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MA213 Second Year Essay

Organiser: Helena Verrill

Term(s): Terms 1 & 2

Status for Mathematics students: Core for all Maths students except GL11 (for whom it is List A)

Commitment: Independent study with guidance from Personal Tutor

Assessment: Essay Plan 5%, Essay 75%, Presentation 20%

Organisation: You can choose your own topic in consultation with your tutor (who must approve it) or base an essay on one of the Maths at Work topics after attending the talks.

Students may, and are strongly advised to, submit a draft of their essay to their tutor by the end of the first week of Term 2. You are expected to have consulted the web pages in the additional resources page on essay writing prior to submission of the draft. The tutor will provide written comments and discuss the draft, normally by Week 4 of Term 2.

Students have to give a 15-minute oral presentation of the essay to their tutor and a small group of other second year students, normally in week 9 of Term 2. This presentation is a compulsory requirement and 20% of the essay mark is allocated to the quality of the presentation. Students should seek advice, e.g. from their tutor, on how to convey the content of their essay within such a short period of time; they must not get bogged down in technicalities but they should not be vague.


  1. To provide an opportunity for students to learn some mathematics directly from books and other sources.
  2. To develop written and oral exposition skills.


  1. To learn how to write mathematics well.
  2. To practice presenting mathematics orally to a group.
  3. To develop research skills, including planning, use of library and the internet.

Deadline The essays should be submitted electronically online through Moodle by 12:00 noon on Thursday 27th April 2023. This deadline is enforced by the mechanism described in the Course Handbook section on Assessment.

It is the students' responsibility to choose their essay topic, to prepare the draft on time, to seek advice where necessary, to prepare the presentation on time and to submit the final version of the essay on time.

The essay will be marked by your tutor and a second marker. Your tutor will also award the mark for the oral presentation. Instructions about the essay and information on the marking scheme will be given out by the end of Term 1. Students are advised to read the instructions carefully, since failure to follow one of the University Regulations (on plagiarism, for example) could result in a mark of zero.

Additional Resources