We are delighted that you have chosen to study Classics with us and hope you have a fulfilling and enjoyable time completing your degree with us. The following links should provide a range of resources that should help you during your time with us.
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(i) Private reading
A substantial amount of the time you spend on this course should be on reading the assigned texts. All our modules will require you to read at least one ancient author in translation; you will also be given a reading list at the start of each module, which will list the most appropriate and helpful secondary literature. All these books will be available in the library.
The majority of your formal teaching will be at lectures. In lectures you will learn how to interpret and analyze the material you have absorbed in your reading, as well as learning new factual data where appropriate. Lectures are a key part of the teaching programme, and information communicated in one class is often referred back to in subsequent sessions. If you miss a lecture due to illness or other unavoidable cause, you should make sure that you catch up on the material you missed as soon as possible.
Early in the first semester you will be assigned to a tutorial group for each of your modules. Your group will consist of between eight and ten students, meeting under the supervision of a tutor to discuss various aspects of the lecture courses in more depth. This is an opportunity to discuss your own perspectives on the texts and issues you are studying, and to hone your understanding of the subject in structured discussion and debate. Tutorials allow for a more intimate and personal style of learning than other teaching formats: you will get most from them if you follow the required reading beforehand and are prepared to contribute to the discussion with your own opinions and questions. Tutorials are also a good opportunity to make social contact with other students, which will enrich your experience both of the subject and of university life.Tutors are usually graduates of the School of Classics , with extensive personal experience of the lecture courses and the UCD system, so they will often be able to help you with basic academic or administrative queries. Even if they cannot help directly they will be able to point you towards the appropriate member of staff, and offer you their moral support.All tutors who are not members of the full-time academic staff are based in K214, and can be contacted on 716 8391.
You will need to submit coursework essays to fulfil the requirements for some modules. This is an opportunity to complete work without the pressure associated with exams, and gives you the chance to read, think about and explore the aspects of the ancient world you find particularly interesting. Your Module Co-ordinator will give you titles and inform you of the submission dates at the start of the module.Coursework submitted later than the deadline given by the Module Co-ordinator may be penalised. If you are ill or are otherwise unable to hand work in on time, it is essential that you let the Module Co-ordinator know in order to avoid being penalised.Examinations take place at the end of each semester. The timetable and location of any exam will be published nearer the time.
In the course of the year you will be asked to produce several essays, one for each lecture course on the programme. You will of course be used to producing essays as part of your schoolwork, and will have acquired many important skills and much experience already. In addition, you should bear the following points in mind as you prepare your essays:
Read the ancient texts
Part of the purpose of an essay is to demonstrate you have read and understood the ancient material. Make sure you have read the sources thoroughly before you begin writing your essay.
Read modern scholarship
A bibliography is distributed for all lecture courses, which includes the best and most accessible work by modern scholars that is available in the library. Consulting the books and articles on this list will stimulate your thinking and help you form your own ideas about the ancient material. You should always credit the original author when you have based your ideas on those of another person: if you use other people’s ideas without showing your sources, you may be accused of plagiarism, which carries severe penalties under University regulations. See below.
Ask ‘Why?’ as well as ‘What’?
Don’t just write narrative essays which retell the story of the Odyssey or give a potted biography of Julius Caesar. Of course you should show that you know what has happened, and you are entitled to spend some time in your essays going over this type of detail. However, at university level you are also expected to ask why things happened, to analyse the causes and motivation behind events. A good essay will also ask, for example, why Homer tells the story of the Odyssey in a certain way, or why Julius Caesar behaved the way he did. As long as you keep reading the ancient material and thinking about what it means, you will not go far wrong.
For word-processed work, the following layout is recommended:
The purpose of this is twofold: (i) to conform to generally accepted standards of presentation, and (ii) to make your work easier to read and write comments upon.
- Paper: A4, single-sided only.
- Number each page sequentially.
- Font: 12 point Times New Roman (or any other easily readable font such as Arial or Helvetica).
- Line spacing: 1.5 or 2 line spacing.
- Quotations: Short quotations (no more than one or two sentences in length) may be included in the main body of text, enclosed within quotation marks. Longer quotations should be indented from the main text and should not be enclosed within quotation marks. These may be given in single line spacing.
- Notes: Either footnotes (at the bottom of each page) or endnotes (all notes given at the end of the text). These should be numbered consecutively, in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc.): they should not begin again at 1 on a new page.
- Margins: Leave a margin of at least 30mm at the left hand edge of your page. This gives your marker space to make comments.
- Remember to proofread your final version before you hand it in, and to check for errors in spelling and grammar. All good word processing programs have a spellchecker for this purpose – but remember that spellcheckers only check the correct spellings, and not whether you have used the appropriate word. Your tutor will be happy to help you in matters of layout and style.
Plagiarism: what it is and how to avoid it
The Student Code for UCD defines plagiarism under Section 6 (“Breaches of Discipline”) as follows:
Plagiarism…is the copying of another person's writings or works or ideas in any thesis, essay,…or other exercise which forms part of the requirements for an academic course, where such copying is either unauthorised by the copyright owner or unacknowledged in the thesis, essay, project, laboratory report or other exercise or both. This means that taking material, without acknowledgement, from any of the following sources counts as plagiarism:
- A published book
- A journal article
- An essay in a collection of published papers
- An internet site
- Another student’s essay
- Any other piece of work, whether written or oral, which is not the result of your own efforts.
