aqa psychology essay structure

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Aqa psychology essay structure training company business plan template

Aqa psychology essay structure

Discuss or outline and evaluate questions straightforward essays where you describe and evaluate theory and research. There are 6 marks for AO1 describe skills and 10 marks for AO3 evaluate skills. If you could normally write 3 sides in 25 minutes 1 side should be AO1 the other 2 should be AO3.

There are 6 marks for AO1 describe skills, 6 marks for AO3 evaluate skills and 4 marks for AO2 skills linking knowledge to the context of the question. How Common are Essay Questions? Although the new A-level has only been running for a couple of years we can see what AQA are likely to ask in terms of how often and what type of essay questions will come up. Paper 1 : Out of the 4 topics Memory, Social Influence, Attachment, Psychopathology you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question and 1 context mark question.

Paper 2 : Out of the 2 topics Approaches and Biopsychology you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question. You will then usually be asked 1 design a study question in the Research Methods section. Paper 3 : Out of the 4 topics Issue Debates and whatever 3 options you ve studied you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question and 1 context mark question. How to Score AO3 Marks AO3 skills require you to analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence.

Whereas AO1 skills of describing psychological theory and research are fairly straight-forward, AO3 skills are rather more complex. AQA Examiner's Reports repeat year-after-year that: 1. Students find AO3 skills more difficult than AO1 skills. Students score worse on AO3 skills than AO1 skills and are often poor at demonstrating them.

Students tend to write too much on AO1 material and not enough on AO3 material. The following are examples of ways in which you can score AO3 skills. You only need to demonstrate some of these in an essay not all of them. There are many ways you can critically evaluate: Methodological Evaluation of Research Is the theory you are discussing supported by valid research evidence. What are the strengths and limitations of the research method used: e.

For example, Bandura's Bobo Doll studies are laboratory experiments and, therefore, criticisable on the grounds of lacking ecological validity: i. To gain marks for criticising study's methodologies the criticism must be contextualised: i. Has the IV and DV been operationalised in a valid way? Are there problems with ecological validity, demand characteristics, investigator bias or social desirability bias?

Does the sample used have population validity and can findings be generalised? To gain marks for criticising a study's methodology the criticism must be contextualised: i. You should also explain what implications your criticism has for the theory you are evaluating. The value of a study ultimately rests on whether it provides significant evidence for or against a theory and whether the findings can be applied to real life behaviour. Research studies can score marks as either knowledge AO1 or evaluation AO3.

If you describe the procedures and findings of a study, this shows knowledge. If you comment on what the studies shows, and how it supports or challenges a theory, this shows evaluation. Compare or contrast different theories - Outline how the theories are similar and how they differ.

For example, biological explanations of mental disorders take a nature perspective and can be criticised for being reductionist. What are the ethical issues of the research? Might such findings fuel discrimination? Harlow's research into attachment. Sometimes, research is criticised for being irrelevant to modern society as it was conducted a long time ago when cultural norms were different e. Asch's research into conformity. Psychology is predominantly a white, Euro-American enterprise.

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. Be clear why each point is is relevant to the argument. It would be useful at the beginning of each paragraph if you explicitly outlined the theme being discussed. Try not to overuse quotations in your essays. It is more appropriate to use original content to demonstrate your understanding.

Psychology is a science so you must support your ideas with evidence not your own personal opinion. If you are discussing a theory or research study make sure you cite the source of the information. Bowlby claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 months, i. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fullfil the next one, and so on.

As a general rule make sure there is at least one citation i. Remember to answer the essay question. Underline the key words in the essay title. Don't make the mistake of simply writing everything you know of a particular topic, be selective. Each paragraph in your essay should contribute to answering the essay question. In simple terms this means outlining the strengths and limitations of a theory or research study. Is the sample biased or can we generalize the findings to other populations?

What are the strengths and limitations of the method used and data obtained? Be careful to ensure that any methodological criticisms are justified and not trite. Rather than hunting for weaknesses in every study; only highlight limitations which make you doubt the conclusions that the authors have drawn — e. Refer to debates such as nature or nurture, reductionism vs. For example, would they agree or disagree with a theory or the findings of the study?

If research is biased towards men or women it does not provide a clear view of the behavior that has been studied. A dominantly male perspective is known as an androcentric bias. The main criterion is that benefits must outweigh costs. But benefits are almost always to humans and costs to animals.

Animal research also raises the issue of extrapolation. It is very important to elaborate on your evaluation. Don't just write a shopping list of brief one or two sentence evaluation points. Instead make sure you expand on your points, remember, quality of evaluation is most important than quantity. Are they positive or negative? Point It is argued that psychoanalytic therapy is only of benefit to an articulate, intelligent, affluent minority.

Explain Because psychoanalytic therapy involves talking and gaining insight, and is costly and time-consuming, it is argued that it is only of benefit to an articulate, intelligent, affluent minority. Evidence suggests psychoanalytic therapy works best if the client is motivated and has a positive attitude. Furthermore, the levels of dependency of depressed clients mean that transference is more likely to develop. It is often best to write your introduction when you have finished the main body of the essay, so that you have a good understanding to the topic area.

Introductions are very important as first impressions count and they can create a h alo effect in the mind of the lecturer grading your essay. If you start off well then you are more likely to be forgiven for the odd mistake later one.

So many students either forget to write a conclusion or fail to give it the attention it deserves. Points that unite or embrace several themes can be used to great effect as part of your conclusion. When you have finished the first draft of your essay you must check if it 'flows'. This is an important feature of quality of communication along with spelling and grammar. This means that the paragraphs follow a logical order like the chapters in a novel.

