Assignment Structure Essay Sample

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* It can take time to decide what you want to say in the introduction and how to express it, but don’t worry; this will get easier with practice. * You may be interested to know that many students and other writers work through several draft introductions. Sometimes you may need to revise the introduction after you have written the main body of your essay and the conclusions. * Don’t try to cover too much in the introduction. Remember the purpose is to introduce the topic, define key terms and indicate how you intend to address the question. * Do make sure that your introduction is entirely relevant to the essay question. Once you’ve written the introduction, re-read the question and check that you’ve stuck to the point.

Short references: what to include (and what to leave out)
For chapters in course books, you need to include the name of the author of the specific chapter (not the volume editor) and the year of publication. The publication date can usually be found inside the book, on the back of the title page. If your essay includes a direct quotation, it’s essential to include a page number in the short reference. This also applies to statistical data, graphs, tables, etc. For TV or radio programmes, include the name of the programme, the channel and the date of the broadcast. If you listened or viewed the programme online, you can include the URL (i.e. the website/web page address) in the list of long references – it’s not necessary to include it in the short reference. For DVD or audio text from the course materials, include the title and year of publication, and the track or scene number (if applicable).

For articles published online, the short reference should show the author’s family name and year of publication, while full details of the website and date accessed are shown in the long reference. For websites, the short reference gives the name of the website (or web page address) and the date on which you accessed it. For podcasts, the short reference includes the title of the podcast and the date. The long reference includes the URL of the website and the date that you accessed it. For newspaperarticles, include the author’s family name and the year of publication. The long reference should include the title of the article, the name of the newspaper and the date, including the day and month, if known. If it was read online, you add the website address and the date when it was accessed to the long reference. Remember that you need to reference the source of texts that you have actually read.

If you want to refer to a publication that is mentioned in the course materials (or elsewhere), it is regarded as a secondary reference. This applies to a direct or indirect quotation by a writer that is mentioned in a text. The short form of a secondary reference should include the name of the writer whose work or ideas are quoted, followed by the words ‘cited in’ or ‘quoted in’ and the short reference of the text that you actually read, i.e. the family name of the author and year of publication. This might sound rather complex but if you follow this step by step, you’ll find that there is a logic to the sequence. For full details of how to use the Harvard system of referencing (and for guidance on referencing other materials such as blogs, email communications, reports, etc.),

see: Long


Secondary reference (from chapter in course book):

Kelly, B. and Toynbee, J. (2009) ‘Making disorder on the street’, in Taylor, S., Hinchliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University. Website:
Directgov (2008) ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’, (Accessed 6 November 2008). (a) Well done! This is the correct format including the date accessed which is sometimes overlooked. Newspaper Article (print):

Smith, J. (2007) ‘Crime rises drastically in the UK’, The Times, 24 July. DVD Programme:
‘The Street’ (2009) Making Social Lives DVD, Milton Keynes, The Open University. Chapter from course book:
Kelly, B. and Toynbee, J. (2009) ‘Making Disorder on the Street’, in Taylor, S., Hinchliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University. (b) Well done! You correctly listed details of the chapter authors, chapter title and full publication details of the course book.

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