How to Structure Your A Level Politics Essay

Are you struggling to write your next politics essay? Hundreds of thousands of students take their A-levels each year, all of them aim to get the best possible grade. But how do you get started getting the best Politics A-level grade you can? Read on for our guide to structure the perfect A Level politics essay, useful for both AQA and Edexcel boards.

Understand the Politics Essay Question

First, you need to understand your essay question to formulate a proper response to it. Read the question very carefully, and don’t make assumptions about what you’re reading. It’s easy to answer the question that isn’t in front of you. Circle any keywords that appear in the question, and make sure you understand the command word (such as evaluate, analyse or to what extent).

Get Planning

Be sure to start your politics essay by making a plan. This involves gathering your thoughts about what could ‘support’ or ‘oppose’ the argument. You should also plan what case studies you need to bring in, alongside planning which side of the argument you sit on. There are up to 33% of marks available for your conclusions and which side of the essay you are on, so make sure to include this!

You can also look at past papers to help you get an idea of what you should aim for when writing your own essay. A Level Politics past papers are a very useful resource as they allow you to see what the structure of the exam is, and the style of questions you could be asked.

Start Your Layout

The general layout of your politics essay should be as followed:

  • Introduction: give definitions, the general outline of your argument, and the side you support.
  • Main Body Paragraphs:
    • Point (AO1)
    • Evidence (AO1/AO2)
    • Explain (AO2)
    • Link (AO3)
  • Conclusion: bring the argument back around and firmly state your opinion on the debate.

You’ll need at least two paragraphs to argue one side of the question you’re evaluating and at least two paragraphs to argue the other side of the question. Each separate point in your essay should be its own paragraph to ensure it’s readable and clearly understood, with relevant examples/evidence and detailed explanations. Each paragraph should finish by linking back to the question in order to give strong and substantiated judgement.

And, when you’re writing a politics essay, follow the directions down to the letter. If the question has a source included, make sure you use it to form the basis of your arguments. The “rubric” on the question will include guidance such as referring to specific points or using a source.

When you use a source to support an argument, make sure you explain why the fact that this source supports you matters — why a source is authoritative, in other words.

If you’re having trouble, start by laying out your answer in a table so that you can see exactly what you need to get done over the course of your answer to support your argument. And, that way, you’ll avoid missing anything important while you write your essay.

Master the Assessment Objectives

There are three Assessment Objectives (AOs) for your A Level Politics essays:

  • AO1: knowledge & understanding
  • AO2: analysis
  • Ao3: conclusions & evaluation

It’s important to note that a large proportion of your marks come from assessment objectives other than knowledge. This means that you need to be able to analyse and evaluate your points rather than memorise facts. It’s therefore critical to practice your exam technique to maximise your marks in these assessment objectives.

Start Your Politics Essay Today

What are you waiting for? Begin writing your A-level politics essay, and with this formatting guide, you’ll be sure to get top grades.

By becoming a member, you can get access to a range of model essays. This will allow you to see what an A* politics essay looks like.

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How to Structure A Level Politics Essay

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