HPH304 Political Philosophy
The essay is designed to emphasize the skills of reflection and conceptual understanding rather than recalling information. Please select a question that is of interest to you. Here are some instructions (we will be discussing these in the workshops).
1. You must have an argument which answers the essay question or addresses the essay statement. The argument should not be just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but ‘yes because…’ or ‘yes provided that…’ or ‘Aristotle thought that city states were important because…’ Be daring with your argument, think outside the box, as they say!
2. You must develop your argument with appropriate analysis of the material.
3. Remember to structure the essay clearly so that the essential lines of your argument are apparent throughout. A sound structure will force you to be clear about what your argument actually is. Each paragraph should be connected to the previous one in some way.
4. In this course we want to allow you as much as possible the opportunity to engage directly with the ideas of the selected major thinkers. You are therefore encouraged to focus on the chosen primary text for these essays, so there is no requirement for a minimum number of secondary sources. If you do use secondary material please make sure you have a reason for including this material, emphasise that it is someone else’s opinion or interpretation and differentiate your own position from theirs explicitly. Also, the kind of material you use must be academic: no Wikipedia or the like, dodgy websites, or blogs.
5. Use a consistent and accurate referencing style – preferably the Harvard system with page numbers. If a reference is taken from a particular page, or pages, whether it is a direct quote or you are mentioning/referring to someone else’s work, page number(s) must be included. The in-text format should include the author, date of publication, and page number (if appropriate). When words are taken directly from other sources (books, articles and web sites), and reproduced in an essay, quotation marks must be used if the quote is in the text. Alternatively, if you indent a direct quote (out of text), quotation marks should be omitted (this is if the quote is longer than about 50 words). If an essay is incorrectly or insufficiently referenced it will be penalised with a reduced mark. A referencing guide is available at [email protected]
We do not encourage the use of extensive or frequent direct quotes.
6. Include a reference list with entries in alphabetical order, with author’s surname first. Make sure these entries are all formatted consistently.
7. Save the file with your surname and include the name of the philosopher, i.e. Anderson Essay on Aquinas.
8. Ensure your essay is well edited and well-presented:
use 1½ -2 line spacing
font size should be read comfortably, Arial - 10 point, Times Roman - 12 point
left and right margins at least 3 cm
ensure pages are numbered
9. Written assignments must be within 10% of the specified word length, otherwise penalties will apply.
10. Save your work frequently and always back up to an alternative.
11. When you submit make sure you can see the attachment.
12. Always keep a copy of your essay.