top of page

How to Write Excellent A-Level German Essays

Updated: Jul 6

Writing essays in A-level German requires a combination of language proficiency, critical thinking skills, and effective communication. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you craft compelling and well-structured essays.

How to write an excellent essay for A-level German
How to write an excellent essay for A-level German

How to write an excellent essay in your A-level German exam

Before you start writing your essay, make sure that you take a few minutes to analyse the question. Why have the examiners chosen this particular question? Why is it worded in this way? What might be their rationale? Are they hinting at certain themes that you should consider. Reflecting on these and related questions, may help you get the much-needed clarity on how to answer the question, your main argument, and now to structure your essay.

1. Introduction:

  • Begin with a clear statement of the essay question that encapsulates your main argument.

  • Provide a brief overview of the key points you will discuss in your essay.

  • Outline the structure of your essay, indicating how you will address each aspect of the question.

2. Paragraph Structure:

  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main point you will discuss.

  • Provide evidence or examples to support your argument.

  • Use transition words and phrases to link ideas between paragraphs and ensure smooth flow.

  • End each paragraph by linking it back to the essay question or main argument, summarising key points and indicating how they support your thesis.

3. Phrases for Good Style:

Here are useful phrases to enhance the style of your writing:

Structuring words and phrases

  • Im ersten Abschnitt/Teil werde ich...untersuchen (In the first paragraph, I will examine...)

  • Im zweiten Abschnitt werde ich...analysieren (In the second paragraph, I will analyse...)

  • Im dritten Abschnitt werde ich....diskutieren (In the third paragraph, I will discuss...)

  • Schließlich werde ich...erörtern und meine Hauptthesen zusammenfassen (Finally, I will...discuss and summarise my main claims)

  • Zunächst einmal (First of all)

  • Danach (Afterwards)

  • Darüber hinaus (Furthermore)

  • Ein weiterer wichtiger Punkt ist (Another important point is)

  • In Bezug auf (With regard to)

  • Zum Schluss (In conclusion)

  • Zusammenfassend lässt sich sagen (In summary)

  • Abschließend... (In conclusion)

Arguing your case

  • Man könnte argumentieren, dass (One could argue that)

  • Es lässt sich feststellen, dass (It can be concluded that)

  • Es ist wichtig zu betonen, dass (It is important to emphasize that)

  • In Anbetracht dieser Tatsachen (In light of these facts)

  • Es steht fest, dass (It is clear that)

  • Es steht außer Frage, dass (It is beyond doubt that)

  • Es ist unbestreitbar, dass (It is undeniable that)

  • Im Großen und Ganzen (By and large)

  • Es ist erwähnenswert, dass (It is worth mentioning that)

  • Infolgedessen (As a result)

  • Es ist von entscheidender Bedeutung, dass (It is crucial that)

  • Aus diesem Grund (For this reason)

  • Ein zusätzlicher Faktor ist (An additional factor is)

  • Das Hauptaugenmerk liegt auf (The main focus is on)

  • Dies führt zu dem Schluss, dass (This leads to the conclusion that)

  • Eine wichtige Schlussfolgerung ist (An important conclusion is)

  • Nicht nur... sondern auch (Not only... but also)

Keeping your essay balanced

  • Allerdings muss man auch bedenken, dass (However, one must also consider that)

  • Auf der einen Seite... auf der anderen Seite (On the one hand..., on the other hand)

  • Einerseits...., andererseits (On the one hand..., on the other hand)

  • Man könnte einwenden dass (One might object that)

  • Zwar ist es richtig, dass..., aber... (To be sure, It is correct to say that..., but...)

If you’re looking for additional phrases, check my post on how to write academic essays in German.

4. Conclusion:

  • Summarise the main points of your essay, emphasising how they support your thesis.

  • Reiterate your main argument and its significance in the context of the essay question.

  • Offer a final thought or reflection that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

5. Balanced Argument:

  • Present multiple perspectives on the topic and consider opposing viewpoints.

  • Acknowledge counterarguments and address them thoughtfully, demonstrating a nuanced understanding of the issue.

  • Avoid presenting a one-sided argument or dismissing alternative viewpoints without proper consideration.

6. What to Avoid:

  • Overgeneralistations or making unsupported claims.

  • Offering a quote without interpreting it.

  • Using informal language or colloquialisms.

  • Neglecting to cite sources or provide evidence to support your arguments.

  • Failing to address the essay question directly or straying off-topic.

  • Rushing through the writing process without revising and editing for clarity and coherence.

By following these guidelines and practicing regularly, you can enhance your essay writing skills and effectively communicate your ideas in A-level German essays. Remember to stay focused, provide evidence to support your arguments, and maintain a balanced perspective to produce well-crafted and persuasive essays.

If you found this post helpful, please like and share it with others so that many students can benefit from it. Thank you.

On my German language blog, you will find plenty of resources for your A-level German exam preparation, including revision guides on Der Besuch der alten Dame, Der Vorleser, Das Leben der Anderen and Goodbye Lenin, helpful tips on the A-level German IRP, advice on the A-level German speaking exam etc. We also have a guide on doing A-level German as an outside option.



Jun 10

thank you


Mar 23

Could you perhaps post a model answer essay to illustrate the structure you present here?

Replying to

Thanks for your comment. I'm working on 'model answers' and will post them soon.


Mar 23

This series of study guides/a level german tips is excellent! Thank you for putting it out there.

Replying to

Thank you very much. I'm happy to hear that you found them helpful!


Featured Posts

bottom of page