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Assessment One: Essay Writing Guide

The Format of the Essay

The first assessment is an individual essay in the form of a journal article. Various arguments need to be explored and evidence produced from secondary research. All sources are required to be cited in the body of the article and a full reference list/bibliography displayed at the end of the work. A choice of essay titles from each of the topics taught on the course will be provided. Students will be expected to provide insight into the chosen topic using current debates and to produce an innovative contribution to the body of knowledge.
Assessment One: Essay 
The essay must be written in the form of an article in an academic journal, rather than a simple, straightforward essay. A summary of the essay titles is provided at the end of the lecture information provided in section 4 of this study guide. You must prepare for the paper by exploring the various arguments, evidence etc. Writing it will require you to both be analytical, critical and reflective. All your references must be properly cited in the body of the article and noted at the end in a reference list or bibliography. (Section 5 gives details of the APA 7th Referencing System). Your final submission will be marked according to how well it satisfies a range of criteria as set out in the assessment criteria, outlined below. 

So that you are clear what is expected from your article, it will be marked according to the following criteria. Many of these criteria are typically used in the peer review process for publishing papers in academic marketing journals.
Essay Marking Guidance 
Structure and Format 
The format or structure must be carefully considered and should address key issues in an appropriate and logical manner. A well-planned approach will set out sections and key themes in a rational order. It is necessary in the initial stages for students' to clearly set out the aims and/or objectives, and ultimately ensure these are addressed and met. Format guidelines given previously should be adhered to.

Clarity and Readability 
The inclusion of jargon (such as technical or industry terms) without giving adequate explanation of meaning is not advisable. Similarly, any theoretical concepts, models or frameworks would require at least a brief introduction to show relevance and rationale for why significant. A succinct, factual and neutral style of writing is beneficial for academic perspective. 
Contribution to Knowledge 
When assessing whether the paper is a valuable contribution to the existing body of knowledge, evaluation is made on an ability to relate existing contributions on the 'topic' selected, and considering them in the context of any organisation/industry/ market used in the assignment. In order to successfully make valid and rational claims, adequate evidence should be included (and referenced), and importantly applied in a logical and relevant manner to the overall question set. Lack of any evidence or support for any of the above areas will mean that the contribution is under question, as theoretically it is merely a student’s own personal opinion, and not based on any fact or reliable evidence. A valid and well-considered range of material for both theory, and relevant to essay title, can lead to evidence of contribution – in that potentially another researcher could gain from this paper.
Awareness of Current Debates and Critical Analysis of Key Issues 
This requires students to examine relevant and current literature. A tendency to only include ‘supporting material’ and to use a minimal amount of debate and application, gives a weak and narrow perspective. Journal articles are invaluable in accessing a range of ideas and opinions. Challenging existing ideas and opinions can be beneficial at this level of qualification. Finding material from a variety of sources, evaluating it, showing where authors disagree or take differing approaches, and synthesising the varying and often contradictory arguments into a well-justified argument of your own, is important. (This is also good practice for the dissertation.)
Conclusions and Recommendations 
As with any piece of work, conclusions should be drawn from the information presented in the preceding sections. The conclusions may be brief, but must relate back to any evidence or discussion already covered. Recommendations should be based upon the conclusions. It is not advisable to try to bring in any unrelated issues, or new topics/themes that are not previously considered in the paper. Recommendations may be relatively inconclusive, and students should not be reluctant to acknowledge any weakness or limitations. It is common in journal articles to give suggestions for additional/further research.

It is important that any references used ('cited') in the text are correctly held in a Reference List or Bibliography. You must present your reference list correctly, remembering that alphabetical order is necessary. If you are unsure of whether a name is a last/family name, or a first/given name, please check with the Local Tutor.

A key issue for marketers is the ever-changing digital world and the impact this is having on business, and on marketing communication. Social media has risen in popularity, but it has been proposed that social media is now saturated, and that consumers mainly use social media for connection (with each other) and for entertainment. Evaluate whether some marketers/brand managers should rethink their marketing communication strategy and whether social media is the most influential vehicle.

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