A02 Flexible Criticisms

After drowning in assessments and essay marking for the last few weeks, I have a small window free from marking (one and a half days!) so thought I would add a couple of support blogs to assist you through the minefield of your current assessments.

Ever struggle to add in extra names or arguments to develop your A02 marks? These few arguments can be used in multiple different topics and in many different ways to help argue your line of argument and develop your A02:

  • Leap of Logic- this is where a thinker presents arguments then jumps to a conclusion e.g Plato with World of Forms or Augustine that all sin stems from Adam and Eve.
  • Reductionist- this is where an argument is reduced down to a conclusion that can be seen as too simple e.g that humans behave similar to pigeons (Skinner/ behaviourism) or that society is sexist because of Christianity (what about other faiths or the power of the patriarchy for example)
  • God of Gaps– gap in our knowledge and use God as the explanation e.g Prime Mover is the sustainer of motion or cause and effect cannot go back infinity so much be an Uncaused Causer.
  • Burden of Proof– the person making the claim has to back it up with evidence. It is not down to the critic to prove it wrong but down to the claimant to provide the evidence e.g how religious schools cause psychological abuse (Dawkins/ Secularism) or how we develop our superego through the Phallic Stage (Freud)
  • Leibniz Sufficient Reason– there has to be more in the cause than the effect. There has to be sufficient reason as to why things are as they are e.g teleological and design or used to question the Big Bang
  • Flew 10 Leaky Buckets- lots of weak arguments does not make a strong argument e.g religious experience examples
  • Analytical vs Synthetic – statements that are claimed as facts but instead are synthetic statements (need evidence to prove meaningful) e.g God’s existence is self evident
  • G.E.Moore ‘good is indefinable’ – trying to define goodness is like trying to define yellow. It is known through intuition but cannot be defined e.g can be used to question any argument which uses the term ‘good’ (Plato, Problem of Evil, Meta, Conscience etc)

I am sure there are many, many more that can be added but this is a start. Please email me or leave a comment if you have any other ideas 🙂

Essay Writing Top Tips

Are you missing out on those top grades? Are you struggling to know how to improve your essays? These might help:

  1. Have you used technical terms/ glossary words throughout your essay?
  2. Have you added extra details, stats etc? E.g Scottish philosopher David Hume (Check out to help: https://ithinkthereforeiteach.com/going-for-gold-achieving-that-a/)
  3. Have you added a variety of extra names, specific current examples, quotes, synoptic links (A01)? Have you evaluated each one fully and linked to your line of argument (A02)?
  4. Have you taken apart the WHOLE question and used it throughout your essay? (Do not ignore any word in the question. All words in the question have been carefully and specifically selected, so use them and engage with their meaning…unless ‘analyse’, ‘evaluate’ or ‘discuss’ as these are what the examiners want you to actually do in your answer).
  5. Have you asked yourself ‘so what?’ or ‘why?’ after you think you have made an evaluation point? A lot of the time students state evaluation but do not justify. You can spot this by questioning your points and if you have written WHY they are relevant to the Q/ your line of argument (Check out: https://ithinkthereforeiteach.com/are-you-arguing-with-me/ and https://ithinkthereforeiteach.com/writing-the-perfect-part-b/)

I hope these help. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to drop me an email.

Good luck with all your essay writing and assessments 🙂

Check out these videos for further help:

There are a lot of revision resources including Revision Packs (which contain glossaries of key words and possible exam questions), Key Knowledge Tests (assess your basic knowledge of each topic) and Revision Support (e.g https://ithinkthereforeiteach.com/product/revision-activities-new-spec-a-level/ which has activities, synoptic link ideas and key knowledge assessors) in the Shop. Just click on the image below to be transferred:

revsu

Colour Coordination: Highlighting those Skills

BossI am obsessed with highlighters! I never use to be, I could teach a whole lesson without the words ‘grab a highlighter’ but now this is not the case. Why? Because they are the best thing to help students focus on the task at hand. Now as many of you know I am a huge Inner Drive and Bradley Busch fan and find their research into metacognition extremely interesting OIP (1)(see The Science of Learning if you would like to know more).  However they do not advocate the use of highlighting as part of effective learning. I wish to disagree. Here are some ways that using highlighters can be very effective for learning:

Assessment strategy:

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  • Students highlight the key words from the question in their answer. This will guarantee they have focused specifically on the words in the question and have adapted their essay answer to what the examiners have asked. An excellent or top mark essay will use the words in the question throughout an answer. Note: whilst students might think they have answered the question, only by highlighting the key words will they know for sure.
  • Give an essay and remove the question. Can students work out the question by highlighting the key words that are used throughout?
  • Highlight A01 and A02 in different colours.
  • Students use the examiner’s mark scheme to self assess their own essays by highlighting the relevant criteria that applies to their work.(See Improve Your Essays Using Mark Schemes for further help).78637489_2556535761294327_7496363354965934080_o

Feedback:

  • Using  general or whole class feedback given by the teacher, highlight your essay/ work where the comments apply to your answer. Then make the relevant changes.
  • Rather than writing the same thing throughout when marking a piece of work/ essay use highlights to draw attention to different things e.g. spelling in one colour, misunderstandings in another.

Revision:

Continue reading “Colour Coordination: Highlighting those Skills”

Death and Afterlife: Improve your Essay Technique

Please comment on each section of the essay with your feedback. What is good about it, needs work, could be improved and how, how does it meet the requirements of the mark scheme and your general thoughts?

‘Everyone deserves to be saved and go to Heaven’ Discuss.

Taken from Matthew 25, when discussing the afterlife Jesus states ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life’. This clearly eludes to a Divine judgement about which afterlife is suitable to each individual. But how is this decided? Is it possible to change your afterlife or is it unescapable? This essay will explore why not everyone deserves to be saved and go to Heaven and what other options there are.