randymandy
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Hey folks, I've recently received feedback on an essay. I got a 2.2, and I'm trying to push for a 2.1. The main problem they had with my essay was the intro, they said the body of the essay was actually quite good, so I feel like I'm losing a lot of marks here. I'm just not sure how to improve it. They didn't offer much specifics. Is it to do with the content, or is it the style of the intro? I'm not sure. So I'll post it here to see if any of you could help me out; offer any suggestions on what I could do to improve, and if you can't be bothered to look at my intro specifically, if you know any websites or resources that could help with my law essay writing in general, that would be brilliant aswell. Thanks!

'The viewpoint that children over the age of 10 years old are mature enough to be held in the same light as adults is an outdated one. In the Bulger case, two 10 year old boys brutally murdered a 3 year old and this cemented public opinion of the time - that young people were out of control. New Labour's Crime and Disorder Act 1998 reflected this public outcry and the presumption of doli incapax was abolished. The presumption granted leniency to those children too immature to understand the gravity of their actions. Without doli incapax, the two boys were treated as adults by the criminal justice system, and the act furthered a culture of control. The special protected status of children was further diminished, and the human rights of Britain's youth were routinely violated. It was argued that because of modern education children had a better understanding of right and wrong , but such an uncritical view has been debunked by recent developmental research. From a legal view there are concerns of whether a child has the capacity and understanding to commit these crimes, and the majority now agree that a 10 year old would not likely possess these qualities. There are also policy arguments that: in our current system retribution misguidedly takes precedence over child welfare; that the damage done to children is unproportionate when compared to adults; and that punishment can push them even further into a career of crime. The minimum age of criminal responsibility should be raised to 14 years along with the re-instatement of doli incapax for young people aged 14-18.'
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cliffg
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(Original post by randymandy)
Hey folks, I've recently received feedback on an essay. I got a 2.2, and I'm trying to push for a 2.1. The main problem they had with my essay was the intro, they said the body of the essay was actually quite good, so I feel like I'm losing a lot of marks here. I'm just not sure how to improve it. They didn't offer much specifics. Is it to do with the content, or is it the style of the intro? I'm not sure. So I'll post it here to see if any of you could help me out; offer any suggestions on what I could do to improve, and if you can't be bothered to look at my intro specifically, if you know any websites or resources that could help with my law essay writing in general, that would be brilliant aswell. Thanks!

'The viewpoint that children over the age of 10 years old are mature enough to be held in the same light as adults is an outdated one. [This is a concluding statement not an introductory one. It is totally unsubstantiated and reads like personal opinion. ] In the Bulger case, two 10 year old boys brutally murdered a 3 year old and this cemented public opinion of the time - that young people were out of control.[What evidence is there for this statement?] New Labour's Crime and Disorder Act 1998 reflected this public outcry and the presumption of doli incapax was abolished. The presumption granted leniency [do you really mean "leniency" or do you mean immunity?] to those children too immature to understand the gravity of their actions. Without doli incapax, the two boys were treated as adults by the criminal justice system, and the act furthered a culture of control. The special protected status of children was further diminished, and the human rights of Britain's youth were routinely violated. [What human rights were violated? What do you mean by "routinely"? evidence!] It was argued [argued by whom?]that because of modern education children had a better understanding of right and wrong , but such an uncritical view has been debunked by recent developmental research. From a legal view there are concerns of whether a child has the capacity and understanding to commit these crimes, and the majority [majority of who - lawyers, judges, academics,politicians] now agree that a 10 year old would not likely possess these qualities. [I hope there is medical/psychiatric evidence to back this statement up] There are also policy arguments that: in our current system retribution misguidedly takes precedence over child welfare; that the damage done to children is unproportionate when compared to adults; and that punishment can push them even further into a career of crime. The minimum age of criminal responsibility should be raised to 14 years along with the re-instatement of doli incapax for young people aged 14-18.'
Sorry to be caustic so close to Christmas but I hope you can see the problem. Use the intro to explain your understanding of the question and then lay out a "road map" of where the next 2,500 words will be heading. Instead of making full on, unsubstantiated, statements in your intro use phrases such as: "This essay will attempt to argue that the the current law is outdated ... for such and such a reason ....."

Be careful of contradicting yourself. You seem to be saying that the current situation in relation to the age of criminal responsibility is "outdated", yet you appear as if you want to argue to return to an earlier version of law in terms of a rebuttable presumption (10-14). In fact you want to go further - a sort of "back to the future" (14-18). I'd love to read to read to your argument for that by the way!

A suggestion might be to read half a dozen abstracts for journal articles, which in many ways can act like an introduction and lay out what the issues to be tackled are, what we intend to argue and how we hope to conclude.
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I would have said the same things as Cliff. There are many bits here that don't belong in an introduction, they seem like they fit better in the main body of the essay or as conclusory remarks.
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randymandy
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Ahh thanks so much guys! Dont worry about being caustic, your feedback is very very helpful
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