Consider the title of your essay carefully to ensure you write about the subject from the appropriate angle and at a suitable depth. The essay deals with a current topic in molecular genetics so, where appropriate, you should make an effort to include recent evidence and ideas.
For general guidance on essay writing have a look at the guides provided by Learning Development in the section marked Writing Skills. There is a web link to Learning Development on the MSc Blackboard site in Study Information. Your use of English grammar should be appropriate and your spelling accurate. It can be helpful to use the spelling and grammar tool in Word to check your essay. Remember that your use of English may affect the mark awarded for your essay.
To ensure your essay has a clear structure make a plan before you begin writing. It is sensible to start with an introduction in which you can set out the question/problem/ topic and how you are going to address it. In your essay, aim to present a logical progression of explanations or arguments with references, followed by your own conclusions.
You can use figures to illustrate specific points and it is best to draw these yourself. If you do base a figure on a published one then you should indicate that it is “adapted from…” or “redrawn from…”. Write a legend that allows the reader to understand the essential point of the figure. Do not copy legends.
Your statements, arguments, hypotheses and any relevant experimental data should be supported by reference to the relevant published material (not web sites). A full reference list must be given at the end of the essay. Remember that citing a reference as a source of information does not mean you can copy the words of that source; it is simply a way of directing the reader to your sources of information. It is not appropriate in scientific writing to directly quote from your sources of information, so using quotation marks as way of avoiding plagiarism will result in your essay being given a lower mark.
References should be cited in the text by author name and year of publication. You should then provide full details of your references in alphabetical order in a reference list at the end of your essay
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