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    My teacher has given me an assignment where I have to describe and analyse three sociological concepts in depth in 500 words (am allowed 10% over or under). To be honest I'm not sure how I am supposed to both describe a concept or a theory (e.g. the functionalist concept of 'institution') *and* analyse in depth the evidence in relation to it/the strength of the theory in 166 words? I wouldn't say that I'm the type to write wordy essays; I'm pretty concise. However this is causing me to struggle! Does anyone have any advice?

    Thanks a lot.
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    Also tbh it's not entirely clear to me how analysis is supposed to differ from evaluation? :/
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    I think "evaluate" has more to do with "assess", i.e evaluate to what extent this sociological concept stands up to scrutiny, is it solid? etc. I think analysis is more to do examining something in detail and explaining how it works.

    Word counts seem to be a problem for a lot of people in access, you just have to get used to refining what you're trying to say. 166 words will probably get a paragraph at best, so make a point, provide evidence and then an explanation. 500 words sounds pretty strict for an essay though...
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    (Original post by Buonaparte)
    I think "evaluate" has more to do with "assess", i.e evaluate to what extent this sociological concept stands up to scrutiny, is it solid? etc. I think analysis is more to do examining something in detail and explaining how it works.

    Word counts seem to be a problem for a lot of people in access, you just have to get used to refining what you're trying to say. 166 words will probably get a paragraph at best, so make a point, provide evidence and then an explanation. 500 words sounds pretty strict for an essay though...
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    (Original post by redinthegrey)
    My teacher has given me an assignment where I have to describe and analyse three sociological concepts in depth in 500 words (am allowed 10% over or under). To be honest I'm not sure how I am supposed to both describe a concept or a theory (e.g. the functionalist concept of 'institution' *and* analyse in depth the evidence in relation to it/the strength of the theory in 166 words? I wouldn't say that I'm the type to write wordy essays; I'm pretty concise. However this is causing me to struggle! Does anyone have any advice?

    Thanks a lot.
    Can you use diagrams? That can be quite a cheeky way to show something for no words and then just criticize it.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    Can you use diagrams? That can be quite a cheeky way to show something for no words and then just criticize it.
    I didn't think to ask tbh... I doubt it.
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    (Original post by redinthegrey)
    I didn't think to ask tbh... I doubt it.
    If they haven't said no I would use them, it shows initiative!
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    If they haven't said no I would use them, it shows initiative!
    Ahahaha, I try to avoid creativity with this teacher, she's pretty prescriptive.
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    (Original post by redinthegrey)
    Also tbh it's not entirely clear to me how analysis is supposed to differ from evaluation? :/
    I studied a different subject at uni so this advice might not be strictly relevant to your area but my understanding of 'evaluate' and 'analyse' is as follows:

    To evaluate, say a Government policy, it is necessary to firstly establish the problem/issue which the policy seeks to address or resolve. This sets out the objective or goal of the policy. Evaluation, then, tests the policy against the goal and seeks to determine if it achieves its stated objective, or to what extent it achieves, or fails to achieve, the goal.

    Critical analysis of the policy examines how it goes about achieving that goal, eg - is it fair, just and reasonable? Is it discriminatory? What are its strengths/weaknesses? Is it actually workable for those who have to implement it? Are there alternatives? etc.

    So in that sense evaluation and analysis are two different exercises. The former is more quantitative in its approach while the latter is more qualitative. (Although as I said that is only my understanding and might not apply to your subject area.)
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    **Does this count towards any grade? Or is it just Homework and in which case doesn't matter?**

    I had something similar to this. I am currently on an Access course, and it was for sociology! We had to outline compare and contrast / evaluate 2 key perspectives AND include 3 studies FOR each, AND explain every sociological word we had learnt in the last 6 weeks....

    A group of us went to the teacher and I actually wrote out an essay plan of what he was expecting us to do, introduction, outlines 6 studies evaluation in like 2000 words or something, anyway, he ended up giving us an extra 500. 2000 might seem like a lot compared to yours but it's not! it would have meant describing each study in yeah like 166 words! So we got some leway there.

    My suggestions;

    Get a group together and formulate what you will say and be pragmatic and matter of fact (politley) you are not being whiney students but logistcally impossible.

