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It is essential that you back up what you say with evidence. Obviously your argument will be stronger and more convincing if you support what you say with...


This is the same skill as using quotes in your Literature exam to confirm points you make about poems, novels or short stories.

It is highly recommended that you use the reading material in the first part of the exam (question 1) as a source of quotes / facts / figures / research. If this is not possible then make up some! But try to keep them believable.

If you consider advertisements for washing-up liquids you will know that they often use a character in a white lab coat - perhaps with unrulyhair and glasses - to suggest a scientific boffin.

The idea is that we're more likely to believe these people because they have greater, more specialised knowledge than us mere mortals.

The same goes for using quotes in your argument.

A quote from Fred Bloggs, a window cleaner from Norwich, on whether or not we should scrap nuclear power plants will have less impact than a quote from Cornelius Bradbury, Professor of Applied Braininess and Nuclear Physics at the University of Oxford!


An example of how to present these quotes is:

'Recent research carried out by Daphne Evans of the University of Wales'.

Quoting also shows the examiners that you can set out direct speech correctly.

    [*]As the chief examiner himself says, 'Remember that using a range of punctuation correctly is an important part of the mark scheme.'

      You may have noticed that politicians are fond of quoting facts and figures to support their claims. This is because facts and figures appear to be unarguable and true.

      As in using quotes you should take your facts and figures from the text for question 1. Otherwise make them up! But make sure they do not sound too far-fetched.

      Remember: you must use some facts and figures to support and reinforce your argument.

      Fact: 'Lisbon is the only European city with a better safety record than London.'

      Figure: 'Britain has 74 road deaths per million inhabitants.'

      These figures were made up, but they sound convincing don't they?!

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