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Homework answers / question archive / ASSESSMENT 3 Course Essay Please choose one question from the list below and write an essay of 2000words (+/- 10%)

ASSESSMENT 3 Course Essay Please choose one question from the list below and write an essay of 2000words (+/- 10%)


ASSESSMENT 3 Course Essay

Please choose one question from the list below and write an essay of 2000words (+/- 10%). The word count includes footnotes but excludes your Bibliography and image captions. This essay should be in double-spaced, typed format, and should be illustrated.

Date for essay submission: Monday 22nd November, 12 noon, via LEARN. This deadline should avoid a direct clash with History of Art 1a essays, and with Architecture end of semester reviews.

Feedback and provisional marks will be returned on Monday 6th December via LEARN, from 12 noon. Confirmed marks will be available after the Board of Examiners meeting in late January 2021.

Please note that all students must attempt the assignment in order to pass the course.


If you find that the file will not upload (especially if you are using Safari), try a different browser (e.g. Firefox); if that does not work, please contact the IS Helpline. Please allow sufficient time to upload your work before the deadline. If your work is late, you risk a penalty being applied. Grounds on which extensions can be granted are listed in the relevant part of the LEARN site.


What are we looking for?

The essay is an opportunity to explore a topic that interests you and to present your own ideas on the subject. You will be developing research and critical thinking skills which will be of use in all your courses at Edinburgh, and beyond. In this respect, the skills tested by the essay are as important as your grasp of the subject itself.


Essays should be clearly written and well-presented, although the essay is not an exercise in desktop publishing. Illustrations should be numbered, relevant to the text and should be referred to in the text (e.g. 'see fig. 1'). Any illustrations MUST be placed in the text, as close as possible to the place where you are discussing it (certainly within a page or so). Please do not put the illustrations at the end. This is easier for you but it is very difficult for the person marking your essay (which could be a grumpy professor) if they have to keep going backwards and forwards to match up text and image. Remember that this is a digital essay that we mark on screen.


The essay is also an exercise in time management. You will have other deadlines during the semester and may have to submit several pieces of work in close succession. It is up to you to manage your time so that you can successfully tackle all of your coursework, and you are therefore advised to make an early start to this piece of work.


The best essays will demonstrate that their author has done some independent reading (i.e. they will not simply present material from the lecture). They will also offer an answer to the question which uses evidence and examples selectively and deliberately to support an argument – i.e., they will not just present a sequence of facts. It can sometimes be daunting to have to start to develop your own ideas in a short space of time, but tutors will help. 


Your work will be marked as follows. Please note that what is considered a 'very good' or 'good' mark may be lower than you are used to from High School.

Common marking Scheme 1 (CMS1)


Mark (%)













Very Good.



Performance at a level showing the potential to achieve at least a lower second class honours



Pass, may not be sufficient for progression to an honours programme



Marginal Fail



Clear Fail



Bad Fail



Bad Fail


Full details of what each grade means can be found by looking at the University’s ‘Common Marking Scheme’, which you can see in in 'Assessment Information' just above the assessment briefs in LEARN.



Your feedback will be organized as follows: KNOWLEDGE (/ 30) Range:

Command of material:

Awareness of scholarship:


Quality of analysis and argument:

Ability to put architecture into a historical context: Structure of the essay: PRESENTATION (/ 30)

Quality of writing

Quality of images

Notes and references (including bibliography)



Tutorials and Preparation

The essay is the third assessment (out of four) for this course. It builds on the previous assessment, which is a literature review, so that you have already had both a tutorial and an assessment which help to inform your essay and how you approach it. In addition, there will be a tutorial will consider what makes a good essay and how to structure an essay. Try to have at least a rough plan of your essay worked out by the time of this tutorial (in week 8), so that your tutor can give you feedback on it. Don’t waste that opportunity – plan to have something written in advance of the date!



As you research your essay, you will find information and historians’ arguments which you want to refer to in your own work. You may agree with what a historian has said; equally, you may disagree and want to argue something different. (Do not be shy about disagreeing – you don’t have to agree with everything already published on the subject!). In all cases, it is critical that you do not simply copy and paste text from the internet, or from academic sources. If you do, you risk losing marks because Turnitin will show markers that you have done this.

You should make sure you acknowledge the source of all the information you present by using footnotes in your text. You will discuss when to do this in class, but in essence you should use a footnote:


  1. when you directly quote a source (whether a historic document or a historian) – put inverted commas around the quote and then use a footnote to show the source of the information. Do not simply copy and paste text without a reference, as this could look as if you are trying to pass off someone else’s writing as your own, even if this is not what you mean to do, and you risk being penalized.
  2. to show where you have taken information or an idea from (unless the information is well known, such as the date of the Act of Union). This allows us to see that your source is trustworthy, and so strengthens your argument. In these cases, you need a footnote reference even though you are not using exactly the same words as your source.


All essays must also include a bibliography of the works consulted in preparing the essay. You will be required to confirm when submitting that your essay is your own work, expressed in your own words, and conforms to the University’s guidelines on referencing and Plagiarism. Please note that all essays are checked by Turnitin, which can spot any similarities with published sources or other students’ essays. The method for how to reference an essay correctly for this course will be posted on the course LEARN site. Please follow it carefully as otherwise you may lose marks.


Always ensure that you leave sufficient time to edit your essay before submission. At the very least, it is expected that you make use of the spell check facility.


Research and Referencing for essays must be undertaken using legitimate and recognised academic sources such as printed books and journal articles held in the university libraries or accessed as e-resources through DiscoverEd. You should use the lecture bibliography to identify relevant material – simply reusing content from the lectures alone will not be sufficient. You will, of course, be using the internet for essay research but please use a designated academic portal (e.g., Grove Art Online, or Proquest Art and Architecture) from the Main Library’s website. ‘Wikipedia’, ‘Khan Academy’ and other web-based sources are not encouraged (they often contain errors) and their use can lead to the award of a reduced mark. Engagement with academic reading will be rewarded.


Essay Questions

  1. With reference to particular buildings and the wider urban setting, discuss how the planning and buildings of the Athenian agora reflected both civic and sacred functions.
  2. ‘Jupiter, as he surveys the world from his citadel, sees nothing that is not Roman’ (OVID). How much did the forms and materials of Roman architecture emulate what had come before, and how much did they represent innovation?
  3. What were the key ideas which shaped early Islamic palace architecture, and how did these ideas find architectural forms? 4. What were the technical, aesthetic, and religious impulses which shaped the design of medieval Gothic churches and cathedrals? Answer with reference to at least three examples.
  1. Discuss the key features of planning in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican settlements. What religious factors were at play and why? Answer using specific examples.
  2. How important was proportion in Palladio’s architecture? What other factors were also important, and how important were they?
  3. Discuss and account for the key differences between traditional Chinese and Japanese temples. You should refer to at least four specific examples.
  4. Choose and analyse THREE major French chateaux (or parts of chateaux) that illustrate the development of French Renaissance architecture during the 16th century.
  5. To what extent, and in what ways, can the Anglo-Palladian architecture of the 18th century in Britain be described as a ‘national style’?


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