Heywood introduces you to four competing definitions of politics-Major Essay Assignment

Assignment (Major Essay)
Due Date: Wednesday, 10 Jan
Weight: 60%
Length: 2,000 words

Each student is required to individually submit a well-researched and clearly written essay of no more than 2,000 words in response to the following:

In your unit text, Heywood introduces you to four competing definitions of politics (see pages 2-12). Your task is to choose ONE of these definitions and develop an analysis of the politics of ONE of the social problems (or any other social problem in which you have a particular interest) listed below:

  • Homelessness
  • Emissions Trading
  • Child Welfare
  • Health Care
  • Domestic Violence
  • Terrorism
  • Refugees and Border Security
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Education
  • Social Inequality
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Human Rights
  • Consumer Protection
  • Environment

Some suggestions:

  1. After your introductory paragraph, your analysis should have one paragraph that discusses the definition of politics that you have adopted. For example, if you intend to adopt the definition of politics as the government then you should provide a brief paragraph that discusses that particular approach to defining the political.
  2. Your essay should avoid any attempt to offer an exhaustive descriptive account of your chosen problem. Rather, you should remain firmly focused on developing an analysis of the politics (as you have defined it) of your problem. For example, if you choose to define politics as the government then your focus would be on the analysis of what government has done to deal with the problem. You might give some consideration to explaining why the government has done what it has done, or you could focus more on the roles and activities played by various social groups and organizations that have tried to influence government policy. Alternatively, you might wish to focus on the impact that government actions have had on your chosen social problem. Similarly, if you chose to define politics as compromise and consensus, your focus would be on the analysis of how conflicts associated with your chosen social problem have or have not been resolved. You might spend some time telling us about the nature of those conflicts, the various interests involved, what different groups and organizations have tried to do to resolve the conflict, what tactics they have used, as well as provide some analysis of the results of attempts to resolve the conflict.
  3. Your essay should demonstrate an ability to use some of the key concepts that you have been introduced to this trimester to the political analysis of your chosen problem. For example, if you choose to define politics as power, you would be expected to be clear about what you mean by power, and use your definition in a consistent and clear manner. Similarly, if you use the concepts of state, or legitimacy, or authority, you would be expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of the meaning of such terms and to also apply then consistently in your analysis.
  4. Your essay should demonstrate a capacity to locate the relevant empirical material. The resources and search engines available to you through the Dixson library should be used. Markers will not look favorably upon a simple reliance on a Google search.
  5. Your essay should be structured according to the conventions of academic writing.
  6. Your essay should be referenced accurately and should contain a properly formatted bibliography of sources. The AGPS Referencing system should be used. Particular care must be shown toward grammatical expression and spelling.
  7. You should begin preparations for your final assignment no later than four weeks before the due date. A special Discussion Forum will be established to deal with any questions or queries students have about their major essay. Although assignments must be submitted individually, students are encouraged to engage in a group discussion via Moodle about how they intend to address the major essay task. The Unit Coordinator will monitor the group discussion and provide advice when necessary.
  8. In a Header does the essay contain the unit name, my name, my student number.
  9. Is typed with at least 1.5 line spacing.
  10. The typeface for the text is the equivalent of 12 point Times Roman and the typeface in the footnotes is at least 10 point.
  11. Has page numbers at the top of each page.
  12. Has a left-hand margin of 3 cm and a right-hand margin of 2 cm.
  13. Includes an introduction that states my main argument clearly and succinctly.
  14. Has been referenced in accordance with the AGPS referencing system.

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