LNAT Essay: Section B
1 essay question | 45 minutes
What’s in the LNAT Essay Section B?
You will be given a choice of three essay questions to choose from, you’ll have no idea of the topics they could be beforehand! You have 45 minutes to write the essay. To score the highest marks, you must;
- Answer the question (around 25% of essays we mark don’t do this!)
- Follow a logical structure
- Be as clear as possible
- Develop a coherent argument
- Convey that argument to the reader
Structuring your essay
The structure of an essay consists of three parts; the Introduction, the Main Body and the Conclusion. You don’t necessarily need to give headings for these sections, but staying in this format will keep your essay easy to follow.
Keep in mind this saying: In your introduction, say what you’re going to say; in the main body, you say it and in your conclusion, say what you’ve already said by bringing it all together.
Step 1: Select your question
As mentioned, you have three options for you essay. We have a video snippet from our LNAT Online Course (which is available with our Law Programme, find out more here) in which our tutor Amy Gregg goes through the explanation of selecting the right question which is definitely worth a watch!
We’d recommend two minutes to read all the questions!
While one essay might seem the easiest, you may find you run out of points to make about it. Using the time wisely will enable you to gauge how accessible you are with a topic given your background knowledge.
Step 2: Planning
Why should I plan my essay?
- You don’t have much space so you need to make it count!
- It allows you to get your thoughts down on paper before writing.
- You’ll write faster once you have a plan.
- You run the risk of missing the point if you don’t plan.
How much time should I spend planning?
There’s no set period of time that should be dedicated to planning. This differs for everyone because everyone is different! You should spend as long as you want planning, provided you have enough time to legibly write your essay.
As a rough guide we’d recommend 5-10 minutes.
How do I plan my essay?
Firstly, you need to gather ideas relevant to the question. These will form the basic argument.
You can then begin to structure you essay, including the way that points will be linked. At this stage, it is worth considering the balance of your argument, and confirming that you have considered arguments from both sides of the debate. Once this general structure has been established, it is useful to consider any examples or real world information that may help to support your arguments.
Finally, you can begin to assess the plan as a whole and establish what your conclusion will be based on your arguments.
You can use a variety of methods to actually put your ideas down, whether this is a mind map, bullet points or PROs and CONs, use what is best for you.
Step 3: Writing
We’ll do a brief worked example together, consider the question: “Abortion should only be permitted in certain circumstances.” Discuss.
Present a brief outline of what you will discuss. In this case, you should clearly define “Abortion” (e.g. the termination of a pregnancy). If you wish, you can highlight the key themes that will run through the essay, but keep it short!
You should have a bunch of points written down that you can call on for this section. Here are some points considering arguing for abortion we came up with in the planning stage;
- In the event of a medical issue
- Disability of the child
- Sexual assault
- The mother wants to give up the foetus
- The mother is too young
You now have a choice of several points you can use, but you can’t go into detail for all of them! You should focus on the quality not quantity of points made. Choose the points which you can make the most original contribution.
Once you have chosen your points, you should create a structure;
- Paragraph 1: Disability of the child
- Paragraph 2: Sexual assault
- Paragraph 3: In the event of a medical issue
You should then write PROs and CONs of each point for each paragraph. Ensure you have a balanced essay which considers all points of view fairly. Thinking about all elements of an argument is important; thinking of alternative views can strengthen your argument for or against something.
Here you should bring together the points in the main body. You shouldn’t bring any new points into the conclusion, focus just on what you have previously spoken about. If you have summarised each point in the main body, then a shorter conclusion will suffice, and vice versa.
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