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Coursework

 

Assessment Deadlines

The dates and times by which you should submit your work for assessment are given on Tabula. Please also see our schematic map of all student deadlines.

Work should be uploaded to Tabula by the date and time specified on the system and following the online instructions. Please note that since this is an electronic system, it is very accurate, so even if you submit your work just one minute after the deadline, it will be marked as late and penalties will be imposed accordingly.

Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to upload your work and try not to leave this until the deadline day itself. If you encounter any technical problems with your IT equipment or with uploading your work which mean that you are unable to meet the deadline, these cannot be accepted as a valid reason for late or non-submission and penalties will be imposed accordingly. Work submitted by any other means (e.g. emailed to the Office or a tutor) will not be accepted.

 

Self-Certification

From 2020-21 the University has introduced a new self-certification process. All students are able to apply for two separate extension periods of 5 working days via the self-certification policy. These extensions will be granted without the need for evidence. Students should apply via Tabula no more than five days before the submission deadline for the assessed piece of work, or pieces if there is more than one deadline in the 5 working day period (students must specify ALL the assignments they are applying for self certification for within the 5 day working period). Students must use these two self-certification periods before being granted further extensions.

 

Extensions

Further extensions (beyond the periods of self-certification) to assessed work deadlines may be granted only in exceptional circumstances such as ill health and/or extreme personal issues. All extension requests must be made two working days in advance of the published assessment deadline. Working days are defined as Monday to Friday (inclusive). Extensions are normally only granted for 5 working days, if your circumstances mean that you will be unable to submit work for a longer period you should discuss your situation with your personal tutor, the senior tutor for your year group, or with Disability and Wellbeing Services.

Extensions will not be granted for last-minute technical problems (including problems with Tabula, laptops, etc.). You should plan to submit your work well in advance of the deadline to avoid potential problems. We recommend submitting at least 48 hours (or two working days), if possible, in advance of the assessment deadline to avoid last-minute difficulties. Retrospective requests for extensions will not be granted. If serious circumstances prevent you from requesting an extension ahead of time, you should meet with your personal tutor to discuss an application to the Mitigating Circumstances Committee to be taken into consideration. This must be done as soon as possible.

Requests for extensions should be made via Tabula (remember to do this for each separate assessment, if you have multiple assessments due around the same time). You will need to state the reasons for your request and upload supporting evidence. Please note that you may be invited to meet with the Director of Studies for your year before a decision can be made. If such a meeting is not deemed necessary, you will receive an email to advise whether or not an extension has been granted.

Instructions for requesting an extension can be found here: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport/web/tabula/manual/cm2/students/extension 

Extensions will not be granted for computer or technical problems. Please ensure you leave enough time to deal with potential last-minute problems when you submit your assessment.

 

File Naming

While there is no "correct" way to name a file, we strongly urge you to adopt a robust convention for naming and organising your files before submitting work - this will help prevent you from accidentally submitting the wrong file.

A meaningful filename would contain your student number, the module code, assignment name and an indication that it is the final version, for example:
1234567 - HI127 - Source Review - FINAL.pdf

It is essential that you do not include your own name in the document or file name.

Please note that students who have to resubmit work beyond the deadline as a result of uploading the wrong file will have their work capped at a mark of 40%.

 

Penalties

Penalties for Late Submission or Non-Submission of Written Assessed Work

Deadlines for the submission of work are available on Tabula. According to University rules, late submission of an assessed essay will, unless an extension has been approved, result in a penalty deduction from your mark for the work of 5 marks per day. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and bank holidays are NOT included when calculating penalties for late submission. There is no upper limit to the total penalty for late submission. If, for medical or other compelling reasons, you require an extension on an assessed essay or dissertation please see the extension policy.

 

Penalties for Non-Submission/Attendance of Assessed Presentations/Group Projects

If students are unable to attend a scheduled presentation they will receive a mark of 0 (in the same way as if they missed a scheduled examination). If they have mitigation for illness or other circumstances then they should submit this as soon as possible (see section of the handbook on mitigation policy). The mitigation panel which reports to the examination board may a) allow a further first attempt (usually an essay is substituted for the presentation/group project) b) allow a resit where the work is capped at 40%) c) in exceptional circumstances waive the need to take the component (usually only if the assessment component is worth less than 3 CATS).

