Abstract only
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This chapter explores the importance of bringing an argument to a clear conclusion. It shows students how to construct a conclusion which goes beyond a mere summary of points already made in the middle. It emphasises the importance of producing a synthesis of materials, highlighting the main points made in the argument of the essay, so that the conclusion brings the argument directly to bear on the essay question itself. This chapter also points out some common mistakes which students make in writing conclusions, and uses real student examples to show what works and what does not work so well in writing a conclusion to a sociology essay.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This part provides solutions to common problems of essay writing that are easy to put into practice. Tips for deciding which essay question to choose include reminding students to think about displaying their own skills and understanding to best advantage. Dealing with difficulties in deciding what to read includes advice on thinking about the overall timetable as well as reasons for distinguishing between genres (e.g. journalism, textbooks, academic journal articles). The problem of writers’ block is cut down to size with simple, tried and tested tricks for side-stepping it. Advice on whether or not to use rhetorical questions (on the whole, not) and practical suggestions for writing to the required length (including cutting an essay to the required length) end the 5 succinct chapters in this part.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This part provides solutions to common problems of essay writing that are easy to put into practice. Tips for deciding which essay question to choose include reminding students to think about displaying their own skills and understanding to best advantage. Dealing with difficulties in deciding what to read includes advice on thinking about the overall timetable as well as reasons for distinguishing between genres (e.g. journalism, textbooks, academic journal articles). The problem of writers’ block is cut down to size with simple, tried and tested tricks for side-stepping it. Advice on whether or not to use rhetorical questions (on the whole, not) and practical suggestions for writing to the required length (including cutting an essay to the required length) end the 5 succinct chapters in this part.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This part provides solutions to common problems of essay writing that are easy to put into practice. Tips for deciding which essay question to choose include reminding students to think about displaying their own skills and understanding to best advantage. Dealing with difficulties in deciding what to read includes advice on thinking about the overall timetable as well as reasons for distinguishing between genres (e.g. journalism, textbooks, academic journal articles). The problem of writers’ block is cut down to size with simple, tried and tested tricks for side-stepping it. Advice on whether or not to use rhetorical questions (on the whole, not) and practical suggestions for writing to the required length (including cutting an essay to the required length) end the 5 succinct chapters in this part.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott
in The craft of writing in sociology
Abstract only
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This chapter reviews some different essay structures which sociological arguments might take, including: ‘compare and contrast’, ‘build and refine’, ‘author and their critics’ and ‘data interpretation and analysis’. It explores in fine detail how an argument can be built by use of objects, concepts and propositions, showing how to link a critical review of the literature into an independent argument. It stresses the importance of connecting, comparing and contrasting definitions, concepts and propositions in order to build a response to arguments found in the sociological literature.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This part provides solutions to common problems of essay writing that are easy to put into practice. Tips for deciding which essay question to choose include reminding students to think about displaying their own skills and understanding to best advantage. Dealing with difficulties in deciding what to read includes advice on thinking about the overall timetable as well as reasons for distinguishing between genres (e.g. journalism, textbooks, academic journal articles). The problem of writers’ block is cut down to size with simple, tried and tested tricks for side-stepping it. Advice on whether or not to use rhetorical questions (on the whole, not) and practical suggestions for writing to the required length (including cutting an essay to the required length) end the 5 succinct chapters in this part.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Abstract only
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This chapter explores what is required of a middle section for a sociological essay. It uses real student examples to show how to flesh-out an argument by providing evidence and quotations from academic sources. It demonstrates how the middle of the essay is built paragraph-by-paragraph, to deliver the key points and review the evidence in a sequential fashion, gradually building towards a conclusion. This chapter provides a guide to students showing how to use argument ‘signposting’ without being repetitive and the importance of paying attention to the way each sentence is constructed. .

in The craft of writing in sociology
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This chapter shows students how to develop a critical reading of sociological literature, by reading in depth and breadth. It guides students through the process of summarising a text and of locating it in the relevant sociological context. It shows the importance of identifying key concepts and propositions in the literature to be able to critically engage with the arguments being developed by sociologists. It provides a system for taking notes when conducting a literature review which is designed to keep track of and link together concepts and propositions. Overall, the chapter provides students with a guide to the basic skills involved in critically assessing a body of literature and compiling the notes required to create their own sociological arguments.

in The craft of writing in sociology
Should I use them?
Andrew Balmer and Anne Murcott

This part provides solutions to common problems of essay writing that are easy to put into practice. Tips for deciding which essay question to choose include reminding students to think about displaying their own skills and understanding to best advantage. Dealing with difficulties in deciding what to read includes advice on thinking about the overall timetable as well as reasons for distinguishing between genres (e.g. journalism, textbooks, academic journal articles). The problem of writers’ block is cut down to size with simple, tried and tested tricks for side-stepping it. Advice on whether or not to use rhetorical questions (on the whole, not) and practical suggestions for writing to the required length (including cutting an essay to the required length) end the 5 succinct chapters in this part.

in The craft of writing in sociology