Ok! I'll do my best. I did AQA RS last year and got an 8 (one off a 9). I'm getting it remarked, but to be fair i shouldn't be too upset considering I walked out of paper 1.
So whether you're doing a themes or beliefs question differs slightly, but the basic layout is the same.
For a beliefs and teachings/practices question:
-Come up with four basic points, two in support and two against the given statement.
- You could start with either side of the argument. A good sentence starter would be: "Firstly, a (insert religious person) could agree with the statement because...(insert point). This is because in the (insert holy book), (insert religious figure) says: "..."
- To start the new paragraph, link them together with something along the lines of " However, a/another (insert religious person) could perceive this argument as less valid because they believe.. (insert point)." Keep using quotes, if you can't remember many, as long as you have at least 1 per religion you're all good). Alternatively, you can get the marks for saying something like "Jesus taught that...." Without using a direct quote.
- I lay my paragraphs out like this: Support, oppose, support, oppose, conclusion.
- Throw your own opinion in on the conclusion. Say something like :" In conclusion, as a (insert religion or atheist), I believe that (insert point) is the most convincing argument because... (very brief reason here).
I thought I would include one of my own old ones that got full marks! Hope this helps :-) Honestly you don't need to write too much as long as what you say is correct.
Best of luck with the exam!
‘Private worship has more meaning for a Christian than public worship’
A Christian may agree with this statement because private worship is a direct relationship with God. The participant can ask for personal advice, which may have more meaning for a Christian, as they will not be influenced by the ideas of others. In addition, it is possible to become embarrassed in a public situation, which may restrict the true meaning of the worship, and make it become meaningless and superficial. Jesus taught to pray in worship in private in order to have our prayers answered by God.
Another Christian could describe this argument as weak because a group of people all worshipping together about a topical issue (eg: poverty, war) can have a greater impact. One person worshipping alone is unlikely to have a great impact, but when many Christians join together in prayer, it can become even more spiritual and powerful. This ensures that the prayer will always have meaning, and not just for one or a few people.
In contrast, it is said that public, and specifically liturgical worship, forms no real relationship with God, an therefore rarely has meaning. It is easy to ‘show off’ when praying, which the Bible makes clear is despised by God. Jesus said; “When you pray, be not a the hypocrites”, which means that we should not attempt to flaunt our morality and religious ideas - it will make them superficial and meaningless.Relations with God should always be personal in order for them to have meaning, because liturgical worship often has very little substance, only set prayers and rituals which are easy to follow without truly understanding them. In addition, some Christians feel pressured into taking part in services simply because they are traditional, but without an understanding of God, prayers cannot be answered, making them meaningless.
This argument could be considered flawed by some Christians, as many people feel insecure or unsure of what to pray for in private. In public, there is always a worship leader or priest/pastor, who can ensure that the topic of worship has meaning. It is unfair to tell people who struggle to pray on their own that their worship has little meaning - as long as you are sincere, it doesn't matter how you pray.
In conclusion, I think that the most convincing argument is the fact that all worship, if meant genuinely, has meaning and is valid in the eyes of God. While it is important to pray privately, it is also essential for Christians to join together as part of a community.