How do I write a decent sociology essay?
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This is for the AS sociology where they are out of 20.
I am doing families and households, education and research methods
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I did AS soc last year but it's all about following a structure. For example 1.) first with the intro which could just explain a key word/ theory in the essay question (e.g. Marxism beliefs.. macro theory.. conflict) 2.) then go on 2 /3 paragraphs to answer the question whacking in theorist names and study's where you can (e.g Bernstein..w/c.. language deficit) 3.) Then put in some paragraphs (at least 2) criticising what you've just talked about (e.g. another theory which argues about a different explanation/ study disproving current explanation) 4.) Finally round it up in a conclusion which could either be summing everything up or adding another more fitting argument in there right at the end.
I've got an AS essay up in my resources if you want to look at it for further help if above is completely confusing to you.
Also for the methods in context question a different structure can be used (works every time) ... 1.) provide overview of method chosen (positivist/interpretivist, structure/agency, qualitative/quantitative) 2.) identify & describe strengths of chosen method (all points referring specific to the demands of the question) 3.) Identify &describe weaknesses 4.) Consider alternative methods and identify & describe how they could prove more valuable insight into the specific topic in comparison to the method chosen (take advantage of the method you didn't use in the question) 4.) consider overall usefulness of the chosen method (acknowledge it has some benefits but also limitations depending on whether you are of course positivist/ interpretivist. 5.) finally always conclude talking about the process of triangulation: combo of different methods (fully explaining how this approach can provide benefits of both positivist & interpretivist approaches.. however remember to state the practical considerations on it: takes a lot of time/finance/training, plus add in that Paul Willis 'Lads' is an example of using triangulation successfully)
Hope this helps, sorry it's so long(:
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Thank you for the reply. :)
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Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating the role of parents in pupils’ achievement: EITHER questionnaires OR unstructured interview How would you answer this? As a point I could write that questionnaire's are less time consuming. But what do I need to write as an evidence?
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Tasnim, you basically just list the strengths and weakness's of a questionnaire or unstructured interview, but in an essay structure. You talk about the advantages and disadvantages. One thing i do is write P.E.T- practical, ethical and theoretical (issues). and it helps with the structure
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1.Make sure to evaluate and criticise the point you are making.
2.Don't let your opinion come across in your essay. So, use phrases like It could be argued...
3. OCR take marks off you if you just "layer" studies. So use link sentences like in support of, in contrast to etc.
4. If you get a question on marxists and the family be sure to mention Marx at the begining, even though he didn't write anything about it personally.
5. Even if you have a question on one theory, be sure to criticise it with other theories.
6. On research methods mention ways the study vould be more reliabloe/valid. e.g triangulation, mixed methods
7.If possible try to remember a few studies that can be applied to quie a few things. (e.g Oakley did studies on socialisation into gender roles which can be used to criticise to functionalist theories on gender and natural roles in the family and socialisation in education)