The risk-based element means that resources are directed towards areas which carry the greatest weight in Economics students’ ‘A’ Level examinations – hence the higher ‘risk’ associated with them.
As a result, Mr Koh’s Economics tuition classes have chosen to focus on the skills involved in writing economics essays, since the essay paper alone accounts for 60% of the total score for H2 Economics. To Mr Koh, case studies are quintessentially essay questions broken down into many parts, overlaid with the need to relate data from the extracts. The higher order questions in most case study exercises usually constitute 6–10 marks each, which makes them no different from essay questions. Based on the breakdown above, it is fair to say that more than 80% of the final assessment depends on a student’s ability to produce good essays.
Due to the importance of being able to write well, Mr Koh has developed his very own framework to essay-writing. In his Economics tuition classes, he will demonstrate how it is possible to adopt a structured approach to essay-writing regardless of the way the question is phrased.
Writing a Good Introduction
Call this his pet peeve – but Mr Koh always insists to my students that their introduction should SUMMARISE the overall stand in the entire essay. This serves three important roles: –
- It forces a student to do proper planning before writing the essay. In many instances, students plan-as-they-write, and end up writing out of focus. Some may start on a question which looks manageable at first glance, but find themselves stuck midway due to a lack of arguments. In other words, if you’re unable to find enough points to develop a satisfactory introduction, pick another question instead.
- Planning your introduction this way gives you a good sense of the scope/depth of the relevant arguments and the time required to complete them. Very often, I see students with strong conceptual understanding but are unable to flesh them out completely in the essay due to poor time management.
- A well-structured essay is a high-scoring one. Specifically, your paragraphs should link to one another and provide a closely-stitched argument. A summary in your introduction helps to achieve this.
Example of a well-developed introduction
Discuss how an understanding of elasticity concepts can help a car manufacturer plan his marketing strategies (15m)
Introduction: Assuming a profit-motivated producer, an understanding of PED can help the producer plan his pricing decisions; an understanding of YED can help him plan output decisions; while an understanding of XED can help the producer plan pricing and marketing strategies vis-à-vis substitute goods, as well as the possibility of joint promotions with complementary goods. However, the above strategies help in revenue maximization, but do not assist in cost-cutting decisions.
In the next article, we will share the steps involved in writing a good topic sentence.