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QuestionHow do you get a Distinction in Assignments?
AnswerThere are a number of important aspects a marker considers when assessing an assignment. These are: Structure – For an excellent grade, a well-structured essay is important. The work should be divided into distinct sections which correspond to different parts of the question. The marker should be able to identify different aspects of the work, which at the same time flow fluidly. Argument – For a distinction/first class grade all the assertions made within an assignment should be supported. There is a difference between assertions and arguments and the argument aspect of an essay is what makes it persuasive. Relevance – Excellent assignments should at all times evidence tight focus between the relationship of the essay and the question or title. Irrelevant issues that are discussed will not guarantee marks. Writers should not confuse wider reading and intentions to be original with irrelevant information. The right balance should be struck. Evidence – For the highest grades, knowledge and understanding of the area needs to be evidenced. The nature of such evidence varies greatly across disciplines. For instance, with sciences, social sciences, and applied subjects it reflects empirical material; however, with essays, most of the evidence will be secondary evidence, gathered by someone else and published in academic literature. Originality, or high-level research- This category is only relevant for distinction or first class grades. Usually, students writing essays are not expected to be original. However, occasionally a student can formulate their own analyses of scholarly orthodoxy, based on evidence from within the respective discipline or from outside the reading that is required, and make it relevant to their assignment. Such students fall within the ‘excellent grades’ bracket. It should be kept in mind, however, that markers can be very subjective and penalise or give marks for things that students can’t control. These include but are not limited to holding the same opinion as the marker; or using or not using sources from the recommended reading.
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