The University of Sheffield
Department of History

Essays

Word processing and presentation

Essays must be word processed. They must also be footnoted and have a bibliography attached. Footnotes are included in the word count. The bibliography is not.

Structure

The essay should order the material in a logical manner, and include a clear introduction and conclusion. The introduction to the essay should indicate clearly and accurately what the overall structure of the essay will be. The essay should not exceed the set word limit.

Spelling and grammar

The essay should not contain spelling or grammatical errors, and will be marked down if it does so. Do not rely on your computer’s grammar- or spell-checker. If you are aware that you sometimes make mistakes in spelling and grammar, and especially if your tutor notes this, you are expected to work yourself to improve this aspect of your writing as a matter of urgency. There is useful information on basic issues of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure in the Style Guide. Students are also encouraged to visit the University's Writing Advisory Service if they would like extra help.

Content

The essay should show familiarity with a range of relevant reading; factual material should be accurate; the essay should include critical analysis of factual material, and of arguments put forward by other writers. Originality and signs of serious thought about the topic will be rewarded in the marking, as will the range of source material consulted, the rigour of the analysis to which this is subjected, and the extent to which the essay presents a clear and cogent argument. If the essay is written in response to a set question, be sure to answer the question as actually posed, and to exclude extraneous material.

There is guidance offered for the presentation of all coursework submitted in the Department of History. This should be followed in all your submitted work; you should be aware that marks may be deducted from coursework which is incorrectly formatted or inadequately referenced.

The Style Guide is available on History Online, which is accessed through MOLE.

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