Understanding the essay question
Before starting to write your essay, you need to examine the question
It is important that you do this as understanding the essay question
demonstrates your ability to understand the topic under investigation
and your ability to relate theories and perspectives to that topic. It is
therefore important that you answer the question set.
Typically an essay question will contain function and topic/concept
To what extent is educational attainment shaped by social class?
This is a function
keyword, questions which
include this expect you to
consider how far
something (social class)
contributes to a final
attainment). You need to
assess the evidence in
presenting your argument.
This connects to the function keyword and
the concept key words. You are being
asked to consider the range of the extent
of the influence of social class on
educational attainment. You could think of
this in terms of a scale:
If your evidence suggests that
social class does not solely
attainment, you should consider
what else shapes educational
Social class has
no impact on
These are concept keywords.
They are telling you what the
topic of the essay is about. You
need to define these concepts.