The modules you will study during your three years may be examined using three different methods:
- 100% assessed by essays or a longer-piece of writing, such as a dissertation
- 100% examined by an invigilated examination
- 50% assessed by essays and 50% by invigilated examination
This page is about essays; go here for information on examinations. It is important that over the three years you develop very good essay writing skills and examination techniques. These pages are designed to give you some guidance, and also to draw your attention to the department's conventions concerning essays.
- Essays must be submitted electronically via e-submission - ensure you keep an email of the receipt for your records.
- Essays must also be submitted in hard copy, typed with 1.5 line spacing in 12-point type and wide margins for comments.
Your essay can be printed on both sides of the paper.
- Please ensure the essay is stapled.
Include your Student ID number as a header or footer on each page.
DO NOT include your name on the essay.
Include page numbers.
Submit one hard copy of your essay.
Ensure that you have signed the plagiarism statement and included your name.
Ensure that you include on the cover sheet:
Your student ID Number
Your module tutor
All stationery required to submit your essay will be available outside room H506.
Your essay must be submitted in hard copy to the office by 12noon on the stipulated deadline by hand. An electronic copy must also be submitted by 12 noon on the deadline day. Essays submitted by email or fax will not be accepted. Essays should never be left in pigeonholes, outside Reception, or handed in to tutors (the only exception is for part-time evening students). If you submit an essay outside office hours, you should post it through the letterbox at Reception. Tutors cannot read drafts of assessed essays; this includes both tutors that teach on the module in question and those who do not teach on it, such as your personal tutor.
Students should be aware that in accordance with departmental regulations they are required to retain electronic copies of all pieces of submitted assessed work until after the finals exam board of their degree. Online university storage is available for this, and can be accessed at www.files.warwick.ac.uk.
Types of Essays
Throughout your three years in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies you will be required to write a number of essays, some of these will be formative essays – the marks do not contribute to your final grade but the feedback you receive will help you to improve – and others will be summative pieces of work – the marks will count towards your final mark. Both types of essay are very important, as they help you to develop your skills and hopefully improve your performance over the three years. Formative essays are particularly critical in your first year and you should take every opportunity to hone your essay-writing skills before proceeding into Honours.
Titles for essays are normally published at least six weeks before the submission deadline. On occasion you may have more than one essay due on the same day. Use the six weeks wisely to prepare your work, so that you are not writing two essays at the last minute.
You should use a computer to write your essays. Computers for students’ use are available in the work areas in the Library, Learning Grid, Humanities Building and the Computer Centre. You are strongly advised to keep back-up discs of your work. If you have a computer disaster contact the IT Services Helpdesk, ext. 73737. Computer malfunction is not an acceptable reason for late submission.
Essays can be written using MLA conventions. Please note that whichever style format you choose, you are consistent within the essay submitted.
Bibliography, Footnotes and Endnotes
All assessed essays and dissertations must have a bibliography of works consulted and cited. There should also be correct and full-referencing of sources as in-text citation, as footnotes or as endnotes. The purpose of these references is:
- To document direct quotation
- To credit ideas taken from a primary or secondary source (including single words, phrases and paraphrases)
- To give your reader sufficient information to track your quotation back to its source and to locate its full text.
The word-length of your essay includes quotations and excludes any footnotes or endnotes that you include and your bibliography. Tutors will allow a discretionary 10% short-fall or extension of the word-length. However, a tutor will stop reading an essay once the 10% extension has been reached. This could have severe repercussions on your mark, as your concluding paragraphs will not be read.
If you want to ask for an extension you need to speak to the Directors of Undergraduate Studies: Professor Michael Gardiner (for first year students) and Dr Daniel Katz (for honours level students). Extensions are granted following an interview and submission of valid supporting materials.
No one else in the department is permitted to award an extension to a student. If you need an extension of more than 14 days, the department needs to request the approval from the Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of Arts.
Return of Essays
You should normally receive your essay back four weeks after submitting it. You should arrange a convenient time with your tutor to collect your essay and to discuss any points that arose from it. All marks are provisional until they are approved by the relevant examination board and may be subject to change.
- Assessed essay deadlines are always 12pm on Tuesdays (unless otherwise stipulated).
- 5 marks per day will be deducted from late essays where an extension has not been granted.
- Only the Director of Undergraduate Studies can grant an extension.
- Tutors will deduct marks for poor presentation and/or poor scholarly practice (such as incorrect citation of sources or bibliography).
- Tutors cannot read drafts of assessed essays; this includes tutors who teach on the module and those who do not, such as your personal tutor.
- All marks, for assessed work and examinations, are provisional until approved by the Examination Board, and may be subject to change.
- Students are required to complete all components of each module to pass. Information regarding the requirements of each module can be found on individual module websites. This rule is in accordance with University Regulation 36.2, which ‘sets out general requirements and expectations in terms of progress, attendance and the completion of work.’