Have a global structure with themes arranged in a way that allows for a logical sequence of ideas. You might want to rearrange cut and paste paragraphs to a different position in your essay if they don't appear to fit in with the essay structure. To improve the flow of your essay make sure the last sentence of one paragraph links to first sentence of the next paragraph.

This will help the essay flow and make it easier to read.

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Dispositional explanation for obedience: the Authoritarian Personality. Explanations of resistance to social influence, including social support and locus of control. Minority influence including reference to consistency, commitment and flexibility. The role of social influence processes in social change. Features of each store: coding, capacity and duration. Types of long-term memory: episodic, semantic, procedural.

The working memory model: central executive, phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad and episodic buffer. Features of the model: coding and capacity. Explanations for forgetting: proactive and retroactive interference and retrieval failure due to absence of cues. Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony: misleading information, including leading questions and post-event discussion; anxiety.

Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, including the use of the cognitive interview. Essay Plans Stages of attachment identified by Schaffer. Multiple attachments and the role of the father. Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow. The concepts of a critical period and an internal working model. Types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant and insecure-resistant. Cultural variations in attachment, including van Ijzendoorn. Romanian orphan studies: effects of institutionalisation.

The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships, including the role of an internal working model. The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD. The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias: the two-process model, including classical and operant conditioning; systematic desensitisation, including relaxation and use of hierarchy; flooding.

The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD: genetic and neural explanations; drug therapy. The cognitive approach: the study of internal mental processes, the role of schema, the use of theoretical and computer models to explain and make inferences about mental processes. The emergence of cognitive neuroscience. The biological approach: the influence of genes, biological structures and neurochemistry on behaviour.

Genotype and phenotype, genetic basis of behaviour, evolution and behaviour. The psychodynamic approach: the role of the unconscious, the structure of personality, that is ID, ego and superego, defence mechanisms including repression, denial and displacement, psychosexual stages. The influence on counselling psychology. Comparison of approaches. Outline and Evaluate the psychodynamic approach in psychology 16 The function of the endocrine system: glands and hormones. The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline.

Ways of studying the brain: scanning techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI ; electroencephalogram EEGs and event-related potentials ERPs ; post-mortem examinations. Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these rhythms.

Outline and Evaluate localisation of function in the human brain 16 Outline and Evaluate research into brain lateralisation and split brain 16 Outline and Evaluate the evidence for plasticity and functional recovery 16 Outline and Evaluate research into circadian rhythms 16 There are 6 marks for AO1 describe skills, 6 marks for AO3 evaluate skills and 4 marks for AO2 skills linking knowledge to the context of the question.

How Common are Essay Questions? Although the new A-level has only been running for a couple of years we can see what AQA are likely to ask in terms of how often and what type of essay questions will come up. Paper 1 : Out of the 4 topics Memory, Social Influence, Attachment, Psychopathology you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question and 1 context mark question.

Paper 2 : Out of the 2 topics Approaches and Biopsychology you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question. You will then usually be asked 1 design a study question in the Research Methods section. Paper 3 : Out of the 4 topics Issue Debates and whatever 3 options you ve studied you will usually be asked 1 discuss mark question and 1 context mark question.

How to Score AO3 Marks AO3 skills require you to analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence. Whereas AO1 skills of describing psychological theory and research are fairly straight-forward, AO3 skills are rather more complex. AQA Examiner's Reports repeat year-after-year that: 1. Students find AO3 skills more difficult than AO1 skills.

Students score worse on AO3 skills than AO1 skills and are often poor at demonstrating them. Students tend to write too much on AO1 material and not enough on AO3 material. The following are examples of ways in which you can score AO3 skills. You only need to demonstrate some of these in an essay not all of them. There are many ways you can critically evaluate: Methodological Evaluation of Research Is the theory you are discussing supported by valid research evidence.

What are the strengths and limitations of the research method used: e. For example, Bandura's Bobo Doll studies are laboratory experiments and, therefore, criticisable on the grounds of lacking ecological validity: i. To gain marks for criticising study's methodologies the criticism must be contextualised: i. Has the IV and DV been operationalised in a valid way? Are there problems with ecological validity, demand characteristics, investigator bias or social desirability bias?

Does the sample used have population validity and can findings be generalised? To gain marks for criticising a study's methodology the criticism must be contextualised: i. You should also explain what implications your criticism has for the theory you are evaluating.

The value of a study ultimately rests on whether it provides significant evidence for or against a theory and whether the findings can be applied to real life behaviour. Research studies can score marks as either knowledge AO1 or evaluation AO3. If you describe the procedures and findings of a study, this shows knowledge.

If you comment on what the studies shows, and how it supports or challenges a theory, this shows evaluation. Compare or contrast different theories - Outline how the theories are similar and how they differ. For example, biological explanations of mental disorders take a nature perspective and can be criticised for being reductionist.

What are the ethical issues of the research? Might such findings fuel discrimination? Harlow's research into attachment. Sometimes, research is criticised for being irrelevant to modern society as it was conducted a long time ago when cultural norms were different e. Asch's research into conformity. Psychology is predominantly a white, Euro-American enterprise. Does the theory or study being discussed judge other cultures by Western standards? If research is biased towards men or women, it does not provide a clear view of the behaviour that has been studied.

A dominantly male perspective is known as an androcentric bias.