Part B: Essay
Length: 1200 Words (10% +/- applies)
Due: Monday 20th September (Week 9), 23.59pm Task: Choose ONE of the following topics to address:
TOPIC 1: Social class, crime and theory in Australia
The overarching theme in this essay should be around social class, class inequality, and intersections with crime in Australian context. In addition, you need to apply either structural theory OR conflict theory to help you argue your points and to demonstrate an understanding of the topic. You have an option to select between a specific question to answer OR a quote to interpret in a critical manner.
a) How can theory illuminate your understanding of the links between social class and crime in Australian context?
b) “Rich get richer, poor get prison” (Reiman, 1979).
TOPIC 2: Gender, crime and theory in Australia
The overarching theme in this essay should be around gender, gender inequality, and intersections with crime in Australian context. In addition, you need to apply feminist theory OR queer theory to help you argue your points and to demonstrate an understanding of the topic. You have an option to select between a specific question to answer or a quote to interpret in a critical manner.
a) How can theory illuminate your understanding of the links between gender and crime in Australian context?
b) “…men and women can be criminals, and criminality structures opportunities for the expression of varieties of masculinity and femininity” (Britton 2011, p. 26).
TOPIC 3: Race, ethnicity, crime and theory in Australia
The overarching theme in this essay should be around race/ethnicity, racial inequality, and intersections with crime in Australian context. In addition, you need to apply postcolonial theory to help you argue your points and to demonstrate an understanding of the topic. You have an option to select between a specific question to answer or a quote to interpret in a critical manner.
a) How can theory illuminate your understanding of the links between race/ethnicity and crime in Australian context?
b) “Higher rates of offending in Indigenous communities can also be understood as a consequence of colonial processes…” (Pereira & Scott 2016 p. 333)
You are required to explicitly use at least 8 different academic/scholarly sources in your essay.
These must include:
• At least 3 scholarly readings drawn from the LST1UNC reading list. These can be listed as either required or further reading, may be from any part of the subject and can include books, journal articles and published reports generated by reputable bodies (including those published on the internet).
• At least 2 reports from Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and/or Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) or reports generated by reputable bodies. You should locate these sources yourself, not use any of the ones available from the LST1UNC reading list.
• At least 3 additional scholarly materials that you have found yourself.
Please note that newspaper reports and other media items can be used but will not be counted towards meeting the above requirements. In addition, you need to avoid using just any ‘open web sources’ (e.g. Wikipedia) or quoting from lecture slides.
*** Reference list is NOT counted toward the overall word count!!!
You need to use Harvard Referencing style. If you require help with referencing, try accessing La Trobe Library’s Referencing Tool: https://latrobe.libguides.com/referencing-tool. Please note that referencing is very important in your University work. Every time you refer to ideas you have learned through reading a book, a journal article, or a report, you need to refer to this source in your writing. You need to also be mindful of Academic Misconduct policy (for more information see: http://latrobe.libguides.com/academic-integrity/ethical_use).
Direct quotes must be acknowledged using quotation marks (‘like this’) and should be followed by an in-text reference that contains the author’s name, year of publication and page number where applicable.
A reference list should be included at the end of your essay. It will contain the full details of the sources you have referred to in your text. The items should be in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname and formatted appropriately.
• Your essay must be submitted electronically as a word file via the ‘Part B: Research Essay’ submission link in the Assessment block on the LST1UNC LMS site. No hardcopy submission is required.
• You will only be allowed to submit your essay once.
• Your essay will be subject to Turnitin which is a web-based text-matching software system, which can be used to assist in the detection of plagiarism.
• You do not need to submit a confirmation of submission or originality report.
• Please do not send late submissions via email to subject coordinator or tutor, you need to submit your essay via the appropriate process.
• Please note that your essay will not be marked until it is submitted electronically
Preparation, Presentation and Referencing:
• Your essay should be prepared and submitted using either:
o MS Word (.doc and .docx)
o You are not allowed to submit a pdf document
• Use A4 size pages and a clear, simple and legible black font – either 11 or 12 point.
• Double-space the text.
• Do not use margins smaller than 2.54cm.
• You need to use Harvard Referencing style.
• You need a title page (first page), which should include:
o your name, o student number, o tutorial group (day, time), o your tutor’s name,
o essay topic (be specific – for example: Topic 1, Option b), and o word count (not including reference list).
Suggested essay structure (according to the marks allocated to each section)
- Introduction and conclusion (5% of the overall mark): approximately 100 words each
- Crime issue (10-15% of the overall mark): approximately 300-350 words
- Theory description (20-25% of the overall mark): approximately 300-400words
- Theory application (25-30% of the overall mark): approximately 500-600 words
Please note that these dot points are suggestions and they do not indicate the number of paragraphs you need to have in your essay.
