A Level Essay Question Paragraph Structure

October 08, 2016

A great way to help develop and structure A-level essay responses, picking up marks efficiently and allowing students to build essay writing style and confidence.

When writing essay responses in A Level Economics it is helpful to PLAN what you want to say before starting to write. This is because you will want to judge the appropriate amount to include on each point in order to write a balanced and complete essay: this means that you MAY NOT WRITE EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT THE TOPIC. The question is looking for AN answer to the question that aims to get the MARKS AVAILABLE in the TIME ALLOCATED. This does not necessarily mean putting in everything - you don't have time - and plenty of different essays can get top marks.

Try sticking to the following structure for each Paragraph to help keep your writing efficient, coherent, mark-earning and simple.

Point/quote from source ... (This should help answer the question asked and can count as Application)

Definition/Diagram ... (This will demonstrate Knowledge/Understanding and Application, as it relates your point to a relevant economic theory)

Explanation, incl. 'This is because' ... (This demonstrates Analysis, showing how theory and your point answer the question)

This means that ... (Analysis and explanation may take one or two links and you should develop each step completely - do not assume the examiner knows what you mean - it is your job to demonstrate you understand clearly, it may feel like stating the obvious, but this is what the examiner is assessing you on!)

Therefore ... (Conclusion - bring the point together and ANSWER THE QUESTION as asked directly)

However/Furthermore/In Evaluation ... (Always look to Evaluate points you make)

This means that ... (Evaluative points will only earn marks - by being clear to examiner - when sufficiently developed)

Here is a simplified example (imagine a question about the impact on the UK economy of a currency shift):

The article states that the "dramatic fall in the price of sterling makes the UK more competitive". This is referring to the international competitiveness of British goods and services, because a fall in the value of sterling raltive to other currencies immediately makes goods or services priced in sterling cheaper to consumers who earn for example US Dollars or Euros. Ceteris paribus, this mean that foreign consumers will be more likely to buy British goods, boosting demand for UK companies and this means that their revenues and profits will rise, therefore boosting GDP. Furthermore, it is a 'dramatic' fall, of over 10% in just three months, and so the impact on competitiveness and hence UK company profits could be quite large, this means that demand for UK goods from abroad could then have a multiplier effect on UK GDP, causing a significant boost to growth.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how this paragraph could look completely different but still say the same thing (and earn the same marks) feel free to get in touch with me and I am happy to help you improve and simplify your Economics essay writing.

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