1.The essay is an article critique: you will produce a critical analysis of one article (the article is in the attachment: Han, E. (2018) Weibo and the making of Chinese networked publics: Witness, debates and expertise. Communication and the Public, 0(0), 1-16.)
2.Assessment criteria is also in attachment
3.Identify one argument or contribution to discuss
Remember you are reading more for ways of thinking about the problem, and less for information
Analyze this in the context of other literature in the field (15 other works)
Approaching the Essay
The essay/review is designed to test a range of skills, including your ability
- to work analytically with an academic article, and to extract and evaluate key arguments from it
to identify other relevant media/academic works in the field and compare their arguments critically to those of your core text
- to develop your arguments logically, within a clear essay structure
- to cite all sources used and to present those citations in appropriate format
So this is not just a test of what you know – I don’t expect you to write an essay that simply expands on the article, or offers background information on the topic that it covers. You must connect your answer to the content of the article, but have some freedom to choose where you go from that point of connection.
It may be useful to build your essay around one of the seminar tasks/questions.
- Begin by identifying the core argument(s)/messages of the text, and choose one or two of these as your focus – there are usually several possibilities, may be better to explore one question in depth than three more superficially;
- Then consider questions such as:
○ What further questions are suggested by the article?
○ What alternative perspectives/interpretations do you see to the text’s core arguments?
○ How does the writer “frame” the problem? And how might a different frame suggest different understandings of the problem?
○ Follow this link for a full list of the seminar questions;
- You have a free choice of approaches for all questions – although the seminar exercise for the articles on Gender, Family and Private Life was “Comparisons”, you are not required to take this approach to the questions on that topic.
The detailed Assessment Criteria are here
In outline, when we mark an essay, we are looking for:
- A sharp, focused discussion: for any article, there may be several possible areas that you might address in your review. It is better to explore ONE of these in depth than to discuss three or four more briefly;
- A clear argument: don’t just describe social practice – explain how it works and why it changes; be aware of theoretical approaches to your topic;
- High-quality evidence: you need to support your argument, and you should think about where you will find the most appropriate evidence (Academic studies? Government or NGO publications? The Chinese/foreign media?). Read widely, and show that you can use English-language material, and the academic literature effectively.
- Clear structure: organize your material logically into sub-sections and paragraphs; pay attention to the lengths of those sections (if you need to include background material, keep it short); use your introduction to set out key arguments and essay sections;
○ Many of you asked about the introduction, and what this should include. If the review is about 2,400 words long, then your introduction might be between 250 and 400 words long (conclusion will be shorter);
introduction, you should include
■ A very short summary of the main arguments from the original article – indicate also which argument you will be discussing;
■ A very short explanation of how that original article fits in the wider field (Are the arguments new? Are there two/more competing understandings of the problem discussed in the article?)
■ A statement of your own argument.
- Referencing of all sources used: remember to paraphrase or summaries everything that you take from your sources, or to indicate it as quotation, using quotation marks “…”; if you translate material word-for-word from another language, that also counts as a quotation.
All work must be submitted in an appropriate format
- using, for example, Times Roman 12pt or Arial 11pt, line spacing 1.5, margins of 2.5cm, page numbers
- with the appropriate cover sheet and plagiarism declaration.