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Social Science Essay: &Lsquo;jack of All Trades, Master of None’

Comparing the scope country against the general power country made this method an indisputable generalist.

Courseworks of a ‘general’ nature requires a generalist point of view. Though easier said than done, few students had ideas on how to approach an essay of umbrella-orientation. A perfect example for this is the social science essay.

As a common knowledge for everyone, social science mothers a total of at least 12 major sub-fields: anthropology, communication, criminology, cultural studies, development studies, economics, human geography, law, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology. With these sub-fields at tow, what is the major consideration for shaping one’s social science essay?

  1. The essay should have a little bit of every sub-field.

  2. The essay should only have the most relevant of sub-fields (in accord to essay topic).

  3. The essay should have none of those sub-fields.

  4. All of the above.

Evidently, the last two choices (c and d) are not workable options. Hence, the ultimate choice for student’s social science essay writing bottles down to options a and b. For a start, this uncertainty can simply be solved by asking the instructor, particularly about the expected essay output. Knowing the instructor’s expectation of students’ essay output will automatically severe any existing ambiguity.

Yet, there is another way of finding the apt approach for the social science essay – the topic. The topic itself may give students clues as to how the essay should be written: using the generalist approach of a ‘little bit of everything,’ or the conservative method of picking only the most relevant sub-fields.

For example if a topic is about “China as An Emerging Power Country,” students are expected to take everything relevant to the country scope, as well as main indicators of a ‘power country’ – and this is a conservative approach.

On the other hand, utilising the generalist method, they will not only get its conservative outlook; students are to collate all of the power countries of the world and use this as a benchmark. China, then, is measured against the benchmarked world power countries to accurately analyse and derive its incremental growth. Comparing the scope country against the general power country made this method an indisputable generalist.

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