Foundations of Western Culture 1705HUM
Essay Guidelines and Questions: Foundations of Western Culture 1705HUM
Write an essay in response to ONE of the questions provided below. Your essay should be written in a formal academic style in answer to the question. State the question at the start, so that your Tutor can easily identify which one you have chosen to answer. You do not need to repeat the question in the body of your essay, but you do need to address it.
Prepare for writing your essay by analysing your chosen question. Make a short list of key points. Use these points to develop a clear and well-structured line of argument, based on your reading and thinking for this course. State your argument in the first paragraph. Develop your key points, drawing on relevant evidence and research, by referring to the key course readings. You may also conduct independent research: use scholarly sources not general knowledge websites. Give brief in-text references using an academic citation system, such as APA or Harvard, and provide a list of works cited at the end.
You must choose one of the following set questions. If you are in any doubt about how to approach the question please consult your Tutors.
Questions – choose one of the following to answer:
1. To what extent do you agree, or disagree, with the proposition that the civilizations of Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and/or Rome laid the foundation for modern ‘Western Culture’?
2. Which key ideas of the ancient classical civilizations of Mesopotamia, Greece and/or Rome were reclaimed and reasserted in western culture during the period known as the Italian Renaissance? Discuss with reference to relevant set course readings and your own independent research.
3. How did cultural values that emerged during the Middle Ages such as chivalry, heroism or religious pilgrimage shape the role of women in society (either past or present)? Discuss with reference to Chaucer’s Prologue and Tale of The Wife of Bath and at least two other relevant readings.
4. What cultural values, beliefs and ideas do you think are most strongly reflected in Lorenzetti’s fresco ‘The Allegory of Good and Bad Government’, and are these still relevant today? Discuss with close reference to the images: a link is provided in the Course Content area for Week 7. You should also draw on at least three other relevant set course texts.
5. What changes occurred during the late middle ages which created the conditions for the cultural developments of the ‘Renaissance’? Discuss with reference to at least three of the relevant set course readings.
6. ‘A good prince is a living likeness of God … His goodness makes him want to help all; his power makes him able to do so’ (Machiavelli). What are the practical limits to political power that Machiavelli reveals in his handbook for Princely rule, The Prince? You should also draw on at least three other relevant set course texts.
7. The movement to abolish the European slave trade, which began in the 1770s was intertwined with a new notion of human rights. To what extent did this notion of human rights show the rise of reason and the influence of Enlightenment ideals. Discuss, with reference to at least four of the relevant set course readings.
The essay must be submitted by or before Friday 9 October (Friday of Week 10). Please submit online via the TurnitIn submission link provided on the course website in Assessment. The link will be available at least one week prior to the due date.
Extensions of up to one week may be granted in cases of need: please register your extension by taking the Extension Quiz which you will find in Assessment below the submission point for this essay. Documentary evidence will be required.
If you miss the due date due to urgent and unforeseen circumstances please email the Senior Tutor, Adele Pavilidis or the Course Convenor, Dr Stephanie Green. No extensions can be granted after 23 October, 2013 without proof of illness or emergency (such as a letter or medical certificate) due to university administration deadlines.
Students are reminded that all academic work must be original and all sources must be correctly cited. Any instances of plagiarism (copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own whether published or unpublished) will be reported. If in doubt consult your Tutor.
General Essay Assessment Criteria:
The highest marks for this assignment will be given to essays which show that:
• the student has carefully read, understood and analysed the set question and recognized how to answer it with reference to course concepts and resources;
• the essay is informed by the student’s learning across the course as a whole to develop a coherent, informed and persuasive argument.
• evidence is provided in support of the argument, drawn from adequate reading and research (more than 4 references from the set readings and other course materials).
• references to the reading and research are clearly cited using a recognizable referencing style such as APA or Harvard.
• writing is clear, confident, well-organised and logical, with suitable word choice, accurate punctuation and grammar.
• The student’s answer to the question is innovative, articulate and imaginatively conceived, demonstrating a strong synthesis between information, historical ideas and cultural interpretation.
essays are awarded a percentage (a mark out of 100) and ranked according to a scale of 1-7: 1-3=Fail, 4= Pass, 5=Credit, 6=Distinction, 7=High Distinction.
An essay criteria assessment scale is provided on the next page. Please consult the assessment scale before you commence writing.
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