How to structure A Level Essays

Your essay should:

  • Show understanding of the issue in the question
  • Argue for a point of view
  • Be around 1000 words or 3-4 pages of handwritten text
  • Have a clear line of argument referenced throughout

LINE OF ARGUMENT = what are you arguing for? (the most important part of your answer). It may be that you agree/disagree with X or partially/mostly/completely agree with X.

Paragraph 1 should always be a clear and concise introduction. An introduction does not have to be more than four or five sentences. You should explain what the topic is, what the structure of your answer will be and what your line of argument is.

Paragraph 2 is a paragraph that explains the key topic referenced in the question. It explains the issue and this is where you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

The main body of your essay should be a series of paragraphs that show how well you can evaluate the issue. You should clear reference your line of argument throughout, by using supporting and counter arguments. You must use evidence to support the arguments you present.

The conclusion should be as succinct as the introduction and summarise what you have discussed (and not include any new content).

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