"Compare typical features of modern western democracies with the classical Athenian understanding and practice of democracy. Should modern western democracies change to recover any aspects of the original?"
I'm having real difficulty starting this essay. I have done a brief background of Athenian democracy, but i don't know how I'm gonna fill up 1500 words.. Can anyone help me with the key features of each one? I think I'm going to conclude with the fact that direct democracy (as Athens was) is a transitional state to a working democratic system but I don't know what points to make leading up to that..
Well, the first thing is to make sure you understand the differences between the two--classical Athenian and modern democracies. As you say, you'll need to know the key features of each. You might be surprised at how much information you can find just by doing an internet search with the terms "key features Athenian democracy." For example, I discovered that the chief difference in the Athenian model was that the people voted directly on laws and bill themselves, without electing representatives to do it for them. And of course, not every member of society was eligible to vote, an important distinction as well.
Do your research and start by making lists; that will make the actual writing easier. Don't worry too much about how to make it long enough. By the time you have explained the key features of each system, you'll be well on your way. Then, you can fill out the rest by answering the question which asks for your opinion on western democracies. Giving your opinion is always good for expanding word count! :-)
If you'd like to post your rough draft when you have one, I'd be happy to help with some editing!