Assessment 2
Formal Essay
Due: Week 8
Weighting: 30%
Submission: Written submission via Moodle
Format: PDF
Type: Individual assessment
Learning Outcomes:
b. Apply the skills required for academic success in higher education, in particular, the role of time management, information literacy and data management
c. Express and effectively communicate ideas in both written and verbal form
e. Utilise critical and creative thinking skills within academic, personal and professional contexts
In this assessment, students are required to:
a. Write a draft for a 500 word academic essay on a topic relevant to the outcomes of the unit
b. Submit their draft to Studiosity for comment
c. Document the changes and improvements made to the essay based on these comments d. Complete a final 500 word essay
Students will be required to form a cohesive argument using at least four academic sources, and present the essay in a suitable format. The precise wording and scope of the essay will be given in the first few weeks of the trimester. This assessment will build on the research conducted in preparing the Annotated Bibliography (Assessment 1).
Approaches to completing all elements of the assessment will be covered in class; specifically:
• Harvard referencing – discussed in detail in Topic 3
• Conducting relevant research – discussed in detail in Topic 4
• Written communication skills – discussed in detail in Topic 5
A formal essay is a piece of writing that informs or persuades its audience. The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The essay is always structured the same way: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The main purpose of the essay is to present an argument.
Additional notes
Students will be required to:
• Demonstrate a good understanding of the subject
• Display familiarity with well known theories/theorists (if applicable)
• Use critical analysis and research skills
• Develop a coherent argument
• Use effective writing and referencing skills.
Most essays will:
• Use transition signals at the beginning of paragraphs instead of headings (for example, ‘Secondly…’, ‘In conclusion…’)
• Link ideas into cohesive paragraphs
• Not have any supporting visual material
Also it is important you note the following formatting guidelines:
• Include a document title page (no contents page is required).
• Remember to use page numbering.
• Please use 12 point font only (generally use Times New Roman or Arial) • Use 1.5 or double spacing (not single spacing).
• Use at least 2.5 cm (or 1 inch) margins all round.
• Include a reference page as well as in-text referencing.
• Please submit files as PDF documents
• Include your name in the filename
Academic integrity:
All Macleay College students are expected to maintain high standards of academic honesty and integrity as published in the Student Handbook. Academic integrity is about truth, honesty and fairness in regards to student assessment work.
The College policy and procedures aim to ensure that any student work submitted for assessments is the genuine and original work of that person and not plagiarised (taken from others) or a result of collusion (created with others but submitted as your own).
In most cases of plagiarism, students will be required to resubmit their work within five (5) calendar days and will be eligible to receive a 50% pass mark only. For more serious cases of plagiarism, collusion or contract cheating, students may be required to discuss the matter with the Academic Coordinator or relevant Head of Faculty.
Marking Criteria & Rubric:
Please note: all assessments use the general marking criteria adopted by Macleay College as indicated in the Unit Outline. The following criteria are specific to this assessment:
NC Pass Cr D HD
Draft (5%)
Incomplete. Does not meet word limit. Irrelevant content.
No referencing attempted. Good attempt at meeting the key requirements. Essay is relatively well structured and coherent. There is a good attempt at referencing.
Improvements and Revisions (10%)
Studiosity report has not been submitted. Studiosity report has been submitted with the assessment
Minimal or no improvements have been flagged. Comprehensive list of improvements and modifications.
Final Essay (15%)
There are significant errors in spelling, grammar and/or punctuation. No spelling or grammatical errors.
Written expression is virtually
not understandable; nonsensical or incomprehensible sentences. The essay is exceptionally well written, with clear, concise sentences and paragraphs flowing from one to another; a very high academic standard.
There is no introduction or conclusion, or it is difficult to isolate them from the main body of the essay. The introduction and conclusion are very well written and clearly defined.
The main points were not directly related to the topic, with little to no rationale for their use, there was very structure or cohesion. The essay has a clear, well developed argument that is backed-up by relevant sources with very good reasoning underpinning each selection.
Serious formatting errors (e.g.
no title page, no page numbering, incorrect font, margins or line spacing); very poor or non-existent referencing. Exceptional effort in presentation conforming to all formatting guidelines; in-text referencing throughout; the final reference page contains no errors and uses the correct
Macleay Harvard Referencing.

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