 

Word Length and Penalties for Over Length Work

Essays and dissertations that are above the word limit will be deducted as follows:

  • 9,000 word dissertation: 1 mark off for each 100 words (or part thereof) over 9,000 words
  • Any plan or essay up to 4,500 words: 1 mark off for each 50 words (or part thereof) over the specified limit

The word limits are strict upper limits, and marks will be deducted if the assessment is over-length. Footnotes, bibliography and possible appendices are not included in this word-count. The title page is not included in the word-count, but titles and subtitles in the text are. You do not need an abstract or content-list, but if you do include these, they are counted in the word-count.

You will not penalised for producing under-length work, provided quality is not sacrificed to brevity. Learning to write to a limit is one of the skills the degree is designed to encourage you to cultivate.

 

20 Point Marking Scale

The University uses the '20 Point Marking Scale', which directly maps to the different degree classification, and it is now used to mark all undergraduate work. Some work may receive an overall mark that is a composite of several marks from the 20 Point Marking Scale.

Classification is a complex matter, requiring skill and judgement on the part of markers, and no brief list can hope to capture all the considerations that may come into play. There is no requirement that a piece of work would have to meet every one of the specified criteria in order to obtain a mark in the relevant class. Equally, when work displays characteristics from more than one class, a judgement must be made of the overall quality. In some respects expectations differ between essays, oral contribution, presentations, applied tasks, and exam answers. Presentation, style, grammar and spelling are important aspects of the ability to communicate ideas with clarity.

For details of how the 20 Point Marking Scale works, including the descriptors, please see here: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/examinations/marking/ug2017/ 

 

History Specific Marking Descriptors

More detailed marking descriptors for history assignments can be found below. You will find the general descriptors for written work (essays, exams, dissertations etc.) and for seminar contribution where that is assessed. Tutors will provide specific marking criteria for other types of assessment where appropriate. Please contact your module convenor if you are unclear about how an assignment will be marked.

Written Work (essays, exams, dissertations)

First Class (70+)
  • Persuasive and direct answer to the question, establishing the wider significance of the issues concerned.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the relevant material; accuracy in the details.
  • A direct and coherent argument, well supported by relevant evidence.
  • Critical analysis of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Fluent and engaging writing style; persuasive presentation and structuring of arguments.
  • Work which, in addition, displays evidence of creativity, originality, sophistication and freshness of arguments will be awarded marks of 75+.
Upper Second (60-69)
  • Direct answer to the question, establishing the wider significance of the issues concerned.
  • Adequate coverage of the relevant material, accuracy in the details.
  • Skillful mobilisation of evidence in relation to the argument being presented.
  • Narrative and description taking second place to analysis.
  • Competent manipulation of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Fluent writing style; effective presentation and structuring of arguments.
Lower Second (50-59)
  • Basically satisfactory answer to the question.
  • Limited coverage of relevant material; some inaccuracy in the detail.
  • Some attempt to mobilise evidence in relation to the argument being presented.
  • Analysis taking second place to narrative and description.
  • Limited understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Adequate writing style, presentation and structuring of arguments.
Third (40–49)
  • Barely satisfactory answer to the question.
  • Inadequate coverage of relevant material; major inaccuracies in the detail.
  • No understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Poor presentation and structuring of arguments.
Fail (less than 40)
One or more of the following:
  • Serious misunderstanding of the question.
  • Failure to provide any answer to the question.
  • Failure to show knowledge of relevant material.
  • Seriously muddled presentation and structuring of arguments.

