OCR A Level – Evaluation and critical analysis

What OCR want for AO2 content

  • Excellent, clear and successful argument
  • Confident and insightful critical analysis and detailed evaluation of the issue
  • Views skillfully and clearly stated, coherently developed and justified
  • Answers the question set precisely throughout
  • Thorough, accurate and precise use of technical terms and vocabulary in context
  • Extensive range of scholarly views, academic approaches and sources of wisdom and authority used to support analysis and evaluation

Assessment of Extended Response:

There is an excellent line of reasoning, well-developed and sustained, which is coherent, relevant and logically structured.

How to show evaluation and critical analysis in your essays

Evaluate: “form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess.” In basic terms; you need to consider the different sides to the debate and come to a conclusion. This should be done by presenting a variety of different scholars or examples.

Critical analysis: To critically analyse you need to explain why a particular argument has strengths or weaknesses. This might involve showing a flaw in logic (The argument doesn’t make sense) or there is a clear response back to the point which makes it an untenable position to hold. Alternatively, it could explain why an argument provides good evidence and therefore should be supported in the conclusion.

By following the structure from the post on basic planning, you are guaranteed to start showing evaluation and critical analysis early in the essay. This is because you will give your first point on the side you picked to argue, followed by a point which aims to respond (evaluation). This will then be followed by critical analysis on the response.

Do not worry if this does not currently make sense to you. The best way to understand this is by seeing the examples laid out and practising the writing for yourself.

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