How to Write the Perfect Essay Dr Colin Tyler Contents Summary



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Appendix C

Apparatus of Scholarship -

References, Citations, and Bibliography



(A) References and Citations:
FAILURE TO GIVE PROPER REFERENCES OR CITATIONS CAN CONSTITUTE PLAGIARISM, AND COULD HAVE SEVERE ACADEMIC CONSEQUENCES
You must give the full reference for any phrase or sentence that you copy from another person.

You must give the full reference for any passage which you paraphrase (take from another author, but re-express in your words).

These reference must be given in one of the approved forms: that is, using either footnotes, or endnotes, or the Harvard method.
For footnotes and endnotes:

These must include the following information:

(i) author(s);

(ii) title, italics or underlined;

(iii) edition, if other than first;

(iv) place of publication;

(v) publisher;

(vi) date of publication;

(vii) specific page(s).
For example, a footnote or endnote could read:1
Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the creation of the modern world (London: Allen Lane, 2000), p. 89.
For the Harvard Method:

The Harvard method uses brackets in the text, giving the surname of the author, followed by the year of publication, and the relevant page number. For example,


‘In his twenties, the Scotsman slithered into a career crisis.’ (Porter, 2000: 89)
The relevant work is then cited in the bibliography as follows:
Roy Porter (2000) Enlightenment: Britain and the creation of the modern world (London: Allen Lane)
Where you include more than one work written by a particular author in a particular year in your bibliography, you must label the first piece with an ‘a’, the next a ‘b’, and so on. For example, (Tyler, 2000a: 4) and (Tyler, 2000b: 120).
You can use the following abbreviations with footnotes, endnotes and the Harvard method:
ibid. used (followed by page numbers) when references to the same work follow each other, without any intervening reference

op. cit. used (after the author’s surname, and before the relevant page numbers) for a second reference to a different work

passim use (after the relevant page numbers) to show that the issue keeps coming up in these pages, although it is not their main focus.

(B) Bibliography


Every assessed essay must have a bibliography – a clear, complete and alphabetically arranged list of all works used in the essay. You should include any work that you either quote, paraphrase, or merely use as background material.
Precisely how you list these works in the bibliography will depend upon whether you use footnotes or endnotes on the one hand, or the Harvard method on the other. The following bibliographies contain many types of work:
For either footnotes or endnotes:

Edward Caird, The Collected Works of Edward Caird, 12 vols., edited by C Tyler (Bristol: Thoemmes, 1999)

Philip Cowley, My Part in the Abyssinian Campaign (London: Croom Helm, 1942)

Robert E Goodin and Philip Pettit, eds., Contemporary Political Philosophy: An anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997)

Simon Lee, ‘The Political Economy of the Canadian Beaver Trade, 1992-2000’, Journal of American Research in Science and Economics, vol. 15, no. 3 (April 2001), 15-37

Justin Morris, ‘Playing Nicely: International Law and Gun, Bombs and Bullets’, in C von Clausewitz, ed., The State of War (Berlin: Hempel, 1817), pp. 40-73

Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the creation of the modern world (London: Allen Lane, 2000)

Colin Tyler, ‘My Nobel Prize for Literature’, The Times, 27 July 2000

---- ‘ “This Dangerous Drug of Violence”: Making sense of Bernard Bosanquet’s theory of punishment’, Collingwood and British Idealism Studies, vol. 7 (2000), 116-40

Richard Woodward, ‘What Were They On?’, Magic Roundabout Studies, vol. 8 (2005), 119-10

---- Bolting Along. Horsing Around in the Derbyshire Undergrowth (Nottingham: Robin Hood Press, 2005)
For the Harvard method:

Edward Caird (1999) The Collected Works of Edward Caird, 12 vols., edited by C Tyler (Bristol: Thoemmes)

Philip Cowley (1942) My Part in the Abyssinian Campaign (London: Croom Helm)

Robert E Goodin and Philip Pettit, eds. (1997) Contemporary Political Philosophy: An anthology (Oxford: Blackwell)

Simon Lee (2001) ‘The Political Economy of the Canadian Beaver Trade, 1992-1999’, Journal of American Research in Science and Economics, vol. 15, no. 3 (April), 15-37

Justin Morris (1817) ‘Playing Nicely: International Law and Gun, Bombs and Bullets’, in C von Clausewitz, ed., The State of War (Berlin: Hempel), pp. 40-73

Roy Porter (2000) Enlightenment: Britain and the creation of the modern world (London: Allen Lane)

Colin Tyler (2000a) ‘My Nobel Prize for Literature’, The Times, 27 July



---- (2000b) ‘ “This Dangerous Drug of Violence”: Making sense of Bernard Bosanquet’s theory of punishment’, Collingwood and British Idealism Studies, vol. 7, 116-40

Appendix D

Plagiarism



It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the University’s regulations, particularly in regard to unfair practices such as plagiarism. For full details see:
http://www.hull.ac.uk/cms/regs/regulations.htm
Plagiarism consists of copying the words of any other person without use of quotation marks and/or without including proper and explicit reference to, or citation of, the original source.
Plagiarism is one of the most serious academic offences that any student can commit. Any essay that is found to be plagiarised completely or in any part can be zero marked, and, in extreme cases, the University can apply the severest academic penalties to the student (including termination of study).
The University requires students to make the following declaration when submitting any assessed piece of work:
‘I declare that the work I am submitting for assessment contains no section copied in whole or in part from any other source unless it is explicitly identified by means of quotation marks. I declare that I have also acknowledged such quotations by providing detailed references in an approved format. I understand that either or both unidentified and unreferenced copying constitutes plagiarism, which is one of a number of very serious offences under the University's Code of Practice on the Use of Unfair Means (www.hull.ac.uk/cms).

What does plagiarism look like?


