Each student in an essay group must fill in the peer assessment form. This will be used for identifying free-riders. Free-riding results in getting zero from the essay. Not all members of the essay group will necessarily get the same grade. There can be a maximum of 3 points (out of 10) difference between any two group members based on the peer review; i.e. other than in case of free-riding.
Your group will write one essay based on one of the articles available on Canvas.
You must submit 2 things via Canvas:
essay is submitted as a group.
- Each participant of an essay group must submit a separate "Peer review form" assignment (confidential) also through Canvas. Not submitting the peer review form is equivalent to not submitting the essay. Do not show your review form to ANYONE.
Writing the Essay
Below, the term
"essay" refers to the report to be written by the students in groups. The term
"paper" refers to the literature piece that is studied before writing the essay.
length of the essay
must be 4 pages - A4 regular single column page setup with reasonable margins, font
Times New Roman 11pt.
structure of the essay must be as follows:
- Abstract. A brief summary of the issues
in the essay (that you write). The abstract should be 100-150 words long.
It must summarize what “the essay” contains (and not what the paper contains), including purpose, scope and some
very short conclusions. This is the preview of your essay to the reader.
- Introduction. A description of the of the
literature piece (the paper that you read) and the problem being addressed
there. Relate those to the topics
in the course, e.g. by explicitly indicating related pages in the book, slide
numbers from the course slides or other supplementary reading material
provided by the lecturers.
- A couple of main sections. What are the main ideas and results of the
paper that you read.
These are the things that you will discuss/criticize/praise in the next
- Discussion. Pros and cons of the work done
in the paper,
things you learned. Relate it also with the things you learned in the
course, e.g. whether the presented work has been of much actual use,
whether it was superseded by the later developments etc. This will especially be taken
into account for the assessment.
- Conclusions. Your group's own opinion on the
analyzed material and the judgment of the paper. Be critical. How would you
improve it if you were the author/researcher? This will especially be
taken into account for the assessment.
(Discussion + Conclusions
minimum 1.5 pages A4)
Frequently asked questions and answers:
- What should our essay show? -- Your essay is NOT a summary of the paper that you read (except for a part of the Introduction section and the main sections). Summary should be kept short. Instead, show YOUR knowledge
and understanding of what is explained by analyzing and relating it to the stuff you learned in the course. Weak discussion and weak conclusion will certainly lead to a low score.
- Is it ok if we submit an essay that is longer than 4 pages? -- No. If your essay is too long, then you are probably repeating stuff or not paying attention to what the essay is about. Students do that often because they are trying to summarize the paper that they read. That's not the goal. (The page limitation does not apply to the list of references: Only your list of references is allowed to overflow to the 5th page.) A extra cover page is ok if you feel like having one (just the title, authors and student names, IDs -- so not really any content), but we are not specifically asking for it. Not having a cover page will NOT lead to loss of points.
- What should go into discussion and conclusions? -- This is where you should focus on showing your own knowledge, your own comments, your own discussion, your own recommendations. Some students just repeat the discussion and the conclusion of the paper that they read. That's not good and will lead to low score.
- What is the difference between discussion and conclusions? -- Discussion includes objective arguments on the paper, its results (e.g. x is shown to be less than c and therefore y, but this other reference [R] improves x (x>c) and therefore z). On the other hand, conclusion gives your group's educated view/position/opinion on those (e.g. are the results intuitive? why? why not? what x>c means for the domain, for an application, for the future, in comparison to the literature, course contents etc etc. what would be an alternative?).