MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

484 views

How do you write an A* synoptic essay?

To achieve an A* in your synoptic essays you must show breadth of knowledge as well as depth. What examiners want to see when they mark your answers is that you have a thorough understanding of the concepts throughout the course, and for an A* answer, that you are able to be insightful throughout your argument. This means they want you to be able to see how the different aspects of the course are related and be able to demonstrate your knowledge with relevant case study evidence.

The mistake many students make when using case studies in their answers is 'case study dumping', where irrelevant details are given to support a point. Ideally, to achieve an A*, parts of case studies should be used specifically (or 'cherry-picked') to demonstrate a point you are trying to make. So for example, if you were making a point about environmental issues that cities in the developing world face you may use Mumbai's slum, Dharavi as an example. You may know tonnes about this case study, but here you would only mention details such as the number of people per latrine and the waste running on the streets, but it would be irrelevant to mention the attempt to regenerate the area by rehabilitating residents to high-rise buildings. Keeping the case studies relevant helps focus your essay, setting the foundations for an A*.

In order to keep your argument coherent you must also have a good essay structure. Having a clearly laid out argument through your essay will help you demonstrate the higher level skills needed to achieve an A*. So, in the introduction you may want to lay out your argument, demonstrating that you undertand the question. The main body of your essay is where this argument will be carried out, and you can show off your knowledge of the course, and the conclusion should tie together the different points you've made. To keep the essay focussed, you may want each paragraph in the main body to end with a sentence that relates it back to your argument and therefore the question. These sentences are often where you can make those insightful A* statements that show 'flair'. If not here, then the conclusion is another place you can show some flair that demonstrates your confidence in the course content and ability to handle it critically. And you don't need to go crazy with this either, to achieve an A* you'd only need to include this once or twice for the examiner to see you are capable of it and award you the A*.

If you really want that A* in those exam essays then a lot of it comes down to ensuring you make the connections between different aspects of your course as you go along. This way you're thinking about the course synoptically from the get-go and when it comes to it you'll find that writing a good synoptic essay comes more easily.

Ellie M. A Level Geography tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Engli...

6 months ago

Answered by Ellie, who has applied to tutor A Level Geography with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

41 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Isabelle K.

Degree: Internation Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response with French (Bachelors) - Manchester University

Subjects offered:Geography

Geography

“Hi! My name is Isabelle and I am a first year studying International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response (BSC) at Manchester University. I am very passionate about Geography,and a lot of my degree is very similar to Geography...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Kamran H.

Degree: Geography (Bachelors) - University College London University

Subjects offered:Geography, Psychology+ 2 more

Geography
Psychology
Extended Project Qualification
-Personal Statements-

“ABOUT/ Hello! I hope this reaches you well. My name is Kamran Hussain and I am a Geography student at University College London (UCL). I have an array of intellectual interests that span across the humanities, arts and sciences from...”

MyTutor guarantee

£22 /hr

Abigail G.

Degree: Zoology (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:Geography, Maths+ 3 more

Geography
Maths
Chemistry
Biology
-Personal Statements-

“Hi I'm Abi, a 1st year MSci Zoology student at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus. I am absolutely loving my degree and am learning new and exiting things every second! I thoroughly enjoy anything biological related and am able t...”

About the author

Ellie M.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: English (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered:Geography, English

Geography
English

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Ellie

How do you write an A* synoptic essay?

What is river rejuvenation?

Other A Level Geography questions

Is GDP a good indicator of vulnerability to natural disasters?

With reference to a named disease of affluence, outline the impact on health, economic development and lifestyle.

Can you help me understand the movemement of tectonic plates and their margins

How do you approach the 40 mark essay?

View A Level Geography tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok