Essay on Judicial Precedent

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SR1IN0201

FOREWORD ....................................................................................................................... 1 GENERAL PAPER (MAURITIUS) ...................................................................................... 2 GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level .................................................................................................................. 2 Paper 8009/01 Paper 1 ................................................................................................................................. 2 Paper 8009/02 Paper 2 ................................................................................................................................. 7

This booklet contains reports written by Examiners on the work of candidates in certain papers. Its contents are primarily for the information of the subject teachers concerned.

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GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level
Paper 8009/01
Paper 1

General comments
Use of English
There is still much that needs to be addressed in this area: performance could be improved if attention were given to these specific points.
Paragraphs need to have focus: this can be facilitated by the use of a topic sentence, that heralds the main thrust of the point being made. All candidates should also know that paragraphs need to be linked. Too often, they are not, and candidates use words like “furthermore” and “moreover” in an attempt to demonstrate linkage that is lacking in reality.

Candidates need to consider the basic structure of the essay, with an introduction, development and a conclusion. There needs to be fluency, and cohesion between the separate elements. Definitions are often required and their proper place is within the introduction, indicating to the Examiner that the candidate understands the key area of the essay/question and that he/she is going to examine it within the stated terms of the definition being offered.

“But”, “so” and “and” are all used copiously at the beginning of sentences, which is not normal grammatical practice. Vocabulary used has often been a curious blend of colloquial chat and vocabulary used purely to impress, often inappropriately. Of particular note this year has been the excessive use of the phrase “the latter”, especially where a pronoun was required.

Some common errors are: “garbages”, “englobe”, “oftenly”, “voice out”, “boost up”. The use of the definite and indefinite article appears to cause continuing confusion, equally there is uncertainty about where the plural and the singular are appropriate. Commas are often disregarded and exclamation marks abound, despite their infrequent justification. They should never be used to reinforce a view that the candidate feels is controversial. Statements should stand on their own merits.

Finally in this section there seems to be a rising phenomenon of correction fluid. It was used by several Centres to excess and made the reading of the written word very difficult. Candidates are reminded not to use it at all.

General comment
There is evidence of a more systematic approach with the common application of plans for essays and, for many candidates, this has led to higher content marks. However, some did become carried away, spending far too long drafting such copious notes that these became trial essays, often scored through, leaving candidates insufficient time to write out the essay once more. As ever, prepared topics are prevalent, especially in response to Questions 9, 10 and 11. Entire phrases had been learnt and were reproduced. Examiners seek originality rather than formulaic responses. Repetition and sweeping statements remain a problem and this was most notable in answers to the questions that required a more philosophical approach, for example, Questions 4 and 13. It was apparent too in Questions 9, 10 and 11. Discipline in the ordering of opinion is a real requirement with General Paper.

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There were fewer instances of passages of...
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