AQA Religious Studies A level essay structure

10 mark questions

These questions just require demonstrating detailed knowledge on a topic.

If you are asked something specific about a theory, such as to examine its weaknesses, its value for religious faith, the implications of it for religious believers etc – you still need to explain the theory itself first before going on to do that.

Note that you are only required to explain things, not evaluate them. Even if a 10 mark question asks you to examine the weaknesses of something, you must simply explain the weaknesses – not evaluate whether they succeed or could be countered.

15 mark questions

Intro: Very briefly introduce and explain the topic that is being debated.
Say what your conclusion is going to be.

Three paragraphs of this structure:

Part 1. A view on the question. An argument either for or against the debate in question. A strength or a weakness.

Part 2. A criticism of the view explained in part 1. This could be a weakness that counters a strength, or a strength that counters a weakness, depending on what was in part 1.

At this point going back and forth some more times is optional.

Part 3. Your judgement as to which point of view is successful and why.

Part 4. Link back to the question. Explain how that view being successful answers the question.

Conclusion. Summarise the parts 3 and 4 of each paragraph and explain the overall conclusion that results from them.