A Level
Sociology Handbook
What you will study

At St. Anne‟s the Sociology
department has preselected
the modules you will study.
They have been hig...
Topic One
What is sociology?

Why is it different from psychology?

Why is it different from journalism?

If a shape shift...
Key concepts
What are norms?

What do we mean by culture?

What are values?

What is value consensus?

How is social solid...
Socialisation means:

Can you list any social institutions responsible for our socialisation? (teaching norms and
values)....
What happens when we are not socialised correctly

Include an image of the child if possible,
maybe an earlier then a late...
___________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________...
Topic Two
Social differentiation, power and stratification
Identity on Titanic_______________________

At 2.20 a.m. on the...
Who were the survivors selected by your group?

How did you personally reach a decision on who you thought should survive?...
What do you think is meant by first, second and third class?
_____________________________________________________________...
Stratify yourself!
How would you describe your:

What do you think stratification means:

Class
Gender
Ethnicity
Age
Relig...
Explain with the aid of a diagram where necessary each of the following concepts:
Slavery

Feudalism

The Caste System

Th...
Notes:

For each of the theories which follow draw a cartoon to represent the theory identified in
the top box and complet...
FUNCTIONALIST

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
NEW RIGHT (This theory developed from Functionalist theory)

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
MARXIST

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
FEMINIST

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
INTERACTIONIST

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
POSTMODERNIST

Key points:

Key thinkers:

Main criticisms:
Theoretical approaches to stratification
What do you understand by the term social class?
________________________________...
Complete the table to summarise what Weber meant by class, power and status
Class

Power

Status

Functionalist on stratif...
Introduction to SOCIOLOGY?
WORD
Achieved Status

MEANING

Notes

A position gained through effort, rather
than being born ...
Role Model

People whose behaviour is copied by
others.

Sanction

A reward or punishment for breaking a
norm.

Secondary
...
THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY GLOSSARY
WORD

MEANING

NOTES

Arranged Marriage

A marriage, which is arranged by the
parents...
Kinship

Those related by blood, marriage or
through legalised relationships such as
adoption.

Matriarchy

Power and auth...
AS Families & Households assessments
Topic
no:
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

2012
2012

Question
Identify three ‘traditional assump...
THE SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION GLOSSARY
WORD
Academies

Anti-school
subculture
Citizenship

Comprehensive
school system
Cultur...
Inclusion and
exclusion
Intelligence

Quotient

Labelling

Marketization of
education
Material
deprivation
Meritocracy

Mi...
Selective schooling
- tripartite system

Self-fulfilling
prophecy
Setting and
streaming
School league
tables
State funded
...
AS Education assessments
Topic
no:
1

2

3

4

5

6

Question
Outline some ways in which the education system
performs fun...
RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY
WORD

MEANING

Notes

Bias

Prejudice or distortion.

Closed question

A question with a lim...
Reliability

Data is reliable if it can be repeated and the
same results obtained.

Response rate

The percentage of a sam...
Making notes/revision
As well as attending lessons and keeping printouts of your powerpoints you will also be
required to ...
Back

Topics they are linked
to/theoretical view

Studies they have carried
out/ key points of the study

Study tables
A s...
Mind maps
Hany tips:
Try to summaries your notes on the mind map- stick to a sentence or trigger words
Only include inform...
Understanding the exam
ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES

Statements of what exams must test.
SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT
This ensures that you have an understanding of the subject as a whole rather than just
knowing isolate...
ACCORDING TO ITEM A: means interpret evidence from an item in a data response question.
ASSESS: means come to a judgement ...
Introduction: Define key terms, give an overview of the key ideas and arguments, and show
that you understand the question...
What was your previous target? (what should you focus on)

Previous grade:____/24 ___

Time taken_______ minutes

Question...
For a 24 mark essay question you should imagine
your essay being structured like an X-Ray picture
of me!
The Head:
The int...
You should start each
paragraph by making your
point. This is the main
statement you will
discuss in the paragraph

