IDEAS for Structuring Extended Answers

Although there are a number of mnemonics around that help students structure extended answers in ways that allow them to cover and gain marks for each Assessment Objective (AO1, AO2 and AO3), I particularly like this mnemonic because it’s easy to remember and follows a logical structure for the construction of each paragraph in an extended answer.

I don’t know if this is something I dreamt up (probably not, but you never know) or whether it’s something I came across on my web travels, forgot about, rediscovered on my hard drive and convinced myself I thought it up (I’m leaning towards this interpretation but it would be nice to think it was the former).

Either way, you may find IDEAS helpful.


Identify  the main or key point of the paragraph
Define  what you mean by the key point and how it applies to the question
Examples  of the key idea using evidence (such as sociological studies, theories, etc.) both for and against the key point
Apply  your examples, both for and against, to your key point
Summarise  your overall argument


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