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Answering Structured Essay Questions
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Answering Structured Essay Questions

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  • 1. Structured Essay Questions
  • 2. What is it? A structured essay question seeks for a structured answer from students regarding the topic that they have been taught. It is called “structured” because students are expected to “structure” arguments to answer questions with the information that they have learnt. This means that SEQ does not merely test on your memory but your ability to formulate arguments based on what you know.
  • 3. Structured Essay Questions Break-down (a) To what extent… (7m) (b) How far...(8m) (2 sets of each. You should not spend more than half an hour for each set.)
  • 4. Steps to answering SEQ:
    • Read the question. What is the issue?
    • Identify the given factor.
    • Elaborate and explain the given factor.
    • Identify other factors.
    • Elaborate and explain other factors.
  • 5. Identifying given factor
    • To what extent is Bob’s good looks responsible for his popularity amongst his classmates?
    • Identify the given factor.
    • What are other possible factors? Maybe his friendly personality? His easygoing nature?
  • 6.
    • How far is SNSD’s beauty responsible for their success in Korea?
    • Identify the given factor.
    • What are the other factors?
  • 7.
    • To what extent is learning from past successes and failures the only reason why people study history?
    • Which is the given factor?
    • Look at your textbook – what are the other factors?
  • 8. SEQ Answering Format In answering every paragraph, you must have: P – Point E – Evidence/ Elaboration E - Explanation
  • 9. Example
    • To what extent is learning from past successes and failures the only reason why people study history? Explain your answer.
    • What is the given factor? (GF)
    • What about other factors? (OF)
  • 10.
    • Point: Learning from past successes and failures is one of the reasons why people study history.
    • Elaboration/Example: History is full of stories about real people. When studying stories of success, we come across many hardworking, courageous and creative people. We can look up to them as role model. For instace, Otto Lilienthal built a glider that was powered by a small motor. Though this was not successful, the Wright brothers made changes to Lilienthal’s design and their plane was able to fly for 260 metres before it hit the ground.
    • Explanation: From this, we can tell that people study history because there is immense knowledge that can be derived from what our forefathers have done. Such knowledge would ultimately prove useful for us and we can build upon it further.
  • 11. LORMS
    • L1 (1m): Writes without any focus on the question.
    • L2 (2m): 1 factor, unsupported/unexplained
    • (3m): 2 factors, unsupported/unexplained
    • L3 (4m): 1 factor, fully explained
    • (5m): 1 factor, fully explained (Better quality)
    • L4 (6m-7m): 2 factors, fully explained
    • (7m-8m): 3 factors, fully explained (3 factors only required for 8m questions.)
  • 12. PLEASE NOTE
    • For a question that is worth 7m , you have to EXPLAIN 1 GF AND 1 OF.
    • For a question that is worth 8m , you have to EXPLAIN 1 GF AND 2 OF.
  • 13. More SEQ
    • To what extent is Melaka's strategic location the only reason why it became a major trading centre in Southeast Asia? (7m)

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