Key Skills and Study Skills
for Sociology AS and A Levels
Page 6

Thirdly is the support in doing sociology by the use of ICT.
All of us need to learn to handwrite as clearly and efficiently as possible, both for note taking and for academic prose writing. After all, we write by hand in exams and we do it in class. Nevertheless the use of ICT is encouraged.
This is because:

  • Typing and word processing introduces order and discipline into written work.
  • Produced work becomes economical and efficient in its final appearance.
  • ICT assists with spelling and grammar but vigilance is needed.
  • ICT improves organisation and co-ordination, especially integrating work via different software.
  • ICT facilitates the fact that with the same material a hugely better essay structure makes all the difference when the marks are handed out.
  • The Internet is a vast library for source material, but one full of junk as well as the good stuff.
  • Try to use software other than the bloated software: it improves your skills and adds to creativity into the final product.
  • Use ICT to communicate what you are writing with your friends and colleagues.
Also, regarding ICT, I welcome Wyke Sociology students sending me work via the Internet. This is different from the head of department where paper is the required method. So this is my policy if handing work to me.
  • I have decided that I prefer to mark work electronically.
  • You can still hand in by paper.
  • Also work can be incomplete and viewed by me in order to receive advice.
    • You must make it clear that work is as yet incomplete.
    • If it is sent as incomplete for advice, it cannot be regarded as having been handed in.
    • If it is completed, and it is marked, it cannot be marked again.
  • People who have work marked electronically inevitably receive it the moment it is marked and sent back.

Marking procedure:
  • I must receive work by the hand in date work on a sent web link, emailed as an attachment or on paper.
  • Work sent to me I will return electronically with mark, corrections and additions as a Portable Document Format (.pdf).
    • A .pdf file is fixed and cannot be altered.
    • It is sent to the email address it came from.
    • Please indicate on the document the return email address alongside your name - this is in order to know where to send a marked .pdf document.
  • It is the student responsibility to print out on to paper, if needed...
    • The original
    • The marked version
    • Any separated comments
Emails themselves should be text based rather than HTML - if HTML they will be converted to text by me. No images can be in the emails please: only embedded within work when relevant.
Use for contact and do so even if sending to If this viewing and marking situation changes, I shall make it public.
Whilst all of us must be responsible about Wyke computers, their operating security is the ultimate business of the College. However, I am the one governing my own computers at home. Therefore in email attachments or from web links, do not send me MS Word documents because of the virus risk and the waste of computer space. I am completely strict about this - I will not open them. Documents can be in the body of the email or as attachments to the email but only saved or printed to file as one of these:

  • Text (.txt)
  • Rich text Format (.rtf)
  • HyperText Markup Language (.html) (to be checked first)
  • Postscript (.ps)
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
    • If you send a .pdf file, comments may be separated in a different .pdf document or the file will be reconstituted.
So another reason to learn the skill of ICT is to transfer document formats. Especially useful is creating .PDF files because these are electronic versions of printing on paper and cannot be altered - your work is then secure. You may prefer to work in MS Word, but I will not receive them unless transferred. Files received are returned to the address from which they come unless another link is given.
Especially for A2 students: the Internet is a temptation to plagiarise. Do not succumb - you will be found out. Even if an obscure website is found that staff have yet to visit, the giveaway is changes in the style of writing (even if text is shuffled about) and A2 students must play safe and give the source.