The purpose of the research essay is for you to develop and demonstrate a capacity for cultural sociological analysis

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Assessment 3: Details and instructions


The purpose of the research essay is for you to develop and demonstrate a capacity for cultural sociological analysis.

Task details

You will choose a question related to one of the topics from Week 4 to Week 11.

  • Art and the Culture Industries
  • Taste, Music and Cultural Consumption
  • Story and Myth in Film and Literature
  • Digital Cultures and the Transformation of Television
  • Cultures of Love and Happiness
  • The Self and Therapeutic Cultures
  • Cultural Trauma and Collective Memory
  • Social Movements and Cultural Change

Essay questions will be available on the LMS by Week 6. You may also develop your own question. If you wish to do this you must have your essay question approved by the subject coordinator, Associate Professor Katie Wright.

Essay topics must be researched using databases and resources available from the Library.

The essay word requirement is 2000 (+/- 10%). Therefore, essays must be between 1,800 and 2,200 words and include a reference list with formatting using the APA7 reference style.

The resources and grading criteria below contain additional insights and advice for writing sociological essays.

Please email us if you have any questions.

Resources and readings relevant to the assessment

Below is a recording of an essay tutorial (delivered as a lecture). This covers essential skills required for essay preparation and writing. You can also access the slides here: Essay Tutorial Slides.

If you have any issues playing this video you can access it using the following web adderess:

ESSAY CONSULATIONS: The week 12 tutorials will operate as essay consultation sessions. Please come along with any questions relating to your essay progress.

Assessment criteria

Essays are assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Expression: well written and evidence of careful proofreading and editing
  • Structure: clear introduction, body and conclusion
  • Concepts and methods: reference to sociological concepts and application of sociological methods
  • Argument: logical development of a clear and coherent argument throughout
  • Analysis: a clear sociological perspective
  • Sources: sufficient academic and other sources found through ‘desk-based’ research (minimum of 10 sources, and at least 6 drawn from outside the weekly readings)
  • Appropriate and consistent referencing using the APA7 style guidelines (see Library website)

A PDF of the below image containing the detailed marking criteria can be accessed here: Essay Grading Criteria


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