How to answer a Methods in Context Question

The methods in context question appears on Paper 1 of the exam and is worth 20 marks and you should spend around 30 minutes on it.

What do you need to do?

The main focus of this question is for you to demonstrate the ability to apply and analyse research methods within the context of a particular area of Education.

The key questions to think about are:

  1. What are the issues I would face if I were to conduct a study into this area of education / Crime and Deviance?
  2. How would this research method help me to overcome these issues?
  3. How would this research method hinder my investigation?

Planning your answer

When planning your answer you need to identify the research issues that apply to this area:

Not all of the research issues will be applicable to every question. For this question, you should be aiming for 3 or 4 paragraphs (not including introduction or conclusion). You will find some of these in the item. Make sure to clearly indicate where you have used information from the item (i.e. “as indicated in item C”). Next, you need to link the research method to this issue, think about how the method will help to overcome this issue or how it will hinder the research.

Paragraph Structure – Turning your plan into an answer.

Part 1: Identification of the issue in studying this area of education, use the wording from the question to show the examiner you are focused.

Part 2: Explain why this is a problem. Use phrases like “this is a problem because” to show the examiner you are moving from identification to explanation.

Part 3: Explain how the research method will help and/or hinder the research in this area.

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