How important is it to use theories such as liberalism and realism to support your answer in an exam?

When tackling exam questions, I would say using theories as a basis is very important. This is because it demonstrates to the marker a depth of knowledge. The more specific your facts are, the better. For example, rather than just using the term realism, you may want to talk about key thinkers such as Joseph Nye, or John Mearsheimer. It is then crucial that you make a direct link and show how the theory applies to that particular question. Exam answers should include a theoretical approach as well as a empirical example. Should you be asked about sovereignty in global politics today, you may want to answer by explaining liberalism and realism and how that relates to soveriegnty whilst using real examples of the United Nations (liberal) or the Nation State (realist) itself. 

Answered by Victoria J. Politics tutor

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