By the end of this task, you should be able to:
• Synthesise and select key points/concepts in a neutral and clear way.
• Use critical thinking to select, apply information and biological examples to develop a coherent, structured essay.
• Find, assimilate and present data and evidence relevant to a given topic using varied reliable sources.
• Use and cite evidence accurately and appropriately.
Structuring the Essay:
Lecture 1 of the MII2 lecture series breaks down the essay question and explains the dos and don’ts when answering the question. There will be another timetabled Q+A session on 7th
March 2022 (timetable update to follow) to supplement how to address the essay question and any specific questions that you have. Please also use the discussion board for the Essay question to post any further queries that you may have.
The question is deliberately set to be broad, and there are many different ways of answering it. Part of the challenge is in deciding how you want answer the question, and to select the relevant concepts, information and biological examples to support your answer. The question will not be addressed by any one lecture, or even by 2 or 3, and to answer it well you will need
to bring together information from different lectures and sections of the course. Thus, a good answer will relate and contrast different aspects of the course to discuss the mechanisms and concepts that do or don’t lead to pathology, and will support the discussion with named and explained examples. As suggested in Lecture 1, you should keep the question in the back of your mind throughout the course as this will allow you to select relevant sections from each lecture to help form the essay. A good answer will have a directed and structured discussion, rather than just being a list of factual examples. Where possible a good answer should present and explain alternate viewpoints, and/or critique the concepts and evidence associated with disease outcomes. This should be done using an evidence-based approach. As with any scientific writing, providing evidence to support your discussion of the concepts and mechanisms is crucial. Thus, you will need to provide and explain named examples to support your discussion.
The examples used should be relevant and their relevance should be explicitly explained. The different examples should be linked together to create a discussion, and should cover a range of different aspects of the course. As a guide, we suggest using a minimum of 5 different examples. If you drop below 5 examples it will become difficult for you to produce a comprehensive discussion. Please bear in mind that if you use too many examples it may become difficult to explain them adequately and to bring them together to form a coherent essay. The exact number of examples you should use will depend upon how you choose to answer the question, and the points that you wish to make. We expect the essay to reflect the breadth of material covered in MII2, therefore within your chosen examples you should include at least one- bacterial, viral, parasite and fungal example linked in with the host response and infection outcomes. It is also possible to build examples with an immunology focus e.g. vaccination which can either be linked to a specific microorganism or not. The examples that you can use in the essay should generally be obtained from those covered in the lecture material. We have provided a list of organisms at the end of this document which may be useful to you when making a choice. You can also source other examples but we strongly encourage you to use those covered in the lectures. If the example in your essay is based on lecture material, then use the references provided for that example from the lecture. If the example is drawn from a paper that you have read, then you should reference it as per the instructions below. You don’t need to give all the examples equal weighting, you can choose to cover some in detail and others more briefly depending upon how they fit your discussion. As you will have plenty of time to select and learn the relevant course material we expect that the facts and the paper used to answer the question will be accurate.
Your essay should:
• Include a coversheet, which can we found in the assessment folder on Learn
• Be written using a word processor in a standard font size of about 12, with 1.5 spacing between lines and with at least 2 cm margins.
• Have a maximum of 1500 words. Provide a word count on the submission coversheet. The word count includes in-text references and sub-headings, but headings, tables and figures are excluded.
• Be clearly structured. Your essay should contain an introduction followed by a main body of text with subheadings, followed by a conclusion, ending with a reference list.
• Where relevant, be well illustrated with relevant figures and/ or tables. Illustrations should have a title and a legend, and be referred to in the text.