Writing application essays can be very difficult. You not only are juggling your topic with evaluation but applying it to an ethical issue. For help on structuring application essays see: Tackling the Application Essays.
Here are some examples of introductions and main paragraphs to show the structure:
This is an example of what I would class as a good introduction. This is because it displays to an examiner all the necessary elements in a simple and clear way, yet remaining informative (not descriptive) and is effective in the way it handles the question. From reading this introduction it is obvious what the question is. Always a sign of a good start!
This is another introduction example. This demonstrates a different style of writing, yet the core structure (as above) is present. See how this student focuses on developing their evaluative tone with rhetorical questions (red) and demonstrates wider understanding through added details (green)
When writing your paragraphs within an application essay, keep the structure simple: theme, link, evaluate – so in this question it might be: reason, sanctity of life and helpfulness.
This is an example of a very sophisticated paragraph. See how the student not only links to euthanasia but also demonstrates understanding through a specific case. This student also evaluates the use of reason in relation to euthanasia by presenting both a strength and a weakness. What makes this evaluation even better is the link between Barth and the question (unhelpful) and then a defence argument from Aquinas:
This is an example of a paragraph from a different student. The structure is very much the same: theme, link, strength, example, strength. What works with this paragraph is the student compares NL to situation ethics but they never forget the theme of the paragraph: apparent and real goods. So whilst the feedback (from me) on this paragraph would have been to say whether the slippery slope issue makes apparent and real goods therefore less helpful, the student demonstrates a developing technique and attempts at the higher level discussion:
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.
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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.
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Revision bubbles/ advice and sample questions with guidance found in: