WRITING AND ANALYSIS IN GEOGRAPHY
GEOG1008: WRITING AND ANALYSIS IN GEOGRAPHY 2013/2014
This course introduces students to a range of academic and transferable skills. It is taken by single honours and combined studies students.
- Teaching of the course consists of the following compulsory elements:
(a) the activities of the induction week
(b) weekly tutorials (to be arranged with the tutor)
(c) lectures: Mondays 3-4 pm (term 1) (term 2 Monday 2-3).
Students are required to undertake a range of tasks, some of which will be formally assessed. Others will not be formally assessed. Any students not completing the compulsory non-examinable elements will be deemed not to have completed the course. As such, unless there are mitigating circumstances (for example, health or personal problems), their final mark for the course will be effectively zero.
The elements of the course are:
(a) a practical exercise on bibliographies and references
(b) seven essays, one of which will be a book review
(c) a Policy Debate Report, to be formally assessed
(d) the Staff Research Project, to be formally assessed
(e) oral presentations to the group.
The compulsory non-examinable elements are:
(a) Practical exercise Details will be provided in the lectures on Bibliographies and Referencing and Plagiarism. The exercise will be submitted by the Friday before Reading Week of term 1 (1 November 2013). It will be marked and returned via tutors, who will discuss any problems that students are encountering in a tutorial.
(b) Tutorial essays and book review First year course convenors may supply lists of titles/topics. Tutors may provide titles/topics of their own, designed to assist the students in their courses, or use exam questions from previous years’ exam papers. The fifth essay assignment will be a 750-word book review. The book to be reviewed will normally have some link with first year courses and represent a significant academic contribution. It should normally have been published during 2013. Students will select their own book title but it must be discussed with and agreed by the tutor. Each essay will be completed within 14 days of the title being set; it should be marked by the tutor and returned to students at the next tutorial meeting, using the comment sheet provided. A note of the topic, mark and quality of the essay will be retained by the tutor and noted on the student’s report form at the end of term.
The formally assessed elements, which each contribute 50% to the final mark (providing that all other elements of the course have been completed) are:
(a) Policy Debate Report (2000 words) This will be based on a critical review of the academic literature, plus selective use of resources available on the internet. It will be based initially on the tutorial group working collectively, but each student must then write her/his clearly identifiable individual report. The group will research policy responses to a contemporary problem of geographical interest at international, national, regional or local level, interpreting ‘policy’ broadly to refer to the activities of international organisations, national governments, non-government organisations or grassroots organisations. The group will identify a title for a debate to take the form ‘This house believes….’; half the group will propose the motion and the other half oppose it. Each student will then write up their presentation, undertaking further research as appropriate, using the same title but making a clearly individual argument for or against the motion.
The aims are:
- To teach students to investigate topics for themselves and to make oral presentations to the tutorial group
- To combine group and individual work
- To produce a clear, well argued piece of writing in simple, direct English.
In addition to the 2,000 word report, a list of references should be appended. References must be identified in the text following the guidelines on Referencing and Plagiarism that will be provided.
(b) Staff Research Project (1500 words) Details will be supplied during a lecture at the end of the first term. The readings and other items consulted must be referenced according to the guidelines provided.
The Policy Debate Report and the Staff Research Project should be word-processed (12 pt font, 1.5 or double spacing, printed double sided). The Policy Debate Report should be submitted on Monday 13 January 2014 (first day of spring term) and the Staff Research Report, Friday 28 February (end of 7th week of spring term). The deadline in each case is 12 noon. The work must be submitted in person to Nick Mann in the Oxenham Room, 26 Bedford Way, and simultaneously via Turnitin.
The normal load laid down by UCL for a half-unit course is around 150 hours of work. As a general guide, students should spend at least the following amount of time on each element of GEOG1008.
Tutorials 21 hours
Induction week classes 4 hours
Lectures 10 hours
Preparing essays 49 hours
Policy Debate Report 33 hours
Staff Research Project 33 hours