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GCSE and A level Sociology Essay Sentence Starters

GCSE and A level Sociology Essay Sentence Starters

Subject: Sociology

Age range: 16+

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity


Last updated

13 February 2021

sociology essay sentence starters

A list of useful sentence starters for sociology essay questions. Sentence starters for your point, evidence/explanation, analysis and refer or link sentences. These are useful for 4, 6, 10, 20 and 30 marker questions.

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A Level Sociology Essays – How to Write Them

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This post offers some advice on how you might plan and write essays in the A level sociology exams. 

how to write sociology essays " data-image-caption data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1" decoding=async width=640 height=480 class="ezlazyload aligncenter wp-image-10399 size-full" src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=%22http://www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20width=%22640%22%20height=%22480%22%3E%3C/svg%3E" alt data-recalc-dims=1 ezimgfmt="rs rscb1 src ng ngcb1" data-ezsrc="https://revisesociology.com/ezoimgfmt/i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?resize=640%2C480&is-pending-load=1#038;ssl=1"> how to write sociology essays " data-image-caption data-medium-file="https://i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1" data-large-file="https://i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1" decoding=async width=640 height=480 class="aligncenter wp-image-10399 size-full" src="https://i0.wp.com/revisesociology.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/peec.jpg?resize=640%2C480&ssl=1" alt data-recalc-dims=1> How to write an A-level sociology essay

Skills in the a level sociology exam, ao1: knowledge and understanding, ao2: application .

You can demonstrate application by…

AO3: Analysis and Evaluation

Use the item.

Every 30 mark question will ask you to refer to an ‘item’. This will be a very short piece of writing, consisting of about 8 lines of text. The item will typically refer to one aspect of the knowledge side of the question and one evaluation point. For example, if the question is asking you to ‘assess the Functionalist view of education’, the item is likely to refer to one point Functionalists make about education – such as role allocation, and one criticism.


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Seven examples of sociology essays, and more advice…

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So how should you write your sociology essays to best meet the needs of the examiners?


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sociology essay sentence starters

Three top tips for writing sociology essays

sociology essay sentence starters

The Craft of Writing in Sociology

As the academic semester gets underway, we talked to three senior colleagues in Sociology at the University of Manchester to come up with their ‘pet peeves’ when marking student’s essays. Here are some of their comments, and some of our top tips to help you to improve your work.

First, lecturers said they were frustrated with the way that students write their opening paragraphs:

“A main peeve of mine in student writing is poor introductions. Three common errors regularly stand out: throat clearing sentences (e.g. ‘globalisation is an important topic’, ‘Marx was an important writer’); dictionary definitions for core sociological concepts; and introductions that merely restate the question. What I really want to see from an introduction is a brief account of how the student is approaching the question at hand, what key questions the essay will address, and what answer the student will come to at the end of the essay.” – Senior Lecturer in Sociology

This was a point on which our three colleagues agreed: students often waste the introduction. Here is top tip number one to help you improve your essays:

1. Give the reader a guide to your argument. Much as you would give someone directions in how to get to where they’re going, tell your reader what steps you will take, what the key turning points will be, why it is important to take this route and, ultimately, where you will end up. In other words, tell your reader exactly what you will conclude and why, right at the beginning.

Another point on which our colleagues agreed was that sociological essays can be imprecise, and are sometimes written in a style which is meant to sound intellectual, but which is more confusing than it is enlightening. As one senior lecturer put it:

“A pet peeve of mine is imprecise language, for example peppering an essay with terms like ‘however’, ‘therefore’, and ‘consequently’, but without attending to the logical relationship between sentences that those words are supposed to signal. If the logical connector is wrong then the argument fails. This kind of error is often motivated, I think, by students wanting their essays to ‘sound academic’, when often they would have been more convincing by using simpler language more precisely.” – Senior Lecturer in Sociology

It is worth planning the time needed to rework your essays because a good argument can be let down by poor presentation. Here is top tip number two:

2. Your written work should prioritise clarity and concision over entertainment and erudition when making an argument. Students often write in a style which they think makes their points sound important, but get lost in the meaning of what they are saying by doing so. It might be that you have quite a command of English and want to show off your knowledge of polysyllabic or unusual words, or it might be that you wish to imitate the sociological writers whom you admire. Whatever additional reasons you have for writing, there is none more important in a sociological essay than making your argument clear. Words such as ‘however’ and ‘moreover’ should be used to indicate how your ideas are linked together, not to start a sentence with a good word. Be sure that when you edit your work, you edit for the argument, prioritising the word choices which best help to make your point. Such decisions will reflect maturity and consideration in your written work, and it is these which will truly impress a reader.

