Assessment And Essay Writing


Assessment is by course-work (40%) and by examination (60%).

Course-work will consist of one 3,000 word essay to be submitted at the end of week 12 of Autumn Term 2009 (Friday 18 December, 12.00 pm). Essay instructions are given below, and essays must be submitted to the Departmental Secretary.


The examination will take place during the examination period in Summer Term 2010, and will be two hours in duration. Students will be required to answer two questions from a choice of eight. Past examination papers are available in the library and through the Templeman Library On-Line Resources gateway.

Essay topics

Your essay should be approximately 3,000 words in length, typed and one-and-a-half spaced and contain full bibliographic references.

The cover page of your essay must state your name, the word length of the essay and the essay title.
Essays should be formatted according to the conventions of the Journal or the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI), i.e. bibliographical referencing should employ the ‘Harvard’ system in the body of the essay, and footnotes should be reserved for additional points of substance.

A brief guide to researching and writing essays can be found in the separately distributed document ‘Notes on Seminars, Reading, Writing Essays, and Presentations’.

Essay instructions

  1. You are required to select a particular country or ‘nation’ or ‘ethnic group’ (the choice is yours);
  2. You should search for relevant social, historical and anthropological material relating to that country, nation or ethnic group from books and journals in the Templeman Library or from any other sources you deem appropriate (newspapers, web-sites etc);
  3. Having collected and read your material, you should consider what is interesting or problematic about it in relation to one or more of the following topics: nation-building; nationalism; ethnogenesis; ethnicity and language, or religion, or race, or conflict and violence; invented traditions; multiculturalism. You should then set about writing an essay that uses appropriate theories and theoretical approaches to analyse and explore the social and/or historical data you have assembled.

Note that the precise title of your essay will thus be of your own choosing. You may, however, wish to discuss your proposed essay with the course convenor before you begin it. The essay will be assessed on the quality of the social and historical data presented and the quality of your analysis of it.

Please note: it will NOT be sufficient to base your essay on just one book or a couple of articles. For this exercise, you are expected to have done an amount of library research and to have based your essay on a wide range of reading.

Sanctions, Exemptions, Extensions

The deadline for the submission of coursework is 12 noon on the date above. Essays submitted after this deadline will be given a mark of zero. (For details of concessionary appeals see the statement in the departmental red book and on the Departmental website.) Students who have good reasons for missing classes or being late with work may submit a concessions application to the relevant office by the time of the deadline or as soon after it as possible. The Department of Anthropology Concessions committee will generally meet to consider concessions applications at least once a term and at the end of the academic year. In the case of late work, if a concession is granted, the mark of zero will be removed and the due mark substituted.

Concessions are not normally considered where:

  • Students have failed to manage their own learning appropriately
  • Students have been affected by illnesses and other circumstances that may be considered a normal part of life
  • Students have been affected by long-standing, controlled conditions for which they may be expected to have sought and received appropriate support.
  • Students have been directly responsible for the circumstances put forward in mitigation.

If you do submit a concessions form, you should also discuss it with your personal tutor or the senior tutor as soon as possible. This is especially important if several classes or pieces of work are affected. Your tutor can advise you on the submission of concessionary evidence and may be consulted by the Concessions committee when they consider your submission.

The Faculty of Social Sciences Concessions Application form is available on the web ( and also from the Department of Anthropology Office Room 13a, Marlowe Building and the Social Sciences Faculty Office Room 28, Marlowe Building. It should be completed and be handed in to the appropriate office (as indicated on the form) with relevant documentary evidence. Please note that the University Medical Centre will generally only issue medical notes for illnesses of more than 7 days' duration, except during the examination period.

All applications for concessions during the examination period should be submitted using the form noted above to the Faculty of Social Sciences Office, Room 28, Marlowe Building. Concessions applications must be submitted normally no later than five days after the examination to which they relate.

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