The following are legitimate ways of referencing a quotation:

Using a footnote (or endnote):

  1. Boucher has highlighted a significant shift in the contemporary analysis of the world order: ‘Modern international relations theory has recently taken a normative turn and begun seriously to explore the place of ethics in the relations among states.’2


Using the Harvard method:

  1. Boucher has highlighted a significant shift in the contemporary analysis of the world order: ‘Modern international relations theory has recently taken a normative turn and begun seriously to explore the place of ethics in the relations among states.’ (Boucher, 2000: 217)

The following method of referencing is legitimate as well:

  1. Boucher has highlighted a significant shift in the contemporary analysis of the world order, claiming that nowadays ‘international relations theory’ concerns itself with ‘the place of ethics in the relations among states’, and so has ‘taken a normative turn’. (Boucher, 2000: 217)

The following are examples of plagiarism (the same applies for footnotes and endnotes):


  1. No quotation marks, and no reference to Boucher:

There has been a significant shift in the contemporary analysis of the world order, as modern international relations theory has recently taken a normative turn and begun seriously to explore the place of ethics in the relations among states.

  1. No quotation marks, although the source is noted. (In effect the author of the essay is still claiming that all of the words are their own.)

Boucher has highlighted a significant shift in the contemporary analysis of the world order, claiming that modern international relations theory has recently taken a normative turn and begun seriously to explore the place of ethics in the relations among states (Boucher, 2000: 217).


IF IN DOUBT, PUT THE PHRASE IN QUOTATION MARKS

Appendix E

Seminar Preparation and Presentation

Seminars are a vital part of all your modules. They help you to explore topics, and so they help to familiarise you with the background issues and the wider implications of the various subjects raised in your modules.
They give you important transferable skills. No matter which job you do after leaving university, you will be required to give presentations. The more you practice, the better you will become at speaking to a group.

Attendance at every seminar in compulsory for each of your modules. Absences are noted and the Department, the Faculty and ultimately the University pursue non-attenders. You MUST attend every class.

The most common way to run a seminar is to for someone to be pre-allocated to present an answer to the seminar topic. The presentation is made orally, and in most cases should last appropriately 10 minutes.



(I) Preparation
You must prepare thoroughly for every seminar, whether or not you are giving a presentation.


  1. If you are not presenting

Don’t think that you’ll be able to sit back or hide in the seminar. Everyone must read around the subject as indicated on the module reading lists, and everyone must contribute to the seminar discussion. Don’t think that no one will notice, and don’t let yourself be parasitic on the hard work of your fellow students.


Many people find seminars intimidating. Try not to worry, most seminars are friendly places, and people want to talk ideas through.

(i) Ask yourself – are their ideas really better than yours?

(ii) It is not fair to prepare for the seminar and then not to contribute. Other people can learn from you.

(iii) Push yourself forward in seminars, even if you find it unusual and scary.


At the same time, don’t hog the seminar! You are supposed to be taking part in a discussion, not just letting everyone appreciate your genius.

  1. Don’t just talk over people

  2. Don’t think that you have to fill every silence

  3. Give other people a chance to get a word in.

  4. Treat everyone’s opinions with respect.


The mechanics of the process:

  1. Make notes on your reading – include the page numbers where the particular ideas occur.

  2. Bring a copy of the reading and your notes to the seminar. You may well need to refer to them.

  3. If you are unsure about a particular point, make a special note of it. Don’t be afraid to raise questions in the seminar, everyone finds certain parts of the reading unclear, confused, confusing or perplexing. Seminars exist to encourage people to talk to one another about their opinions and difficulties.



  1. If you are presenting

You should prepare for your presentation as if you were starting to write a very short essay:




  1. analyse the question

  2. carry out the relevant research

  3. produce a detailed plan.


It is best if you do not read out a prepared script. Speak from notes instead. The presentation should be a lot more interesting to listen to. Using notes forces you to think about the topic in depth.
As with writing an essay, don’t just repeat what other people have written – you must make a reasoned case if you can. Of course your argument will tend to have less depth than an essay, but you are still expected to either produce a reasonable defence of your position, or to highlight the problems in deciding how to answer the question.
Raise areas you are uncertain about. It may be that the reading have done was obscure at certain points. It is a skill to pick up on vagueness and evasion in others.

  1. Try to suggest what the author might mean.

  2. Direct seminars to consider areas that are unclear.


(II) Giving a Presentation



Remember: A presentation is a performance.
Try not to worry about speaking in public. Everyone gets nervous before a presentation. If you prepare well, speak clearly and loudly, and don’t rush through your notes, everything will be fine.
If you really are scared of giving your presentation, speak to your seminar tutor beforehand. S/he is able to offer suggestions about how to beat nerves.
Try to make your presentation interesting, in terms of the ideas you aim to convey, the overall argument you aim to establish, and the way in which you speak.
The next page indicates the sort of things you should consider about your presentation:


  1. Effectiveness of presentation

  2. Materials (Visual aids, handouts, etc)

  3. Content and organisation

  4. Discussion



In particular:

Produce a handout: When you have written out the plan of your presentation, use it as the basis of a one-side handout for the rest of the class.

  1. state the question

  2. state your conclusion

  3. list the key bullet points

  4. include any quotations that play a particularly important role in your argument.

  5. Photocopy enough handouts for everyone in your group (and don’t forget the tutor!).

Writing a handout might well help you to prepare for your essay.




And finally:

Try to enjoy your seminars – they can be very funny!

Appendix F

1 Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the creation of the modern world (London: Allen Lane, 2000), p. 89.


2 David Boucher, ‘Hegel and Marx on International Relations’, in T Burns and I Fraser, eds., The Hegel-Marx Connection (Basingstoke: MacMillan, 2000), p. 217.


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