    For example;
    30 words mini intro
    90 words 1st perspective
    90 words 2nd perspective
    90 words 3rd perspective
    170 words evaluation
    30 word mini conclusion.
    *If each sentence is 10 words long then you could work it out by sentence.

    Also providing a list of words you are expected to define might help

    *WARNING - this might blow up in your face I know NOTHING about education lol, our teacher wasn't happy exactly but I think he was more embarassed that he had made a mistake tbh*
    OR

    Get complete definition of what the teacher wants, if you only have 500 words (do you get 10% over? worth checking!). Becuase if that is the word count one assumes the teacher only wants like 10 - 15 sentences on each and for it NOT to be in depth. Does this count towards any grade or is it just a homework?

    OR

    Give it your best shot. I frequently have word count issues in sociology and (partly it's me) but it's very very tight word counts, I am looking at it as practise for having to write consisley at uni.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by StudentMature)
    **Does this count towards any grade? Or is it just Homework and in which case doesn't matter?**

    I had something similar to this. I am currently on an Access course, and it was for sociology! We had to outline compare and contrast / evaluate 2 key perspectives AND include 3 studies FOR each, AND explain every sociological word we had learnt in the last 6 weeks....

    A group of us went to the teacher and I actually wrote out an essay plan of what he was expecting us to do, introduction, outlines 6 studies evaluation in like 2000 words or something, anyway, he ended up giving us an extra 500. 2000 might seem like a lot compared to yours but it's not! it would have meant describing each study in yeah like 166 words! So we got some leway there.

    My suggestions;

    Get a group together and formulate what you will say and be pragmatic and matter of fact (politley) you are not being whiney students but logistcally impossible.

    For example;
    30 words mini intro
    90 words 1st perspective
    90 words 2nd perspective
    90 words 3rd perspective
    170 words evaluation
    30 word mini conclusion.
    *If each sentence is 10 words long then you could work it out by sentence.

    Also providing a list of words you are expected to define might help

    *WARNING - this might blow up in your face I know NOTHING about education lol, our teacher wasn't happy exactly but I think he was more embarassed that he had made a mistake tbh*
    OR

    Get complete definition of what the teacher wants, if you only have 500 words (do you get 10% over? worth checking!). Becuase if that is the word count one assumes the teacher only wants like 10 - 15 sentences on each and for it NOT to be in depth. Does this count towards any grade or is it just a homework?

    OR

    Give it your best shot. I frequently have word count issues in sociology and (partly it's me) but it's very very tight word counts, I am looking at it as practise for having to write consisley at uni.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for your input. The way our teacher has handled the situation is by repeatedly extending the deadline for the assignment! I guess she thinks we're just lazy and can't be bothered to finish it in time rather than struggling with a very hard assignment that was not explained well.

    And it matters a lot. It will go towards my diploma and I need Distinctions in all Sociology units to meet my Warwick offer!
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    550 words max allowing for the +10%. We've been advised to have 10% of word limit on introduction, 80% on the main part & 10% on the conclusion. The way i'd tackle this 500 word essay is 50 words on introduction, 50 words on conclusion gives 450 for the main part, so 150 words max for analysing each theory. Take each theory in turn, one sentence giving brief detail of what the basis of the theory is. eg Functionalist believe different parts of society have a purpose, each part works for the benefit of itself and wider society (that's 20 words). 130 words to evaluate which means give strengths & weaknesses.

    Hope this helps.

    Which awarding body is your course with?
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    (Original post by Cate1976)
    550 words max allowing for the +10%. We've been advised to have 10% of word limit on introduction, 80% on the main part & 10% on the conclusion. The way i'd tackle this 500 word essay is 50 words on introduction, 50 words on conclusion gives 450 for the main part, so 150 words max for analysing each theory. Take each theory in turn, one sentence giving brief detail of what the basis of the theory is. eg Functionalist believe different parts of society have a purpose, each part works for the benefit of itself and wider society (that's 20 words). 130 words to evaluate which means give strengths & weaknesses.

    Hope this helps.

    Which awarding body is your course with?
    CERTA. And yep, 10% for intro and 10% for conclusion is a good guide for essays in general, however our teacher said we don't need to write an intro or conclusion for this essay? As there isn't room. :s It isn't really an essay lol...
 
 
 
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