Essay Writing: Pointing your Answers

Peter Clements explains that addressing the question directly is the key to securing good grades.

To achieve one of the higher grades at A level you need to be precise. That means framing your answer so that it answers the question set, instead of merely writing on the general topic. This is true both in essay and source-based questions, although in this article there is only space to deal with the former.

Often candidates demonstrate that they know a lot of relevant information and even write analytically, giving evidence in support of an argument - but still fail to point what they know to the actual demands of the question. As a result valuable marks are lost in otherwise sound answers. No one expects polished and perfectly reasoned answers to be written in examination conditions, although sometimes they do appear. It is, however, my contention here that it is possible for many candidates to point their answers more closely to the questions set. This would elevate their answers onto higher levels and attract more marks. In this article we will consider examples of how, in different types of essay questions, knowledgeable answers can be pointed more directly to the questions set.

The way to do it

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