Exam essentials: Structuring extended responses

This article was first published on 1 February 2019.

Do you know the best way to tackle an extended response question?

When answering an extended response (mini-essay) question you need to show your knowledge and understanding of the topic. You also need to analyse and evaluate in your answer. Here are the key things you need to get started:

  • Plan out your answer

  • Use one paragraph per point

  • Use the PEE method (point, evidence, explanation) for each point you make.

Mr Moore explains the importance of PEE - point, evidence and explanation, when structuring extended responses.

Let's recap


The first thing you need to do with an extended response question is to plan your answer.

Read through the question carefully, work out the points you want to make and then plan your answer using the following structure:

  • Introduction - Lay out your answer and introduce the points you want to make

  • Main body - This should include the points you will make to answer the question. Remember to cover one idea per paragraph and use PEE to make each point

  • Conclusion - Restate the points you made in the main body and don't forget to tie your answer back to the question.

PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation)

There are several different acronyms you can use to help you remember how to structure an extended response. The one we are using is PEE (point, evidence, explanation).

  • Point - This should be one thing you want to say

  • Evidence - This should be one or more examples to back up the point you have made. It could include quotes, statistics, charts and scientific information

  • Explanation - This is where you explain and develop evidence and link back to the question.

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