-Laureliz-
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My AS RS exam is coming up on June 10th. Starting to get my essays completed but I don't know how to learn them effectively? Tips are greatly appreciated!
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VannR
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Learn essay plans, not essays!
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Cherry82
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(Original post by VannR)
Learn essay plans, not essays!
Hey,
please could you give some advice on how to plan an essay in Religious studies. I would like to do religious studies with Edexcel but my fear is knowing how to structure these essays, giving the examiners what they would like to see in an answer. Because I would like to look at the units The New testament and ethics, since there are not a lot of resources on how to approach The New Testament exam, I'm so worried I may fail (Especially how I would be self teaching the course).
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VannR
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Hey,
please could you give some advice on how to plan an essay in Religious studies. I would like to do religious studies with Edexcel but my fear is knowing how to structure these essays, giving the examiners what they would like to see in an answer. Because I would like to look at the units The New testament and ethics, since there are not a lot of resources on how to approach The New Testament exam, I'm so worried I may fail (Especially how I would be self teaching the course).
I did AQA A-Level Philosophy - a not-too-dissimilar subject. I believe I can be of some help to you.

An essay is an argument, first and foremost. Throughout any extended essay i.e. ones which are not simple "define/outline this" or "explain that" questions, you should formulate a consistent, considered argument for a particular position, taking into account your position, counter-arguments, and subsequent objections, leading to a fair conclusion in light of the rest of the essay. This leaves a "clean taste in the mouth" for the examiner. The essay needs to have a satisfying "body" which lives up to your introduction, and is commented upon in the conclusion.

This is an esoteric, but highly important perspective to take about essay structure, but it works. Academic papers are written using this ethos - you simply need to apply it to your level of work. This means that you need to revise the content for your course thoroughly - there is no substitute for this.

The most important thing to remember is that at this level, you will be asked questions which test a very precise domain of knowledge, meaning that there are a limited number of essays which they can ask you. This means that you can essentially write the plans for the essays before you go into the exam and learn them so that you already have a well-planned essay structure.

Here is an example plan:

1. Outline intent: Set context - develop themes; state purpose of essay - what you will discuss and what you hope to achieve by doing so (in brief).

2. Develop first point (concept/argument): Explain the point clearly - set the stage

3. Criticism of first point: explain criticism - develop counter-argument

4. Assess counter-argument: assess and present a case either for or against

5. Conclusion: Present conclusion as following from the rest of the essay - be convincing by using considered philosophical argument

This is pretty general, and for longer essays (1hr writing time) you should probably look at doing 2., 3. and 4. twice, but still making sure that the essay reads as a contiguous whole - this is the power of connectives and the all-important introduction.
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HongLeeChang
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Hey,
please could you give some advice on how to plan an essay in Religious studies. I would like to do religious studies with Edexcel but my fear is knowing how to structure these essays, giving the examiners what they would like to see in an answer. Because I would like to look at the units The New testament and ethics, since there are not a lot of resources on how to approach The New Testament exam, I'm so worried I may fail (Especially how I would be self teaching the course).
In most cases a religious studies essay will be organised around a clear problem and comprise a single basic thesis or argument.Essays should present balanced arguments in support of the thesis while drawing upon relevant texts and evidence to lend it plausibility.All essays require a clear introductory section circumscribing the parameters of the topic and the way you intend to tackle it.This should be followed by the main body of your argument, comprising well-structured paragraphs each of which should provide a step forward in the argument.Your arguments should be set out in a logical and cogent manner, making it easy for the reader to follow your thought processes. The relationship between one idea and the next should be made clear by the use of transitional phrases and sentences. Ensure that each step in the argument is clearly signposted so that the reader is never left wondering why a particular point is being made.Substantiate your claims with arguments and evidence, avoid over-reliance on particular texts, critically evaluate your sources, demonstrate awareness of different points of view, and be sure to anticipate counter-objections to your claims.Your conclusion should draw together all of your arguments and demonstrate how they support the original thesis set forth in your introduction.Carefully proof-read, revise and edit your work (or have somebody else do it for you) to ensure correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, and be sure to format and reference it in accordance with your department’s preferred specifications.
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