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BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place Guide: Stuff Case Study Exemplar

A guide to library and learning resources for - Our Space: Networks, Narratives, and the Making of Place

Instructions: Mouse over the text below to see annotations giving explanations and information on the writing process, parts of an essay, in-text citations and referencing.


Warning: The case study exemplar below is an example of high-achieving student work from a previous year. Please note the author may have been working to slightly different assignment task requirements, e.g. word length. Make sure you review the assessment task instructions and marking rubric in your BA1002 Subject Outline to ensure you complete the task correctly.


Beauty and Brutality: The African Diamond Trading NetworkA cleverly crafted title. The title immediately outlines the specific network and juxtaposes both positive and negative implications to be unveiled throughout the essay

As the contemporary world basks in an age of vast technological advancement and witnesses the constant expansion of the global political arena, no consequence of globalisation is quite as striking as the emergence of a world economy in modern times.General statement to introduce the topic and provoke interest to read further. Compared to the world of the yesteryear, the economy has experienced an extraordinary increase of interconnectedness, with the international integration of foreign markets facilitating the trade of various commodities on an unprecedented global scale. For the rest of the paragraph you can see that already the funnel shape of an introduction is emerging. Firstly, the writer outlines the changes over time as a result of globalisation. Furthermore , the writer begins to introduce the specific network to be explored. One such example Academic words to give an example of the global network and the idea that specific problems underpin the network. What should follow on are subtopics to illustrate the problematic nature of the diamond trading network.of this widespread commercial phenomenon is the global network of diamond trading, which is responsible for forging a series of problematic links between the western and third worlds.  The operation of this specific network is particularly divisive, with each of the exchanges between its factors highlighting the complex disparities that exist between them, and ultimately drawing seemingly irreconcilable boundaries between the developed and the developing; the powerful and the powerless. This last statement suggests that there is a connection between the differences existing between the western and third worlds and positions of power or powerless. It is hear that the writer begins to communicate a position on the network and the degree of which power operates within .
As noted earlier, many of the goods that we encounter, and actively consume, in our daily lives originate from distant foreign locations, as they navigate their way from one side of the world to the other through the complex and far-reaching networks of production, distribution and consumption (Dicken, 2007, p. 8).This topic or theme sentence introduces the concept of networks of production, consumption and distribution.

Starting with "As noted earlier" is not the most effective way to begin the first body paragraph. It suggests several paragraphs or pieces of evidence have already been discussed. It actually gives a historical account of the diamond trade and this would suggest it is suitable as a first body paragraph. To make it more effective romove "as noted earlier" altogther and start the sentence with Many...

Also note the use of the first in text citation in the author-date style. This will link to the full citation in the reference list at the end of the essay
  However,Academic word used to connect one idea with another. desensitised to the infinite boundlessness of the global market, modern consumers often remain simply oblivious or apathetic to the sources of their commodities.  Instead, they continue to buy on the basis of a bargain, lacking the consciousness, or perhaps the conscience, to ethically evaluate the enormous repercussions that their choices can wreak in some far-flung nation.  With every swipe of a credit card, a consumer’s purchases may in fact be unsuspectingly funding a brutal civil war in a developing nation, endorsing the significantly poor working conditions of an exploited African child, or condoning the senseless murder of another human being half a world away.  As Amnesty International campaign coordinator Salil Trapathi notes, “the diamond ring being enjoyed by a young woman in the richest part of the world could have resulted in the dismemberment of a young woman in Sierra Leone” (Durkham, 2001, p.91).A cleverly selected quote providing evidence of the differences visible between two parties involved in the network and concept of production, distribution and consumption

For APA style you need to include a page number for every direct quotation. Please note that for BA1002 you need to include a page number for every in-text citation as well.
 Regardless of specific consequences, the consumer’s actions have the potential to trigger disaster within the highly connected nature of the global economic network, ultimately fostering inequitable power relations between international economic factors . This sentence clearly outlines how movement within the network can harbour inequitable power relations. After all, according to Dye and Harrison (2005), “there is no power where power is equal,”(p. 5) and by neglecting to adopt an approach of ethical consumerism, the consumer may exert a very negative power indeed, with implications of a global scope.Here is another example of a direct quotation where the authors' names are incorporated into the sentence. You will notice the date is again in brackets directly after the authors' names, but the page number(s) appears after the quote.

