Religious studies- edexcel- unit 3 Watch
How do you answer an 18 mark question?
and again how do you answer part b, 12 marks??
The 18 mark question is mostly AO1, so you need to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding. Usually you'll be asked for the key features or the key strengths, but it's not asking you for any weaknesses so make sure you don't get sidetracked with that. However, you get a few marks for analysis and evaluation, so you can perhaps write a little but don't go into more detail than a line or two.
For example, if you're writing about Anselm's ontological argument you could mention Gaunilo briefly in conjunction with the key feature of definitions but don't make him the focus of your part (i) essay.
You shouldn't need a conclusion. Depending on what the next part of the question is, a good way to finish part (i) off is to say, "___ has many strengths and weaknesses which I will explore in part (ii) of my essay."
The 12 mark question, part (ii), is basically asking you for the strengths and weaknesses. It's a good idea to check the wording of the question to make sure you're actually answering it, because it may ask you to discuss how effective it is, how far the strengths outweigh the weaknesses, whether it's useful for modern living (if an ethical theory), etc.
The best thing to do here at the start is to define the question. Say the question is "Critically consider how effective Kantian deontology may be as a guide for modern living". I would personally open my essay with a brief paragraph explaining how a theory could be effective. What does effective mean? Are there any theories which might be more effective? As long as you don't wander off topic, it's OK to briefly use a theory to compare it with. So you could highlight Virtue Ethics as possibly more effective because it acknowledges autonomy in a way which is more appealing to people nowadays, who might think the concept of duty was rather old-fashioned.
However, the question hasn't asked you to compare (unless it's explicitly stated) so you want to use strengths vs weaknesses. My teacher described it as a game of ping-pong. The best way of doing it is to have a strength, then a corresponding weakness, then a corresponding strength, and so on. This isn't always possible but it can make for some effective evaluation if you attempt it where you can. Make sure it's not list-like, and that you explore each point fully.
Further tips: If you're pushing for A / A* it's a really good idea to get in some quotes. Memorise two or three for each topic if you can. If you haven't done so already, I'd definitely try and remember at least one per topic you're planning to do tomorrow. Sprinkle them in where appropriate, whether it's part (i) or part (ii), but try not to use the same one multiple times.
tl;dr: The 18-marker requires knowledge and the 12-marker is where you evaluate the selected theory.
Hopefully this was of some help!