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How can I structure a good IB philosophy essay?
Regardless of how many brilliant ideas you bring to the essay, without the best structure you will struggle to push for those top grades. Not only does a good structure make reading the essay easier (think happy examiner) but it also allows you to develop your arguments more deeply, and ensure that sufficient counter points are bought forward.
Every essay should begin with an introduction. It need not be overly long (you’ll be under time pressure as is), but try and do the following: unravel and state the key philosophical concept at the heart of the question; locate any issue raised by the concept; put the question into wider context and importantly state your stance on the question and how you plan to go about exploring the question.
You can now move onto the body of the essay, this will comprise of about 3-4 paragraphs, depending on how long you have and how much material you have on the topic.
Each paragraph should begin with a sentence that explicitly states what the point is you are about to make in relation to the question (and will keep you focused).
From there you must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the point by outlining the views of the philosophers in question, or the argument outline that you will discuss. This is the point where you can demonstrate the depth of your knowledge- but don’t overload this area, as the next part is where the high-end marks come from.
After running through the key points of the argument it is now your job to make a clear central point which is linked to the question. This should use the material you’ve just given to create a justified point. For higher marks it is recommended to think of counter examples to your point, then assess the overall point at the end of each sentence.
A conclusion should be deduced from the body of the essay, and thus not bring any new material in. Use this paragraph to bring the points you’ve made all together in a punchy and hopefully convincing way!see more