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Varying your essay terminology is one of the simplest ways of upgrading yours essays from GCSE to an A grade A-level standard. Eloquent phrases for introducing new points, comparison or for linking ideas can really help to structure your essay. They might even dazzle your examiner into believing your essay is mature and sophisticated, regardless of content…
…gone are the days of pero, sin embargo y porque!
Below are some useful phrases.
The first sentence
Voy a discutir acerca del tema de…
Voy a hablar sobre…
Voy a discutir…
Introducing your opening argument
En primer lugar
Introducing new themes and arguments
Concluding the essay
Por fin – in short
En resumen – in summary
Presenting an argument
Por un lado… - on one hand
Por otro lado… - on the other hand
En cambio – in contrast
Por otra parte
Hay que tomar en cuenta – you have to take into account
Because/ as a result of
A causa de
Como consecuencia de
Connectives and conjunctions
A pesar de – in spite of
Así que – so
Sino que – but (triggers subjunctive)
Common subjunctive triggers
Es probable que
Es necesario que
No creo que
Aconsejo que – I advise that
Presenting opinion (no subjunctive)
En mi opiniónsee more
Failing to distinguish between these two important command words can result in a lot of lost marks! ‘Describe’ involves writing a literal description of the data that is in front of you, may it be a graph or a table.
Although at times it might seem basic, it is important you state the obvious. For example, if a graph shows a strong positive correlation, you simply say ‘The greater the [insert X axis title], the greater the [insert Y axis title]’. If the data deviates from a trend, you should note the value at which it changes and describe whether it ‘flattens off’, ‘decreases’ or ‘increases’.
In order to achieve full marks in these questions you must remember to EXPLAIN. Explaining requires a reason. A brilliantly simple technique that will set you on the right track to doing this is to write ‘because’ after your description. Easy peasy!
A classic example question is “Looking at the graph given, describe and explain the effect of light intensity on the rate of photosynthesis”
So… Step 1) Describe the first trend
Up to the point of x lm/sr the rate of photosynthesis increases as light intensity increases.
Step 2) Explain the first trend
This is because light is the rate limiting factor.
Step 3) Describe the second trend
After x lm/sr, there is a plateau (levelling off) of the curve and the rate of photosynthesis remains the same.
Step 4) Explain the second trend
This is because a second factor is now limiting, such as the concentration of CO2.see more
Conveniently, there are roughly 6 main stages in the process of eutrophication, so if you can memorise each one, step by step, you are sure to scoring full marks!
1) Algae blooms block light
2) No photosynthesis, so plants die.
3) Saprobiotic decomposition occurs.
4) Microorganisms respire aerobically (use up oxygen)
5) Less oxygen for fish to respire, therefore they die
6) Increase in anaerobic microorganisms; release hydrogen sulphide/ nitrates/ toxic waste
7) Water becomes putrid
Please note: This answer has been written in note form to aid in your understanding and memorisation, but ALWAYS WRITE FULL SENTENCES IN EXAMS…examiners don’t like scrappy notes :)see more