Ucl Essay Submissions

Turnitin Submissions

Assessed work is submitted using the Turnitin Detection System. The Turnitin System is designed to detect examples of plagiarism in student work, and this policy is in line with UCL Best Practice. On UCL’s plagiarism policy, see the Plagiarism section.

The system works as follows:

  • Submissions for all CMII and SELCS MA programmes have a dedicated Moodle site labelled ‘SELCS/EMS/CMII MA Programmes: Coursework Submission 2015-2016’. You can see the link whenever you log in to Moodle using your UCL user ID.
  • When you enter the Moodle site you will see a tabs at the top with names of MA programmes. Please select the relevant MA programme from the tabs on the top of the page. You will then see a list of assignments for different modules. Click on the link for your assignment.
  • At the bottom right of the page, click ‘Submit paper’.
  • You must accept the ‘Turnitin User Agreement’. This will come up in a pop-up window – if your browser blocks pop-ups, please ensure that you allow pop-ups for moodle.ac.uk. Clicking on the link starting ‘You must accept…’ will take you into a new tab or window of your browser. At the bottom of this page, headed ‘Turnitin User Agreement’, press ‘I agree – continue’. The page will confirm that you have agreed, and should then close automatically.
  • The Moodle site will automatically take you through to the ‘Submit paper’ page.
  • Your ‘Submission title’ must include your candidate ID. Please do not put your name or student number anywhere on your coursework.
  • Upload your essay as a single file to the box under ‘File to submit’, either by dragging and dropping the file into the box, or using the ‘File picker’ button (the icon in the top left corner of the box). When the ‘File picker’ box appears, choose the option ‘Upload a file’ at the top of the list in the top left.
  • To submit your work, click the blue ‘Add submission’ button in the bottom left corner.
  • You should receive an email confirmation from Turnitin once your submission has been received.
  • Soon after submitting you should be able to view the ‘Similarity Score and Originality Report’ on your work. For Guidance on submitting work via Turnitin in Moodle and interpreting this information, click here.

There is a detailed description (with screenshots) of how to submit your coursework available on the Coursework Submissions Site and on the elearning site.

Please only submit via Turnitin, you do not have to submit a hard copy for any of the CMII/SELCS assignments. 

Essay writing is a valuable exercise which supports the development of your writing technique and helps you to develop your powers of argument and analysis. The general principles underlying all essay writing are:

  • collecting and collating relevant information
  • organising your ideas and presenting your argument in an appropriate structure, form or style
  • presenting your work with correctly formatted referencing

Features of a Good Essay

Below is a list of criteria relating to essay writing. A good essay should demonstrate and include all of the following:

  • knowledge of the subject
  • evidence of wide reading
  • critical thinking
  • expression of your own opinion
  • evidence of analysis
  • clear organisation of ideas
  • logical thinking
  • evaluation of information and ideas
  • persuasive writing
  • avoidance of unsubstantiated assertions
  • arguments supported by examples from the material, including quotations from the secondary authors you have read
  • clear and correct English
  • professional format (see Standard formatting and Style guidelines below)

Understanding Instructions

Assignment titles contain instructions about how you are expected to deal with the topic. Sometimes key instructions will appear explicitly, but at times they may well be implicit. Whatever the case you need to identify the approach required. Below is a list of some ‘key instructions’ which typically appear in essay questions:

ACCOUNT FOR Give reasons for, explain.

ANALYSE Examine and explain why

ASSESS Decide the importance and give reasons.

COMPARE Write about (usually) two things which have certain similarities but with some crucial differences. There may be an element of evaluation here too.

EXAMINE Look at carefully; and analyse

IN WHAT WAY Explain how and say why

TO WHAT EXTENT How far do you agree with..., How true is ...

JUSTIFY Give good reasons for; explain satisfactorily

STATE Express carefully, fully and clearly

OUTLINE Give a short description of the main points

DISCUSS Express your own view on an issue supporting it with evidence from other sources. This is a very general term used in essay assignments and you need to be careful.

Essay checklist

  • Have you answered the question?
  • Have you done what you said you would do in your introductory paragraph?
  • As the essay develops have you made sure that each main point is related to the main issues of the question?
  • Is there any irrelevant material or repetition in your essay?
  • Is there enough analytical discussion?
  • Is there a balance between facts and discussion, with the analysis being supported by empirical evidence?
  • Is the argument fully developed and sustained throughout the essay? Do your conclusions summarise the argument?
  • Have you eliminated all grammatical and spelling errors and made sure that the English is clear?
  • Is your essay clearly presented?
  • For summative assessed coursework only: Have you printed a copy ready for submission and attached the correct coversheet to one copy? Have you uploaded another copy onto Moodle (without a coversheet)?

Standard Formatting

  • The essay should be word-processed.
  • It should be presented on A4 paper.
  • It should be double-spaced with margins (at least 1” / 2.5 cm).
  • Use a reader-friendly font such as Times New Roman or Arial (12 pt).
  • Cited works and quotations should all be referenced in footnotes or endnotes, or using the Harvard system (see below)
  • A bibliography of primary and secondary sources consulted and cited must be included (‘references’ list in the Harvard system)
  • For assessed coursework only: the essay should be stapled with a coursework submission coversheet attached
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