Modern Kurdish History

Essay Guidelines: Modern History of the Kurds
Most of you would have written a few essays in your student career but it is still important to remember the
following guidelines, according which I will mark your essays:
For an essay, you are asked to create your own essay title, formulate an essay question and an original argument.
Your essay should have an introduction, in which you sketch out the importance of the topic and introduce your
research question. It should then have a main body, clearly structured in paragraphs, in which you discuss the
question in relation to the relevant sources and literature. The conclusion summarises your findings and is again
an opportunity for you to demonstrate your critical and creative thinking. Throughout the essay, you have to
demonstrate that you have read and understood all the essential readings for the course and particularly the ones
on the topic which you are writing about. As you will be responding to multiple readings, you must also
understand how the texts relate to one another. You might also want to situate the readings within the larger
context of class discussions and lectures. In preparing to write your essay, it is crucial that you allow yourself not
just enough time to do the readings but enough to digest what you have read and to put the results together into
an original account. An essay can also be personal and reflexive and it is an opportunity to be creative and to
explore the fluidity of academic writing. Ethnography, visuals, cultural productions, and further sources might
be included in your essay as long as they are relevant to your essay question and relate to the texts we read in the
course. Remember that an essay is an academic piece of writing, and hence must include a bibliography of all the
sources used, cited in the correct way (Harvard citation style). Include a title in your essay as titles are a great way
to introduce the reader to your work, and to capture their attention.
Basis criteria, which you have to demonstrate and according to which you will be assessed:

  • understanding of the subject
  • utilisation of proper academic style (e.g. citation of references, bibliography)
  • relevance of material selected and of the arguments proposed
  • planning and organisation
  • logical coherence
  • critical thinking
  • comprehensiveness of research
  • evidence of synthesis
  • innovation, creativity, originality
    Grade Percentage Grade Points
    A 90-100 4.00
    B 80-89 3.33
    C 70-79 2.67
    D 60-69 1.00
    F Below 60 0.00
    90%+ (A)
    A mark of 90%+ will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues
  • develops a sophisticated and intelligent argument
  • shows a rigorous use and a confident understanding of relevant source materials
  • achieves an appropriate balance between factual detail and key theoretical issues
  • provides evidence of original thinking
  • shows outstanding ability of synthesis
    80-89% (B)
    A mark in the range 80-89 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • engages closely with the question and its conceptual issues
  • shows some evidence of independent reading
  • shows some sophistication of argument
  • shows an intelligent use and a good understanding of relevant source materials
  • shows significant ability of synthesis
    70-79% (C)
    A mark in the range 70-79 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some understanding of relevant major theoretical and/or factual issues
  • shows evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, makes selective use of
    appropriate sources, and demonstrates some knowledge of the literature
  • shows, at various points if not throughout the entire text, examples of a clear train of thought or
  • presents basic models / diagrams, where appropriate
  • provides an appropriate conclusion to the textual argument(s)
    60-69% (D)
    A mark in the range 60-69 will fulfil the following criteria:
  • shows some awareness and understanding of the factual and/or theoretical issues, but demonstrates
    limited ability to develop these
  • provides clear evidence of misunderstandings
  • shows some, albeit limited, evidence of planning in the formulation of the written answer, but also
    includes material or arguments which are irrelevant or unrelated to the question
  • fails to develop a clear or coherent response to the question, but shows occasional knowledge or
  • produces an incomplete answer
    0-59% (F, Fail)
    A Fail will be awarded in cases which:
  • fail to answer the question or develop an argument
  • fail to demonstrate knowledge of the key issues or arguments
  • contain clear conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings
  • does not engage with the literature
  • are poorly organised

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