LSE100 Assessment

Over the course of LSE100, students will complete one individual assessment and one group research project. All LSE100 themes are assessed in the same way.

The individual assessment is due towards the end of Autumn Term. The group research project is completed collaboratively in a group of 4-5 students over Winter Term, and is due for submission at the end of Winter Term.

Each assessment is worth 50% of the final LSE100 grade. There are no exams for LSE100.

In 2024/25 the assessments on LSE100 are as follows:

LSE100 Autumn Term Assessment: Event Analysis and Reflection (50%)

Event Analysis & Reflection: Thinking Like a Social Scientist

In this assessment, students analyse a recent event related to their theme using readings and videos from LSE100 as supporting evidence, and reflect on how both their own discipline and other disciplines explored in the course can help us better understand its causes and effects. This assessment gives students the opportunity to dive deeper into a specific dimension of their chosen theme, using interdisciplinary tools and concepts from LSE100 to investigate the world around them as a social scientist.

LSE100 Winter Term Assessment: Group Research Project (50%)

Making Change in Complex Systems

In this assessment, students work in teams and apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to a system related to their theme. Using tools and theories of systems thinking and system change, students work collaboratively to investigate how their system relates to the complex challenge studied on LSE100, before proposing a positive change to the system. The change students identify will take the form of either a policy proposal addressing governmental or institutional actors within the system, or a strategic plan for a social movement or activist organisation to enact change. Students collaboratively produce a digital report and presentation outlining their proposed change for a target audience.

Academic Skills

The following sections link to important information for LSE100 students about how to approach citing and referencing, and how to understand and avoid plagiarism when completing LSE100 assessments. 

Citing and referencing: styles and how to use them in your LSE100 assessments

What are citing and referencing?


While studying at LSE you will come across many ideas, thoughts and statements from other writers, either from material on your reading list, or while carrying out your own research. It’s important to learn how to properly acknowledge the work of other writers, while presenting it alongside your own thoughts and ideas. However, when using other people’s ideas you want to ensure you don’t inadvertently plagiarise by suggesting that their ideas are your own. For this reason, learning how to cite and reference properly is very important.


When you have used an idea from a book, journal article etc, you must acknowledge this in your text. This is referred to as 'citing' which you do by including a 'reference' at the end of your text to the original author.

Why do we need to cite and reference?

Citing and referencing is an extremely important part of writing academic work. Citing allows you to acknowledge the thoughts and opinion of other writers; for example to quote without plagiarising.

When writing any piece of academic work you want to be able to demonstrate the body of knowledge on which you have based your work. Citing also helps other students, researchers or your tutors to trace your sources and lead them on to further information. A standard system of citing has been developed to ensure it is simple to trace knowledge efficiently.

Organising your references as you study

While you are studying you will start to read lots of different materials and may well collect numerous references. It’s important to start thinking about this early on and to devise a way of managing your information that allows ease of sorting and retrieving. Some keys things to remember include:

  • Consider organising your references electronically using software such as EndnoteMendeley or Zotero.
  • If you are collecting references in electronic format you can also include notes in both Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero.
  • If you think you might use a quote from a book or article, make a note of what page it appears on and keep this together with the quote.
  • Don't forget important information such as year of publication and the edition of a book can be checked on the Library Search.

Don’t forget

  • When paraphrasing (putting another author’s ideas/words into your own) you must remember to reference the original source.
  • If you quote text, indicate clearly which part is quoted using double quotation marks (e.g., "This is a direct quote") and include the source of the quote in a citation.
  • If the facts are common knowledge there is no need to provide a citation but if you are in any doubt it is better to be safe and cite the source!

An introduction to citing in the text

There are several different methods of citation but one of the most popular is the Harvard Citation System or citing in the text. It is sometimes called the Author-date method because when citing material in this manner you must list the author’s surname and the publication year, in the text of your work, every time you refer to a quote or an idea or concept from your source. For example:

The work of some authors (Patton, 1995) has emphasised the importance of evaluation in qualitative research.

If there are two authors you should use both names in the citation e.g. (Secker & Smith, 1999). If there are more than two authors use first author and et al (which means literally 'and others') e.g. (Secker et al, 1999).

If you have drawn on the ideas of several writers you can also include multiple references to different works in one citation, for example (Secker, 1999; Patton, 2006; Smith, 2007).

The more detailed information, such as the publication title and publisher are reserved for the bibliographical references at the end of your work.

An alternative way of referencing to citing in the text is to use footnotes (or endnotes) with footnote references and a bibliography at the end of your work. In LSE100 we recommend you use the Harvard Citation System (citing in the text) as this is the simplest way to reference and has several key advantages.

