SOC4003 Introduction to Criminology

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Assessment Details


Your task is to create an essay plan detailing the approach that you may take to writing an essay on an area of criminological study of your choice. The area of study chosen must be related to this unit of study and an example list is given below, however you can choose your own if you wish.


This could be a notable historical criminological case, event, or topic/trend.


Examples of possible essay plan subjects


  • Is the criminal justice system failing us?
  • Have any lessons been learnt from the Stephen Lawrence case?
  • What should be the focus of the Youth Justice system?
  • Victimology – are victims of crime important?
  • Is mental health a key cause of crime?
  • Is hate crime on the rise?



The feedback provided on your essay plan will be useful in planning for and informing your final assessment.



The aim of this assessment is for you to demonstrate that you can do the following, which relate to the broader programme level outcomes:


  1. Plan and structure an academic essay that demonstrates your understanding of criminological concepts.
  2. Use the library facilities to search for and select relevant academic sources to evidence your work.
  3. Evidence your work using the APA referencing format.



Essay Plans


An essay plan is a detailed description of core arguments that will be made within an essay. You will need to write a range of academic essays throughout your degree. An effective essay plan can speed up the essay writing process and give the essay direction and precision. This is why this is included as an assessment for you. Planning helps you to develop your academic skills, as well as the types of skills that employers expect from graduates. You will find more detailed guidance about essay plans on the ‘Assessment Support- Essay Plan’ folder on Moodle. 




The essay plan is an opportunity for you to display your developing knowledge of criminology. This is a 1,000-word piece of work, which is expected to include:


  1. An introduction
  2. Core arguments to be made within the essay (body paragraphs)
  3. A conclusion
  4. A reference list – (This should include at least one academic book, journal article, and official crime statistics source, which you will have read)


How to Approach the Task

In the assessment section on Moodle you will find a document titled ‘Essay Plan Guidance’. This document provides guidance on how to structure an essay plan. Begin with a short introduction of what your study is about and what will be discussed.  Think about how you can organise your essay plan into a coherent order in terms of core arguments (Topic Sentence and Supporting Ideas). This organisation of the material is an important part of the process, so it is for you to make your own decisions.  I am deliberately not telling you exactly what you should do here. At the end of the review, write a short summary, summarising what the essay plan seems to be suggesting. 

You should provide evidence to support the core arguments within your essay plan, to reflect the sources of information found in your research (such as books, journal articles, crime statistics, etc.). These sources of information should be made clear through your referencing. Further information on referencing can be found in the assessment section on Moodle, and on the library website:

You should not simply copy and paste information from these sources without any comment or analysis linking them together. You will be marked down for incorrect or missing references.


Assessment Support


During the semester, we will cover relevant information about various contemporary criminality, and you will have a chance to undertake a range of tasks (Pre-Live-Post) to help you with the assessment. There will be an assessment unpacking session for the essay plan in Week 5, which will outline expectations for the essay plan in detail. The reading list will also be helpful and can be accessed via the reading list on Moodle. In addition, we will be looking at a number of sources which you can draw from in the ‘resources’ for each week. You could also ask questions about the assessment after the weekly sessions or by contacting me via email ([email protected]).

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