P – PO...
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  1. 1. A Level Sociology Handbook
  2. 2. What you will study At St. Anne‟s the Sociology department has preselected the modules you will study. They have been highlighted on this page
  3. 3. Topic One What is sociology? Why is it different from psychology? Why is it different from journalism? If a shape shifting alien landed in Britain what five pieces of information would you give it so that it would go undetected in British Society?
  4. 4. Key concepts What are norms? What do we mean by culture? What are values? What is value consensus? How is social solidarity achieved? What do we mean by culture?
  5. 5. Socialisation means: Can you list any social institutions responsible for our socialisation? (teaching norms and values). Socialisation can be primary or secondary. What do you think this means? From your list of social institutions, colour code the one which you think are primary and which are secondary. Use the “Diamond of 9” to help you rank them. Most important/ influential at the top. Parents
  6. 6. What happens when we are not socialised correctly Include an image of the child if possible, maybe an earlier then a later one. Give a brief overview of their early life which led to them being deemed a feral child. Outline how the child differs from children who have experienced normal socialisation ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________
  7. 7. ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________
  8. 8. Topic Two Social differentiation, power and stratification Identity on Titanic_______________________ At 2.20 a.m. on the morning of April 15th 1912 the ‘unsinkable’ S.S. Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean with the loss of nearly 1500 lives. It is 2.00 am on the morning of April 15th 1912, the ship will sink in approximately 20 minutes. The temperature is -2 if you do not drown when you hit the water, you will be dead within 40 minutes from exposure. Like in the real incident, there are only enough life boats for less than half the people on board. Only around 30% of you will survive. That means 3 from each group Why should we save you? You have been given an identity and now you must argue for your life. You have two minutes to think of reasons why you should be saved; you will then use these points to convince your fellow passengers to allow you onto the boat. Your life is at stake, use all means of persuasion available to you. Remember that everybody wants to live, and you are fighting for your life. Notes: So who decides? After the introductions and appeals, each group must decide how it will make its decision as to who will survive. The group should then discuss who should be permitted to get in the lifeboat. Keep in mind that each person selected for the lifeboat means one less seat for you. After completing this group exercise, answer each of the discussion questions on the worksheet. Be prepared to provide the teacher with a list of the survivors and to share your answers to the worksheet discussion questions with the rest of the class. Discussion Questions
  9. 9. Who were the survivors selected by your group? How did you personally reach a decision on who you thought should survive? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ In your group deliberations, what were some of the comments made about some group members? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Are there certain people in society who are more important than others? If so, who are they? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Do you believe that this importance was a consideration in your group‟s choices of who should live and who should die? Explain/give examples ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Are there situations in real life where life-and-death decisions can be made about people solely on the basis of their position or occupation? Provide examples. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ The actual survival figures
  10. 10. What do you think is meant by first, second and third class? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Study the table and write three statements about the figures ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ The policy for entering the life boats was “Women and children first”. Do you think this was followed? Explain ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Stretch and challenge. How do you think they decided who would survive the Titanic? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
  11. 11. Stratify yourself! How would you describe your: What do you think stratification means: Class Gender Ethnicity Age Religion Disability How do we establish status differences in society? Gender Differentiation in society. Around the outside try to give examples of how this differentiation is evident in society.
  12. 12. Explain with the aid of a diagram where necessary each of the following concepts: Slavery Feudalism The Caste System The class system
  13. 13. Notes: For each of the theories which follow draw a cartoon to represent the theory identified in the top box and complete each of the headed boxes to sum up that theory.
  14. 14. FUNCTIONALIST Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  15. 15. NEW RIGHT (This theory developed from Functionalist theory) Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  16. 16. MARXIST Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  17. 17. FEMINIST Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  18. 18. INTERACTIONIST Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  19. 19. POSTMODERNIST Key points: Key thinkers: Main criticisms:
  20. 20. Theoretical approaches to stratification What do you understand by the term social class? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Marx on class Bourgeoisie Proletariat Ownership Interests Can this system last for ever according to Marx theory? Explain. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Stretch and challenge. Could this part of Marx‟s theory be proven? Weber on class Identify the four main classes according to Weber and give an example for each.
  21. 21. Complete the table to summarise what Weber meant by class, power and status Class Power Status Functionalist on stratification Outline the key points of this theory Study the list of jobs City banker English teacher Heart surgeon High court judge Member of a successful boy band Midwife Politician Professional footballer Reality TV star Refuse collector Vicar TV chat show host Discuss and record which of the three jobs fit the following criteria: Requires the highest level of talent or education The most important in terms of the contribution they make to society Deserve the highest earnings Are usually very highly paid Did the same jobs come up each time? ___________________________________________________________________________
  22. 22. Introduction to SOCIOLOGY? WORD Achieved Status MEANING Notes A position gained through effort, rather than being born into it. Agencies of Parts of society, such as the education Socialisation and system and families, which play a part in Social Control the processes of learning norms and values. Ascribed Status A position into which you are born. Beliefs Very general views on the nature of the world. Conflict Approach Sociology that emphasises deep division in society. Consensus Sociology that emphasises agreement Approach within society. Cultural Diversity The range of differences between cultures. Culture A shared, learned way of life. Feminism A theoretical perspective that focuses on the situation of women. Functionalism A theoretical perspective that is based on consensus. Identity Our sense of who we are in relation to others. Marxism A theoretical and political perspective that sees society as divided by class. Mores A stronger form of norms. Nature-Nurture The debate surrounding the question of Debate to what extent behaviour is the result of genes (nature), or is determined by environment and learning (nurture). New Right A theoretical and political perspective based on traditions and free choice. Norms Guidelines for behaviour in particular situations. Peer group A group sharing the same social position. Primary The earliest and most important stage of Socialisation socialisation. Role A set of norms that goes with a status. Role Conflict When an individual is faced with competing demands from different roles.
  23. 23. Role Model People whose behaviour is copied by others. Sanction A reward or punishment for breaking a norm. Secondary Socialisation after the first, primary, Socialisation stage. Social Control The way behaviour is regulated and controlled by society. Social Role A way of acting, which is expected of a person in a particular position in society. Socialisation The process of learning how to behave „correctly‟ in a society. Status A position in society. Subculture Exists within a culture and is a distinctive set of values that marks off the members of the subculture from the rest of society. Values Ideas about behaviour. the correct form of
  24. 24. THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY GLOSSARY WORD MEANING NOTES Arranged Marriage A marriage, which is arranged by the parents of the marriage partners, with a view to background and status. Bigamy Having two marriage partners at the same time: a criminal offence. Breadwinner The traditional man‟s role of providing for his wife and children. Classic Extended This is a family consisting of more than Family two generations who live either within one household or in very close proximity to each other. Co-habitation A man and a woman living together without being legally married. Communes Self-contained and self-supporting communities, where all members of the community share property, childcare and household tasks. Conjugal Roles The roles played by partners in a marriage, or in a co-habiting couple. Domestic Division How work in the home such as childcare of Labour and housework are divided up. Divorce The legal ending of a marriage. Divorce rate The number of divorces per 1000 married people per year. Fertility rate The number of live births per 1000 women of childbearing age in the population. Gender role The roles society expect people to assume based on their sex Heterosexual Feelings or involving sexual attraction with a member of the opposite sex. Homosexual Feelings or involving sexual attraction with a member of the same sex – gay/lesbian. Househusband A man whose main responsibility is housework and childcare rather than going out to work. Illegitimate Birth Birth conceived outside of marriage Joint Conjugal When husband and wife both work, do Roles housework, care for the children etc. Lone-or Single- One parent bringing up the children alone. Parent Family
  25. 25. Kinship Those related by blood, marriage or through legalised relationships such as adoption. Matriarchy Power and authority held by women. Monogamy A system of marriage in which a person can only be legally married to one partner at any one time. Nuclear Family A family of two generations, consisting of two adults and their children, who live together in a single household. Patriarchy Power and authority held by men. Polyandry A system of marriage when a woman has more than one husband. Polygamy A system of marriage where it is possible to have several partners (husbands and wives) at any one time. Polygyny A system of marriage where a man is allowed to have more than one wife at the same time. Primary The period of socialisation that usually Socialisation occurs within the family. Reconstituted A nuclear family, which is formed by two (Blended) Family adults who have been married previously. One or both adults bring children from the previous marriage into the new family. Segregated When a husband and wife have different Conjugal Roles roles within the family, for example, the husband goes out to work while the wife is a housewife. Serial Monogamy A form of marriage where a person keeps marrying and divorcing a series of different partners, but is only married to one person at a time. Symmetrical Family A family where the roles of husband and wife have become more alike (symmetrical) and equal. (Young and Willmott).
  26. 26. AS Families & Households assessments Topic no: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2012 2012 Question Identify three ‘traditional assumptions made about the nuclear family’ ( 6 marks) Assess the view that industrialisation led to the decline of the extended family and the rise of the nuclear family. (24 marks) Suggest three functions that the family may perform for its members. (6marks) Assess the view that the nuclear family functions to benefit all its members and society as a whole. (24marks) Suggest three factors which conservative or New Right thinkers might see as undermining the traditional family. (6marks) Examine the ways in which state policy may aff4ct families and households. (24 marks) Suggest three reasons for the fall in the birth rate (6 marks) Assess the causes and consequences of changes in the UK population. (24marks) Suggest three reasons for the increase in the divorce rate (6 marks) Examine the reasons for changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and childbearing in the last 40 years. (24marks) Suggest three ways in which men’s role as parents have changes In recent years. (6 marks) Assess sociological reasons for inequalities between husbands and wives.(24 marks) Identify three ways in which the state protects the rights of children. (6 marks) Assess the view that childhood is not a fixed universal experience..(24 marks) Suggest three effects on society of the ageing population. (6 marks) Assess the view the growth of family diversity has led to the decline of the nuclear family(24 marks) Date set Deadline Total Grade Target to improve Target met
  27. 27. THE SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION GLOSSARY WORD Academies Anti-school subculture Citizenship Comprehensive school system Cultural capital De-schooling Formal curriculum Ethnocentric curriculum Free schools Further/higher education Hidden curriculum Home education Independent sector schools MEANING
  28. 28. Inclusion and exclusion Intelligence Quotient Labelling Marketization of education Material deprivation Meritocracy Mixed ability classes National curriculum Official curriculum Ofsted Private schools Public school SATs
  29. 29. Selective schooling - tripartite system Self-fulfilling prophecy Setting and streaming School league tables State funded schools Specialist schools Vocational education
  30. 30. AS Education assessments Topic no: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Question Outline some ways in which the education system performs functions for both individuals and society (12 marks) Assess the view that the education system serves to maintain capitalist society. (20 marks) Outline some of the reasons why childhood poverty makes educational attainment more difficult (12 marks) Assess the view that factors within schools are the greatest influence on social- class differences in educational achievement. (20 marks) Outline some of the material and cultural factors affecting educational achievement (12 marks) Assess the view that processes in schools themselves are mainly responsible for ethnic differences in attainment. (20 marks) Outline some factors outside the education system that have affected gender differences in school (12 marks) Assess sociological explanations of why girls achieve better results than boys. (20 marks) Outline some of the reasons why pupils form subcultures (12 marks) Assess the extent to which pupils subcultures are the cause of failure in school. (20 marks) Outline some of the policies that have attempted to overcome the academic/vocational divide in education (12 marks) Assess the view that vocational education and training schemes have done nothing to reduce social inequality (20 marks) Date set Deadline Total Grade Target to improve Target met
  31. 31. RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY WORD MEANING Notes Bias Prejudice or distortion. Closed question A question with a limited number of answers to choose from. Hawthorne Where the presence of researchers affects Effect behaviour. Hypothesis An idea which a researcher guesses might be true, but has not yet been tested against the evidence. Informal An interview in which the interviewer does not interview keep to a prepared list of questions. Interview Asking questions directly, face to face or by telephone. Interviewer bias The answers given in an interview being influenced or distorted in some way by the presence of the interviewer. Longitudinal A study taking place over a long period, survey following changes over time. Objectivity Approaching topics with an open mind, avoiding bias. Open-ended A question which allows the respondent to question answer in his or her own way. Participant Joining in the activities of a group in order to observation study it. Pilot study A small-scale testing of a survey, carried out before the final survey to check for any problems. Positivist A sociologist who believes that the best way to understand society is through research methods such as surveys, official statistics etc. Primary data Data collected by the researcher. Qualitative data Data in the form of description rather than numbers. Quantitative Data in the form of numbers and statistics. data Questionnaire A list of questions. Quota sample A sample not chosen from a sampling frame. Random sample A sample in which everyone in the sampling frame has an equal chance of being chosen.
  32. 32. Reliability Data is reliable if it can be repeated and the same results obtained. Response rate The percentage of a sample that provide data. Sample A representative group selected from a wider population in order to conduct research. Sampling Procedures for selecting the sample. Sampling frame A list from which a sample is selected. Secondary data Data which already exists. Self-completion A questionnaire respondents for them to complete themselves. Stratified A sample in which the sampling frame is sample divided, for example by sex or age. Structured The interviewer reads out questions and interview records the answers. Survey Systematic collection of data, usually by questionnaire sent to or handed to questionnaire. Survey The members of a group that is being population researched, and from which a sample will be drawn. Systematic A sample in which respondents are chosen sample according to a system, for example every tenth name on a list. Validity Data are valid if they accurately measure or describe reality.
  33. 33. Making notes/revision As well as attending lessons and keeping printouts of your powerpoints you will also be required to read your text book in preparation for leasson (or other reading material set by your teacher and make notes. Here are some tips to help you get started. Topic summary pages The information for each topic can be dense so why not try converting the key points into this handy table. Look at each paragraph on the page and pick out the important information, try and make the information you put into the table concise and focus on the key points. Topic:How is gender presented in the media? Key points/ questions Where do we find images of gender in the media? What did the research carried out in the 1970s find? Information From: *books *ads *T.V. *Films Focus= Mass Media Women presented as stereotypical not realistic Mass Media didn‟t show the roles women actually play in society. Looked at images of men and women in children‟s books. Found= lots of traditional images of women Showed some progress from 1970s onwards. Overall found less stereotypical images Sue Sharpe (1994) Theorist Flash Cards A handy way for you to summarise theorist‟s ideas and research so that all the key are ideas are on a flash card. Front You could use card to Theorist’s Name (Title and year of study) make your own or buy a pack of ready cut speech cards.
  34. 34. Back Topics they are linked to/theoretical view Studies they have carried out/ key points of the study Study tables A simple way to collate all the information relating to a study in one place. Make a table for each study in the course and it will make your revision easier. Study details What were the flaws in the research? What could be improved? 1. 2. 2. 3. Name of study: What was good about the research and its findings? 1. 3. Who conducted the study? Brief summary of the study Topics that link to the study
  35. 35. Mind maps Hany tips: Try to summaries your notes on the mind map- stick to a sentence or trigger words Only include information on the map which relates to the topic your exploring Use pictures and colours to help you visualise ideas
  36. 36. Understanding the exam ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES Statements of what exams must test.
  37. 37. SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT This ensures that you have an understanding of the subject as a whole rather than just knowing isolated fragments of sociology. You need to show you understand the links between the topic being examined and: Sociological theories Sociological research methods And possibly, other topics We can do this by: Using different theories if asked to explain topics like inequality or different rates of crime. Discussing methodological issues such as the difficulties of measuring social class or the problems with the reliability and validity of crime statistics. Demonstrating the links between different topics such as the similarities between the social construction of deviance and the social construction of childhood. COMMAND WORDS Command words direct you towards an answer which will gain marks. They are linked to the assessment objectives. Some of these instructions are aimed mostly at knowledge; others mostly at the AO2 skills of identification, analysis, interpretation and evaluation. Look at past papers and try to note the command words.
  38. 38. ACCORDING TO ITEM A: means interpret evidence from an item in a data response question. ASSESS: means come to a judgement by weighing up evidence, examining different arguments and considering strengths and weaknesses and coming to a conclusion based on a judgement of all the evidence. CRITICALLY DISCUSS: means present all sides of an argument or issue and come to a conclusion. DEFINE or WHAT IS MEANT BY: used in short answer questions and require a description of the major features of a concept or term. DESCRIBE: (often used with other commands such as EXPLIAN) It means, show your knowledge or understanding. DISCUSS: is the same as CRITICALLY DISCUSS. EVALUATE: same as assess. A judgement of evidence and/or arguments is required. EXAMINE: means study in detail showing knowledge and understanding. EXAMINE SOCIOLOGICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO: means look at the different sociological approaches to an issue and assess their usefulness. EXAMINE THE VIEW: usually means evaluate as well. EXPLAIN or WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY: means you must explain rather than just describe knowledge of a concept or issue. HOW USEFUL IS... usually a command to access the usefulness of a theory in explaining events and issues. HOW FAR used with DO YOU AGREE or DO SOCIOLOGISTS AGREE. Assessment or arguments needed and an overall judgement and conclusion HOW SUCCESSFUL asks if a concept or theory is useful help and explains events. IDENTIFY needs a word, phrase or brief statement. Show the recognition of a concept or theory. IDENTIFY AND EXPLAIN, provide the example and a (brief, depending on marks) explanation. OUTLINE briefly explain the main points of a theory or argument. SUGGEST TWO REASONS WHY make sure they are distinct, relevant and explained clearly. TO WHAT EXTENT evaluate by measuring the degree that something is reliable, valid or useful. USING INFORMATION FROM ITEN A or WITH REFERENCE TO interpret and apply information from an item. USING YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE interpret and apply information that is not in the items. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY explain your knowledge of a term or concept used in an item. How to write effective essays Essay plan sample Question:
  39. 39. Introduction: Define key terms, give an overview of the key ideas and arguments, and show that you understand the question. Remember in every paragraph you should have PEEEL (Point, Explain, Evidence - theories, studies- Evaluate, Link) P P E E E E E E L L You should have one of these for each of your essays and store them in your folder. Conclusion: (Remember to think of the essay title as a question. Sum up the main arguments then decide what evidence suggests) Essay cover sheet: Must be stapled to the front of every essay you hand in! Assessment of written work (24 mark question) Name: ___________________________ Target grade
  40. 40. What was your previous target? (what should you focus on) Previous grade:____/24 ___ Time taken_______ minutes Question: Discuss how far sociologists would agree that …… Checklist: SA Written at least 1 page of A4 Finished on time (If you’re doing timed assessment) Identified key terms and perspectives especially in the introduction Provided enough named evidence :studies, research, theories Clearly identified both sides of the argument and given evidence for each Expressed points clearly and accurately Explained points in detail Linked points back to the question Stayed relevant and concise Tried to evaluate evidence and arguments throughout my answer? Finished by weighing up the evidence and reached a conclusion linked to the words in the question Have I proof read and checked for punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors Teachers comment: Mark: ______/24 Target for improvement: Grade: You must have one of these completed and stapled to the front What can I do to improve? of each of your essays. Writing essays What ingredients do you need for a perfect 24 mark essay? I will create the „bones‟ of your essay. That is the overall structure! I will create fantastic paragraphs! TA
  41. 41. For a 24 mark essay question you should imagine your essay being structured like an X-Ray picture of me! The Head: The introduction Use the introduction to break down what the question is asking you; define any key terms it mentions, is there a theorist it is talking about, what is the key trend in this area? *Sociologists NEVER agree* You need to present two sides of an argument about something. (Sometimes even more than 2!) You need evidence and/or theories to back you up. The 2 sets of bones: Two sides of the argument The Spine: Making sure you link each paragraph back to the question! The spine is there to make sure that at the end of every paragraph you link it back to the essay question. It will keep your essay focussed. E.g. ..... „This therefore shows that marriage is not becoming less significant than in the past‟. NEVER stop your essay without concluding it- it seems unfinished. Your conclusion should address the essay question directly and answer the whether the statement was accurate or not E.g. To a large/small extent sociologists agree because.... (then The Tail: weigh up all the evidence/theories) The conclusion My role is to get you thinking about how to structure each paragraph! The key to it is to remember P.E.E.E.L
  42. 42. You should start each paragraph by making your point. This is the main statement you will discuss in the paragraph P – POINT Back up your arguments with evidence! This is really important E – EVIDENCE as it gives weight to your point and shows sociological knowledge. E.g. One reason why people may be getting married at an older age is due to people staying in education later. E.g. Around 60% of school leavers choose to attend university today. Most of these students leave university with considerable debt from their loan and with the average wedding costing £12,000, few people are in the position to afford a wedding in their 20s. It usually involves E –EXPLAIN quoting trends, or using After you have made your theory to support your point it is crucial that your explain it.explanation. that This means you go into a bit more . depth to explain to the examiner what you mean. This will take up the majority of your paragraph. E - EVALUATE E.g. More and more people are choosing to go to university which means that often men and women don‟t finish their education until their 20s. This may mean that people are not in the financial situation to be able to afford a wedding, or may choose to get settled into their career first. Identify any strengths and/or weaknessesof the argument L-LINK The link aspect of PEEL is E.g. When thinking about why people the same as the spine in the are getting married later, the cost of fish. It makes sure that your Notes: paragraphs are relevant and are answering the question! a wedding and the role of continuing education could be very important contributing factors.

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