You need to explain what you are talking about, i.e. define your concepts (this will be explained in detail in various sessions). For instance, if you are writing about covert operations, define first what that actually is. However, this is not merely a formal exercise. This sets the scope of your investigation. Once a definition is set up, your investigation must remain within its scope. Again, for instance, assume your have defined a covert operation as a clandestine intrusive activity but two pages later you start investigating development aid. This renders your essay incoherent as development aid is clearly not a clandestine intrusive activity. Argument We emphasize a testing approach. This means there is no overarching argument. We don’t know the answer yet, but try to establish which approach gives a better explanation. However, arguing is still required. First, the structure of the arguments is assessed. To be more specific, the essay must use arguments, i.e. making a claim and providing an empirical/ logical justification for it, instead of simply making claims. Second, the quality of the arguments is assessed. What that means depends on the segment of your essay: Concepts (logical arguing): Why do you use a certain concept? What does it consist of? Is it well suited to for your investigation? Why is it stronger/ better equipped for your investigation than others? Are there any logical inconsistencies?
Theory part (logical delineation): Explain the logical connections and mechanics of the theory. Are there proper hypotheses delineated? Why does a certain approach propose a specific hypothesis? Are there any logical inconsistencies? Empirical part (empirical corroboration): You have to bring the empirical evidence and the hypotheses together by arguing. How do they fit/ not fit together? Is your arguing consistent or are you introducing new concept/ theories, unrelated empirical evidence.