April 26, 2024 / by Madeleine

AQA Philosophy essays…stuck? Here is a framework for your next essay plan

Essay framework for a 25 marker in extra detail


Opening sentence is always ‘In this essay I will argue that…’ and then add a statement which uses the language of the question. E.g. If the question is ‘Is MBTIT a convincing account of mental states?’ Your opening sentence will be either ‘In this essay I will argue that MBTIT is a convincing account of mental states’ OR ‘In this essay I will argue that MBTIT is not a convincing account of mental states.’

Define the main theory or argument in the question as if it is a 3 mark question – fully and precisely.

Say which philosophers are for the theory and which are against, staying clear which side you are on.

Say which arguments you think are the strongest/most crucial for your conclusion and WHY. 

Say which arguments you think are the weakest and WHY.

Then remind us of your conclusion: ‘Therefore, I will conclude that…’.

First: positive case for your opponent

Define the theory you are against as if a 3 mark q. Tell us who supports it and why. 

Whatever theory you are against, make the case FOR it first! 

Give one or two arguments for this theory as if it were a 5 mark question. Then give reasons why these arguments fail.

Next paragraph: Your theory

Remind us of the theory you are defending as a 5 mark question, and a couple of its intuitive strengths. 

Next paragraph: give us the weakest argument in favour of your conclusion (either for your theory or against the opposite theory)

Define your terms like a 3 marker.

Give the strongest version of the argument.

Give the arguments for as if 5 mark questions.

Give counter arguments back and forth.

Explain why they succeed, and any counter-counter arguments fail!

Reach a mini-conclusion and LINK BACK to your argument: why does theory X fail? / theory Y succeed?

Repeat the above three or four times.


Summarise the debate ‘In this essay I have argued that, by analysing…’

Remind us of the strongest arguments for this conclusion and which were weakest.

End on the most crucial argument