A2 Homeworks - ALWAYS DUE ON A MONDAY!!
Guidance for writing essays.
How do I write my answer?
structure for part a) is to
1. Start off with a definition of what the topic is:
e.g. Upbringing in the context of crime is the social environment that the individual inhabits. It is predominantly that of the family but can be argued to extend to that of friendship groups and may also include educational groups for children. The key focus is social interaction and that of social learning, observation, reinforcement and imitation. This may include environmental factors such as poverty but these are seen as secondary factors.
2. Then give an anecdotal example:
An example of this would be that of a child living in a council estate where their family consists of an absent father and delinquent siblings. The emphasis for this person is not the council estate but the interactions between their siblings and the effect of having no father figure.
3. Next , describe the study that supports this topic, focusing on what it found:
One such study that shows the effects of upbringing on turning an individual to crime is the Farrington study. This study is an ongoing longditudinal study that has mapped the criminal progress of over 200 boys from the East End of London through self reports and analysing official statistics. The findings of the study suggest that certain social factors will affect the the likelihood of becoming a criminal. It was identified that having a criminal parent, or delinquent siblings significantly increased the likelihood that an individual will turn to crime.
4. Lastly, relate this back to the question in a conclusion and try to include an 'on the other hand' (for a high grade answer).
The Farrington study supports the argument that upbringing can have a significant effect on turning to crime. There are some key indicators in a person's upbringing which identify what type of criminal they will become and if they become a criminal at all. On the other hand, the study suggests that criminality is not permanent as the life success ratings of older participants showed that at around the age of 30 and 40 individuals become 'less inclined to commit crime'.
Answering 'b' questions - Guidance for 'Evaluate the use of longitudinal research when considering upbringing as an explanation of crime' (15).
1. Focus on the question.
2. Use psychological terminology.
3. Focus on AO2 descriptors i.e. What does 'EVALUATE' mean? To make an informed judgement as to the value of this method of conducting research. In other words, what are the strengths of longitudinal research in gathering evidence about the influence of upbringing on criminal behaviour and its weaknesses?
4. Use relevant data from the study to support your points.
5. Explain / elaborate why it is useful.
6. Always consider a counter-argument. In this essay, you should consider longitudinal studies in comparison to cross-sectional studies (i.e. Peterborough Youth Study) to show that you understand the advantages of the alternative research tool.
7. Reach a conclusion about the worth of longitudinal research and its contribution to understanding the influence of upbringing.
see pages 71, 72 and 157 of purple text book for discussion of strengths and weaknesses of longitudinal research and snapshot studies.