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exam Essay-writing in the exam context
 What constitutes a good essay in the exam context?

 Is it ok to answer exam questions on topics covered in coursework essays?
 Do the criteria for judging a good essay differ between those submitted in term
time and those submitted as exam responses?
 If so, how does the marking of exam responses reflect these differences?
 How do students typically under-perform in exams?
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What constitutes a good essay in the exam context?

Examinations test the ability to formulate a coherent argument and analysis;
to produce an answer which is clearly structured and directly relevant to the
question; to show knowledge of the module, some evidence of further
reading and critical ability; and to do so concisely and in a restricted period
of time.
A good exam response therefore:
 Directly addresses the question
 Develops a logical and clearly structured argument in relation to the question.
 Draws on and applies what has been learnt within the module.
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 Demonstrates critical thinking (not purely descriptive)
 Supports and illustrates its argument with explicit acknowledgement of
published sources
 Shows an ability to manage exam time
Really good exam papers do all this, and show some independence of thought. Note: the
criteria of what is expected from a script for each degree class are given in the
Department Handbook.

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Is it ok to answer exam questions on topics covered in essays?
Yes, with a note of caution! It is fine to use in exams material you've studied in
connection with your coursework (even where you’ve written essays on the topic),

providing you make absolutely sure you AVOID using the actual content of essays, i.e.
reproducing (whether precisely or overly closely) sentences or paragraphs already
written, because:

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