Essay Policies

Essay Policies

Please see the excerpt below from the Honours Handbook for details of our essay policies.

Essay due dates can be found in the Essential Information section of the Honours homepage.

Advice about writing an essay in Philosophy is available on our Study Resources page.

H. Submission and Marking of assessments

Assessments, including essays, are submitted online via the relevant course Moodle page. Full instructions are given there for how to upload your assessment and check that it has been submitted successfully. You should keep a copy (paper or electronic) of submitted essays.

Deadlines for essays will be announced well in advance and posted on the Philosophy webpages, including the main Honours webpage.

The essay and assessment topics for each course will be announced early in the course. In some courses there may be a choice of topics, but in some courses there will not be. Details of titles and reading will appear on the course webpages/moodle site.

Grades for assessments will be returned within the University target for the return of marked work, which is 3 working weeks.


The target length for Junior Honours essays is 2000 words (this will vary in Senior Honours), including footnotes and endnotes, but excluding bibliographies and title. All references and quotations must be properly annotated and the essay must end with a bibliography of works consulted (see under ‘Style’).


Philosophy at Glasgow has a few rules about the presentation of essays.  Most are common-sense measures to facilitate the smooth and secure distribution and marking of essays.  The others are self-explanatory.

  1. Essays should be word-processed in a legible font with a left-hand margin of at least 4 cm.
  2. The first page of the essay proper should bear the title.
  3. Pages should be numbered.
  4. All quotations must be put in inverted commas or set off from the main text and indented (not both), and their source must be acknowledged.  Failure to do this is plagiarism.  Students who submit plagiarised essays will receive no marks for them and will be subject to disciplinary action. If you are unclear about what constitutes plagiarism, check the main University of Glasgow policy.
  5. At the end of each essay there should be a bibliography.  This should list all books and articles consulted during the preparation of the essay.  For books, the details given should include the author’s name, the title of the book, the place of publication, and the date of publication.  For journal articles they should include the author’s name, the title of the article, the name of the journal, the volume of the journal, the date and the page number of the article.
Late submission

Late essays (and dissertations) will be penalized according to the Senate policy on late coursework.  According to this policy, 2 marks will be lost PER WORKING DAY (or part day) for the first FIVE working days, after which the work will be awarded 0. Essays submitted after marks are released will be treated as non-submissions; this may prevent you getting credit for the course.

Penalties will not be applied if there is “good cause” as to why the work cannot be completed on time.  If you are unable for good reason to meet a deadline, you should in the first instance use the online form for five working day extensions; if you require longer, you should contact the appropriate Honours Convenor (not the lecturer or tutor) for an extension. Please do this as early as possible: extensions requested after the deadline has passed will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances.  The convenor will normally require documentation of the “good cause”. Please note that University regulations only permit extensions of up to five days in length, though the exam board has the power to set aside penalties accrued thereafter.

Philosophy at Glasgow does not regard your having to do several essays by the same date, or another piece of work for different subject, as an adequate excuse for late submission.  The onus is on you to look ahead and organise your work so that you meet all deadlines.

Appeals against marks awarded for essays

If you feel that your essay has been unjustly marked, you may appeal against the mark. Get in touch with the Honours Convenor concerned. The essay will then be remarked by another member of staff. The final mark will then be an average of the two marks awarded. Be aware that the second marker may award a lower mark than the first one. 

External examination of coursework
  • External examiners may inspect sample scripts from each marker. Copies of some scripts will be taken and stored for this purpose.
  • External Examiners may also wish to scrutinise coursework where, e.g., there is a marked discrepancy between examination and essay performance, or where it is claimed that ill health or other special circumstances affected performance in the Degree Examination. For this reason, you should retain all coursework that is returned to you, and keep it available for possible inspection. In the event that further scrutiny is required, we shall contact you and ask that the script(s) be resubmitted.



Trying to pass off another's work as one's own is a serious offence in a university and may render you liable to disciplinary action. If you draw on a book or article in writing an essay, you must give a page-reference to it for each and every direct quotation, paraphrase, or appropriation of some idea or piece of information. The University Calendar says : The University's degrees and other academic awards are given in recognition of the candidate's personal achievement. Plagiarism is therefore considered as an act of academic fraudulence and as an offence against University discipline. Plagiarism is defined as the submission or presentation of work, in any form, which is not one's own, without acknowledgement of the sources. (With regard to essays, reports and dissertations, a simple rule dictates when it is necessary to acknowledge sources. If a student obtains information or ideas from an outside source, that source must be acknowledged. Another rule to follow is that any direct quotation must be placed in quotation marks, and the source immediately cited.  Each and every quotation, paraphrase or borrowing must be given a separate reference: it is not enough just to list the source in a general bibliography.)

The university's statement on Plagiarism, and information about disciplinary procedures, can be found here: