Sample Essays Sociology
This post offers some advice on how you might plan and write essays in the A level sociology exams.
The sociology A level exam: general hints for writing essays
- Allow yourself enough time – minutes per mark = 45 minutes for a 30 mark essay.
- Read the Question and the item, what is it asking you to do?
- Do a rough plan ( mins) – initially this should be ‘arguments and evidence’ for and ‘against’ the views in the question, and a few thoughts on overall evaluations/ a conclusion. If you are being asked to look at two things, you’ll have to do this twice/ your conclusion should bring the two aspects of the essay together.
- Write the essay (35 mins)– aim to make points in total (depending on the essay, either 3 deep points, or 5 (or more) shallower points). Try to make one point at least stem from the item, ideally the first point.
- Try to stick to the following structure in the picture above!
- Overall evaluations – don’t repeat yourself, and don’t overdo this, but it’s useful t tag this in before a conclusion.
- Conclusion (allow 2 mins minimum) – an easy way to do this is to refer to the item – do you agree with the view or not, or say which of the points you’ve made is the strongest/ weakest and on balance is the view in the question sensible or not?
Skills in the A Level Sociology Exam
The AQA wants you to demonstrate 3 sets of skills in the exam – below are a few suggestions about how you can do this in sociology essays.
AO1: Knowledge and Understanding
You can demonstrate these by:
- Using sociological concepts
- Using sociological perspectives
- Using research studies
- Showing knowledge of contemporary trends and news events
- Knowledge can also be synoptic, or be taken from other topics.
- NB – knowledge has to be relevant to the question to get marks!
You can demonstrate application by…
- Using the item – refer to the item!!!
- Clearly showing how the material you have selected is relevant to the question, by using the words in the question
- Making sure knowledge selected is relevant to the question.
AO3: Analysis and Evaluation (NB Assess is basically the same as Evaluation)
You can demonstrate analysis by….
- Considering an argument from a range of perspectives – showing how one perspective might interpret the same evidence in a different way, for example.
- Developing points – by showing why perspectives argue what they do, for example.
- Comparing and contrasting ideas to show their differences and similarities
- You can show how points relate to other points in the essay.
You can demonstrate evaluation by…
- Discussing the strengths and limitations of a theory/ perspective or research method.
- You should evaluate each point, but you can also do overall evaluations from other perspectives before your conclusion.
- NB – Most people focus on weaknesses, but you should also focus on strengths.
- Weighing up which points are the most useful in a conclusion.
A note on using the item:
Every 30 mark question will ask you to refer to an ‘item’. This will be a very short piece of writing, consisting of about 8 lines of text. The item will typically refer to one aspect of the knowledge side of the question and one evaluation point. For example, if the question is asking you to ‘assess the Functionalist view of education’, the item is likely to refer to one point Functionalists make about education – such as role allocation, and one criticism.
All you need to do to use the item effectively is to make sure at least one of your points stems from the knowledge in the item, and develop it. It’s a good idea to make this your first point. To use the evaluation point from the item (there is usually some evaluation in there), then simply flag it up when you use it during the essay.
Seven examples of sociology essays, and more advice
For more information on ‘how to write sociology essays for the A level exam’ why not refer to my handy ‘how to write sociology essays guide’.
The contents are as follows:
- A quick look at the three sociology exam papers
- A pared-down mark scheme for A Level sociology essays
- Knowledge, application, analysis, evaluation, what are they, how to demonstrate them.
- How to write sociology essays – the basics:
These appear first in template form, then with answers, with the skills employed shown in colour. Answers are ‘overkill’ versions designed to get full marks in the exam.
- Assess the Functionalist View of the Role of Education in Society (30) – Quick plan
- Assess the Marxist view of the role of education in society (30) – Detailed full essay
- Assess the extent to which it is home background that is the main cause of differential education achievement by social class (30) – Detailed full essay
- Assess the view that education policies since have improved equality of educational opportunity (30) – Quick plan
- Assess the view that the main aim of education policies since has been to raise overall standards in education.’ (30) Quick plan
- Assess the claim that ‘ethnic difference in educational achievement are primarily the result of school factors’ (30) Detailed full essay
- Assess the view that in school processes, rather than external factors, are the most important in explaining differences in educational achievement (30) – detailed essay – Quick plan.
This entry was posted in A level sociology exam practice, Exams and revision advice and tagged 30 marks, A-level, Analysis, education, essays, evaluation, exams, Sociology. Bookmark the permalink.
You should be able to use those fundamentals to phenomena and social institutions. While writing a paper, describe the phenomena and try to construe it with the help of the main sociological concepts and ideas that you’ve learned. If you want to get a high grade, you need to show your skills of reflection and evaluation of the concepts you are writing about in your paper.
To write a profound essay, student should be able to read and evaluate all research related to the topic of the paper and analyze it accordingly. That is how you show your original ideas in the essay. To write an original social studies essay, you don’t need to invent your own theory and methodology. All you need to do is to understand the sociology studies you’ve learned and analyze them on how useful and accurate they are. For instance, is a particular theory useful in every society or in some particular society?
The main mistake of many students is that they are too quick in finding the answer to their topic question. They pay attention to apparent features and suggest what the essay requires from a quick review of the topic. Contrarily, the topic should be read and analyzed several times.
To answer the topic question properly, you should:
- Determine the skills required to write the essay.
- Analyze the topic by defining the main details in the title.
- Define the main concepts and terms that are stated in the question. You should comprehend these terms to write content that corresponds to your topic.
In order to get an A grade, you don’t have to generate something completely new, but you have to show that you thought and evaluated scholarly material on your topic. To complete your perfect essay, you should concentrate on the technical details of writing it. A good essay should always have a developed structure. The writing should be concise and without grammatical mistakes.
Estimation of the Essay
There are three main things that the professors estimate in sociological essays:
- Your ability to interpret ideas successfully and your ability to apply evidence to support your arguments.
- Your knowledge and understanding of the topic. This includes your utilization of social concepts, studies, and research.
- Your ability to evaluate. It is important to show that you are able to identify the
main strengths and weaknesses of the particular sociological theory. It is important to show what a specific theory demonstrates and what it doesnt demonstrate.
These points imply that you must structure your essay well, must include multiple social concepts, must interpret those concepts accordingly, and formulate your ideas in a critical manner. Don’t forget to practice your writing skills constantly to be able to answer the given topic question.
Therefore, when writing a paper, you should adhere to certain instructions in order to write an A level essay. However, it is not always an easy task. In this case, you can order a model paper of your essay at woaknb.wz.sk, and use it as a source of information for your own project. We guarantee you to give you a top-notch quality essay that is original and affordable.