A final element which our three colleagues all listed in their top pet peeves was poor structure:

“I am often frustrated by the poor structuring of an essay. In other words, with the order in which ideas are presented, either at the level of the whole essay or at paragraph level. Essays that ping-pong from one idea to another, and then back to the original idea, indicate that the student has not really thought their argument through. A trickier thing to get right is the structuring of paragraphs, and some students seem keen to cram in as many (often unconnected) points into one paragraph as possible.” – Senior Lecturer in Sociology

The key point to learn when it comes to structuring your work is to make your writing serve your argument. You should present the main turns of your argument clearly, so as to reach a natural conclusion. Here is top tip number three for improving your essays:

3. Redraft your work for your argument, before you edit and proof-read it. Students often write to tight deadlines and do not plan enough time for a good second draft of their work. Instead, they write a first draft and then edit it as they proof-read it. When writing the first draft of an essay you will still be working out what the argument is. This is because writing helps you to think, so as you write your full first draft you will be meandering around a little, finding the best route as you go. Instead of merely editing this and checking the grammar, you should seriously re-draft the essay in light of the argument you now know you wish to make. This will help you to write a good introduction, since you can now say clearly from the outset what you will go on to argue, and a good conclusion, for you will now be able to say exactly what you have argued and why. Re-drafting for the argument means taking out material, adding in material and ensuring that each paragraph has a main point to contribute. It is an essential step in producing a good essay, which must be undertaken prior to editing for sense and proof-reading for typographical mistakes.

These tips point you towards the most important part of learning to write good sociological essays: bringing everything you do into the service of producing an argument which responds to the question and provides a satisfying answer.

Featured image credit: meeting by Eric Bailey. CC0 Public Domain via Pexels .

Andrew Balmer is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester and member of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives. He is co-author of a new book, The Craft of Writing in Sociology: Developing the Argument in Undergraduate Essays and Dissertations , published by Manchester University Press. Andrew can be found on Twitter @AndyBalmer .

Anne Murcott is Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Professorial Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. She is author of numerous books and edited collections, including The Craft of Writing in Sociology .

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sociology essay sentence starters

Recent Comments

The recommendations sound more like how to write an abstract than a full essay. If I condense my whole essay into the first paragraph, there is little incentive for a reader to go further. “Formula writing” might simplify paper-marking, but is unlikely to produce truly interesting results. My experience covers 40 years at three major research universities in the U.S.;, and publication in anthropology, linguistics, and education, as well as direction of many doctoral dissertations.

You have explained the topic very well. I want to add something. I am also an educator and I have recently come to know that the week writing skills make students buy essays online.

Even if someone is taking the help in writing, he or she must write their own essays to submit in the class.

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Homework Help

EP 58: How to Begin a Sociology Essay

What’s the toughest part of writing an essay? STARTING. Here are some topic ideas to get you started.

Sociology is the study of people and their relationships within society. It touches upon a wide range of topics, from religion to communities, from different kinds of conflicts to the behavior of individuals and social groups. Join Cath Anne on Episode 58 of the Homework Help Show for sociology essay topic ideas and advice on how to start an essay.

Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG


Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Hi guys and welcome back to our channel. My name is Cath Anne and this is episode 58 of the homework help show posted by homework help global.

Cath Anne: [00:00:12] Sociology is the study of people and their relationships. It covers a wide variety of topics ranging from religion to communities to conflicts and how people navigate these conflicts in the context of groups. Sociology is considered a science and it is related to other disciplines such as philosophy psychology economics and politics. When you are beginning to write a sociological paper it is important to understand the discipline of sociology and it is also important to draw on a multidisciplinary approach.

Cath Anne: [00:00:57] What this means is that you can draw on the breadth of topics within the sociological discipline you might consider drawing on economic research philosophical research psychology writing an essay is a necessary component of disciplines such as sociology and other related disciplines. Now while it does become second nature learning how to write a research paper can be challenging possibly the most challenging part of writing a research paper is actually getting started today on episode fifty eight. We hope to help you weed through the challenges of writing a sociological research paper and.