Advantages of in-text citations

One of the main advantages of citing in the text is that only the author and date of publication appear in the main body of work, which means all the references are listed at the end of your essay. References are listed in full in alphabetical order by author's surname, at the end of your essay, for example:


Aiken, T. (2007) Writing a good essay. New York: Palgrave.

Patton, S. (1995) Evaluation in qualitative research. London: Macmillian.

Smith, J. (2005) Structuring your arguments in academic writing. Oxford: Chandos.

The Harvard system also saves time when you are writing (or reading) an essay as the references can be seen quickly. It is also clear to the reader when you are quoting from important writers in a field, and whether your references are up to date. If you use footnotes for references you need to include the references in a footnote and also in a bibliography at the end, which leads to duplication of effort.


If you use a direct quotation from an author you should make this clear with quotation marks.

You should include the page number/s to show where the quote originated.

Example of short quotation:

Patton (1995, p.6) believes that “…evaluation is an essential part of qualitative research” and this could be argued to form the basis of his work.

If a quote is more than two lines of text indent the quote.

Example of a long quote:

Several studies have been written in this field of research methodology and it has been argued that:

“…evaluation is an essential part of qualitative research and should be considered before the researcher begins to undertake their fieldwork. Moreover, it is a crucial stage in the process.” (Patton, 1995, p.6)

Use an ellipsis (three full stops) to indicate any omitted text in a quote but be careful not to change the meaning if you remove any words in the middle of prose. For example:

"Sometimes a writer might ... remove some text from a sentence." (Patton, 1995, p.6)

If you what to include your own emphasis in a quotation (such as putting a word in bold) you need to state this as your emphasis in square brackets. In addition if you add a word to a quote, to make sense grammatically you indicate this with square brackets as well. For example:

"Sometimes a writer might emphasise [my emphasis] a word from a sentence." (Patton, 1995, p.6)

"Sometimes a writer might [include] a word into a sentence so that it makes sense." (Patton, 1995, p.6)

Dealing with multiple works by the same author

It is fairly common in certain subjects to find that one author may have written several publications and sometimes these appeared in the same year. To avoid confusion, lower-case letters are used when this is the case.

For example where Patton published two papers in 1995 they would be cited accordingly in the text:

Evaluation is recognised as being important (Patton, 1995a) and an essential part of the qualitative approach to research (Patton,1995b).

These two papers would then be listed in the bibliography accordingly:

Patton, Michael (1995a). Evaluation as a tool. Journal of Social Science, 18 (3) 345-356.
Patton, Michael (1995b). Doing qualitative research. Journal of Social Research, 6 (1) 23-28.

Bibliographic styles

There can be considerable variation in how a citation is laid out, in terms of the order the pieces of information appear, the punctuation that is used and any formatting (such as italics) that is used. This is usually governed by something called a bibliographic style.

There are lots of bibliographic styles available, and you can even create your own. Different publishers often have what is called a ‘house style’ and if you go on to publish your own work you might be expected to lay out your references in accordance with this style.

However, when studying it is usual to follow precedents in your subject area and it is important to be consistent! LSE100 recommend you use a style called the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th style. It is used widely in the social sciences, and you don't need to be an expert but should try to follow this style. If you wish to find out more about it you can visit the APA website.

You can find out more abot how to references different texts here (LSE login required).

Avoiding plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

By the end of this section you will understand the ethical issues surrounding the use of information, your own responsibility to use information appropriately and how to avoid falling into the trap of 'unintentional plagiarism'.

Plagiarism is when you copy someone else’s work or use their ideas in your essay, coursework, thesis etc, and then do not acknowledge that you have done this.

For example, if Sally writes an essay for her studies and John copied some or all of her essay and submitted it for his coursework, that would be considered plagiarism. Similarly, if while writing her essay, Beatrice copies and pastes several paragraphs of text she finds on the internet and presents it as her own work this is also plagiarism.

Different types of plagiarism

There are several different types of plagiarism. You should take care to avoid all these listed below:

Copy / paste
This is when a student copies a piece of text from the internet, an e-journal, MS Word document or any other source and pastes it into their assignment without without placing the material inside quotation marks and acknowledging its source.

This is when one student produces work and allows another student to copy it. If both students submit the work, both students will be deemed to have colluded. Collusion differs from group work. Some coursework assessments will involve students working together on a particular project. This will always be made explicit by the lecturer or teacher. 

Word switch
This is when a student copies a sentence or paragraph into their assignment and changes a few words.

Failing to reference or cite
This is when a student misuses quotations or adopts an inappropriate referencing strategy. Failue to reference other people's ideas or work appropriately is the most common cause of unintentional plagiarism.

