What is Masters Level?
A master’s degree is a postgraduate academic degree awarded after the completion of an academic program usually 2-3 years in duration. Masters Level work is usually more in-depth. It will usually look at a very specific area of the topic that the student is studying.
As for your undergraduate essays, Masters level essays must:
- Demonstrating that you have studied the subject. This is done by using and referencing appropriate material.
- Demonstrating your understanding. This is done by evalutating, critiquing and commenting on the issues.
Everything should be spelt out on paper. Neither should you assume that anything is ‘common knowledge’. All ideas, concepts, facts, figures, events, quotes etc should be referenced by source material.
It is possible that the tutor won’t give you a specific structure for the essay. In the absence of any clues in the instructions, you can assume they want a traditional essay with a introduction, body and conclusion.
At Masters level, the standard of writing, quality of language, depth of research, focus and structure are all far superior to undergraduate writing.
Quality Standard – Masters Level Essay
General features of masters level work
- Demonstration of an in-depth of knowledge regarding the subject in question
- Ability to identify important questions and formulate essay titles around these
- Ability to identify key issues in a debate and critically assess, reflect upon and contextualise the evidence and arguments related to that debate
- Evidence of initiative, independent thought and, possibly, originality
- Content that appropriately addresses and maintain focus on the essay question/title
- Well structured work leading to a suitable conclusion (where applicable)
- Answer supported with well-chosen examples
- Demonstratration of wide reading around the subject
- Demonstration of ability to find suitable and well-targeted sources using own initiative
- Demonstration of appropriate bibliographic and referencing skills, using the appropriate system
- Appropriate accompanying illustrations/appendix where appropriate, which are put to good use, suitably captioned and suitably referred to in the text
- Demonstration of suitable writing skills (i.e. is the work in a suitable academic style; are the grammar, spelling and punctuation correct; is the writing suitably concise and precise?)
- Work is well proof read
- Excellent standard of presentation
Ensure that your Masters level work meets these features and you are well on your way to achieving a good grade.
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