This concluding sentence suggests the next paragraph will begin to explore the negative implications of the diamond trading network.
The international diamond trading market is no exception, imbued with connotations of corrupt greed, materialism and, most potently, this aforementioned marked imbalance of power. This topic sentence outlines that the imbalance of power within the diamond trading network will be revealed in more detail.After all, the allure of the commodity of diamonds has typically been through, not only its unequalled aesthetic appeal, but its traditional links to status, wealth and power, thus reflecting Dye and Harrison’s contention that “power can rest on various resources” (Dye & Harrison, 2005, p. 4).  With diamonds idealised as a symbol of privilege and glamour, consumers are driven by an urge to decorate themselves in these jewels, in the hopes that their association with this desirable product will assist them in shaping a particular social identity for themselves (Dicken, 2007, p. 20).  The possession of a diamond therefore inherits deep cultural meaning and significance in the western world, as it is assumed that, through the act of purchasing such a gem, a consumer may reconstruct their identity, and enhance their social status (Meyer & Geschiere, 1999, p. 126).  However, as a positional good, the value of diamonds largely depends on their scarcity, with the power of possession being attributed to merely society’s elite class, who, according to Dye and Harrison (2005), “control what is valued in society and use that control to shape the lives of others [the masses]”(p. 5). In this section of the paragraph evidence and examples around the complex relationship between the network and the concept of power.   Therefore,  it is largely the Western psychology surrounding the diamond that is responsible for the inequities that plague the connections of the global diamond trading network, dividing its actors into the elite and the masses.The concluding sentence of the paragraph reinforces the thesis statement that power is operating within the diamond trading network and the degree to which it exists.
However, Western dreams of prosperity and affluence embodied by diamonds are often pursued at the expense of the African miners who endlessly toil for their recovery, deprived of the luxuries enjoyed by those situated on the opposite side of the ever-widening developmental gap.This body paragraph sets out it contrast and compare the difference power structures impacting on those involved in the diamond trading network. For those oppressed by the global economic network, diamonds are not symbolic of success and satisfaction, but are perceived to be ‘demonic’ or ‘satanic’, with the dangerous potential to instill a person with a consuming sense of obsessive greed (Meyer & Geschiere, 1999, p. 187).  In some African nations, there is also a general distrust of diamonds that arises from the mineral’s unpredictable, irrational fluctuation in value on the unfixed global market, an institution which is perceived to be essentially dominated by powerful foreigners and outsiders.Here in the body of the paragraph evidence of the contrast is provided to support the topic sentence. By exerting their substantial influence on an international scale through the manipulation of worldwide institutions, the economic supremacy of Western nations fortifies sociologist C. Wright Mills’ observation that “no one can be truly powerful unless he has access to the command of major institutions” (as cited in Dye and Harrison, 2005, p. 6).The concluding statement of the paragraph clearly communicates the relationship between the network and positions of power, more so the idea that power operates in all networks and exchanges.
Also notice the format of the in-text citation. This is an example of a secondary source.

A secondary source is one that you have read about, but have not read. The most common example of a secondary sources is a quote that has been cited by another author, or when a particular work (such as a diary or a report) has been mentioned by another author - but you have not read the original work.
This should be avoided, if possible, by trying to find the original source. Only use a secondary resource if you can't find the original.

If you use a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. List the secondary source in your reference list and include the secondary source in the parentheses for the in-text citation using this format:

