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AQA BUSS3 essay technique

Discussion in 'Business studies' started by ClaireC10, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Please could anyone give me some advice regarding the big 34 marks question on BUSS3.
    I have been guiding my students through essay practise using past papers and the specimen papers from AQA website. When answering the large Qu 4 on these papers I have suggested they think of it as 3 mini essays and follow the 3 points asked for in the question, i.e. write their argument for, argument against and then their recommendation.
    A couple of my students have challenged this guidance saying they have always been told to analyses both sides of a point at the same time.
    Example: Coffee Delight case study - Qu 'Analyse the case for expanding in UK, Analyse case for Romania expansion, make a recommend'. My structure suggests write your points <u>for</u> the UK expansion which may include reasons against Romania, then points <u>for</u> Romania which can include points against UK option and finish with recommendation. These 2 students are saying they would make a point lets say, for the UK option but then analsyse it with any down side to the UK option and so on. So they tend to flit back and forth covering pros and cons of each option.
    I feel their method doesn't flow and is harder to read when marking for the examiners.
    In the shorter essays I do advise that for every point made they should fully analyse it before moving to next point but I feel these longer essays are better tackled in the style I have suggested.
    Please let me know if I am giving my students bad advice before the exam on 24th!
    Hope you understand what I am trying to explain
    Thanks
     
  2. Please could anyone give me some advice regarding the big 34 marks question on BUSS3.
    I have been guiding my students through essay practise using past papers and the specimen papers from AQA website. When answering the large Qu 4 on these papers I have suggested they think of it as 3 mini essays and follow the 3 points asked for in the question, i.e. write their argument for, argument against and then their recommendation.
    A couple of my students have challenged this guidance saying they have always been told to analyses both sides of a point at the same time.
    Example: Coffee Delight case study - Qu 'Analyse the case for expanding in UK, Analyse case for Romania expansion, make a recommend'. My structure suggests write your points <u>for</u> the UK expansion which may include reasons against Romania, then points <u>for</u> Romania which can include points against UK option and finish with recommendation. These 2 students are saying they would make a point lets say, for the UK option but then analsyse it with any down side to the UK option and so on. So they tend to flit back and forth covering pros and cons of each option.
    I feel their method doesn't flow and is harder to read when marking for the examiners.
    In the shorter essays I do advise that for every point made they should fully analyse it before moving to next point but I feel these longer essays are better tackled in the style I have suggested.
    Please let me know if I am giving my students bad advice before the exam on 24th!
    Hope you understand what I am trying to explain
    Thanks
     
  3. Hi Claire
    If you look at the mark scheme it is clear that they only ask candidates to provide for under the first bullet point and against under the second. I would provide them with a copy of the mark scheme answers (but using the new levels of marking).
    Audrey

     
  4. Audrey
    i'm sure its me, but I don't understannd your reponse, I'm no wiser as yto how to advise my students.
    stanleycoten@gmail.com
     
  5. <font face="Arial" size="3">Look at the mark scheme e.g. Jan 2010. It clearly states arguments for then arguments against. This clearly links with the first two bullet points in the question. So in the first one or two paragraphs they should discuss arguments for and in the next one or two paragraphs they should discuss arguments against. Therefore, I believe that Claire is quite right to suggest that students only analyse one side of an argument in any one paragraph.
    This is what I teach my students and the lowest we had was two C grades in January so it seems to work for me. Hope this is helpful.
    Audrey
    </font>
     
  6. First of all, do not base anything on 2010 or before... the mark schemes have now changed. As such, the way in which questions are framed have changed. Students are now simply asked if they agree with the decision, and to justify their beliefs.
    Contrary to popular belief, the more "points" the student hits on the mark scheme, does not mean the student receives a higher mark at all. It's usually the contrary... if a student tries to say too much, they will never get into any depth to access the higher levels of the mark scheme.
    I have seen model exam scripts which receive full marks and are no longer than one side. It's not how many points your students write, or what the points are about, it's most definitely HOW they write it and grounding arguments in business theory. Examiners are much more concerned with identifying relevant cognitive skills as opposed to counting the number of for/against points.
    I have taught my students to evaluate throughout the whole essay and they should write at least 3-4 BIG paragraphs.
    1. Each paragraph makes a point (e.g a whole paragraph dedicated to "moving to Romania reduces operating costs" - A FOR point, if you will)
    2. In this paragraph, provide some evidence from the case study (2 or more supporting pieces of data = GOOD application. Easy to get. Guarantees L3 on its own)
    3. Explain why (analysis). The longer and deeper the chain of logical argument, the greater the chance of receiving GOOD analysis (admittedly more difficult to get than GAp)
    4. Undermine/counter the entire paragraph (evaluation) to finish up. (E.g. However, the business may experience language barrier problems or a lower quality product which could blah blah blah. It DEPENDS UPON cash flow/profit targets/the objective of the business.)
    The conclusion should provide an explicit judgement (no fence sitting please!!!!) with justification and a discussion around ranking factors (AQA love this) or which is most important and why. Evaluation marks are intrinsically linked to the support provided. This conclusion should link back to arguments already made in the previous paragraphs, and ultimately, answer the question.
    It is entirely acceptable for students to perform some analysis, or use examples, in their evaluation. This will be rewarded with evaluation marks as opposed to analysis/app.
    If students can do 3/4/5 of these chunky paragraphs, they tend to do very well indeed in BUSS3. Everything about this structure is attuned to the awarding of marks for skills that examiners are looking for. We had outstanding results this January, with a couple of students getting 100%.
    To be fair, essay technique from BUSS2/BUSS3/BUSS4 is pretty much identical, only weighting of marks shifts away from Knowledge/App/An to Evaluation at A2 and the length increases.
    I'm sure you have students/had students whose knowledge is pretty ropey, yet manage to punch above their weight? This is because they can write a good essay and demonstrate the skills examiners are looking for, as opposed to being able to regurgitate the A2 text book or write a perfectly balanced essay.
    All the best for the coming year!
    SKA
     

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