How to structure your AQ

24 08 2011

Templates and I have a love-hate relationship. When it comes to anything in GP, there will be occasions where the rules (in this context, a certain “correct” structure) will need to be broken at your own discretion. However, in most cases, adopting the following AQ structures will work.

First, you need to identify the general form of the AQ, as different AQs require slightly different structures.

Single passage, one requirement
General form of the question: Author A argues that (thesis A). Do you agree / Are you in sympathy with / How relevant is / (any other possible question) his views?

First paragraph: The focus paragraph
State your stand clearly. Answer the question directly, using the same key words as the question.

  • If the question asks whether you agree, say, “I agree/disagree with Author A that (thesis A).
  • If the question asks how relevant his view is, say, “I find his view that (thesis A) highly relevant/only slightly relevant“.
  • Etc.

Middle paragraphs: The body paragraphs
Make reference to specific arguments from the passage that make sense in the context of (thesis A). 

  • Author A argues that (thesis A) because “(refer to a specific argument that is a reason which supports thesis A)”. 

Link this argument to the question

  • If the question asked how relevant you think his view is, continue with, “I find this view highly relevant because (explain)
Now evaluate
  • Although some might argue that (evaluation), they fail to realise that (evaluation + explanation)
Now exemplify
  • For example, (state example).
Now link back to the question and the author’s argument
  • Thus, I find Author A’s view that (state specific argument) highly relevant.
(repeat for all other body paragraphs)
Last paragraph: Conclusion
Conclude by restating your stand (as in your focus paragraph)
  • In conclusion, I find Author A’s view that (thesis A) highly relevant/only slightly relevant.

Single passage, two (or more) requirements
General form of the question: Author A argues that (thesis A). Do you agree / Are you in sympathy with / (other question) his views? How relevant are his views to your society / (other question) ?

First paragraph: The focus paragraph
State your stand for each requirement clearly. Answer the questions directly, using the same key words as the question.

  • If the two questions are on whether you agree and how relevant his views are, say, “I agree with Author A that (thesis A) and find his views highly relevant to Singapore.

Middle paragraphs: The body paragraphs

Option 1: (see “body paragraphs” above). However, for each argument from the passage that you choose to engage with, use it to address both requirements:

  • Argument from passage, link to the first requirement
  • Next paragraph: extend your argument by linking the same argument from the passage to the second requirement.
  • Repeat for other arguments from the passage that you choose to engage with
Option 2: (see “body paragraphs” above). Address only the first requirement in the first few body paragraphs. Address the other requirement in your next few body paragraphs
  • e.g. If you have four body paragraphs, the first two should address the first requirement; the next two should address the second requirement.
Personally, I prefer Option 1.
Last paragraph: Conclusion
(as above)
Double passage, one requirement
Same structure as in the “single passage, one requirement”. The only difference is that half the arguments chosen in your main body paragraphs should be from Passage A; the other half from Passage B.
Double passage, two (or more) requirements
Same structure as in the “single passage, two (or more) requirements”. The only difference is that half the arguments chosen in your main body paragraphs should be from Passage A; the other half from Passage B.
Example
CJC Prelims 2010
Schoch argues for the pursuit of happiness while Wilson criticizes the American obsession with happiness. With which of the two authors are you most in sympathy? Explain the reasons for your choice.  How relevant are the views raised by both authors to your society? 
Double passage, two (or more) requirements
Focus paragraph
I am most in sympathy with Schoch in that we should pursue happiness. While Schoch’s views are highly relevant to Singapore, Wilson’s view, that we are obsessed with happiness and that this is undesirable, is generally not relevant to Singapore. 

Main body paragraphs
Schoch argues that we should pursue happiness because (reference to passage). I greatly sympathise with this view because … (continue with Ex + Ev + e.g)

This view is highly relevant to Singapore because …

Wilson criticizes the American obsession with happiness because (reference to passage). I do not sympathise with this view because …

This view is generally not relevant to Singapore because …

.

.

.

Conclusion
In conclusion, I am most in sympathy with Schoch and find his views highly relevant to Singapore. However, I find Wilson’s views generally irrelevant to Singapore and do not sympathise with them.


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3 responses

30 08 2011
Apple

I have learnt some forms of evaluation such as cost-benefit analysis, short-run/long-run (time frame at which a point may be valid only) analysis and theory-vs reality evaluation.

Are there other forms of evaluation? And are some only applicable to specific context? What are their strengths and weaknesses in any essay?

30 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

There are loads more. However, the one’s you mentioned are the main one’s, that are applicable to a wide range of topics. Some other common ones rely on context in which they’re more applicable / relevant – e.g. Developed/developing world, individual/government, etc.

Their relative strengths and weaknesses really depend on the essay, and yes, they’re not always applicable – again, it depends on the context. So no easy answers there, I’m afraid.

Sent from my iPhone

26 08 2012
| Zeng |

I found it very useful. Thank you!

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