Author of text you don't have (as cited in Author of the text you actually have, year, p. xx).
Nevertheless, the strongest local hostilities toward the diamond industry are derived from its tumultuous historical genesis within the African continent.   After all, the industry was initially established upon the morally dubious foundations of British imperialism, as European companies sought to exhaust West African diamond deposits (Greenhalgh, 1985, p. 36).The Topic sentence shifts from the global perspective to power operations within the network within Africa and should aim to used explicit examples to reveal the operations of power within this context.  Western intentions were aptly epitomized by King Leopold of Belgium, when he described Africa and its wealth of resources as “a magnificent cake” to be divided amongst European nations (Khonadu-Agyemang & Panford, 2006, p. 236).  Throughout the twentieth century, the domination of Africa by European enterprises became increasingly apparent, with their open monopoly over local resources and exploitation of indigenous labour for incredibly high profits.  From a Marxist perspective, the nucleus of this power struggle between the dominant class, in this case, imperial European companies, and the subordinate, oppressed African miners was the global economy (Bottomley & Bronitt, 2006, p. 190).  After all, according to Marx, the relationship between owners and labourers, or the “relations of production,” in capitalist societies is distinct in its exploitation of the proletariat to satisfy the economic laws of supply and demand, and legitimise the political control of the bourgeoisie (Bottomley & Bronitt, 2006, p. 205).The writer uses the direct quote within their own sentence and is able to explain and connect the quote with the concept of supply and demand- elements driving networks of production and consumption.   Thus, it becomes blatantly clear that, Example of a hedging expression in the concluding sentence. Hedging expressions can be used to make position or thesis stronger. from its very origins, the African diamond trading network has been responsible for hosting conflicting, inequitable power arrangements between developed and developing nations, or as Marx saw it, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Meanwhile, in more recent times, the African diamond trade has retained its connotations with sinister and corrupt practices; however, its distribution of power has become less obviously centralised and increasingly diffuse in nature.Topic sentence sets up the idea of additional negative impacts of power. Specific focus of this paragraph is not only to outline additional negative impacts of power, but how this has occurred through political forces. This was most evident over the past decade, through the diamond’s controversial association with the political unrest in Sierra Leone.  In the impoverished nation of Sierra Leone, the rebel forces of the Revolutionary United Front captured local diamond mines and used the profits from illicit diamond sales to finance their military opposition of the incumbent government.  By engaging in an exchange of these “conflict diamonds” for weapons with the neighbouring country of Liberia, the rebel army were ultimately able to launch a regime based on guerrilla warfare tactics, climaxing in the brutal insurrection of the Sierra Leonean civil war in 1991.  The war was essentially a desperate power struggle at its most devastating.  It wreaked troubling consequences for the Sierra Leonean peoples as they endured the total deterioration of political order, witnessed the widespread death, dismemberment and displacement of a significant portion of their compatriots and ultimately saw the demise of their country’s future developmental prospects.  However, consistent with Foucauldian notions of power, neither of the groups in conflict was seen to actually possess power as such, but rather conceptions of power were simply born from the violently adversarial nature of their relationship.  As Foucault wrote, “power is never localised here or there ... [but is] employed and exercised through a net-like organisation” (Bottomley & Bronitt, 2006, p. 193).This section of the paragraph reveals evidence of the negative political factors and the degree of which power has influenced this within the network.

Note that ellipses have replaced part of the text of this quotation. This means that some text has been omitted. The square brackets are used to add information that explains the text it follows or used to replace text in a quote to make the quote clearer for the reader.
Obviously, in Sierra Leone, the inherent link between the diamond trading network and this exercise of power has had demonstrably regrettable outcomes. Another concluding sentence clearly communicating and reinforcing the intricate power relationship within the network.
Indeed,This academic reporting word restates the thesis. It is a word that leads to making a stronger statement about the topic. we have entered an era of increasingly rapid globalisation, with national economies so intensely connected that the production, distribution and consumption of commodities are now completely multinational processes.  But the question must be posed: What have the true consequences of this extreme interconnectedness been for those in the world’s most severely impoverished nations?Questions are not usually seen in academic writing. This idea communicates the important idea, however it could be much stronger if a hedging expression was used to communicate it.

For example… Viewed in this way…
   In the specific case study of the African diamond trading network, the most potently evident outcome was the immense imbalance of power that the network encourages on both global and local scales, through the ignorance of the carats-obsessed consumer, the historical influence of British imperialist companies and, most recently, the brutal violence of radical African warlords.  Such disastrous features of this network highlight the divisive power of goods like diamonds, as the cherished stone continues to both create and destroy the perpetual connections that compose the world around us.  After all, the ongoing nature of the diamond network, whether these are positive or corrupt forces, is reflected in the oft-quoted expression that “diamonds are forever.”  Let us hope that the atrocities they continue to inflict in the modern world are not quite as timeless.Concluding statements suggesting that there are positive and negative forces impacting of those involved in the network and encourages the reader to think about the implications of the power operating as a result.

Also note that you should avoid using 1st, 2nd & 3rd person. "let us hope" is an example of 2nd person.


Bottomley, S., & Bronitt, S. (2006). Law in context (3rd ed.). Federation Press.

For BA1002 it is the reference list that is required, not a bibliography. Your reference list should only list items you have actually cited in your essay. A bibliography lists all of the material you have consulted in preparing your essay whether or not you have actually cited the work.

For instance  the works by Levy, 2003; Roberts, 2003; Rodgers, 2006; Department of Public Information, 2001 & Warah, 2004 from the above list are not referred to in the text and should therefore not appear in the reference list. 

Note. This essay is formatted in the APA Style. Namely, double line spacing with each paragraph indented on the first line. Find out more from our Referencing Guide.

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