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18. Basic principles: be clear and consistent; in general, it is sound practice to let the introduction briefly outline what you intend to deal with, discuss, describe etc.; the body of the essay should fulfill the expectations prompted by the introduction; the essay should be rounded off with a brief conclusion of the arguments and themes.

19. Remember, a good reference for essay writing is John Peck and Martin Coyle. The Student’s Guide to Writing. London: Macmillan Press Ltd., 1999.

20. Grades and marks:

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First (excellent):

Written work will demonstrate consistent evidence of: an excellent understanding of appropriate texts and up-to-date scholarship/criticism/theory; highly skilful deployment of relevant information in an extremely well crafted structure; arguments that manifest independent/original thought; critical evaluative ability with a keen awareness of key issues; exemplary use of accepted scholarly conventions relating to the attribution of sources, footnoting, and bibliography; an exceptional ability to express ideas in written English.

Upper Second (very good):

Written work will show consistent evidence of: an extremely competent understanding of appropriate texts and scholarship/criticism/theory; a notable ability to present relevant information in a clear and well thought out structure; arguments that show a very good degree of independent evaluative thought; competent use of accepted scholarly conventions relating to the attribution of sources, footnoting, and bibliography; an extremely good command of written English.

  7  Lower Second (good):

Written work will give consistent evidence of: a competent understanding of relevant texts and scholarship/criticism/theory; engagement with the question being asked;

attempts to go beyond the secondary bibliography; good overall organization of ideas;

proper use of scholarly conventions relating to the integration and attribution of sources, footnoting, and bibliography; a good command of written English, with accuracy in grammar and spelling, and an appropriately academic lexical range.

Third (acceptable):

Written work will normally give evidence of: competence in relation to relevant texts and scholarship/criticism/theory; an approach to the question being asked which is not merely superficial/derivative/uncritical; no more than a minor tendency to repetition and description; awareness of scholarly conventions concerning the proper integration and attribution of sources, footnoting, and bibliography; appropriate grammar, spelling, and lexical range.

Fail I (not acceptable):

Written work in the F1 range will normally show only a superficial knowledge of the topic and/or fail to display acceptable competence in constructing an answer to the question posed; it will be disjointed and derivative, with an unclear structure; it will show difficulty in following its own arguments. Even work which otherwise reveals basic competence may fall into the F1 category for the following deficiencies: lack of in-depth engagement with the texts; failure to observe the scholarly conventions concerning the proper integration and attribution of sources, footnoting, and bibliography; an accumulation of errors in grammar/spelling/vocabulary.

Fail II (inadequate):

Written work in the F2 range will reveal an inadequate knowledge of the topic, and/or an inability to display basic competence in constructing an answer to the question posed. Such work is also most likely to give more serious evidence of the weaknesses noted under F1.

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Plagiarism is taking the work of another and presenting it and claiming it as your own either intentionally or unintentionally.


According to Neville (2000, p. 30) there are three main forms of plagiarism:

1. Copying another person’s work, including the work of another student (with or without consent), and claiming or pretending it to be your own.

2. Presenting arguments that use a blend of your own and a significant percentage of copied works of the original author without acknowledging the source

3. Paraphrasing another’s person work, but not giving due acknowledgement to the original writer or organization publishing the writing, including Internet sites. The exceptions to this would be in relation to common knowledge.

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Copying and pasting from numerous sources and moving them around to make a complete assignment is another form of plagiarism.


To ensure that you have a clear understanding of what plagiarism is, how Trinity deals with cases

of plagiarism, and how to avoid it, you will find a repository of information at:


We ask you to take the following steps:

(a) Visit the online resources to inform yourself about how Trinity deals with plagiarism and how you can avoid it at http://tcd-ie.libguides.com/plagiarism/. You should also familiarize yourself with the 2015-2016 Calendar entry on plagiarism located on this website and the sanctions which are applied;

(b) Complete the ‘Ready, Steady, Write’ online tutorial on plagiarism at http://tcdie.libguides.com/plagiarism/ready-steady-write/. Completing the tutorial is compulsory for all students.

(c) Familiarize yourself with the declaration that you will be asked to sign when submitting course work at http://tcd-ie.libguides.com/plagiarism/declaration/

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Each coversheet that is attached to submitted work should contain the following completed


I have read and I understand the plagiarism provisions in the General Regulations of the University Calendar for the current year, found at http://www.tcd.ie/calendar/ I have also completed the Online Tutorial on avoiding plagiarism ‘Ready Steady Write’, located at http://tcd-ie.libguides.com/plagiarism/ready-steady-write/ (d) Contact your College Tutor, your Head of Department, or your Lecturer if you are unsure about any aspect of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is viewed by Trinity as academic fraud and an offence against University discipline.

The University considers plagiarism to be a major offence, and subject to the disciplinary procedures of the University.

All students must read the part of the University of Dublin Calendar on plagiarism that applies to them; every coversheet that is attached to submitted work has a declaration that must be completed, confirming this.

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Campus online resource offering e-learning modules Skills4Study Campus is an online resource offering e-learning modules on: Writing Skills, Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism, Reading and Note-making, Critical Thinking, Exam Skills, and Confidence with Numbers. It offers a wide variety of activities to be completed before taking a module assessment. Skills4Study Campus is available to all students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on the Trinity Local Homepage.

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