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Philosophy essays

Hi, I'm studying (AQA) philosophy A-level and am consistently getting around 15-16 marks for the 25 mark essays, my teachers say I need to add more detail and I am mostly getting near top marks for the 3,5 and 12 mark questions but I cant seem to increase my grade. I am aiming for an A/B so ideally need to be getting a few more makes on the essays, any tips/advice would be appreciated.
Reply 1
Original post by ,study,
Hi, I'm studying (AQA) philosophy A-level and am consistently getting around 15-16 marks for the 25 mark essays, my teachers say I need to add more detail and I am mostly getting near top marks for the 3,5 and 12 mark questions but I cant seem to increase my grade. I am aiming for an A/B so ideally need to be getting a few more makes on the essays, any tips/advice would be appreciated.
Hey there , you got help?
Reply 2
No, I’m not sure how to do better on the essays I just keep getting 15-16 out of 25
Reply 3
You need 3 paragraphs of this structure:

Argument
counter
evaluation

and to get above 15/16 you have to do:

Intent
Integration
Weighting

Are you doing all those things? See here for more info:

https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/philosophy/how-to-write-a-top-band-essay/

I could send you an essay plan illustarting all this if you want - name a topic and i'll post the essay plan for it.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 4
Thanks for this, its definitely helped give me better understand how to approach the essays and what the examiners will be looking for. Much appreciated :smile:
Reply 5
Original post by Husssssss
Do you have Russel & Copleston loll 😅

Is that for the Edexcel exam board?
Reply 6
Original post by Joe312
You need 3 paragraphs of this structure:
Argument
counter
evaluation
and to get above 15/16 you have to do:
Intent
Integration
Weighting
Are you doing all those things? See here for more info:
https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/philosophy/how-to-write-a-top-band-essay/
I could send you an essay plan illustarting all this if you want - name a topic and i'll post the essay plan for it.

hey, i know this thread is around a month old, but do you have an essay plan for antirealism ?
Reply 7
Original post by miameni
hey, i know this thread is around a month old, but do you have an essay plan for antirealism ?

Yeah I'll upload one on my website soon. However you don't need a special plan for antirealism - you can have one essay plan for meta-ethics that includes both realism and anti-realism.
Reply 8
Original post by Joe312
Yeah I'll upload one on my website soon. However you don't need a special plan for antirealism - you can have one essay plan for meta-ethics that includes both realism and anti-realism.

oh really? our skl has made two plans for us
Reply 9
Original post by miameni
oh really? our skl has made two plans for us

Moral realist theories being true makes moral anti-realism false, and vice versa.

So, they are relevant to each other and can be combined into one essay plan.

It is quite long though and tbh I haven't managed to put it into 3 paragraphs - i've made it 4 but in the exam you should only do 3 of them.
Original post by Joe312
You need 3 paragraphs of this structure:
Argument
counter
evaluation
and to get above 15/16 you have to do:
Intent
Integration
Weighting
Are you doing all those things? See here for more info:
https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/philosophy/how-to-write-a-top-band-essay/
I could send you an essay plan illustarting all this if you want - name a topic and i'll post the essay plan for it.


I find your website really useful but compared to aqa and ocr I don’t see an exam structure for Eduqas philosophy and ethics and some of the topic notes are missing?
Reply 11
Original post by aishah14x
I find your website really useful but compared to aqa and ocr I don’t see an exam structure for Eduqas philosophy and ethics and some of the topic notes are missing?

Yep unfortunately I don't get many Edexcel students so I haven't had the incentive to develop my notes for Edexcel so much.

For Edexcel - I would say make sure you have a 30 mark question essay plan ready for every topic.

If the topic comes up for a 20 or 12 instead of 30, you just do a shortened version of the 30 mark plan.

It's not worth learning all the anthologies really well - you can write a general overall description of each anthology and learn that - then just try to do some basic comprehension and get 6/10 quite easily without much work.

Getting that final 4 marks requires leaning all the anthologies really well - which if you think about it just isn't worth it - better to spend time perfecting and learning 30 mark question essay plans!
Original post by Joe312
Yep unfortunately I don't get many Edexcel students so I haven't had the incentive to develop my notes for Edexcel so much.
For Edexcel - I would say make sure you have a 30 mark question essay plan ready for every topic.
If the topic comes up for a 20 or 12 instead of 30, you just do a shortened version of the 30 mark plan.
It's not worth learning all the anthologies really well - you can write a general overall description of each anthology and learn that - then just try to do some basic comprehension and get 6/10 quite easily without much work.
Getting that final 4 marks requires leaning all the anthologies really well - which if you think about it just isn't worth it - better to spend time perfecting and learning 30 mark question essay plans!


Apologies but I meant Eduqas we only get 20 and 30 Marks I don’t do Edexcel. Do you have a recommended essay structure for 30 markers? And will there be any updates to the missing topics for the Eduqas section of your website?
Reply 13
Original post by aishah14x
Apologies but I meant Eduqas we only get 20 and 30 Marks I don’t do Edexcel. Do you have a recommended essay structure for 30 markers? And will there be any updates to the missing topics for the Eduqas section of your website?

Oh yeah, you wrote eduqas. My mind always gets scrambled this time of year! Unfortunately I don't have time to add more eduqas notes at the moment.

For 20 mark questions you just have to splurge everything you know on the topic.

For 30 mark questions, I would recommend this structure:

point (argument for or against the question)
Counter (to whatever was in the point)
Evaluation (a judgement about whether the counter was successful and why)

Conclusion: sum up the evaluation points and show how they give an overall answer to the question.

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