“Religious experiences are an illusion of the mind”: Student’s Work

This is an example of what I would class as a good introduction. See the use of critical terms (red), links to the question (x3 in green) and the engagement with the two key names (Freud and James) in relation to the quote. The quote shows higher level independent reading but also shows understanding through not only linking it to James but also the question.


This is the first paragraph from the same essay. See the clear structure: James (yellow), E.G (green), E.G evaluation (purple), E.G evaluation linking back to James and introductory links to Freud (blue). Once again this is what I deem a good paragraph. The student maintains links to the example throughout (St. Teresa), I learn as a reader about her case without excessive description, James is also not forgotten from the first part of the paragraph by the student linking it to the example in an evaluative and analytical way. It does not over complicate the structure, the evaluation is prominent and the links back to the question are noticeable.

1st para.PNG

This is another introduction example. See how the student really engages with the question – exploring the ideas and interpretations of illusion, using the quote as a spring board for discussion.

intro 2.PNG

This is a paragraph taken from the same essay. See hwo the theme is established (Feuerbach) and how the whole paragraph is centred on that theme. I have  separated and numbered the points to make the structure clear. The evaluation is introduced through applying another name (James) and a rhetorical question (1). This then leads to the example (Guru Nanak) which links to the evaluative point (2). This is  extended into a further evaluative point (made clear by the use of critical terms: credible, problematic and unlikely) and a link to the question (3). Then a further name is applied as a support of James and Guru Nanak (4) which is then applied back to Feuerbach (5). This is then all rounded up, linking Feuerbach back to the question (6). So whilst this may seem a straightforward paragraph, the structure is sophisticated, evaluative yet simple. It never strays from Feuerbach, the question and has strong A02 throughout (rather than just description of views)


This final example once again shows clear structure. The student established the theme of the paragraph by starting with Freud (blue), outlining and describing his argument. Then an example is introduced (with evidence of key details and wider reading with the facts displayed – even though a bit too long – yellow) Freud’s argument is then applied to the example (purple) then James is used against Freud but always in relation to same example (Nicky Cruz in green).

para 2.PNG

Please let me know if you would like a copy of these essays by leaving a comment at the bottom or following the ‘contact me’ details on the Homepage. Alternatively to view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This includes PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.

Revision bubbles/ advice and sample questions with guidance found in:


8 thoughts on ““Religious experiences are an illusion of the mind”: Student’s Work

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