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Assessment 2 – Information Sheet
Assessment 2 involves answering three (3) short-answer questions. Short-answer questions test basic knowledge and understanding. Given the responses are short in length (around 500 words per question), you need to make sure your response is completely on-task, relevant to the question, and importantly, answers the question. Anything tangential or peripheral to answering the question is just ‘wasted words’, which is something you don’t want to be doing particularly given the relatively small word count allocated to each question.
Please see pp. 7-8 of the learning guide for the Assessment questions, instructions (e.g. due date, word counts, etc), and marking criteria.
Before researching the answer to each question, it is a good idea to get a sense of exactly what the question is asking you to do. One approach is to identify the ‘task words’ contained within each question. For example, Question 1 asks you to ‘describe’, Question 2 asks you to ‘define’ and ‘describe’, and Question 3 asks you to ‘discuss’. These all have slightly different meanings. For example:
- describe – spell out the main aspects of an idea or topic (or the sequence in which a series of things happened)
- define – make a statement as to the meaning or interpretation of something, giving sufficient detail as to allow it to be distinguished from similar things;
- discuss – investigate or examine by argument. Examine key points and possible interpretations, sift and debate, giving reasons for and against. Draw a conclusion.
As you can see from the above, each of these task words ask you to do something slightly different, and it is important to ensure you do exactly what the task word is asking. For example, if you are asked to discuss something but you only define it, then you haven’t really answered the question (and unfortunately, the grade will be affected).
In most instances, the textbook (and the Muncie reading) will be sufficient in helping you answer each question. However, you also need to demonstrate to the reader/marker that you can conduct your own independent research, and importantly, use that research to help supplement information gleaned from the textbook. To that end, you need to use the textbook, the Muncie reading, and at least two additional academic sources to answer the questions. You do not need to use these academic sources in every shortanswer response, but they need to feature at some point(s) across the workbook. It is also a good idea to show your marker/reader how much research you have done, and not how little research you have done.
What is an academic source?
An academic source is research-based, often written by an academic and published by a journal, university, university publisher, or other reputable publisher. It will usually have been through a peerreview process, either by the journal or the publisher. It often comprises a journal article or book.
1 – Describe the different ways in which crime can be defined.
This question relates to the Muncie (2009) reading, where the author documents the different ways in which crime can be defined according to various moral, legal, ideological, etc. perspectives (e.g. crime as criminal law violation, crime as violation of moral codes, crime as social construct, etc). In answering this question, you should be illustrating the ways in which crime can be defined in different ways according to the issue at hand and the person’s moral, personal, ideological, emotional, etc. beliefs. You should be emphasising that crime is not a static concept, but rather, something that changes and can be deployed and understood in different ways.
2 – Define and describe criminal responsibility
Note this question has two task words: define and describe. This means you need to define criminal responsibility, and then describe the ways in which it works. The first chapter of your textbook (‘Criminal Responsibility’) will help, but you are encouraged to find other sources in answering this question.
3 – Discuss how the rights of citizens and the police are ‘balanced’ during a police investigation.
Note the task word ‘discuss’, which means you need to investigate, examine, and draw a conclusion. This question relates to the topic ‘Police Investigation’ and pp. 37-38 provides the context and information for this question. This question is asking you to engage with the tension between individual liberty and police powers. Basically, the powers between these two poles (individual liberty v police powers) need to be balanced, and you need to discuss how this occurs, why it is necessary, and how it works (or not).
Time will be allocated in upcoming classes to work on these questions, and you will also have the opportunity to ask your tutor for assistance. Please utilise and consult the ‘Assessment 2 Questions’ section on the Discussion Board if you have any further questions.