What makes for a good essay at Level 2?

What makes for a good answer?

  • Answers that show an understanding of the question

You will need to interpret the question; that is, work out what is required to answer the question. No question can be answered satisfactorily until you have worked out what the real question is.

  • Answers that answer the question

You need to answer the question directly; that is, to construct a focused, coherent argument that systematically addresses each of the issues in the question and advances in logical steps.

  • Answers that show originality and independence

The answers that impress markers most are not those that slavishly reproduce what you have learnt in class, but those which show an ability to arrive independently at ways of addressing the issues in the question, through making use of your knowledge of the text, your wider reading, and your reasoning power.

  • Answers that are presented correctly

No matter how good an answer is in terms of its substance, it is never likely to impress to its full extent so long as it contains errors of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, is presented with faulty layout, ignores the conventions of the genre, or is poorly handwritten. The more accurately your essay is presented, the fewer impediments there will be to the marker’s ability to see what you have been trying to say.

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