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How to structure Paper 2? Any tips?

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Ok, so I have a mock Paper 2 exam coming up in about a week and we got the question beforehand. We're allowed to bring an 150 word outline into the essay and we have 60 minutes to write it. The problem is that I don't know how to structure it. For us, we have to talk about three challenges Trudeau faced during the time he was prime minister and the extent to which he successfully dealt with those challenges. Do I just stick with a 5 paragraph essay? What is the key to doing well on a Paper 2 essay? Thanks!

Edited by ShootingStar16

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Hi,

 

First of all, you're lucky that you got the question beforehand lol. Anyways, my teacher suggests that don't write too many body paragraphs, as you won't get into too much detail on each. He suggests stick to a few reasons and go into great detail. So, given that, yes I would say 5 paragraphs are the way to go (intro, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion). Plus your question says "3" reasons, so that even makes it more logical to stick to the 5 paragraph rule. I would advise you do this (paragraph by paragraph):

 

1) Introduction (don't forget to include your 3 reasons here)

 

2) First reason

 

3) Second reason

 

4) Third reason

 

5) Conclusion

 

Now, for the second part of the question where you have to talk about the extent to which each challenge was successfully dealt with, you can do that in 2 ways. 1) You can, if you want, have a separate paragraph for that; so, intro, 3 body paragraphs, 5th paragraph (dealing with the second part of the question), and conclusion. 2) You can include the extent to which each challenge was successfully dealt with in its respective paragraph; so, intro, 3 body paragraphs (within each paragraph, talk about the extent to which each challenge was successfully dealt with), and conclusion. I suggest go with the second method, because that way within each body paragraph you would talk about the challenge first and then the extent to which it was successfully dealt with (as opposed to having an entire separate paragraph talking about all; which would be confusing).

 

Essentially, what you want to do is, have the intro with all the 3 challenges mentioned; then body paragraph 1 (explain first challenge, and the extent to which it was successfully dealt with); then body paragraph 2 (second challenge, and the extent); then body paragraph 3 (third challenge, and the extent); then conclusion. In the conclusion wrap everything up nicely.

 

Another thing to remember is try to include as much historiography as possible; that is different opinions of different historians being compared. This is the extra bit that helps bump essays to a 7. So, within each body paragraph you can say, Historian A says… while Historian B says… and I agree with Historian A/B (whichever). Include the name of the historian for sure (don’t just say, some historian says…), and include their opinion (it can be the exact quote or even paraphrased).

 

The final thing to remember is challenge the question if possible; this is another bit that helps bump essays to a 7. By challenge I mean, perhaps the question is stated in a way which is too broad or isn’t right to the point (whatever), and you can mention the question could have been stated like this or like that (thus challenging the question). Another way to challenge the question would be to disagree with it, so you can say the question shouldn’t have said this but should have said that (as that would have been more appropriate). I hope you get the idea. But, the challenge should be in the conclusion.

 

So, really, you’re looking at 5 paragraphs; intro, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Try to include as much historiography as possible, and if possible try to challenge the question. That is my advice, and I’d like to add that don’t be too narrative (storytelling); include more analysis (of your own).

 

I hope this was of some help, and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

Edited by Mathemagician
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Wait... I had a really hard time looking for historians, so I was thinking on evaluating what Trudeau said to justify his ways of dealing with the three challenges and opinions that take up a different position. Is that fine? I really want to do good on this essay... 

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It would be good if you used historians, but if you can't find any then I guess you can't do much. In that case, justifying his actions, and talking about opinions that take up a different position should be a good alternative. However, do try to find any historiography (quote from historians on him). You don't need a whole lot; even if you can find 4 in total, where the 1st contrasts the 2nd and the 3rd contrasts the 4th (vice versa) that will be okay.

 

Also try to challenge the question; from my experience "to what extent" questions are the easiest to challenge (and I believe yours is a 'to what extent' question?).

Edited by Mathemagician
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