Cath Anne: [00:01:41] Help you to answer the question. How do I start a sociology essay. Let’s jump in. So how do you start a sociology essay. The first component of writing any strong essay is to choose the correct research topic. There is hardly a student in the world who would pass in a plagiarized poorly written or incomplete essay. Often when students pass in these types of essays it is due to constant procrastination caused by a lack of motivation or a lack of interest in the topic. You can fix this by choosing a topic that you are passionate about before you think about choosing your topic. Discover some of your interests. Ask yourself what your interests are and choose a topic that you are truly passionate about.

Cath Anne: [00:02:32] The benefit of the sociological discipline is that there is a breadth of information out there that you can draw on to fuel your research. Generally most professors are open to you exploring the breadth of topic areas that are out there. Furthermore if you write on something that you have no interest in whatsoever your professor will definitely pick up on that because it will come through in the tone of your writing as well. If you have no interest in the topic you’re writing about. I can guarantee you will find yourself procrastinating. Now you may find that after a few weeks of researching you have little to no information to put forth in an essay resulting in passing in an unenthused paper just to hand something in. Another reason to choose your topic wisely is to make sure that there is enough current research out there to back up your claims. If there is not enough current research out there you may find yourself scrounging for information and writing an essay from nothing determines something in the field that you find exciting. Ask unexpected questions. Defining unsettled questions will put you in the right direction and make you ask more questions. Further guiding your research to begin your essay you will state the problem or question that you want to resolve or discover you can reject or support some well-known hypothesis or theory or you might look at addressing a well-known social problem or issue. State a valuable question that gives food for thought and that is relevant to this sociology discipline. Here are some questions and research topics that you might want to consider.

Cath Anne: [00:04:28] When you are starting to write a sociology essay How does cross racial adoption affect children in society to what extent does parental influence have an impact on a child’s behavior. What is the correlation between race and educational level how do racial stereotypes affect self-esteem and self-consciousness. How does nationality affect a career in governmental institutions. Now here is a topic area that is completely relevant to contemporary society. Sociology and Social Media. Here are some questions. How popular are social media platforms amongst different social groups; how does social media platforms influence educational processes; effects of social media on people. These questions are gender related. How does gender impact work relationships homosexuality and nationality How do gender studies in younger grades affect self-esteem. The sex issues impacting youth under the age of 18. Proposal at college; should young students wait to get married?. And finally we have some questions on the food industry. Why is food education crucial in modern society? How do food traditions affect national identity? I hope some of those questions gave you an idea of how to begin your sociology essay. If you have any other ideas or want to expand on any of the ones we’ve provided, jump into the comments below and let us know.

Cath Anne: [00:06:20] Now a second component to consider when you are beginning your sociology research is what kind of research you are going to conduct. If you are in an undergraduate degree in sociology it is likely that you will be conducting qualitative research. Now what this means is that your professor will not likely ask you to conduct your own observational research or primary research. Rather you will be drawing on secondary research meaning that you will be looking at pre-existing studies and forming a research concept from their there may be cases where your professor may ask you to complete some observational research or primary data collection. However for the most part if you are an undergraduate you will likely be drawing on research studies that already exist writing a research topic on an interesting subject not only makes you a good student it makes you an expert in the field because you are essentially conducting research in the sociological field make sure that you consider an interesting topic that is not only interesting to you but also relevant to your audience and to the discipline. Begin your sociology essay by conducting a literature review and making sure that there is enough available research on your topic conducting a literature review will also help you to flesh out your research question and perhaps develop a new and more honed in research question. So how do you begin a sociology essay. Make sure you choose the right topic. Choose a topic that is interesting to you as well as the larger audience. It must also be relevant to the sociological discipline make certain that there is enough information out there on your topic conducting a literature review. Draw on a multidisciplinary approach and include topic areas from other disciplines like economics psychology philosophy and politics. Finally decide what kind of research you are going to conduct as mentioned if you are in a undergraduate degree it is likely that you will be conducting qualitative research. Use strong peer reviewed articles to back up your research question and conduct a solid sociological research essay.

[00:09:07] OK guys that is it for me this week. Thank you so much for joining me. If you liked this video and found it helpful make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on any of our academic content. Feel free to jump into the comments section below and share any research questions or ideas that you might have if you have any questions for us. Absolutely. Hit us up on our social media platforms. Everything is linked and listed in the description box below. Thanks for joining me on episode 58. Talk soon. Good luck on those essays and take care.

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