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To what extent is Penal Exceptionalism a reality and could such a Model operate successfully in the Scottish Context

To what extent is Penal Exceptionalism a reality and could such a Model operate successfully in the Scottish Context

You will be assessed on:

  • Use of academic literature
    • This means academic journal articles and books. This does not include random finds from the internet, reports from organisations, media articles or any other material that is not academic. This is an academic piece of work and should be informed by wider academic debates.
  • The extent to which you are critically engaging with the literature
    • This means that you should not be writing descriptively, but instead critically. Descriptive writing is simply setting the background within which an argument could be developed. In this case, you are only presenting the situation as it stands, without providing any analysis or explanation. An essay that is purely descriptive will receive a low grade because you are regurgitating ideas but not taking them forward in any way. When you are critically writing you make effort to contribute to the wider academic debate. To do so, you consider the bigger debates surrounding the topic and evaluate them, using evidence. A much higher level of skill is clearly needed for critical writing than for descriptive writing, and this is reflected in the higher grades awarded.
  • Whether or not you form well-structured and grammatically correct sentences that clearly convey your point.
    •  There should be no awkward sentences. Make sure you proofread your work for errors. If sentences are convoluted, it makes it difficult for the reader to understand you.
  • Good paragraph structure and the development of an overarching argument
    • You should structure your paragraphs in a logical manner. They should both form and help evidence your points as well as link to an overarching argument. This overarching argument and narrative should be clear in the conclusion.
  • A good introduction and conclusion
    • An introduction should introduce your topic in a couple of sentences in order to attract the attention of the reader. Avoid vague sentences. It should then indicate the structure of your essay, e.g. This essay explores…. It discusses…. It then addresses… X is highlighted….
    • If you have been developing an argument throughout your essay, then your conclusion should be easy to write. It should not be a summary of your key points but should bring together all the arguments and points you have made to highlight the overarching argument/narrative. You’ve laid out all the pieces of the jigsaw throughout your essay and now you are stepping back to draw attention to the overall picture.
  • Referencing style
    • Please ensure that you are referencing correctly. We use the Harvard referencing style. You must also make sure that your reference list is presented in the correct format and that you are being consistent in your use of italics, etc. 
  • Overall presentation and proofreading
    • Font colour and size should be the same throughout, unless there is a good reason for the difference (e.g. in the report you have much more flexibility, but it should still be presented professionally). Please use double line spacing, or at 1.5 at least as this allows us space for comments when grading. There should be no, or very few, typographical errors.


You are required to reference throughout your assignment and you must adhere to the correct academic conventions for doing so. Appropriate referencing is necessary to produce a high-quality piece of academic work. It is, therefore, a crucial factor in determining the judgements made – by both internal and external examiners – about the appropriate grade awarded.

Students must use Harvard referencing. Citations, quotations and reference lists should rigorously follow the University Library Harvard 2017/18 referencing style guide. This is available for you to consult at https://library.abertay.ac.uk/media/ctr%20harvard%202017-18.pdf

It is your responsibility to ensure that you avoid plagiarism.

Do not copy something from a book, journal article or online source and attempt to pass it as your own. Likewise, do not use a thesaurus to change just some of the words. This is still plagiarism. If you are paraphrasing, there must be almost none of the same words, but the meaning of the quote or idea should still be captured by your own words.

Plagiarism shows a lack of respect for researcher’s work and is a form of academic misconduct with penalties that include expulsion.



Please ensure that you include a title page at the start of your essay. This should list your name, student number, course title, assignment title, date, word count, and name of tutor or module leader

Your work should be in an easy-to-read font (e.g Arial, Verdana etc.) It should be double-line-spaced with no less than moderate margins. You will be graded, in part, on the presentation of your work, including writing style, sentence structure, paragraph formation and professionalism.


The School of Business, Law and Social Sciences requires that all students submit an electronic copy of their coursework (unless the ACME Module Descriptor states that an exception to this has been made). Students are expected to submit coursework in the following manner:-                

  1. An electronic copy of the coursework is uploaded to the Turnitin file created within the module MyLearningSpace folder by 23.59 on the Wednesday of submission. (N.B. Any student failing to submit an electronic copy of their work, will be deemed to be guilty of Academic Deceit, and will consequently have an NS0 entered into their unit assessment record on OASIS).
  1. Any student who submits their work after the 23.59 Wednesday deadline will have their work graded in accordance with the School’s Late Submission Policy. Where coursework is handed in late and there are no valid mitigating circumstances, the work will be accepted up to 2 days late. Late coursework will be adjusted on a sliding scale with one letter grade deducted for each day late for the first two days after which the only grade awarded will be 0NS.

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