Content (see the marking rubric) Start with three key steps:
- First, you need to select one of the three suggested topics in Australian context. You will then search for the appropriate sources (authoritative sources) which will help you describe and frame the selected topic. The more information you have, the easier it will be to apply the theory.
- Second, you need to select one of the theories specified in your chosen topic (these are covered in Weeks 3, 4 and 5), which you will need to properly explain before applying it. Here you need to focus on theoretical concepts – provide a proper explanation of these in order to demonstrate your understanding. Do not write about the theorists, write about the ideas.
- Third, you need to now link the theory and topic. The links need to be properly supported with empirical evidence, which means here you need to use research in order to demonstrate how theory helps you understand the topic you selected.
This will help you construct your main argument(s) which you need to point out at the very start of your essay. In addition, you need to continuously relate the information you present back to this argument throughout the rest of your essay. In this instance your argument needs to be grounded in the application of the theory – how does your selected theory help you understand selected topic.
This is a persuasive essay, which means that you need to properly persuade the reader of your argument. In this instance you need to first persuade the reader about your knowledge on the selected topic; second, you need to persuade the reader of your theoretical understanding by properly explaining selected theory; finally through your application you need to persuade the reader of your argument.
For selected topic, you need to make sure you follow the tips:
- Briefly outline and explain key concepts relevant to the selected topic;
- Properly frame the topic in Australian context – here you need to provide statistical information on the extent, impact, etc.
Before applying the theory, you need to first explain the theory. Here you need to use academic and authoritative sources to define key theoretical concepts and demonstrate the understanding of theory. It does not matter which theoretical perspective you choose to apply. What does matter is how well you argue your case. Do not simply describe your selected theoretical position. You need to make arguments (maybe come up with three or four main points) that support your discussion and back these up with appropriate research (empirical) evidence. You need to keep in mind that when using empirical evidence to support your claims you need (i) a brief study description (e.g. number of participants, measures used), (ii) the key study findings (relevant to your argument) and (iii) the link back to the essay argument.
Throughout your essay you need to use at least 8 authoritative sources. This means you have to research widely, and you can begin your search with the set readings provided. These were selected because they are directly relevant to the subject content, so do not neglect them.
Structure (see the marking rubric)
Often the difference between a good and a poor essay is not what is said, but how well it is said. Essay structure is an important part of the essay. The following are some simple tips and rules that can greatly improve your essay.
A good introduction is crucial. To navigate through an unfamiliar essay, the reader needs a map or instructions that highlight the points of interest and guides them safely to the end.
Your introduction is a brief summary of your essay. It must do the following:
- Set out the problem to be addressed;
- Highlight the main arguments to be made;
- Provide an explicit plan of the essay (the order in which you will present information); - Provide a direct answer to the question (or instructions).
You must give serious thought to the order in which you present your information. There needs to be logic to it – you cannot just present information in a random order. A discussion needs to be well structured and the structure should be obvious to the reader. Keep telling your reader what you are up to.
Make sure you set out a clear plan in your introduction and then follow that structure in your discussion. Use ‘signposts’ to emphasis that you are following the plan (e.g. The second argument is…). Do not write too short or too long paragraphs (longer than two sentences, no longer than half a page). Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and should only discuss one idea – make sure your paragraphs are not too long.
Avoid over-use of quotes; remember, every time you present a quote, you need to explain what it means. You should only use 2 quotes per whole essay. You should also avoid asking rhetoric questions. You just need to paraphrase these questions into sentences.
Your conclusion is a brief summary of the essay. Do not introduce any new information, and certainly do not leave your answer to the question (or instructions) until the conclusion. You need to avoid the use of quotes here.
*** Please note that in academic essay you should not use subheadings.
Writing: The way the information is presented is one of the most significant aspects. In your assessment you need to keep in mind to write clearly, identify and justify your choices. There are a few easy steps you should follow in your writing:
• You essay needs to be grammatically sound, so make sure to check the spelling and punctuation before submitting.
• To avoid grammatical mistakes, avoid the use of overcomplicated sentences (sentences that are more than a couple of lines in length).
• Do not write your essay in first person. Make sure you adapt a more formal language (third person) for the purpose of this essay. This includes avoiding the use of abbreviations.
• As this is an academic essay, avoid the use of dot points or lists. Instead incorporate these points into sentences.
• You need to use a proper essay style-structure throughout. This also means, do not include tables, figures, and appendices unless you are asked to. Instead incorporate the information from these into sentences.
• Avoid over-use of quotes - remember, every time you present a lengthy quote, you need to explain what it means. You should only use 2-3 lengthy quotes per whole essay.
• You should also avoid asking rhetoric questions. You just need to paraphrase these questions into sentences.
