Drawing on ONE theoretical perspective from below, critically explore how the perspective explains crime and criminality, informs measures for controlling and reducing crime, and is used in current thinking in criminology.
- Phenomenology and labelling
Be aware of the following when you are doing the essay. An essay requires an in-depth, well-sourced and informed exploration of the essay topic. Ensure that you understand what is required of you and that you explore ONE perspective from above. Your essay should attempt to achieve all of the following:
- A definition of the key concepts relating to the essay topic.
- A demonstration of your knowledge and understanding of underlying criminological theories.
- Coverage of relevant theories.
- Use of literature and evidence to support your arguments.
- Critical discussion of the evidence (e.g., competing perspectives of authors, theorists and previous research, and an exploration of the strengths and limitations of perspectives).
- Critical consideration of arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ a perspective and/ or the similarities and differences between theories.
- Appropriate and correct citing and referencing of the literature.
- A critical, well structured, well-developed, and coherent argument leading to a considered and informed conclusion.
Specifically, the four areas below will be considered in marking your work.
Structure and organisation:
- You must state the title of your essay at the start (i.e. the perspective that you will be exploring in your essay).
- Ensure that the structure of your essay is coherent, logical and clear. Your essay should include (1) an introduction with “sign-posting” for the content of the essay; (2) a main body wherein you explore the perspectives; and (3) a set of summary conclusions to draw together the main arguments in your essay.
- Ensure that you use paragraphs to build your argument. Try to explore one point/ theme/ issue (backed up by evidence in the literature, quotations, examples, and citations) per paragraph, and ensure that each paragraph flows on from the previous paragraph.
Knowledge, understanding and content:
- You must demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the criminological perspective of your choosing, how the perspective explains crime and criminality, informs measures for controlling and reducing crime, and is used in current thinking in criminology.
- Ensure that you read widely and that you use the theories, evidence and discussions in the literature to build your argument.
- Ensure that you explore a variety of arguments from the literature and that you compare and contrast those arguments, ensure that you discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the perspective.
- Claim only what can be substantiated from the literature (and provide in-text citations and a matched reference list).
Communication and presentation:
- Use Arial 12pt and 1.5 or double line spacing, use sub-headings if you feel that they will improve your essay, do not use the first person (I/ we/ us) or include your own opinion, do not use contractions (e.g. doesn’t for does not), do not use informal language (e.g. this theory totally works), avoid overly-long sentences, always do a spelling and grammar check on, and a thorough proof-read of, your work prior to submission.
Sources and referencing:
- You are expected to demonstrate wide reading for this assignment. You are allowed to use the generic textbooks to start to develop your understanding of the perspectives but your essay should be based upon material in original sources, specific texts, and journal articles, as far as possible. Do not rely on the generic textbooks for this assignment.
- Ensure that you use the referencing system correctly for both the in-text citations and the reference list at the end. Check the referencing guide for help. In-text citations always count towards the word limit; the reference list at the end does not.
Learning outcomes for assessment 1
Knowledge and Understanding
1. Critically assess the key features of explanations for crime, criminality and disorder and their contribution to contemporary criminological thought.
2. Critically discuss responses to crime, criminality and disorder and their contribution to contemporary criminological thought.
5. Demonstrate appropriate key and IT skills