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Avoid the Hustle

Sociology

Category: Sociology

1. Purpose:
demonstrate your understanding of – and critical engagement with — classical social theorists in relation to the question of modernity.

2. Minor Essay Topic: Making Sense of Modernity: Classical Perspectives
Choose two or three of the essential readings (you may also use the Delanty reading, and one of the classical social theorists (Marx, Weber or Durkheim).

Your essay needs to respond to the following questions:
1. I will provide the readings: According to the Week 3 readings, what were the key aspects of modernity, and why was these important for classical social theory?
2. What was your chosen classical social theorist’s interpretation of modernity?
3. To what extent does the social theorist’s interpretation of modernity align with the key arguments of the week 3 readings? To what extend do you agree with the classical social theorist’s view of modernity? What critique would you bring to bear on his thought?

4. Essay Criteria:
• Please note that the assessment criteria below are not weighted equally

i. How well did the candidate respond to the essay question overall(eg relevance, appropriate use of examples or concrete contexts, originality)?
ii. How well did the student demonstrate comprehension of – and critical engagement with ¬¬¬–relevant key concepts, debates, and arguments?
iii. How well did the student develop a coherent argument?
iv. How well did the student structure and organize his/her essay?
v. How well – and to what extent — did the student:
a. Draw on and engage with relevant primary sources
b. Engage with appropriate essential readingsfrom the topic guide (this is related to the above criterion).
c. Demonstrate evidence of Independent Research
vi. Was the essay written with clarity and elegance of expression? This includes spelling and grammar.
vii. How well did the student demonstrate his/her referencing skills:
a. In the body of the essay
b. In thereference list

5. You will need to:
• Provide a reference list, not a bibliography.
• Not to use sub-headings!
• Use appropriate formal (not conversational) English.
• Use Harvard Referencing
• Use first or third person voice (either is fine). But don’t use the plural first person voice –ie ‘We’.
• Provide a word count of your essay (excluding your reference list).

6. Here is a guide to help you structure your essay:
• The rule of thumb is that the introduction and the conclusion are each about 10% of the essay (so approx. 20% in total).
o The introduction should provide background context for the essay. It should also include an articulation of how you will organize your essay, and a summary of the argument that you will develop.
o For this essay, your conclusion is the place where you respond to the third part of the essay question (see previous page), as well as a summary of your argument and your overall conclusion. If your conclusion went over 10% (eg 15% or 20%), that would be fine in this instance.
• About 45-50% of your essay should focus on your engagement with the classical social theorist’s work.
• This leaves about 25-30% for your engagement with the Week 3 readings.
• These are not hard and fast rules, so don’t stress out if your own essay is a bit different, but it gives a good indication of appropriate weightings for each part of the essay.

7. Here are some tips to write a better essay:
• Direct quotations are like jewels – use them sparingly. It’s often better to summarize the key point at hand in your own words, so that you can demonstrate comprehension of the arguments. All quotations do is demonstrate that you can quote!
• Don’t number references in your reference list. The marker can count.
• Do organize your reference list alphabetically.
• When referring to decades as a noun, it is the 1970s and the 1890s not the 1970’s and the 1890’s.
• It’s and its are different. It’s means ‘it is’, whereas ‘its’ is a possessive pronoun. e.g.:‘It’s about time’ (i.e. it is about time). The apostrophe indicates the word ‘is’ has been abbreviated.‘Poststructuralism is known for its complexity’ (the ‘complexity’ is a quality of the poststructuralism). A tip: if you can replace ‘it’s’ with ‘it is’, there should be an apostrophe. For example, ‘it’s about time’ makes sense as ‘it is about time’, but ‘poststructuralism is known for its complexity’ does not make sense as ‘poststructuralism is known for it is complexity’; therefore, no apostrophe.
• Always prof (oops) proof read! You will get a better mark.
• Don’t use informal language like: Don’t, it’s, you’re, etc., they’d. Use whole words.
• Don’t use informal or colloquial speech: ‘shy away from’, ‘measuring stick’, ‘Here we have an example of’. An academic essay is a piece of formal writing.
• Don’t have a sentence in which the only words belong to another author. It never looks good. e.g.:‘Identity is relational, meaning that is not inside a person but that it inheres in the relations between a person and others’ (Currie 1998:17).Try this:Currie (1998:17) suggests, ‘identity is relational, meaning that is not inside a person but that it inheres in the relations between a person and others’.
• In your reference list only include the books and articles which you cite and have read yourself. Don’t include works cited by others.
• Never include the lecturer’s words unless s/he has specifically told you where the words come from.
• Never just string quotes and paraphrases together. Your argument should drive the essay.
• Don’t use phrases like: Hopefully I will; I’ll try. Be decisive in your writing. For example: In this essay, I demonstrate how modern social theory has reached its limits. (Note also, no apostrophe in ‘its’!)
• Use ‘I’ instead of ‘we’. The reader isn’t the author. For example: In this essay, I explore how masculinity is in crisis