arguments will receive more credit than a meandering narrative; arguments must be supported by evidence, both the primary sources and the conclusions of modern debates. Essays must be provided with proper bibliographical references, and be presented legibly; use of a word processor is a requirement. Spelling and grammar must be of an acceptable standard. For further guidance on essays, plesae refer to the Departmental Handbook, distributed at the start of the year. For essay titles and recommended reading, see page 5.
FOR ADVICE ON WRITING ESSAYS
1. READ THE ESSAY WEBPAGE FOR THIS MODULE
2. CONTACT THE LECTURER (PREFERABLY NOT 24 HOURS BEFORE THE DEADLINE)
ESSAY PLANS: Student are encouraged to submit essay plans (preferably via email) to the lecturer up to 10 days before the essay is due. Plans are meant to be simple and short (a few sentences) listing your topic, your main arguments (3-4). Under each argument you should record the supporting sources (primary (e.g. polybius), secondary (modern scholar) and material (e.g. an ancient site)) and an estimated word count. More than 50% of essays problems are related to structure (e.g. too many arguments, too few, too much evidence, not enough). An essay plan can address these issues in advance.
ESSAY SUBMISSION: Essays should be submitted to the Classics office (H222) before 12pm AND ONLINE AT THE TABULA WEBSITE. PLEASE NOTE: PAPER ESSAYS SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICE REMAIN THE FORMAL RECORD AND IF THESE ARE SUBMITTED LATE, THEY WILL BE MARKED AS SUCH. In order to officially submit an essay, you must must fill out a Green cover sheet with details including name, student number, date, time and essay title (these can be obtained from the classics office). You will also need to sign the essay submission register. If you do not follow these procedures, the official date of submission will be the date and time the form and essay are catalogued by the secretaries. From 12.01pm onwards, essays will be treated as late.
DEADLINES: 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 (PROF. ANDREW LAIRD) well in advance to explain the position and obtain consent for an extension to the deadline. While it is helpful to contact the module lecturer to apprise him/her of the situation; the module co-ordinator does not possess the authority to grant extensions. A coincidence of essay deadlines for different modules will not, normally, be sufficient grounds for an extension: deadlines are announced well in advance and it is your responsibility to organize your work to ensure that you meet your different commitments on time. The same applies to Essay questions, which are available online from the first day of term. If the internet goes down 48 hours before the deadline, this is not grounds for extension. For arrangements for extensions during 05-06 see memo displayed in the Classics Common Room (rm 225).
NB unauthorized late submission attracts a penalty of 5 POINTS each day. For example, an essay that is 2 days late will lose an entire class (a first class mark (e.g. 71) becoming a 2.1 (61); a 2.1 (e.g. 61) becoming a 2.2 (51), and so on.
PLAGIARISM On submission of all assessed work, students are required to sign a statement to the effect that the submission represents their own work, with no unacknowledged or disguised quotations, passages, or opinions taken from secondary sources. This represents a promise that the essay does not contain plagiarism, which is a serious offence that will be heavily penalised, usually by a mark of zero. As a result, a student penalized for plagiarism will find it difficult to achieve more than a third-class mark for the module as a whole. For a fuller definition see the Departmental regulations concerning the presentation of assessed work; if in any doubt, seek advice from Personal Tutors or the module co-ordinator.
The exam is two hours in duration and consists of three essays. There are generally about 15 questions offered (five in each category) in three sections. There is one section of questions about Greek History, one on Roman History, and one about prevading themes in both Greek and Roman history. You must answer one question from each section. These exam essays can be written on topics in related your submitted essays. However, please do not repeat information between essays on the exam. For example, if you have already written an essay about democracy and Periclean Athens, best to avoid a thematic question about democracy in Greece and Rome. Please consider this carefully when choosing your exam essay topics.
In terms of the level of detail, you are not expected to have footnotes etc, in your exam essay. However, you will need to cite specific events and sources, if you happen to know that the account you're using is from Herodotus: good, if you know what book: even better, if you're aware of his limitations as a historian: excellent. As in the submitted essays, it is important that you show depth as well as breadth.. so showing a good deal of knowledge about a few events in each essay (and sources) is better than smorgasbord of events and sources. All the more reason to have good and accurate use of sources in your submitted essays, which can be an excellent tool in revision However, CAVEAT LECTOR: no submitted essay topic will be replicated on the exam. Be sure that you do not merely regurgitate a submitted essay on the exam, for it will most certainly NOT be a good answer to the question. While expectations of structured argument remain the same as they would in a submitted essay, mispellings and paragraph organisation are met with a bit more understanding.
Unlike a formal essay time is of the essence in an exam context. The best students have done poorly on exams by making to one of two fundamental mistakes: 1. running out of time and failing to answer/or complete an essay 2. Not answering the question that has been asked.
You can avoid the latter easily by reading the exam questions carefully, there is no advantage gained by the precious minutes or seconds you may save by skimming the questions. Taking 5 minutes to read the whole exam and choose your questions in advance is an excellent investment of your time.
The former problem will take a bit more time and effort. Your revision for the exam should not just be reading notes but should consist of practicalities such as practice essays. It takes 30 minutes to write a practice essay (and only about 5 minutes to draw up an outline of your proposed response). After you have revised a topic, writing a practice essay and/or outline is an excellent way to consolidate and revise. In the exam itself, you should also set guildelines (e.g.35 minutes for each essay). Once you pass the allotted time: move on. You can always go back if you have extra time. Remember that 3 essays without concluding paragraphs will score more highly than two complete essays and one that is only half written.
There will be a revision lecture in which we will do a practice essays and discuss format further: PLEASE ATTEND!!!
Set yourself a realistic revision schedule which includes rest and recreation. A schedule to which you don't adhere is useless and may end up wasting your time.
Friends, Countrymen, Romans.. Unite! Work together. You have all written in depth essays and prepared seminar work on different topics, combine your expertise!