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    No teacher has actually ever taught us whaat to write about the methods in context part of the exam...

    Is there a particular structure anyone follows ??!??! how do you answer this type of question :/


    1 Introduction: Introduce the study, the work and the method. Describe the approach (Interpretivism, Positivism) explaining why - refer to aim, method (primary/secondary) and data produced was it quantitative or qualitative You must say how the approach and method used from _____ are different to similar studies. Speak about the sampling technique used and unstructured interviews.

    2 Validity: Does the method/study have validity, explain why, how can it be improved?

    3 Reliability: Does it have reliability, explain why, how can it be improved?

    4 Representative and generalizable: Is the study/sample representative generalizable to the UK according to the sample used? Yes, no why?

    5 Structured versus unstructured interviews: What are the advantages ad disadvantages of unstructured interviews like _____ used? Were they good for his aims, allowed him to probe more and also get more valid data. Also refer to his method compared to other methods and types of interviews. In addition refer to interviewer effect (bias, status and power characteristics, etc), time issues, cost and expense. What about the ethical issues/concerns?

    6 Sampling method: What was ____ sampling method? explain in detail. Also refer to another study here, compare and contrast the two.

    7 Methodological pluralism/triangulation: What did heath use? Explain in detail the two concepts and what _____ did. How can he improve the study?

    The rest of the paragraphs need to be spent on answering the other elements of the 52 mark question.

    If you are doing Heath's study on social class identity, then you can mention his positivist approach similar to Emilie Durkheim's suicide study briefly and also when contrasting it in paragraph 6 use Charlesworth social class study.

    Lastly, if your study has two aims throughout, by paragraph dismantle them and analyse them separately (validity, reliability)

    I hope that helped.

    Just some general tips: make sure every strength/ weakness you point out about the methods relates to the research topic in some way. Use the source to help you do this, Some people use the PET technique to structure their answer and ensure they don't miss anything - that stands for practical, ethical and theoretical issues. Also try to include supporting studies to back up your points.

    Practical issues
    Ethical issues
    Example of study
    Theoretical perspective

    PERVERT - and just relate it to the context. If you have no idea how to relate it to the context just list the generic advantages and disadvantages of the research method with this structure and you can gain up to 10 marks
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Updated: May 14, 2013


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