Introduction to the EU:

Guidelines for the Take Away Paper (TAP)

You will have 24 hours to complete the TAP:

access to the paper and submission will be via Canvas.

TAP Weighting: 100% for L2080 & 50% for L2081

This assessment was originally a two-hour unseen exam. It is designed to evaluate:

  1. your broad understanding of the fundamentals of the EU: concepts, theories, institutions, Treaties, policies etc., ie the ‘language’ of the EU.
  2. a deeper understanding of how the EU works in a specific area as defined by the weekly topics.  
  1. What will you be required to do in the TAP?

The paper is divided into two sections, A & B.

The instruction for Section A says:

“Write a paragraph of about 200 words (+/- 10%) to explain the meaning and significance of any TEN of the terms below. You MUST choose two from each sub-section”.
Please look at the TAP from 2020 posted on Canvas to see what it might look like.

The instruction for Section B says:

“Answer one of the following essay questions in a maximum of 1500 words”

There will be one question relating to each of the 10 topics (9 for L2081, excluding the topic on institutions) plus an extra question which relates to current affairs and the EU.

Important note: You should not repeat the same material in more than one answer across Sections A & B. This means that in your planning you should consider which questions to answer from both sections in order to avoid overlap, eg don’t answer a possible Section A question on EMU or the Eurozone if you are going to answer the essay question covering this topic.

  • What will be the marking system and assessment criteria?

Marking system: each section will be marked out of 100%, and the total divided by two to obtain an average percentage across the paper. A breakdown of the marks for each section will be available to students on request after marks have been released.

Section A:

A maximum of 10 marks will be awarded for each paragraph making a total of 100%

Assessment criteria: marks will be awarded for a combination of accurate and relevant facts and understanding of their significance: see below under preparation.

Section B:

The essay will be marked as a percentage.

Assessment criteria: marks will be awarded as for other essays, ie logical structure, clearly developed argument, good writing style, accurate application of knowledge and demonstration of familiarity with literature through relevant referencing. 


Where possible and relevant, you should try to demonstrate awareness of current affairs in the EU either in Section A or B, or both.

  • How should you prepare for the TAP?

I suggest you prepare as if it was still an exam, so that you have material at your fingertips rather than having to do all the research during the time allotted. Although you will have 24 hours to complete the assessment, you don’t want to spend 24 hours actually working on it! A morning on Section A and an afternoon on Section B should give you ample time to plan, write and read over and make any changes: you would normally be doing this in two hours!

Choose 2/3 topics which you think you will want to write the essay on and focus your revision on them.

Don’t leave submission till the last minute in case there are any technical issues: any late submissions (even by a few minutes) will incur penalties as per the university’s regulations.  

Section A: You can prepare for Section A by going over the lecture slides and identifying all the words in bold: these constitute the glossary from which the terms on the paper will be selected.  There are a couple of model paragraphs on Canvas that should give you a sense of what to work towards. You are not expected to provide any references to answers in this section.

I will be looking for a certain number of important facts but these need to be selected for their relevance: eg if you are answering on the ECB (see model paragraph on Canvas) and you say it is based in Frankfurt (which is a fact) you need to also say why this is important (because it symbolises German domination of the management of the Eurozone). Likewise, if you describe the decision-makers as unelected you should also say why this matters (ie it contributes to the sense of democratic deficit). The mark for each paragraph will be based on a combination of ‘facts’ and their ‘significance’. Since you must write about 200 words on each, you must select carefully what you include: don’t just list a series of facts that you have lifted from Wikipedia or similar.

Section B: 2nd year students can use the essay guidelines on Canvas for the assessed essay, which I have simplified below for the purposes of the TAP.

  • Referencing: Although I do not normally expect referencing in an exam, I DO expect some referencing in the TAP: the number of references you include is up to you but higher marks will be awarded when you can demonstrate familiarity with relevant literature used appropriately (don’t just name drop for the sake of it!). I prefer you to use the Harvard system but I am happy to accept any other system you use for your Major subject, as long as you remain consistent in your use of that system! If you are in doubt about referencing, go to the Library web-site where there is lots of help.
  • Bibliography: You should list the sources you have used in writing your essay. The presentation of your bibliography will depend on your referencing system.  The bibliography is not included in the word count.
  • Word count: maximum 1500 words (excluding the bibliography).
  • Structure and argument:
    • Introduction: say how you are going to tackle the question and summarise briefly what you are going to argue
    • Then develop the structure as you have announced it above, making sure that the paragraphs have logical links between them
    • Your conclusion should draw together the threads of what you have said above, and restate the argument you set out in the introduction
  • How is the TAP administered and on what date will it take place?

The TAP will be made available to you on Canvas and must be submitted within 24 hours. For those with extensions etc the system will automatically adjust. To access the paper you will need to go to the site for your module, ie 1st year got to L2080 & 2nd years go to L2081.

I will send further clarification on this nearer the time.