GCSE English Quiz - Constructing an Argument (Questions)

Constructing an argument is the key to writing an excellent essay. You will already know the importance of planning - knowing what your argument is and how it will progress is the first step in planning.

Try this quiz to see how much you know about this vital skill, but take a moment first to ask yourself if you know what 'argument' means...

1. You have been asked to present a case for or against an issue. In this context, what is meant by 'argument'?
[ ] A loud disagreement
[ ] A well-supported point of view which takes other, opposing points of view into account
[ ] A heated disagreement
[ ] A well-supported case for a particular point of view
2. You have been given an essay topic on the theme of fate in Macbeth. In this context, what is meant by 'argument'?
[ ] A loud disagreement
[ ] A well-supported point of view which takes other, opposing points of view into account
[ ] A heated disagreement
[ ] A well-supported case for a particular point of view
3. In an essay, a statement of your point of view is called your...
[ ] introductory paragraph
[ ] thesis
[ ] persuasion
[ ] consideration
4. 'How does J.B. Priestley present the relationship of power and powerlessness through the character of Mr. Birling?' - Which key words should be included in an argument written in response to this question?
[ ] How, Mr. Birling, through, themes
[ ] Relationship, power, Mr. Birling
[ ] Power, powerlessness
[ ] Relationship, power, powerlessness, presented, character, Mr. Birling
5. Some essay questions are given in the form of statements. Which of the following questions has the same meaning as this statement: 'Discuss Steinbeck's presentation of loneliness in Of Mice and Men.'
[ ] How does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] Who is lonely in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] Does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] All of the above
6. When structuring your argument, how should you NOT order your paragraphs?
[ ] Chronologically
[ ] Randomly
[ ] In order of importance
[ ] Logically
7. Some essays ask you to compare two texts, such as two poems. How should you organise your points in such an essay?
[ ] Analyse the first poem before bringing in the other poem to compare and contrast
[ ] Devote each paragraph to a topic (theme, language, mood, etc.) and write about both poems in each
[ ] Either of the answers above
[ ] Neither of the answers above
8. What does it mean to 'develop' your argument?
[ ] Each paragraph should slightly contradict the paragraph it follows
[ ] Each paragraph should contribute to and strengthen your argument
[ ] You should only place your argument in the final paragraph
[ ] You shouldn't plan ahead, but develop your argument as you go along
9. Sometimes it can seem as if an essay's points are hardly related. In order to ensure your argument flows and is logical, each paragraph should include...
[ ] arrows and annotations
[ ] numbered points
[ ] phrases such as, 'Now I'm going to talk about...' and 'Now I'm going to make this point'
[ ] transitions
10. Which of the following is an effective way to structure an essay written to argue the case for or against an issue?
[ ] Present your case first, then present the opposing case and refute it
[ ] Present the opposing case first, then present your much stronger and more reasonable case
[ ] Either of the above
[ ] Neither of the above
GCSE English Quiz - Constructing an Argument (Answers)
1. You have been asked to present a case for or against an issue. In this context, what is meant by 'argument'?
[ ] A loud disagreement
[x] A well-supported point of view which takes other, opposing points of view into account
[ ] A heated disagreement
[ ] A well-supported case for a particular point of view
2. You have been given an essay topic on the theme of fate in Macbeth. In this context, what is meant by 'argument'?
[ ] A loud disagreement
[ ] A well-supported point of view which takes other, opposing points of view into account
[ ] A heated disagreement
[x] A well-supported case for a particular point of view
In this type of essay, a persuasive case for a point of view (the argument) does not include presenting an opposing viewpoint
3. In an essay, a statement of your point of view is called your...
[ ] introductory paragraph
[x] thesis
[ ] persuasion
[ ] consideration
An introductory paragraph includes your thesis, which is simply your argument presented in a single statement
4. 'How does J.B. Priestley present the relationship of power and powerlessness through the character of Mr. Birling?' - Which key words should be included in an argument written in response to this question?
[ ] How, Mr. Birling, through, themes
[ ] Relationship, power, Mr. Birling
[ ] Power, powerlessness
[x] Relationship, power, powerlessness, presented, character, Mr. Birling
The most straightforward way to come up with your thesis statement is to rephrase the question: 'J.B. Priestley presents the relationship of power and powerlessness through the character of Mr. Birling by....' After rephrasing, you might wish to find a more elegant way of making the same statement
5. Some essay questions are given in the form of statements. Which of the following questions has the same meaning as this statement: 'Discuss Steinbeck's presentation of loneliness in Of Mice and Men.'
[x] How does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] Who is lonely in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] Does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?
[ ] All of the above
6. When structuring your argument, how should you NOT order your paragraphs?
[ ] Chronologically
[x] Randomly
[ ] In order of importance
[ ] Logically
It can be difficult to decide in which order to write your paragraphs. Thinking about how your points are logically connected will certainly help. Chronological order suits some essays (i.e. development of a theme throughout a text) and order of importance suits other essays (especially writing to argue)
7. Some essays ask you to compare two texts, such as two poems. How should you organise your points in such an essay?
[ ] Analyse the first poem before bringing in the other poem to compare and contrast
[ ] Devote each paragraph to a topic (theme, language, mood, etc.) and write about both poems in each
[x] Either of the answers above
[ ] Neither of the answers above
Both of these structures can work for a compare and contrast essay - practise each form and decide which works best for you
8. What does it mean to 'develop' your argument?
[ ] Each paragraph should slightly contradict the paragraph it follows
[x] Each paragraph should contribute to and strengthen your argument
[ ] You should only place your argument in the final paragraph
[ ] You shouldn't plan ahead, but develop your argument as you go along
9. Sometimes it can seem as if an essay's points are hardly related. In order to ensure your argument flows and is logical, each paragraph should include...
[ ] arrows and annotations
[ ] numbered points
[ ] phrases such as, 'Now I'm going to talk about...' and 'Now I'm going to make this point'
[x] transitions
Paragraphs must be linked together by transitional phrases (usually connectives) so that your reader can easily follow your argument
10. Which of the following is an effective way to structure an essay written to argue the case for or against an issue?
[ ] Present your case first, then present the opposing case and refute it
[ ] Present the opposing case first, then present your much stronger and more reasonable case
[x] Either of the above
[ ] Neither of the above
Both of these structures work equally well - people often show a strong preference for one or the other of these methods