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OCR Philosophy & Ethics Exam technique

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Magdalene K

on 19 April 2014

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Transcript of OCR Philosophy & Ethics Exam technique

Exam Techniques (OCR Philosophy & Ethics)
Part a) MAIN

Start with an aspect of the ethical theory or argument

Choose an issue raised by the question, and relate this to the topic

Bring in a relevant example/quote/reference - Interweave into argument, if applicable

Apply the theory/argument to the example

Analyse the result

Take it further, e.g explore subtleties and flaws in the theory/argument, which may come to light
Top Tips
Part b) Introduction
Example: Part b Intro
Part a) INTRO


Make your opening words clear and purposeful - define and explain key terms which may not be obvious e.g absolute, relative

First impressions really count; examiners rarely change their minds after the first paragraph

Don't be afraid to use names and quotes in the intro
1. Highlight key terms and phrases in essay title.

2. Repeat key essay title terms and phrases in essay.

3. List relevant technical vocab for inclusion in essay.

4. Discuss selected key authors, original/contemporary.

5. Contrast different views/theories/authors.

6. Learn and use key quotes.

7. Avoid vague generalization like the phrase "some people argue".

8. Practise writing for 35 minutes.

9. Practise first and last paragraphs.

10. Conclude with your view, especially with "discuss".

11. Check exam specification for likely future questions.

12. Use mind maps etc to explore links, key points.

13. Remember do not evaluate in part a)



Part b) KEY FACTS TO REMEMBER
Spend around 10-15 minutes

Worth 10 marks

Follow the structure you feel comfortable using (this may vary according to a philosophy and ethics)

Make the side you're supporting is clear throughout your essay

Make sure you include different viewpoints

Don't forget to use examples, quotes & evidence!
Part b) Conclusion
- Summarise your own opinion, and justify it

- Don't contradict your previous points

- Avoid repetition, and keep it brief
Part a) KEY FACTS TO REMEMBER
Spend around 30-35 mins writing, and practice this!

Worth 25 marks

Split your essay up into manageable parts e.g. Intro, Main and Conclusion

Establish exactly what the question is asking you - Underline key commands e.g Explain the
main principles
of the
classical forms
of Utilitarianism

No marks for evaluation in part a)
In Genesis 1 God is clearly seen to be a God who creates
'
ex nihilo' - out of nothing
. Whatever he commands comes into existence, not from unformed pre-existing matter but from nothing.
For example
, we see him commanding
"Let there be.."
and from this imperative entities appear, be they lights, plants, animals, or indeed humans. This creation is instantaneous and is always as God wants it to be -
"It is good"
we are repeatedly told. God the perfect
omnipotent creator
ensures his creation is as exactly as he wishes. This theme continues into the second creation account where God creates as he wishes, but
in a seemingly different way
. Here, instead of God creating from nothing we see this
anthropomorphous
God forming Adam from the dust of the ground and giving form to that which had previously none. Subsequently, Eve is formed from his ribs. Instead of a creator 'ex nihilo' this account portrays God as more of a craftsman, something later echoed in
Jeremiah
where he is likened to a potter crafting items from clay.
Exam Layout
2
separate
exams - Philosophy and Ethics
1h 30min each
Answer two
questions

Two parts: a) and b)
45 min for each question
How to argue in a part b
Example 1:
Paley may argue that there must be a designer of the world, which is God, because the watch had a designer.
Hume would argue that the analogy used to explain the teleological argument is weak as it compares a watch, a man-made object, to the world.


Example 2:
Paley's analogy of the watch uses a good example of a situation where most people would infer that the watch had been designed and put together by a designer due to its complexities.
Hume may have argued against this analogy. This could be because it compares a watch, a man-made object, to the world. This makes the argument weak as it takes a leap that is too big.

Top Tips
1. Highlight key terms and phrases in essay title.

2. Repeat key essay title terms and phrases in essay.

3. List relevant technical vocab for inclusion in essay.

4. Discuss selected key authors, original/contemporary.

5. Contrast different views/theories/authors.

6. Learn and use key quotes.

7. Avoid vague generalization like the phrase "some people argue".

8. Practise writing for 35 minutes.

9. Practise first and last paragraphs.

10. Conclude with your view, especially with "discuss".

11. Check exam specification for likely future questions.

12. Use mind maps etc to explore links, key points.

Does not have to be long

Summarise the key points

Keeps the structure of the essay

Part a) CONCLUSION
'The right to a child is an absolute right' Discuss.

Read and understand what
exactly
the question is asking you

Try to form an opinion from the beginning/ have an idea of what you'll be arguing for

Decide on your structure: e.g.
For/Against --Direct
Building up your argument -- exploring the weaknesses of another viewpoint
Stating your view at the beginning & justifying it throughout, explaining why it is better

The issue of
rights
has been discussed throughout the western philosophical world for centuries, and has culminated in the debate of what type of rights a woman has to a child. A right is defined as '
something that that is morally good, or justifiable',
and if this, definition is taken to be correct, then the issue of whether this applies to every person (absolutely) is questionable. The statement also seems able to be applied legalistically in various circumstances. However the
different interpretations of the word 'right
'
makes it difficult to have a universal agreement on whether it is an
absolute
right to have a child.
'The teleological argument has survived all criticisms' Discuss.
Full transcript