5 ways to smash it – you need:1. An answer.2. An argument.3. Evidence4. Structure.5. References.
1. Answer the question• What is the question?• Where are the boundaries?• What is out of scope?• What is relevant?• Where do you need to start?• What can you take as read??• What is your answer to the question?
Questions• Is it the best example there is?• Does it make your point?• Does it fit with the big picture?• Have you interrogated it?• Have you analysed it fully?• Does it present any contradictions?• Have you explored these?
Critical ThinkingCritical thinking means not papering over the cracks.• Interrogate your sources.• Find any contradictions.• Explore any potential counter-arguments (which you may or may not be able to refute).• Celebrate complexity – dont ignore it.• Dont expect to provide resolution.
4. Structure your work well.• Beginning – tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em• Middle – tell’ em• End – tell ‘em what you told ‘em
Introductions – tell’ em whatyou’re going to tell ‘emAn good introduction will definitely:• give an overview of your answer;• present your central idea.Might:• explain how you will interpret the title;• give your reasons for answering in a particular way;• introduce the questions the EMA will be addressing.Could:• make a bold statement that the rest of the essay will justify. (higher risk strategy)
The intros round• From reading a good introduction you will know: a) how the author is going to answer the question; b) what the rest of the essay will contain.• Read the following introductions.• Write down: i. the question; ii. what the rest of the essay will contain; iii. the conclusion.
Would Aristotle have found anything tovalue in a seaside holiday? This essay will discuss and explore how Aristotlemight value a seaside holiday, by examining hisphilosophy on leisure and comparing and contrasting thiswith the thoughts of Epicurus, his fellow philosopher, whodisagreed with him on what human beings are and howleisure should be enjoyed and what value it had to life.The values of seaside holidays in both ancient andmodern times will also be discussed.
‘The seaside is a place of escape from the restrictions of everyday life’. How fardo the depictions of the seaside presented in the course materials reflect thisview? Discuss with reference to two or three specific examples, choosing adifferent genre for each example from: art, music, photography and film The seaside has long been regarded as a place to ‘break free’ from the ‘confinement or control’ (Soanes, and Stevenson, 2008, p. 486) of everyday life. There is something captivating about walking on the sands, swimming in the sea and breathing the invigorating air that has drawn visitors to the seaside for many years. In fact ‘by 1900’, the seaside had become ‘the place to spend a holiday’ (Resort history, 2009). For the majority of people, everyday life (especially everyday working life), was full of restrictions. People were expected to wear specific types of clothes, act in specific ways, associate with specific kinds of people (depending on their ranking in society), and the working class especially would have had very little leisure time within their normal day to day lives. Although the seaside had its own ‘expectations of behaviour’ (Faire, 2008, p. 136), such as expectations of dress, people did not view it as being as burdensome as the restrictions of everyday life. This essay considers how two genres, art and music, reflect the view that seaside is a place of escape
There is no such thing as ‘sacred space’ – there are only places towhich different people ascribe different values’. Discuss withreference to at least two examples. A sacred space may be a feature of the natural landscape or something that has been constructed by man; it may be something very old or something quite modern; the important thing is that for at least one person – and most frequently for a group of people it is regarded as special and is revered and treated possible in a religious way. As Matthew Clements, the custodian of Glastonbury Abbey stresses on the course DVD ‘Sacred Spaces and Landscapes’ it is the individual’s response to a place which determines whether they consider it sacred. The definition of sacred space has caused debate and disagreement among scholars for many years. The work of some of these scholars will first be discussed to gain support for and against the view that a place can be inherently sacred. The debate will be illustrated by making specific references to two sites, Glastonbury and Milton Keynes, but mention will be made of other places discussed in Book Four of the course and also some perhaps less expected venues. In this way it is hoped to either endorse or reject the premise that there is no such thing as a ‘sacred space’.
How has the character of theseaside holiday changed?Today, when we think of a seaside holiday many of ushave certain expectations of what will make it a pleasantand enjoyable experience. Some people nostalgicallyreturn to the same place time after time, enjoying atradition that generations of their family have enjoyedbefore them.
How has the character of theseaside holiday changed?The change in character of the British seaside resort,from its creation, to modern times reflects the continualchange that has taken place within British society. TheBritish seaside resort has adapted to meet the needs ofits changing clientele. This essay looks at the widerchanges taking place in the country which have affectedthe character of the resort, including the industrialrevolution and the world wars. In many ways the resorthas mirrored developments taking place in society andin other ways it has been a forerunner to change whichhas ended up influencing society as a whole.
ECA 08JThe seaside has always been regarded as a place offun.Do you agree with this statement? Discuss using twoor three examples.
Conclusions• Summarise answer to the question as indictated in the introduction• Refer back to question title to show it has been answered• Give a sense of an ending• Point out what TMA has answered and not answered• Show youve done what you said youd do• Put forward your view in light of the evidence youve presented
Beside the seaside, beside the sea . . .What would your conclusion be?
Reference:• Every time you quote• Every time you paraphrase• Whenever you have used ideas that did not originate in your head.
How to reference: in text• (Author, date, page), e.g. (Brunton, 2008, p.34).• More than one page is pp. 34-36.• Get this right.• It isn’t hard.• If in doubt check the Assignment booklet• Do not guess.• It will not be OK.• It does really matter.• Don’t make it up.
How to reference: bibliography• Author of chapter, (date), ‘title of chapter’, in Name of editor, Title of Book, place of publication, publisher, pages of whole chapter.• Chant, C. (2008) ‘Technology and the Seaside: Blackpool and Benidorm’, in Brunton (ed.) Place and Leisure (AA100 Book 4), Milton Keynes, The Open University, pp..
The review• Does it have a central idea? Is this idea apparent or do you have to ‘search’ for it? Is the central idea clear enough for you to restate in a different way?• Does it raise questions which it doesn’t answer?• Does it convey a sense of an argument developing?• Do point, both within and beyond paragraphs, seem to follow logically? Does the whole piece hang together?
The review continued . . .• Why is a particular piece of information in the essay? What work is it doing for expressing the ideas of the assignment?• Can you understand what is written? If not can you see why? Does the writer’s use of subject terminology seem clear and confident?• Does the introduction seem helpful as a signpost for the whole piece?• Does it have a satisfying ending?• Does the ending in particular and the piece as a whole answer the question set? How do you know? Has the writer referred to the question clearly and explicitly?
Key questions• Does this example work?• Is this idea clear?• It there too much/not enough evidence?• Is it too personal?• Is the English OK?• Have you addressed all the elements of the marking scale?
Other stuff• Referencing – your bible is the TMA booklet.• Reference everything – to the point of obsession.• More than 2,200 words will lose you marks – dont do it!• Focus on the course materials – dont be seduced by other stuff (no matter how tempting).• Submit by 12 NOON