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Analysing conclusions

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The following task is based on the sample divorce essay used elsewhere in this tutorial. Read the final two paragraphs of the sample essay.

Does the student choose to restate the argument? Does the student choose to do anything else in the concluding paragraphs? How satisfactory do you find the conclusion?


The penultimate (second last) paragraph restates the argument. In the final paragraph, the student chooses to discuss another approach that could be adopted in further studies of the modern family, namely a historical one.

You will need to be the judge of whether this is a satisfactory conclusion; however it is arguably better than a simple restatement.

Final two paragraphs

It is difficult to offer a comprehensive explanation for the growing trend of marital breakdown; and it is even more difficult to find solutions that might ameliorate the problems created by it. Clearly though, as I have argued in this essay, the most useful answers are to be found not within a narrow legal framework, but within a broader socio-economic one.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that, whilst we may appear to be living in a time of increased family instability, research suggests that historically, instability may have been the norm rather than the exception. As Bell and Zajdow (1997) point out, in the past, single parent and step families were more common than is assumed - although the disruptive influence then was not divorce, but the premature death of one or both parents. This situation suggests that in studying the modern family, one needs to employ a historical perspective, including the possibility of looking to the past in searching for ways of dealing with problems in the present.

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