Let me ‘Introduce’ myself: Writing an Introduction

Introductions are key to a good essay and a good grade. Why? Because they are the first thing an examiner reads and judges you on. Now let me give you a little insight. Examiners, people who mark for the exam board – often teachers, will have potentially read the same answer 300 times. What does this mean? They are bored! Your challenge then is to write an engaging (or at least different) introduction to spark their interest (not easy hence the ‘challenge’).

Now in my experience of marking a lot of essays I think there are a few simple things you can do to catch your readers attention.

Continue reading “Let me ‘Introduce’ myself: Writing an Introduction”

“But I am evaluating!”… or are you just describing?

Whilst students can critique a theory or idea verbally, writing this train of thought down in an essay is a different ball game completely. Not only do you have to understand the question, work out which arguments are relevant but you also need to criticise them. What stands between you and your A grade is writing convincing, clear and coherent evaluation. This will be an on-going struggle of development throughout your first year on Philosophy, Ethics and Christian Thought but the battle will be won.

So here are some of my top tips that will get you started:

Continue reading ““But I am evaluating!”… or are you just describing?”

Going for Gold: Achieving that A*

There is no top secret formula to achieving the Holy Grail that is the A*. Yet there are a number of things you can add to an exam essay or piece of coursework that could add a little bit of spice and zing to your work.

In the past I have marked for the OCR exam board and (like most people will tell you) it is extremely mundane and repetitive (marking potentially 360+ of the same answer.) The challenge therefore to achieve the A* first of all is twofold:

Continue reading “Going for Gold: Achieving that A*”

Adding the ‘critical’ to your critical analysis: Developing A02

You will have been developing the art of essay writing throughout your school life. As you start to write more mature and sophisticated essays you need the language to be able to do this properly.

Firstly there is a language (which I call ‘critical words’) that introduces an argument. By ‘argument’ I mean the assessment or evaluation of any point made. So for example in Philosophy an argument would be raised once you have presented a philosophical perspective, point or idea. In order to make it clear to your reader/ examiner that you are showing evidence of evaluation, which is necessary for top marks (not just stating facts or other people’s perspectives) use critical words.

Continue reading “Adding the ‘critical’ to your critical analysis: Developing A02”

“How do I get my essay from a D to a C?”

It can be very difficult writing essays at a higher level. You are not only developing the techniques necessary to pass your A levels but also to succeed at university.

Here are some of my top tips to not only help you write an essay but how to write a blooming good one!

Continue reading ““How do I get my essay from a D to a C?””