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FR431 Summative (Assessed) Essay Titles

Students following assessment method I (Examination and Summative Essay), are required to write one essay of 2,000-2,500 words (including all quotations but excluding footnotes and bibliography) on one of the following titles:

  • 'Exhausted by three decades of crisis, paralyzed by the fear of individual and national displacement, without illusions about the ability of politicians to envision a collective prescription for recovery' (Baverez). Discuss this view of contemporary France, with reference to one or more works you have studied on this module.
  • 'The various forms of twentieth-century totalitarianism have been replaced by a form of finance capitalism entirely without borders. This finance capitalism subjugates nations and peoples to its unbridled speculation' (Hessel and Morin). Discuss the view that the French state must control globalisation, with reference to one or more works you have studied on this module.
  • 'A consumer economy of dispersed car-owning single-family homes is ecologically impossible and socially harmful. Proactively facilitating the transition away from this model and toward one centered on sustainable prosperity would be the best contribution this French presidency could make to France, the European Union and the planet' (Assadourian). Discuss this view of contemporary France, with reference to one or more works you have studied on this module.

SMLC Summative Assessment requirements


Students wishing to follow assessment method II (Assessed Essay only), coded A by eMR, are required to write one essay of 4,000-5,000 words on a topic to be selected in consultation with the module tutor. In this case, please ensure that you discuss your suggested topic and gain agreement for your topic at the earliest opportunity. The deadline for doing that is here. Generally acceptable formats for the title of the essay submitted for this assessment method include the titles below:

  • 'The representation of free-market ideas in French writings on globalisation, with reference to x and y.'
  • 'The use of mythical or metaphorical representations in French writings on globalisation, with reference to x and y.'
  • 'The nature of arguments for sustainability in French writings on globalisation, with reference to x and y.'
  • 'The presentation of a French exceptionalism in French writings on globalisation, with reference to x and y.'

Please note that these titles are not approved for assessment method I.

The approval form for the long assessed title is here.

If you wish, you can email the form to the secretaries in the office, and to me, and I can email my approval to you and the secretaries, provided that you have obtained my appoval for it in advance.

Essays should be submitted electronically and in hard copy by the appropriate deadline.

For guidance on essay writing conventions, including relating to footnotes and referencing, see the assessment and study skills areas on the Current Undergraduates page.

I am often asked preliminary questions about how to focus down on a topic and construct a title. Here are things I find myself repeating. The titles above are the standard format for the long assessed essay title, and they resemble something like an article on the subject. You can choose to focus on one author or topic, or more than one. Obviously, if you choose the former, you will need to go into greater detail, and perhaps become familiar with several texts by one author as opposed to the one we have examined in detail. If you choose the latter, you would probably reference fewer works by each author, and you would be looking to find lines of comparison and clear difference, so that the argument could be characterised in clear and fairly broad-brush ways. In either case, I’d be looking for something that went beyond paraphrasing the author’s position, or the movement’s main beliefs; I’d want to see that the position has been framed in a critical light, understood sympathetically but read robustly. So, as further examples, acceptable titles might be things like: ‘France’s decline and restoration in the writings of Nicolas Baverez’; ‘The need to protect French production in the writings and statements of Arnaud Montebourg’; ‘France and the nation-state: a comparison of the world views of Baverez and Védrine’; ‘France and growth: a comparison of the visions of Montebourg and Latouche’. These are just examples. You don't need to choose one of these, but you do need to come up with one in this format for yourself. If you DO just choose one of the examples, you STILL need to get that approved as your choice by the same deadline. There is a link to the deadlines elsewhere on this page. Finally, given the contemporary nature of our topic, there is not yet much secondary literature beyond what is given on the web page, which I update fairly regularly. But these issues are of course debated in many countries, and you can find very interesting frameworks that can be adapted and even incorporated if you search for broad critical perspectives on globalisation within general economic writings, or ecological literature, or perspectives on patriotic or protectionist concerns, which may have the USA, or Asia, or the UK or Europe as their initial field of study.

Please note the following:

1. In the examination for this module, you will NOT be permitted to re-use texts or material which have featured in your summative (assessed) essay.

2. If you wish, you can discuss the same text/author in your summative(assessed) essay as you have discussed in your formative (coursework) essay. However, you must not reproduce in part or whole any of your formative essay work in your summative essay.

3. PLEASE NOTE: these are summative essay titles. The mark for this essay will count toward your end-of-year assessment and your degree classification. It is very important to note that you may not submit a formative essay title for the summative end-of-year assessment. If you do so, you risk attracting a penalty of 10 marks.

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