tutor2u | Q&A from AQA: Introductions & Conclusions

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Q&A from AQA: Introductions & Conclusions

Below you will find a question and response from AQA in relation to: Introductions & Conclusions.


Do student essays require an introduction and conclusion?


Clarification from AQA on "essay-style" writing in the 12 and 16 mark questions at AS and A level (23/11/16) - an excellent response, summed up in the last sentence:

"We appreciate your concern about structuring essay-style responses appropriately and, whilst the primary aim of the assessment in AS and ALevel Psychology is to assess subject specific knowledge and understanding, we nonetheless expect to see material that is well-organised and coherent for higher level credit. Perusal of the level-based marks schemes for AS 2016 shows that answers at Level 4 should be 'clear and coherent' and answers at Level 3 should be 'mostly clear and organised'. Having, as you say , 'a beginning, middle and end' would seem to be an example of how material could be deemed to be coherent and organised. That said, it is appreciated that students have very limited time in which to convey a substantial amount of information: at AS,12 marks equates to 15 minutes in which to think, plan and write an answer; at A Level, 16 marks equates to 20 minutes in which to think, plan and write an answer. Lengthy introductions, the exact content of which appears again later in the main body of the answer, and lengthy conclusions, which do nothing more than reiterate material that has already been presented in the main body of the answer, tend to result in answers which appear repetitive. In such cases, time might have been better spent on demonstrating knowledge of additional psychological material or making a new, previously unstated point. Taking a pragmatic approach, given the limited examination time, students who wish to present introductions and conclusions should be encouraged to ensure that they do more than simply repeat exactly what appears in the main body of the answer."

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