 

Seminar Contribution

What is being assessed:

  • Oral Communication: clarity of expression; persuasiveness; respectfulness and inclusivity; asking useful/probing questions; contributions that extend the discussion.
  • Knowledge and Understanding: evidence of preparation of core and/or wider reading; demonstrates comprehension of the readings and/or seminar questions
  • Methodological Approaches: ability to discern, explain, or engage with historiographical or methodological issues raised by the readings and/or seminar questions
  • Analysis: engagement with and evaluation of readings; focus on meaning rather than description; evidence and argument-driven responses to seminar questions

Class

Scale

Mark

Generic Descriptor (20 point scale)

Seminar Contribution Descriptor

First

Excellent 1st

100

Work of original and exceptional quality which in the examiners’ judgement merits special recognition by the award of the highest possible mark.

The student engages in both large and small group discussions [and, if applicable, online] with exceptionally clearly expressed oral contributions that demonstrate excellent understanding of the readings and the wider significance of the seminar questions. The student is able to critically engage with historiographical and methodological issues raised by the reading or seminar questions. The student provides well-evidenced and persuasive arguments in response to questions or source analysis, and makes sophisticated and original contributions to knowledge. The student asks questions, or makes contributions, that extend the discussion and may be of professional standard. In discussion with others, the student takes on a leadership role with regard to respectfulness and inclusivity. [If applicable, the student is able to critically reflect on, and critically evaluate, their seminar performance]

94

Exceptional work of the highest quality, demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. At final-year level: work may achieve or be close to publishable standard.

High 1st

88

Very high quality work demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. Work which may extend existing debates or interpretations.

The student engages in both large and small group discussions [and, if applicable, online] with very clearly expressed oral contributions that demonstrate excellent understanding of the readings and the wider significance of the seminar questions. The student is able to engage with historiographical and methodological issues raised by the reading or seminar questions. The student provides well-evidenced and persuasive arguments in response to questions or source analysis. The student asks questions, or makes contributions, that extend the discussion. In discussion with others, the student demonstrates a high level of respectfulness and inclusivity. [If applicable, the student is able to critically reflect on and accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

Upper Mid 1st

82

Lower Mid 1st

78

Low 1st

74

Upper Second (2.1)

High 2.1

68

High quality work demonstrating good knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.

The student engages in both large and small group discussions [and, if applicable, online] with clearly expressed oral contributions that demonstrate understanding of the reading and the seminar questions. The student is able to identify, and may be able to explain, historiographical and/or methodological issues raised by the reading or seminar questions. The student provides evidenced arguments in response to questions or source analysis. The student may make contributions that extend the discussion. In discussion with others, the student demonstrates a good level of respectfulness and inclusivity. [If applicable, the student is able to reflect on and accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

Mid 2.1

65

Low 2.1

62

Lower Second

High 2.2

58

Competent work, demonstrating reasonable knowledge and understanding, some analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.

The student may engage only in small group discussions [and, if applicable, online] with contributions that demonstrate understanding of the reading and the seminar questions. The quality of their oral expression may be limited. The student may be able to identify historiographical or methodological issues raised by the reading or seminar questions. The student provides answers in response to questions or source analysis that may be fact-based or descriptive rather than interpretive. In discussion with others, the student demonstrates a reasonable level of respectfulness and inclusivity. [If applicable, the student is able to accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

Mid 2.2

55

Low 2.2

52

Third

High 3rd

48

Work of limited quality, demonstrating some relevant knowledge and understanding.

The student may engage only partially in small group discussions [and, if applicable, online] with contributions that demonstrate some understanding of the reading or the seminar questions. The quality of their oral expression may lack coherence. The student provides answers in response to questions or source analysis that are fact-based or descriptive. In discussion with others, the student demonstrates limited respectfulness and inclusivity. [If applicable, the student is able to provide a limited evaluation of their seminar performance]

Mid 3rd

45

Low 3rd

42

Fail

High Fail (sub Honours)

38

Work does not meet standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Evidence of study and demonstrates some knowledge and some basic understanding of relevant concepts and techniques, but subject to significant omissions and errors.

