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Preparation of Essays

Title of the Essay

These are circulated at the beginning of every year.  The title set for a month may not always correspond to the lectures being given at particular study day.  If it is set by the lecturer make a careful note of any guidance or instructions.  Ask if you are not sure.

Some essays have an optional second question for those who wish to pursue the subject in greater depth.  You are under no pressure to attempt this.

With your Tutor

Make sure he sees the notes which were handed out at the lecture.  Go through these with him and make sure you understand each point; similarly make notes from any reading and go through these with the tutor as well.

The Essay

Careful planning is essential.  One way to plan is to set out a series of headings, well-spaced, and go through each heading making a series of notes.  This can form a systematic plan.  Go through the plan with your tutor and ask his advice.  It is important to answer the question – do not simply write down all you can think of on the theme. 

Essays should be typed, double spaced, with margins of 25mm (1 inch), on good A4 paper.  Type on one side of the sheet only.  The main body of the text should be in normal text, not bold or italic.

At the beginning of the essay put your name, the title of the essay and the name of the lecturer who set it.  At the end should be a list of books or articles used.  Direct quotations should be indicated with quotation marks and a reference to the source – but do not be tempted to plagiarise. The college has computer programmes to detect this which will be used if we are suspicious and serious offences will lead to removal from the programme.

Essays should be  1500-2000 words (main text).


Essays must be handed in on time, that is, normally at the next formation day.  If it is handed in late or not at all, this will be recorded.  Late essays must be sent by post or email to the dean or the person marking it, and any reason for lateness should be given in writing by post or email to the dean. You will not be able to complete a module if the work has not been handed in.

Notes for Tutors

Please give this to your tutor on your first visit.