• Avoid long (longer than approximately half a page) or short paragraphs (one or two sentences is not a paragraph).
• Avoid the use of subheadings.
If you are having difficulties with the assessment and/or have grounds to request an extension, submit your request online (Online Extension Form) to your tutor or subject coordinator at least 3 days before the due date. Do not email your tutor or subject coordinator, you will be asked to submit your request online – we do not grant extension request for this task via email.
Please note that unless there are exceptional circumstances, requests after this timeframe will be rejected. You should also keep in mind that unless you have LAP, you will be required to submit documentation with your request. Please also remember that unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. emergency), retrospective extensions are not approved, and you should consider applying for Special Consideration.
If you are struggling to achieve the set due date, please make sure you reach out to us ASAP! It is important to contact us before the due date.
Please keep in mind that the penalty for lateness is severe. “The standard penalty for late submission of assessment tasks is 5% of the marks for that task for each delay in submission of a day or partial day up to a maximum of five (5) working days after the due date. Assessment tasks will not be accepted after the fifth (5th) working day after the due date.”
This might be the most important document for you to refer to when you prepare for your assessment. This rubric provides you with a clear marking expectation and you should be guided by this rubric. Markers use this rubric to assess your work, so you need to ensure that you address the key aspect of this rubric. Only include information that is being evaluated.
Above Expectations Meets Expectations Approaches Expectations Does Not Meet Expectations
Student’s comprehension of the selected topic in AU context is exemplar in terms of scholarship. Student briefly examines selected topic in appropriate AU context; demonstrates an awareness of key terminology. Student uses appropriate referencing and authoritative sources. Student attempts to examine selected topic in appropriate AU context, but there are issues. Student attempts to use appropriate referencing and authoritative sources. There might be minor factual errors. There is a lack of clarity around the topic understanding and contextualising. Limited knowledge of appropriate referencing and sources. There might be some factual errors.
Student’s comprehension of the theory is exemplar in terms of scholarship. Student demonstrates great understanding of key topical ideas. Student provides a concise overview of the key theoretical terms and concepts relevant to the topic; and clearly demonstrates an understanding of the topical ideas by accurately interpreting these. Student uses appropriate referencing and authoritative sources. Student also critically engages with the literature. Student provides some overview of the key theoretical terms and concepts relevant to the topic; and attempts to demonstrates an understanding of the topical ideas. Student attempts to use appropriate referencing and authoritative sources. The response does not demonstrate reasoning and understanding of the theory and/or source(s). Lack of clarity around sources or the sources presented are not relevant.
Student demonstrates exemplary skills in their critical thinking and reflection. Student mounts a coherent and logical application of theory; and does not just rely on description. Student clearly identifies key concepts and arguments relevant to the debate. Student integrates information from various sources; and where appropriate, supports application with empirical research findings. Student properly supports all claims made with appropriate references. Student attempts to provide a coherent and logical application of theory, but there are minor issues. Student attempts to identify key concepts and arguments relevant to the debate, but there might be some problems. Student attempts to use sources properly, but there might be issues (for example using empirical research). Student attempts to support all claims made with appropriate references. The response does not demonstrate relationship between theory and topic. There seems to be a vague understanding of theoretical application process. While there is an attempt, there are too many issues throughout the paper.
Independent Research Skills Student goes beyond the required 8 sources and researches widely. Student grounds their analysis in 8 appropriate sources (as specified in instructions). Student attempts to ground their analysis in 8 appropriate sources, but there are errors. Student did not select/draw from the 8 appropriate scholarly sources.
Structure Essay is organised extremely efficiently with sophisticated arrangement of content with evident and/or subtle transitions. Essay is effectively organised to enhance reader’s understanding of the information. The relationships between ideas are made clear with effective transitional phases. The ideas presented flow and structure is well thought out. Essay organisational structure is evident but may not be fully developed or appropriate. Transitional phrases may be used but the relationships between ideas are somewhat unclear. There might be some issues with essay structure. Essay organisational structure is largely absent and the relationships between ideas are unclear. There are issues with paragraphs and/or overall essay structure.
Grammar Expression and grammar are exceptional and of a high academic standard. Ideas are presented clearly and in a formal language. The writing is grammatically sound and is free of punctuation errors. Ideas are mostly clear. There are minor grammatical and spelling errors. Ideas are not clear. There are several grammatical and/or spelling errors.
Format and Referencing The formatting and Harvard referencing contains no flaws and is within the specified word count. The assessment adheres to presentation guidelines, and specified referencing style (Harvard). Essay is written within the 10% of the suggested word count. The assessment mainly adheres to presentation guidelines and/or specified referencing style (Harvard). There might be issues with word count. There are several issues with presentation guidelines and/or specified referencing style (Harvard). There might be issues with word count.