- The word limit per question is 700 words. Correct Harvard referencing is expected but will not contribute to the word count.
- You need to support your arguments on scientific grounds and back-up your claims with relevant case-studies.
- You cannot (and are not expected to) cover everything! You will have to be selective of your arguments and supporting case studies, and balance breadth with detail. To excel in this exam, you are expected to show evidence of relevant independent research.
- Make sure to:
• Include a clear introduction. This is where you set the scene for your essay and provide essential background. Make sure that the final part of your introduction provides a concise overview of what your essay is addressing.
• Ensure your essays have a clear structure. Each sentence and paragraph should logically flow from one to the next. You can use sub-headings to help structure the main body of your essay.
• Write in a critical rather than descriptive manner –marks are awarded for additional background reading and clear synthesis of detail with the use of citations.
• Include a clear conclusion which should provide a concise integration and appraisal of the key points made during the main body of your text – no new information should be introduced here.
• Write in the 3rd person and be objective.
• Avoid super long sentences and/or overuse of commas!
• Try and include scientific names for species on first mention (italics).
• Keep your writing scientific and avoid colloquial language/slang.
• Do not use conjunctions: it is, do not rather than it’s, don’t. • Try and put aside some time after writing each essay to proof-read it.
Marking criteria and descriptors
The elements being looked for when marking are listed below:
1-Does the essay comprehensively address the question posed?
2-Does the essay demonstrate understanding, exploration, insight and independent research into the topic?
3-Does the essay demonstrate a good and accurate understanding of associated ecological and conservation theory?
4-Is the piece embedded and informed by a wide range of relevant scientific literature (both classic and cutting-edge) – going beyond the scope of the lecture material (i.e. additional background reading).
- Is the organisation, structure and standard of presentation of the work exemplary throughout – including a clear introduction, main discussion and conclusion?
6- Is there evidence of very high quality analysis, synthesis, evaluation and critical appraisal? Does the work demonstrate high levels of initiative, personal responsibility, and decision-making?