Social Change in Aotearoa New Zealand
This assignment is worth 40% of your total grade
With an emphasis on social change in Aotearoa New Zealand, choose one of the following essay topics for discussion:
1. To what extent is social division in Aotearoa New Zealand organised around gender relations? Discuss, drawing on examples and research to illustrate your argument.
2. Ethnicity is no longer an issue in Aotearoa New Zealand – we have the Treaty of Waitangi for Maori and our immigration no longer discriminates on ethnic grounds. Critically discuss, with reference to both Maori and more recent migrant populations.
3. Outline and discuss three or four of the major political, economic and social changes in Aotearoa New Zealand as we went from a welfare state economy over the 1950s-1980s to a market driven economy since 1984.
4. Using either the theories of Marx or Weber, discuss the relevance of class division in Aotearoa New Zealand today.
Please read all of the instructions below before moving onto your assignment. If, at any stage of your preparation and writing of your assignment you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your lecturers, the Open Polytechnic library, or post to the Online Campus ‘Discussion, questions and ideas’ forum. The Open Polytechnic library has numerous essay writing guides which you may wish to borrow to assist you through this process.
You will be given a mark out of 100 for this assignment which will be converted to a total of 40% of your final grade.
Upon successful completion of this essay you will have achieved the following learning outcome for this course:
– Analyse issues of social, historical and cultural change in post-war New Zealand society.
You will also have further developed your research, communication and referencing skills, which are transferrable to a wide range of vocational situations.
This assignment should be written in essay format, with an introduction, particular subject paragraphs, and a conclusion. Some further information on this is provided below, and you are required to make a plan for your essay as part of the assessment.
In your answer, try to address any relevant social, cultural and economic changes that have occurred, but be wary of a giving a descriptive historical account. Try to focus on evaluating the social changes that are referred to in your question. Some important guidelines for writing your essay are below. Before you move on to research and writing, read through them. If you don’t understand any aspect of them, ask your lecturer to explain – don’t leave it until the last minute to know what is needed!
Beginning the essay writing process
Begin your essay by ensuring that you understand the question correctly. Highlight the key words – what is the topic of your essay? Are there any terms that are new or unfamiliar? These should be defined in the content of your essay. Is the essay asking you to ‘discuss’ the topic, or is it asking you to take a certain position on the issue and defend it?
You may want to make use of the Online Campus page to check in with your Lecturer or other students to ensure you have understood the question. You can also make use of the information in StudyWise handbook provided to students by the Open Polytechnic for this.
Once you are clear about what your essay question is asking, you may wish to re-read the relevant module in the learning materials and chapter/s in the textbook. Be sure to take good notes as you read, as you did for Assignment One.
This information will give you a good starting point for your essay, but you are also required to incorporate your own library research into your essay. In addition to the relevant readings, you need to use two other, academic resources, one of which must be a peer-reviewed journal article. Academic sources include books, journal articles and research reports. Websites, newspaper articles, opinion pieces – even if written by ‘experts’ – are generally not academic sources.
There are two key features of academic sources:
1. Review. Academic sources have authority as they go through a process of fact-checking and review; either by editors (in the case of books) or by peers (in the case of journal articles or research papers).
2. Authority. One way of checking whether your source is academic is to check the credentials of the authors, as well as consider where you have found the source.
See the link ‘Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly sources’ on the Online Campus page for more information on finding appropriate sources for your assignments.
In order to find your required sources for your essay, you may wish to make use of the ‘Course Resources’ section in the Online Campus to search for additional materials. Journal articles can be found by following the links under ‘Find articles on online databases’ on the library homepage. You may also wish to look at the link under resources for this assignment titled ‘Finding journal articles in Databases for further help on this. If you are not sure about your source, or need help in finding them, ask your lecturer or the Open Polytechnic librarian.
Your previous reading should give you a good idea about any further areas of interest you wish to cover in your essay, or types of evidence which you wish to research. Once you have found your extra sources, read them carefully, taking notes as before, including the full bibliographic details which you will need later for your reference list.
A good way of starting the process of writing your essay is to brainstorm all of the material you have onto a visual map. An example brainstorm is given below. Your brainstorm may include points that you do not end up using in your essay. This is okay – the point of your brainstorm is to get a clear picture of what information you have.
