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Examiners use instructions to help you to decide the length and depth of your answer.In essays and data response questions the following ‘action’ or ‘trigger’ words and phrases are frequently used.Identify, suggest, illustrate These words normally require you to apply your knowledge to a particular sociological problem or theory. the set of instructions at the start of the exam paper.
Do make your sociology more valid by being aware of current social and political events. Examiners are concerned that functionalists and positivists are often presented as ‘bad’ sociologists whilst Marxists and interpretivists are seen as ‘good’ sociologists.
Be aware of how sociological theory and methods can be applied to them. You need to demonstrate that sociological studies which seem opposed actually share common research problems and theoretical underpinnings.
It normally involves reference to both sides of a debate.
Outline, describe This implies a short response which sums up the major points of one particular theory or approach.
Sociology will help you to think about society in a new and critical light, questioning the status quo and developing a sophisticated understanding of the real issues that affect the society we live in.
It is an excellent subject for showing you how society works and for making you aware of the range of conditions that individuals within society experience.
It is wasteful to write more than is required and it will impact negatively on the time left for the bigger questions.
Do always clearly label the part of the question you are answering.
Do plan your response to any question worth over 20 marks.
Do pay special attention to the way marks are divided up between sections of data responses.