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Describe/discuss questions


Posted 24 May 2005 - 07:25 PM

Hello smile.gif

After a year of Mod Studs lessons I'm none the wiser about a certain aspect of the exam, and I was hoping some of you might be able to help! We've written down a lot of facts, but not had any information about how to make it work in the actual exam!

How are you taught to set out "describe" questions? We've been using bullet points for absolutely everything in class (literally everything - even describe questions!), but I don't know if this is the way I should be setting things out in the exam. How much information is enough?! How do you do it?

On the same theme - "discuss" questions. I think they ought to be miniature essays, but is that right? Have you had any tips on how to write them and how to fit enough information in (again, how much is enough?!) that you could share?

I'm just feeling a bit lost, and can't get any help so am really dreading Monday unsure.gif

Thanks in advance!


Posted 24 May 2005 - 09:50 PM

Ok you basically just write the answers to any questions like any essay! The questions are out of tem so you make five points, explain them and make sure that you include examples! I dont think you should use bullet points, only in the DM. As for how much you have to write i worte about and A4 page and a half for each question.
Hope this helps??


Posted 25 May 2005 - 02:21 PM

Bullet points are from the devil - don't use them, unless it's in the DME.

All questions should be written in essay style - continuous prose. The key difference between "discuss" and "describe" is that the former should give due wait to both sides of the argument and they must have a conclusion. Describe essays should have a conclusion in the interests of good English but unlike "discuss" essays, it's possible to pass without one but please note they are absolutley essential for Item 2 style questions...


Posted 25 May 2005 - 04:04 PM

Yeah we were always told not to conclude the "describe" questions but it was crucial in "discuss"


Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:41 PM

also about quality, ive read a few 10 marker essays that were only a page long. but had good detail in it. no point in having such long essays with limited examples n things.


Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE(superstar @ May 25 2005, 05:04 PM)
Yeah we were always told not to conclude the "describe" questions but it was crucial in "discuss"

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really??? any other useful pointers jill?


Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:32 AM

In Section A and C you get your part a and part b. Just make sure that your part b has BOTH Sides in, don't make it one sided eg if It is on the Powers of teh PM put the power, but after the power put in the constraint that is linked with that power or if it is to describe FPTP then put the advantages and disadvantages.

An example:

Ethnic minorities have made social and economic progress in the United states of America. One third of African Americans are now classed as middle class. However this means that a large majority, two thirds, are not middle class.

See how I put in the fact that some African American's are now middle class, but pointed out (probably what was quite obvious) that this still ment that a large number are not.

An example of a conclusion would be:

There is evidence to supoprt the view that ethnic minorities have made some social end economic progress, but still not enough.

Although that conclusion is not very long, that would be enough to conclude that essay.

Hope that helps


Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:22 PM

Thanks to everyone who's replied - you've really helped smile.gif I promise to avoid bullet points wherever humanly possible (the complete opposite of what were "taught"!)

Now I just need to learn everything to put in the answers! Yikes!


Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:34 PM

It looks better if you can put it as an essay. The way I tend to do it is think of a bullet point as a paragraph, so if it was asking you the advantages of FPTP instead of taking a new bullet point for each advantage start a new paragraph.

It is alright to use bullet points in Question 4 of the DME (the report)

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