Organising your work
Once you have done your brainstorm, you will notice that some ideas relate to each other, while others might stand on their own. You will need to identify these key ‘themes’ so that you can organise them into paragraphs for your essay. You might want to use arrows or colour coding on your brainstorm for this stage, or you may wish to move into ‘writing’ mode, using headings for each theme. For this assignment, there are likely to be between 3 and 4 ‘themes’ which can become your paragraphs. Once you have decided on your themes, you can begin work on your essay plan, which is to be handed in as Part A of your assignment.
PART A: Essay Outline (20 marks)
This part of your assignment is aimed at helping you organise your work, and is to be submitted along with Part B. If you have any questions about this process, please contact your lecturer for further support. Using your notes from the above process, this part of your assignment requires you to briefly outline the themes and points that you will make in your essay (Part B).
Include in your essay plan:
A brief outline of your introduction, including what you intend to argue (the ‘thesis statement’) in your essay.
Notes on each of your key paragraphs/ themes (There should be about 3-4 of these)
What is the topic of the paragraph?
What are the key arguments that relate to this?
What evidence will you provide to support these arguments?
A brief outline of your conclusion, including a restatement of your thesis and how you have argued it.
This part of your assignment can be in point form, but you must use clear, full sentences to explain your ideas.
Word limit guideline: 500 words, including in-text references and quotes
PART B: Essay (80 marks)
Your essay will bring together your research to answer the question. Your essay should follow the plan you have outlined for yourself above, although some deviation may become necessary when you are writing it up.
Your introduction should begin with some background to the topic – what is the question? Why is it being asked? It should also indicate how you intend to answer the question, giving a brief mention of the different themes you intend to cover as part of your discussion. You may wish to define key concepts in your introduction, or leave them until later in your essay, but they should always be defined the first time they are used.
As you move through your essay, each paragraph should build up your argument (thesis statement). Each paragraph should begin by referring to the previous paragraph, but also introducing the new theme to be discussed, and indicating why it is important to the essay question. The paragraph will go on to give your arguments and evidence to support these. At the end of each paragraph, try to remind the reader as to the relevance of this theme to the essay topic.
Once you have moved through all of your themes, your argument should have been clearly developed and you can conclude your essay. You do not need to write ‘in conclusion’ here. It should be clear from the content of the conclusion that this is what you are doing. Your conclusion will summarise the arguments you have made, linking them together. It should not raise any new material, arguments or themes. This is the time to remind the reader of how you have answered the question, and give one last statement that brings your arguments together.
Please provide both a reference list and a bibliography at the end of your assignment. These are not included in the word count.
Some other tips on essay writing:
– Avoid using first (‘I’) or second (‘we’) person. Instead, use third person (‘they’). Using first or second person makes it less authoritative and sounds more like your personal beliefs; using the third person emphasises that the essay is your informed opinion, and a result of hard work researching the issue.
– Similarly, use formal language. This means avoiding colloquial terms (ie. using ‘cool’ when you mean ‘highly regarded’) and clichés. Say what you mean in the clearest possible language, so as not to be misunderstood.
– As for your previous assignment, no more than 10% of your essay should be direct quotes. The essay should be comprised of your own work. You should also be within 10% of the given word limit guideline, including references, but not your reference list or bibliography
– Do your best and when you’re done, let it go! We all have other commitments which mean that sometimes we cannot spend as much time as we’d like writing the ‘perfect’ essay. Recognise this for yourself and be realistic about what you can do. When you get your essay back, read the feedback and take it into account for the next one. Remember, this is a learning process, and practice is the way to get through it!
Word limit guideline: 1,500 words, including in-text references and quotes, but excluding your reference list and bibliography
MARKING SCHEDULE: Assignment 2 (40%)
Criteria Description Marks allocated
Content The outline covers the main issues presented in the reading materials in order to answer the question. /10
Outline The outline logically pre-empts the essay by distinguishing between themes, explanations and evidence of examples and organising them appropriately. /10
Answering the question The essay shows an attempt to interpret the assignment question. /10
Research This includes quantity as well as quality of the research included in the essay. The essay observes and critically analyses our own culture and society while linking these observations to course content. Quotes and information are used strategically to support the author’s response to the question. At least two sources are provided from outside the learning materials and textbook, one of which is a peer reviewed journal article. /25
Argument The essay presents a central argument that is relevant to the question, is maintained consistently throughout the essay, and supported by evidence. /30
Structure and referencing The essay is within 10% of the word limit guideline, uses correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
The essay attempts to have clear paragraphing, with linkages between paragraphs. Information is adequately referenced in the correct format for APA referencing in-text.
Both a reference list and a bibliography are provided at the end of the essay. /15
TOTAL PART A /20
TOTAL PART B /80