Essay Writing Guide:


In all essays you will need to:

  • Give your opinion

  • Address both sides of the issues

  • Give an indication of scale/importance

  • Provide factual evidence (case studies)


“It is impossible to eliminate disparities in wealth and development.” Discuss this statement. (15 marks)

If you agree with this statement or disagree with it is immaterial but you should not do so 100%. If you go down this route it is impossible to get all marks because you will not show any evaluation. Remember that there is always a ‘however’ – an alternative view.


  1. Identify Key words and instructions in the question, highlight or underline them

  2. Decide what your main arguments / points will be and identify key words which you will elaborate on in each paragraph of your essay.

  3. Identify appropriate case studies that address the key aspects of the question and note them down

  4. For each case study briefly L.I.S.T it

  • Location poor / rich rural / urban tropical / temperate

  • Issues positive / negative human / physical

Environmental / social / demographic / political / economic

  • Scale global / regional / national / sub-national / local / household

  • Time long term / short term / past / present / future

  1. As you write your essay you can add to your plan when you get inspiration and need to remember something important.


  1. Introduction

  • You must define any key terms from the question

  • Reflect the question and state your intentions e.g. “In this essay I will…..”

  • Limit to 5 handwritten lines!!! DO NOT WAFFLE

  1. Main Body

  • One paragraph = One theme (idea / argument / point)

  • Try to link what you say back to your question

  • State point clearly and concisely DO NOT WAFFLE

  • Explain your point

  • Give evidence / examples / case studies to back up what you’ve said

  • Sketches / maps / graphs / diagrams can be used here to add to your point, be careful that it does not solely repeat what you’ve already written.

  • Try to ensure you have given a balanced argument or range of points

  1. Conclusion

  • Reiterate your title and explain how your essay has answered the question e.g. “In this essay I have shown that ….. by….”

  • No new ideas should be brought up at this point

  • You can reiterate your key point or the crux of your argument

  • If appropriate you should refer to sustainability or impacts for the future in your conclusion



Planning Template:

When planing and writing an essay you should use this template. By using the same template for every 10 or 15 mark question it will soon become habit. for a 10 mark question,



Write neatly, make sure it is easy for the examiner to read your work.

Manage your time carefully.

  • For a paper 1, 15 mark question you will need a good 45 min to plan and write the essay.

  • For a paper 2 10 mark question, you only have 25mins.

  • For a paper 3 15 mark question, you have 40 minutes.

(There is a separate page that looks at each paper in more detail.)

Case Study facts are a must for the answer.

You get marks for content, analysis, evaluation and structure (ensure that you therefore practice these often.

It is CRITICAL to skip lines to clearly indicate to the reader that you have an organized structure and that you are separating each part of your argument.

  • After the introduction: skip 3-4 lines

  • Between each topic: skip 1 full line

  • Before the conclusion: skip 3-4 lines