The purpose of essay work at university level is to demonstrate proof of your own ability in and understanding of a subject area. Plagiarism, which attempts (intentionally or otherwise) to disguise other people’s work as your own, is therefore a very serious offence, whether intentional or accidental. Be sure to credit all sources scrupulously in order to avoid any risk of plagiarising. If you are in any doubt, consult your tutor, who will be happy to help. There are further guidelines on the Library website.
References and Bibliography
How to cite references and produce a bibliography:
There are many different standards in use for referring to ancient and modern sources. A suggested scheme is outlined below. It doesn’t particularly matter if you decide to adopt a different system: all that matters is that you should be clear and consistent.
i. Referring to ancient works
For ancient prose sources, you should give the author and title of the work in brackets, followed by as much information as possible to pinpoint the exact source of the quote – book, chapter, paragraph numbers et cetera. For example:
My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever. (Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 1.23)
It is also acceptable to give the page number of the translation you are using, e.g.:
My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever. (Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War Book 1, p. 48)
For ancient verse sources, give the author and title in brackets, followed by the line reference (chapter and verse) of the poem, e.g.:
We should live, my Lesbia, and love,
And value all the talk of stricter
Old men at a single penny. (Catullus Poems 5.1-3)
Note that verse should be written as verse: it is not appropriate to lay out a passage of poetry as if it were prose. However, should you be using a prose translation of an ancient poet, it is appropriate to refer to it as if it were a prose source, e.g.:
I am Odysseus, Laertes’ son. The whole world talks of my stratagems, and my fame has reached the heavens. (Homer, Odyssey 9, p. 124)
You will need to indicate which translation you have used in your bibliography. For example, for the above quotations your bibliography should include the following entries (given in alphabetical order):
Catullus, The Poems of Catullus. Tr. Guy Lee. Oxford 1990.Homer, The Odyssey: A New Prose Translation. Tr. E.V. Rieu, revised D.C.H. Rieu. Harmondsworth 1991.Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War. Tr. M.I. Finley. Harmondsworth 1988.
ii. Referring to modern works
Every time you quote a modern author in your text, you should insert a footnote or follow the quotation with a reference to your source. Equally, whenever any of your ideas are derived from a secondary source, you should give a reference to that source in the text or in a footnote. Broadly speaking, there are two conventional styles for giving references:
(a) The Harvard style
Here, after you have referred to or quoted an author, you give the name of the author and the year in which (s)he published the text, followed by the page or pages from which your reference is drawn, and all enclosed in brackets. Two examples follow, both taken from Sir Ronald Syme’s The Roman Revolution (Oxford 1939):
Sir Ronald Syme argues that the rise to power of the first emperor Augustus “was the work of fraud and bloodshed, based upon the seizure of power and redistribution of property by a revolutionary leader” (Syme 1939: p. 2).
Syme argues that the government of the emperor Augustus was based not on Republican liberty but on a brutal despotism (Syme 1939: pp. 1-9).
You can find further details on the Harvard style in Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, New York 1999 (available in the library).
In this style, you follow the quotation or reference with a footnote (or endnote); and then, in the footnote or endnote, you give the name of the author, the year of publication (this should be in brackets), and the page number(s) to which you are referring. For the same examples:
Sir Ronald Syme argues that the rise to power of the first emperor Augustus “was the work of fraud and bloodshed, based upon the seizure of power and redistribution of property by a revolutionary leader.”1 Syme argues that the government of the emperor Augustus was based not on Republican liberty but on a brutal despotism.2
1 Syme (1939) 2.
2 Syme (1939) 1-9.
The Harvard style is more convenient if you are submitting handwritten work; either style is suitable for word-processed essays. Note that whichever style you choose, you do not need to give full details of the source either in the text or in the footnote. This is because you will give the full details in your bibliography at the end of your text. If you are in any doubt about referencing, please consult your tutor, who will be glad to help you.
iii. How to lay out a bibliography
Your bibliography should include every source you refer to in the text and footnotes. The information you include should be as follows:
Give the author, title (in italics), place and date of publication. The place and date of publication are usually given on the page following the title page. If the book is a translation of an ancient author, give the name of the translator as well.
Griffin, J., Homer: The Odyssey. Cambridge 1987. Syme, R., The Roman Revolution. Oxford 1939.Homer, The Odyssey: A New Prose Translation. Tr. E.V. Rieu, revised D.C.H. Rieu. Harmondsworth 1991.
For journal articles:
Give the author, title (in inverted commas), journal name (in italics or underlined), volume number, date (in brackets), and page numbers:
Hales, S. “At Home with Cicero.” Greece & Rome 47 (2000) 44-55.
For essays in a book of collected papers:
Give the author, the title (in inverted commas), then the editor(s) of the collection, the title of the book (in italics or underlined), the place and date of publication, and page numbers:
Cairns, Francis “Catullus in and about Bithynia” In D.Braund & C.Gill (eds.) Myth, History and Culture in Republican Rome. Exeter 2003.
For a website:
Give the author’s name, date of most recent update, title of page, URL, and date accessed (or as much of this information as is available), e.g.:
Galinsky, G.K. (1997) “The Speech of Pythagoras in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.” http://www.utexas.edu/depts/classics/faculty/Galinsky/pythag.html.Accessed 10/9/2003.
Your tutor will be happy to help you if you have any queries or difficulties with the appropriate style.
Source: The First Year Handbook (Martin Brady 2005)