A2 Philosophy and Ethics Essay Help OCR Watch
While you're waiting for an answer, did you know we have 300,000 study resources that could answer your question in TSR's Learn together section?
We have everything from Teacher Marked Essays to Mindmaps and Quizzes to help you with your work. Take a look around.
If you're stuck on how to get started, try creating some resources. It's free to do and can help breakdown tough topics into manageable chunks. Get creating now.
Not sure what all of this is about? Head here to find out more.
(Plus with practice you'll be able to shorten the time it takes you to plan)
Firstly with your introduction don't waffle about what you're gonna talk about in the essay or Aristotle's life history - one sentence to open it up and get stuck in straight away.
In terms of paragraph structure just explain your scholar's argument/explain the the first part of the theory; in your plan link some people's criticisms to specific parts of the argument, then you can use this argument as your evaluation underneath your point. If there's a counter-argument to the counter-argument, even better, just stick it on - OCR ask you to 'Discuss' or 'Critically analyse' so you want the essay almost to read like a debate or a conversation. Try imagining two scholars' with different opinions on a subject debating and write down how they would argue.
For example, if I was writing an essay on the Verification Principle, I might talk about Ayer's view that religious language is meaningless because it cannot be verified either through the strong or weak verification principle. Then, I'd bring in Swinburne's response that there wasn't enough clear direction on what was sufficient evidence for strong verification, and then I'd hit straight back with Ayer's revised second edition of "Language, Truth and Logic" where he came up with Direct/Indirect verification. Then you can bring in criticisms of his second edition and verificationism as a whole (and if the essay requires, lead on to falsification or conclude with your opinion on the question).
Always, always argue. Do NOT leave the examiner in any doubt whatsoever about which side you're on. You don't even have to agree with the opinion that you're saying you agree with, just pick the side that is easiest to argue
This is contrary to some advice but personally I do a fairly abstract plan just of ideas (like a mind map/brain storm/whatever you call it) and then just naturally write it as an argument.
The problem with AS is that it teaches you to write all your explanation first and then criticisms and strengths at the end because we had separate questions that were 25 and 10 marks respectively.
- Apply criticisms to specific parts of the theory or argument you're explaining
- If there is any counter arguments, or modifications that the scholar made based on criticisms, write them straight underneath before moving on to more explanation
- Finish with a conclusion in which you form an opinion - but don't bring in any new points - just reiterate the arguments you've already made
- Plan briefly, but let the argument come naturally to you. Keep asking yourself "Are there any criticisms of this? Can I myself see any problems with this part of the theory?" Just because you're not a published scholar doesn't mean you can't give your own criticisms - in fact this is advanced evaluation that OCR like to see rather than essentially remembering someone's opinion and recycling it onto an exam booklet
Hope that helped - PM me if you need any help
Obviously you need to do this for every paragraph.
So S is for Signpost - here you say who believes the paragraph you're about to write, what the paragraph is going to be about and which side the paragraph is on.
P is for point - Obviously here you state your point or in some cases the point of the opposing view.
E is for explanation - Explain your point well, going step by step if your point was in premises (arguments).
E is for example - Whatever point you're trying to put forward, make sure you have an example. E.G for Paley's Design Argument your example of an intricate design could've been the human body or something.
E is for explanation of example - What has your example got to do with? Why does it explain the point you're trying to make?
L is for link - Here you need to link it to the essay and say whose point it is once again. You could end the paragraph by saying "So according to Paley..."
Also, my teacher always tells me to define the words which you wouldn't use in every day life. So omnipotence, coherence and whatever.
When you're writing your essay, you're writing to a non-philosophical friend to explain to them what you've learnt about the subject so go into enough detail that even your grandma would understand it basically. xD