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The aim of this assignment is to allow you to explore in greater depth a current topic, which will usually (but not inevitably) be the one you worked on for your group presentation. This is an individual piece of work, so you might like to coordinate your topics among your group members so that each member can take a different aspect of the group work and developers it further. You may wish to take as a starting point your contribution to the group presentation and any additional information you obtained as a result of the question-and-answer secession you ran after this. Building on this is intended to allow you to examine in depth one of the significant issues raised in your group research. However, the content of your report should not be duplicated from that work beyond a short summary of that research as an introduction.
Alternatively, you may research into a any other topic on the list published for group presentations or another topic entirely. As before, should you want to research on a topic not on the list you must agree this with Paul Wernick to ensure that it has sufficient breadth and/or depth, but our starting point will be to agree with your proposal.
You should present your research, and any conclusions you draw as to the current or future state of the area you have worked on, in the form of a formal report, with numbered sections, headings, a contents list, a list of sources referred to in the report and a bibliography.
You may present a personal view of your topic, but the report should reflect wider, possibly differing, views including those with which you agree and those with which you disagree. We expect you to read round your chosen topic, and present information and opinions provided by those on all sides of the situation. You should set out the opinions of authoritative sources, but may present less formal sources (blogs, etc.) as additional information or as evidence that certain opinions are strongly held. (Advice: start by putting your own opinions to one side, and try to draw on views and information from all sides: let the evidence speak for itself. Once this is done, bring your own views in, although you may have changed your mind by then! A topic you feel strongly about is often a good start, as long as you can be objective in presenting opinions other than your own.)
Note: you will be marked on the quality of your own work and how well it supports your own conclusions, not on whether those opinions are the same as those of your lecturers!
Your text should be about 1,500 words long, with an absolute maximum of 2,000 words. These word counts do not include the bibliography and references.
Your report must be word processed, and should be submitted via Studynet by the closing date/time
Marks will be awarded for:
1. Identification and selection of sources: quality and breadth of research, balancing opposing sources (40 marks)
2. Use of sources: describing them objectively and fairly (35 marks)
3. A conclusion (if you are answering a question), or a concluding summary (if your topic does not demand a direct answer), drawing together and supported by the strands of your report (10 marks)
4. Structure of your report and quality of written English (10 marks)
5. Referencing style used in the text: any style used in the academic literature is acceptable (2 marks)
6. Referencing style used in the bibliography and references (3 marks)
These marks will be scaled from the total of 100 above to the 50% counting towards the module assessment.
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