When writing an essay, once you have mastered the structure in one paragraph, it is achievable in all paragraphs and all essays. But mastering that first paragraph is not easy. Often students over complicate the structure or try to cram too much into one paragraph. Keep it simple!
Here is a snapshot of an introduction that really works – it answers the question (Aquinas/ successful), it shows evidence of wider reading (dictionary definition), it also shows knowledge (Aquinas quote/natural law)- it captures and holds your attention as a reader. But is also quite sophisticated, for example: the quote and the definition are linked together.
This is the starting paragraph. My comments can be seen as footnotes. The first argument links to the quote found in the introduction – so the essay immediately flows nicely.
Introducing a new name/ critic early on is a good move. Newman’s argument is only outlined briefly (avoiding the temptation to ramble) and is immediately compared to Aquinas’ argument – keeping everything relevant to the question.
The paragraph rounds off nicely with a summary. Whilst presenting potential flaws with Newman, the answer still maintains the argument that Newman is better than Aquinas (thus not sitting on the fence).
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Check out this Mark with Me Preview for a Meta Ethics essay that achieved the overall A* in the 2018 exam:
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