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An Introduction and Conclusion?
For a 4000-word essay, it is expected that you would have an introduction and conclusion. In your introduction (c. 300 words), briefly explain the focus of your essay, in terms of the concepts, theories, and examples you will be using, and the general thread of your argument. It can also be useful to explain why the essay question is an important question to ask. In your conclusion (c. 500 words), briefly synthesis what you have discussed (rather than merely repeat it), identify any key conclusions and identify areas for further work e.g. future areas for research and theory, and/or policy and practice.
It is much easier to write the introduction and conclusion at the end, once you have written the rest of the essay.

Q. What does ‘critically discuss’ mean?
It means that you must go beyond description, and engage in debate. It also means that you must ensure that most of the content is explaining, applying and analysing theories and concepts, rather than describing case studies, as that is where you will pick up higher-level marks in the markscheme.

Q: How many references are needed?
This is very difficult to answer, as it is not so much the number of references, but how effectively you use them. However, here are some tips:
– Always support your claims with references
– Your argument is more convincing if you can use more than one source to back up a claim
– Use contemporary sources: if you are using a dated source, you need to make clear its relevance
– Do not just rely on sources provided by your lecturer – the stronger essays will show evidence of wider reading (refer to mark scheme: “Clear evidence of wider reading beyond ‘essential reading’ and lecture notes”)

Q. Are references included in the word count?

The reference list at the end of your report is not included in the overall word count. However, in-text references are included, including direct quotations.

Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Essay
Subject: Criminal justice
Pages /words: 15/4000
Number of sources: 8
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper format: Harvard
Line spacing: Double
Language style: UK English