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As I noted in a previous post on mnemonics that can be used to help students structure paragraphs for extended answer questions, these are many and varied. Although they all perform much the same sort of function – that of helping students remember to include information in their answers that cover all the required Assessment Objectives (from knowledge and understanding, through interpretation and analysis to the all-important evaluation – it’s probably a question of finding one that you and your students find useful.

To this end I decided to pick the brains of a random selection of teachers on FaceBook about the mnemonics they use with their students and thought it might be helpful to present the various mnemonics they use for you to explore…

General

PEEL

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Evidence Provide some examples of the Point, both for and against
Explanation Explain how your evidence relates to the Point
Link Link the various points you’ve made in the paragraph back to the essay question

 

PEEEL – more-explicit evaluation

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Evidence Provide some examples of the Point, both for and against
Explanation Explain how your evidence relates to the Point
Evaluation Assess the evidence you’ve used in your answer in relation to the question
Link Link the various points you’ve made in the paragraph back to the essay question

 

PERC

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Explanation Explain your initial Point – why is it important / relevant to the question?
Reference Cite evidence for and against the argument you’ve set-up
Criticism Evaluate the evidence you’ve presented and draw a brief conclusion.

 

PERCY – as above, but with the addition of an explicit link back to the question:

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Explanation Explain your initial Point – why is it important / relevant to the question?
Reference Cite evidence for and against the argument you’ve set-up
Criticism Evaluate the evidence you’ve presented and draw a brief conclusion.
Your Link Link the various points you’ve made in the paragraph back to the essay question

 

PEECY – some teachers use PEECL instead (just “Link” rather than “Your Link”)

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Evidence Cite evidence for and against the Point you’ve made
Explanation Explain how the evidence – for and against – links into the Point.
Critique Evaluate the evidence you’ve presented to illustrate the Point
Your Link Link the various ideas you’ve used in the paragraph back to the essay question and draw a conclusion

 

PEAH – This uses a slightly different technique by asking students to structure their evaluation in terms of setting-up a particular line of argument to support the main Point of the paragraph and then assessing it in terms of counter-arguments.

Point First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Evidence Cite evidence to support the Point
Analyse Show how and why this evidence supports the Point
However Examine the counter-arguments to the evidence you’ve just discussed

 

W4

What? What is the main Point you’re going to examine in the paragraph?
Why? Why is this Point significant in the context of the overall question?
Who? Evidence (e.g. named studies) arguing for and against this Point
Where? Where does this all lead? (evaluate the evidence presented)

 

DESIRE

Describe What you’re going to discuss in the paragraph
Explain Explain what this means in the context of the question (how is it relevant?).
Support Use evidence to support the argument
Interpret Show you’ve understood the evidence and explain what it means in the context of the question.
Refer Link the main Point, evidence and interpretation to the question
Evaluate Point out the strengths and weaknesses of everything you write

 

Research Methods – mnemonics designed specifically for use in extended answers for these types of question

 PERVERT

Practical issues? Each part of the mnemonic is designed to prompt the student to consider each of these areas in their answer.

While they don’t have to use them all in every question they help to remind students of potential issues with different research methods and forms of sociological research.

The mnemonic is particularly useful for encouraging students to think critically about research methods and data.

Ethical issues?
Reliability issues?
Validity issues?
Enough Data?
Representative Sample?
Theoretical Issues / Bias?

 

PERVERTD – slightly different version to encourage students to reflect on data they’ve used in their answer

Practical issues?  

Each part of the mnemonic is designed to prompt the student to consider each of these areas in their answer.

 

While they don’t have to use them all in every question they help to remind students of potential issues with different research methods and forms of sociological research.

 

The mnemonic is particularly useful for encouraging students to think critically about research methods and data.

Ethical issues?
Reliability issues?
Validity issues?
Enough Data?
Representative Sample?
Theoretical Issues / Bias?
Data An overview of how student might deal with / analyse data collected using the research method discussed in their answer. This can be linked back to an hypothesis / research question and encourages students to think about ideas like data / methodological triangulation.

 

ITPEC – used to discuss a particular research method

Introduction First sentence sets the theme for the paragraph – what you’re going to discuss
Theoretical issues
Practical issues
Ethical issues
Conclusion Draw conclusions about the research method

 

Finally, a range of mnemonics to help students remember a range of methods-related issues:

Practical issues

TRAMP

Ethical issues

CRAPID

Research Methods

GRAVE

Time

Confidentiality

Generalisability

Research opportunities

Right to withdraw

Reliability

Access

Anonymity

Applicability

Money

Protection from harm

Validity

Personal skills

Informed consent

Ethical

Deception

 

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