It was lovely seeing you at the workshop on ‘Assessment Criteria & Essay Structure’ yesterday.
Here are the slides that were used: Assessment Criteria Powerpoint Slides
We highlighted that it is important to have a good structure to help develop your arguments and make it easier or the reader/marker to understand the point that you are trying to make. To do so, we revisited the burger analogy from an earlier post.
A good essay like a burger, will have an introduction (the bread bun), analysis (the filling – with different/separate components that support each other) and a conclusion (the bread bun base). It should have a logical and coherent structure, where the central argument is evident and the sections complement each other.
The introduction should outline the rationale behind your approach/work – that is, why it is relevant. Also, what is relevant i.e. what law you will use; scope and limitations – recognising the parameters of the task, as well as, your central argument. From there, it should also briefly touch upon how you’re going to answer the question, which primarily refers to the structure of your essay e.g. Part 1… Part 2… Part 3…
In a burger, the ‘filling’ is arguably the best ‘bit’ of the burger, so the analysis should be the main section and ‘best bit’ or bulk of your essay. It will be formed of different components, which should be linked to each other and your central argument.
As per the assessment criteria, you should:
- Summarise and synthesise issues arising from the law;
- Be able to use academic arguments to support your work in a concise manner;
- Be able to engage with these academic arguments;
- Narrow and focus on relevant issues;
- Consider areas for reform or recommendations
(For further details, please refer to the LLM Assessment Criteria in the LLM Programme Handbook, which can be found on UWE Blackboard).
To help your analysis, sub-headings can help ‘sign-post’ different aspects of your work and help break it down into specific sections.
The conclusion will finish your essay. It should link back to your introduction and the central argument that you introduced and summarise the earlier analysis. Because you’ll have already undertaken the analysis, the conclusion can draw on these earlier arguments. It should be noted that the conclusion is not a place to introduce new arguments or concepts.