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sociology exams

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    i have a crime and deviance paper from june 2004 and have to revise the answers for a practice timed test tomorrow. The 2nd question is:

    "using material from item a and elsewhere, examine some of the reasons put forward by sociologists for the formation of deviant subcultures"


    Just wondering what the term "examine" requires you to do...do i have to explain ideas then evaluate them, provide a critique etc from my own point of view or do i have to evaluate them from other researchers' points of view?

    do i have to evaluate them at all?

    Thanks in advance
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    A good rule of thumb for any higher mark question is evaluate, evaluate, evaluate (then evaluate the evaluation).

    Higher mark questions come with a variety of instructions (examine, assess, compare and contrast...) but they all really mean the same thing (you've probably guessed it - evaluate).

    Evaluation can take different forms but an esay thing to remember in an exam is strengths and weaknesses. When you've written something (perhaps outlining an idea for example) try to stop and think and say to yourself "Yes, But..." - that way you're constantly thinking about how you can be critical (and "criticism" here can be positive - highlighting what something explains well - as well as the obvious negatives.

    Being critical can also, if you have the nerve to do it, mean questioning the question - in this instance you could question the whole premise of "deviant subcultures", for example, but don't ever go overboard here; always try, ultimately to focus on what the question's asking.

    Also, if it refers to "the Items" use them - easy marks here and a good way to get you started on a question if you're feeling nervous. Once you've settled into the question then bring in your wider knowledge.
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    I've also always been told to bring in the item as soon as possible to set grounds for further explanation, plus gaining more marks straight away.

    I can't agree more with Chris - evaluate, and evaluate the evaluation!

    I went to a Sociology meeting with a chief examiner on C&D and he found that the main problem amongst candidates is that in large, they lacked AO2.
    Also, similar to what Chris said, when you're making a point, constantly take a skeptical standpoint with each point, offer criticisms, in the form of other studies, and then have a "come back" to the criticism.

    By the way, by "2nd question" do you mean an essay question?

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Updated: May 10, 2007
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