The student attends but does not engage in discussion [Online contributions, if applicable, are brief]. Contributions may demonstrate some understanding of the reading or the seminar questions. The student’s oral expression lacks coherence. Responses to questions may be inaccurate or incomplete. The student may be disrespectful of others. [If applicable, the student is unable to accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

Fail

32

Work is significantly below the standard required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Some evidence of study and some knowledge and evidence of understanding but subject to very serious omissions and errors.

The student attends but does not engage in discussion. [Online contributions, if applicable, are very brief, inaccurate, or incomplete.] Responses to questions, when prompted, are inaccurate or incomplete. The student may be disrespectful of others. [If applicable, the student is unable to accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

25

Poor quality work well below the standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree.

The student attends but does not engage in discussion or answer questions. [Online contributions, if applicable, are inaccurate or incomplete.] The student may be disrespectful of others. [If applicable, the student is unable to accurately evaluate their seminar performance]

Low Fail

12

Zero

Zero

0

Work of no merit OR Absent, work not submitted, penalty in some misconduct cases

Absent without authorisation. [No contribution to online element, if applicable].

 

Essay Writing Checklist

Here are some of the things you need to think about in preparing an essay. Few of them are iron rules. Good essays come in many forms, and a good essay writer will sometimes ignore some of these guidelines. But to become a good essay writer you would probably do well to start by following them.

Please remember that writing an essay involves skills of discussion and argument which differ from those that might be used in the informal setting of a seminar. In the first place, argument and analysis in essays will usually have to be more carefully structured than the comments you might make in a seminar or tutorial discussion. In essays, you should demonstrate awareness of more than one argument, acknowledge differences in the views of historians, and adopt a critical appreciation of evidence and its sources. You should also provide the necessary scholarly underpinning for your analysis by showing the sources of your information and arguments in bibliographies and footnotes.

On questions of presentation, footnoting, etc. you should follow the advice given from the department.

The Essay Question

  • Have you really answered the question?
  • Have you thought what might lie behind the question, e.g. if it asks 'Was the First World War the main cause of the Russian Revolution?', have you thought about what alternative explanations might be suggested?
  • Is each paragraph clearly related to the overall question, raising a new topic and moving the argument forward?
  • The ultimate test is that if you left the title off the top of your essay, could a friend guess the question from your answer?

Your Analysis

  • Have you made an argument or is the essay simply relating what happened?
  • Is your argument logical, coherent and clear?
  • Are you contradicting yourself?
  • Are you using appropriate evidence to back up each part of your argument?
  • Are you aware of counter-arguments?
  • Have you combined evidence and ideas from several different sources at each stage of the argument, or are you merely summarising what your sources say one by one?

Your Research

  • Have you done enough reading? Six books/article/chapters is suggested for a short essay; ten or more for a long one.
  • Are you up to date on the historical debate? Do not rely only on the older texts.
  • Have you listed in the bibliography all the sources you used, and only those sources?

The essentials...

Presentation and accurate referencing is an essential part of the historian's craft. An essay that is well written and properly referenced will convey your message efficiently and be more persuasive. Many different formatting conventions are used in scholarly publications and this can be confusing. What we recommend is the best current practice. If you are unsure about any of these guidelines, please ask your essay tutors for clarification.

Why reference?

From reading academic articles and books, you should be familiar with the scholarly practice of making references in the text to other people's work and providing listings of relevant source material at the end of the text.

Why is this done?

  • To enable someone reading the document to find the material you have referred to or consulted
  • To demonstrate your width of reading and knowledge about a subject
  • To support and/or develop points made in the text
  • To avoid accusations of plagiarism: using somebody else's work without acknowledging the fact
  • Because you may be required to do so by your department

 

Academic Referencing and Style Guide

The History department recommends that students follow the MHRA standard for essay writing. MHRA is a footnote style commonly used in the Humanities. Superscript numbers are placed in the body of the text, and corresponding notes are placed at the end of each page to cite the resources used.

MHRA Footnote Style

Examples of good and bad referencing can be found in the Plagiarism section of this handbook:

Examples to avoid plagiarism

 

Plagiarism and Poor Academic Practice

Please refer to the plagiarism section of the handbook, which can be found here.