Ways to avoid plagiarism

Students are often concerned that they will be accused of plagiarism. However, there are several techniques you can develop to ensure your essay is an original piece of work. In the next section you will find out about three important techniques that help avoid accusations of plagiarism. These include:

  • Referencing and citing
  • Quoting
  • Paraphrasing

Citing and referencing in your assignments

It is very important that you reference and cite your work properly. If you do reference your work correctly you can help increase your marks and avoid being accused of plagiarism. An example of a quote in an essay would be as follows:

Smith (1998, p.72) states: 

"The most common female crime prosecuted at the Quarter Sessions was that of battering men. This would suggest that women were not the passive and obedient members of society that men would have liked to believe they were."

You can find more information in the Citing and referencing section above on this page.

Quoting from sources

Quoting is when you use the exact words of an author in your assignment. Quotations help support your arguments and help to reinforce or raise a new point.

When to use quotations:

  • when you want to use a key (memorable) phrase
  • when you want to comment on someone else’s view and it is important to use their exact words
  • to develop / support your own argument.

An example of a memorable phrase would be:

‘The end of history’ - Francis Fukuyama or ‘The selfish gene’ – Richard Dawkins

When not to use quotations:

  • when describing or summarising ideas
  • in place of your own thoughts and ideas.

When you’re describing ideas you should use your own words, unless the exact wording is important. An essay should be your own thoughts on a topic, not a compilation of quotations from other people.  As discussed in the second skills lecture, the worst thing about 'patchwork writing' (stringing together a series of quotations) is that it prevents you from bringing together and presenting your own thoughts. As your lecturer might say:

“I already know that this textbook author understands the subject; I want to find out whether you do too!”

Quotation styles

When writing an essay you will develop your own writing style and, if you are not careful, quotations can spoil that flow and make it difficult for your reader. They must fit grammatically. Research is time-consuming but you need to ensure you find the most appropriate quotation so that it both benefits and complements your essay.

The following is an example of paraphrasing and quotes using verbs which help to introduce your quote:

In the eighteenth century lawyers set us on the path of copyright confusion and arguments over moral rights by seeking to "fix the notion of literary property" (Rose, 1997). This change in thinking is mirrored by the way authors began to regard the term plagiarism. Coleridge made frequent reference to "questions of origins and originality – and the practical and moral problems of derivativeness and plagiarism" (Stillinger, 2001). He openly admitted, however, that he had "appropriated … sizable passages" from others' work without acknowledgement. The difference in attitude in the eighteenth century is demonstrated by the fact that he was publicly charged with plagiarism. It is interesting to note that his accuser was a supposed friend, Thomas De Quincey, who was a "notable plagiarist and opium eater in his own right" (Stillinger, 2001).


Paraphrasing is when you read a piece of work and then rewrite it in your own words while retaining the ‘flavour’ and ‘ideas’ of the original text. Paraphrasing demonstrates that you have understood the academic context of the piece andallows you to support your argument. Please see here (LSE Login required) for an example of how to paraphrase.

Turnitin and academic integrity

LSE100 uses Turnitin software for all assessment submissions. Turnitin is a text matching tool that matches text from your submission against extensive databases of previously submitted work by other students, websites, academic papers and other online resources. Turnitin produces a similarity report and a percentage score, which is used by the LSE100 teaching team to ensure academic integrity and monitor for potential plagiarism. When submitting your assessments for LSE100, you must agree to the use of Turnitin when uploading your submission on Moodle.

Turnitin also allows you to check your own drafts for citing and referencing mistakes and omissions - for example, you can use Turnitin to see where you may have accidentally forgotten to credit a passage of text or omitted quotation marks if using a direct quote. You can access your Turnitin similarity report and score (%) for your LSE100 summative assessments by submitting a draft to the appropriate submission link before the deadline. If you wish, you can then overwrite the draft with the final version of your assessment submission once you have interpreted your similarity report and corrected any mistakes or omissions in your citation and referencing. Using Turnitin as an academic writing development tool can help you recognise and prevent plagiarism and increase your understanding of academic integrity.

  • For more information about Turnitin and how it used at LSE, read the School's Turnitin FAQs for students.
  • To learn more about how to interpret and understand your Turnitin similarity report and use it to improve your writing, we strongly recommend that all students complete the academic integrity unit (Moodle - LSE login required) of the Prepare to Learn at LSE online course offered by LSE LIFE.
  • LSE100's Turnitin policy can be found here.

Policy on the use of Generative AI in LSE100

 In common with LSE departments LSE100 has established a policy on the use of Generativbe AI tools in summative assessments. The policy can be found here and applies to LSE100 assessments only

LSE100 and classification

For students enrolled on three- and four-year BA/BSc degrees, LSE100 counts towards the first-year average. The first-year average is calculated as the best six of a student's nine first-year marks. LSE100 counts as one of these nine marks, equivalent to a half-unit course. For students studying LLB Laws, like all other first-year courses, LSE100 will not count towards your degree classification. LSE100 will appear on your degree transcript.