A theory is considered to be sound if it can explain a process or predict outcomes in many or most cases. In the course we have considered four theories of political leadership – trait, institutional, relational and discursive

2013GIR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP – MAJOR ESSAY

The Task
A theory is considered to be sound if it can explain a process or predict outcomes in many or most cases. In the course we have considered four theories of political leadership – trait, institutional, relational and discursive. We asked which theory is best able to explain or predict the success or effectiveness of political leadership?

The task for this essay is to ‘test’ one of these theories by applying it to two political leaders of your choice. Whilst the focus of your analysis should be one theory, as we have discussed, none of the leadership theories are perfect and you might need to refer to other theories to fill in any gaps or accommodate limitations in your chosen theory to explain your leaders’ effectiveness.

Your leaders must be broadly political. They can be politicians, monarchs, institutional or movement heads, political activists or political opponents. Your leaders can be very similar in terms of their personal characteristics, institutional position and context or they can be very different. The first is easier because you are comparing ‘like with like’ but the second can give you more robust conclusions. Whoever you choose, think about it carefully. If you are unsure, check with one of the teaching team.

Essay structure:
After the introduction, you will need to outline the theory you have been selected.

You should then go on to introduce the leaders you have chosen, remembering to explain your choice and provide a brief biography.

The next and most important section of the essay explains how the theory you have chosen helps us understand your leaders’ successes &/or failures.

Assessment criteria:
Your essay will be assessed against four criteria: argument and analysis; research; organisation; and communication and presentation. The marking rubric is below.

Essay Requirements
2000 words (not including the Reference List)

Minimum of 10 sources, 8 of which are scholarly (ie refereed journal articles or books)

Adequate referencing which covers all information and arguments not your own (not just direct quotations) including page numbers.

Submission
Essays must be uploaded through SafeAssign. See submission points for your draft and final below.

Use a standard file name consisting of your name, course code, essay, e.g. Bloggs 2013GIR Essay.

Extensions
Requests for an extension of time for submission of an assessment item must be lodged before the due time for the assessment item. Requests for extensions must be made by emailing your course tutor. Where an extension has not been granted, an assessment item submitted after the due date will be penalised.

Referencing & Reference List
You must use a recognised referencing system (the Harvard system is strongly recommended). If a reference is taken from a particular page, or pages, then the page number(s) must be included (even if not quoting directly). The in-text format should include the author, date of publication, and page number. When words are taken directly from other sources (books, articles and web sites) and reproduced in an essay quotation marks must be used (longer quotes can be indented). If an essay is incorrectly or insufficiently referenced according to standard styles, it will be penalised with a reduced mark.

Entries in the reference list should be in a standard format, complete and in alphabetical order by authors’ family name. Web addresses should include date accessed/downloaded.

Presentation
The first draft of an essay should NEVER be submitted as the final assessment item. You need to allow sufficient time for editing the essay or even rewriting.

Use 1½ – 2 line spacing. The font size should all for comfortable reading.

Number all pages.

Data security & retention
Save your work frequently and always back up to an alternative.
Retain submission receipts.
Keep a copy of the original work and the marked item until final grades are published.

You may be asked to submit their notes and drafts of written work before a final mark for the item can be awarded.


 

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