Hey, I'm doing my AS AQA sociology exam next Tuesday, and I'm just wondering has anyone got any predictions on what essay questions are likely to come up?
Anyway, I would predict something on feminism because they've done questions regarding Functionalists and Marxists in the past. As always revise all the topics because you don't know what will come up.
Thanks so much! Do you have any tips on essay writing as I'm really struggling with it
First all, always spend at least five minutes writing a plan. Even if you spend a lot of time on the plan you will save time in the essay as you will know what to write. It doesn't need to be detailed, I just jot down ideas and terms that come to my head.
My teacher tells us to translate the question - put it in terms you understand.
For example: "Examine the reasons for changing patterns of marriage and divorce over the last 50 years or so."
I would translate that into: "Analyse and evaluate the factors resulting in changes in marriage and divorce in the last 50 years or so."
A01 - Knowledge is the easy part - you don't need to remember sociologist's names, but it can impress the examiner. Just remember key ideas and briefly explain them, avoid too much detail, especially on assess questions (with item).
The more challenging part is A02 - its not particularly difficult but just include a lot of it. Evaluate your points with similar ones, not just ones that are of different opinion. For example, if you were talking about a decline in marriage due to cohabitation, instead of evaluating with cohabitation not being seen as favourable by NR of Functionalists, talk about Chester and how cohabitation is a process resulting in marriage. Then in the next paragraph move onto the point about NR and Functionalists.
AO2 also includes application - generally giving examples about how the point effects real people. Interpretation is similar: explain what the point means, not just what it is.
That's basically it. Timing is also an issue. The only solution is to practice. If you do essays at home - time yourself, avoid spending hours on one essay. Intro - define the key term, maybe talk about the different perspectives. Conclusion - required for top marks - do not sum up and repeat yourself, just say which point is most valid and why without using the word 'I' or being too assertive.