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9 Mark Questions

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#1 Aileen1995

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:12 PM

How would you answer a nine mark questions on "Explain why ....."

Please and thank you!

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

Mr. D. Bryant
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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:00 PM

How would you answer a nine mark questions on "Explain why ....."
Please and thank you!

Thank you for your very polite request. It would be helpful if you could let us know which examination board (OCR< EDexcel AQA etc.) and paper you are sitting so that we can be more specific.

#3 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:49 PM

Mr Bryant is right.
If we are going to help you maximise your mark, then we need to know exactly which exam board and paper you are doing.
Then we will look at the markscheme and give you very specific advise.

For the moment, however, an explain essay is about thinking of some REASONS, and then developing an argument which explains HOW those reasons caused the effect you have been asked about.
So - for example, if you are asked to explain why World War One broke out, then you start by thinking of some reasons.
perhaps one of them is 'nationalism'.
You then talk about nationalism, developing an argument which explains HOW nationalism helped to cause the war - how it made nations aggressive which each other, and made them try to get the bigger armies, and try to conquer land from the others, and eventually how this led them to go to war with each other in 1914.

Of course, there are shallow, simplistic, single-idea explanations - nationalism caused the war because they thought they were great. They answer the question,but they don;t get many marks.
And then there are deep, multi-faceted arguments, supported by facts, with lots of different ideas ... and THAT'S what you need to write to get good marks.

To help them,many pupils follow what is called the PEE formula - they make the Point (ie they give a reason), and then they develop the argument using Explanation and Evidence (facts).

I have written this on another website:

Think of a number of points in answer to the question and PEE every paragraph.

1st - Points: Think of 4 or 5 points which answer the question. .

2nd - Explanation: For each point, explain how it answers the question, taking your ideas right through to the question at issue, to demonstrate how the points you are making answer the question asked. Try to think of more than one way each point does this.

3rd - Development: 'Unpack' each point, using your own factual knowledge to explore a number of different aspects of each point, and explaining how each relates to the question. Develop logical arguments (using the words such as 'so', "however", "this meant that", "as a result", "therefore").

4th - Linkages: Draw links/ relationships between the different points you are making, showing how they all connect together in a causal web. Especially, make a link between each paragraph and the next, to make it clear you are developing an argument, not just a string of points.

5th - Judgement: Weigh the importance of different factors within the argument.

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