Tag Archive | essay

DD101 – TMA 03

I have just finished the third TMA (essay) for my Open University Course, DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences.

I didn’t think I could do it at all, in fact this essay has had me in tears and convinced that not only I don’t want to carry on with this particular bit of the course, but that I’m really not cut out to be doing Social Science at all.

It has been so discouraging, because I have studied Sociology before at GCSE (although actually, ahem, I suppose it was actually O Level) and A Level and I had loved the subject, but I don’t remembering it being this hard.

TMA 03 was a two part essay. The first part was 500 words analysing a table of data from the Census related to the ethnicity of residents of the national parks in England and Wales. Huh, I didn’t know we had any ‘national parks’.

The second part was 1000 words on the topic of how certain communities are included or excluded in certain places.

Oh my. I had thought the essay on ‘rubbish’ was hard.

It was the data table that really had me in tears, because my mathematical skills are oo, rusty shall we say? It was fairly obvious that ‘White’ was vastly more numerous than any other ethnicity, but it was a very poorly categorised set of data really. Why, for example, does the government categorise ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Irish Traveller’ together as one ethnicity? They seem political rather than bona fide ethnic categorizations. But ours not to reason why or comment, just to analyse.

Part two was just a straightforward essay really, and should have been easy because it was only 1000 words, but because I had procrastinated for so long, putting it off because I was finding the first part such a headache, I had to cram everything in today and cobble it together before the deadline. So I’m not expecting a very good result this time. Ho hum, I got it done anyway.

Now I just need to start getting back into a regular rhythm of study and keep to it so I don’t get into so much trouble next time.

How’s everybody else finding the course?

 

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DD101 Introducing the Social Sciences Weeks 1-3

I have completed the main tasks for weeks 1-3, including finishing reading the first Learning Companion, watching the films and completing the online tasks. I do need to go back and make some additional notes on a couple of the films, and listen again to the audio files and take notes. I also need to turn my notes into an essay for the first TMA.

It has been a pretty relaxed and gentle introduction so far, and I’m quite looking forward to our first tutorial.

I am a little troubled though about the TMA. The task is to write about a street ‘you know well’. Well, I have moved around a lot, and I have lived in several cities, but recently I have been in a very rural location.

The course materials use City Road in Cardiff as a ‘window’ on society, and state that it is possible to apply what is observed there to any street in any town in the world. Perhaps. I can certainly compare my location to City Road, Cardiff. But it does seem to me that rural locations have very different issues to urban societies. Perhaps ‘people are the same wherever you go’ but it will be interesting to see if the differences outweigh the similarities. I know my tutor would prefer me to write about an urban location, but I don’t ‘know’ any town streets and to discover what I would need to know to compare one with City Road Cardiff would require hours of research that would take it well beyond the 20 hours per week that I bargained for. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a case for writing about my rural locality.