GCSE Paper 2 – The Article

Arguably, if this is the final thing you do in your GCSEs, then it will be the hardest, for it is extremely hard to get the language and the tone right in this one.

Have a look at a few articles online now, about things like the abolition of school uniform, or euthanasia (killing humans when terminally ill in a kind way) or some other such thing that is both contentious and has two very equal sides to it and you will see what I mean. Trying then, in section B, to write a good, strong, argumentative article, for those hitting the 5-7 grades, is hard.

But hey, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right!

So, here is an example a student did for me, over 2 one hour tuition sessions, working on the 2021 Paper 2 exam paper, which asked questions based on 2 sources in the usual fashion and then, it asked him to write an article based on the idea that we as consumers need to change our attitudes to buying cheap clothing.

You know the one, I am sure.

This is his work, unedited. See what you think. He did not give it a title and found it very hard going so there are weak areas, but, and I stress this vehemently, this is a student who a year ago, was a low level 4.


Must we change our attitudes to buying clothes now?

Is it ethically sound to purchase more and more at the expense of children in less affluent countries being exploited?

The British Standards Agency has quoted Hugo Boss, saying “Consumers should be able to purchase goods without the burden of having to worry about where they are made or sourced from.”

There are two ways of looking at any argument. On one hand, it is seen as unethical to ask every consumer to purchase extravagantly priced items, which they are unable to afford. This is because of the fact that not all consumers earn £50,000 a year to spend on designer brands and the costs that come with them. For example, Apple devices are associated with rapidly increasing prices and the additional costs/ subscriptions. In the same way, the fashion industry uses similar methods to up sell more goods.

On the other hand, customer choice has become paramount in all things. There are many consumers who choose to wear both cheap fashions and designer fashions. A man may choose to wear Lacoste or Hugo Boss shoes but wear Primark socks. There is nothing wrong with this at all.

Perhaps, the only reason why we must change our attitudes to buying clothes now could be because of how top fashion houses advertise their products. For example, the clothing brand Balenciaga created a series of advertisements where they received backlash for how the advertisements exploited children to the extent that the company was seen to be approving of child abuse. This caused the brand to release a statement explaining how they “Strongly condemn child abuse.”

The only way a consumer can overcome this issue when buying clothing, whether that be designer or not, is to research and make an educated purchase. This is so the consumer can ensure that they are not buying from corrupt brands.

One way this could happen is if large corporations, such as Amazon were to oversee how the products sold on their platform are manufactured. If a product is made by children working in poor conditions, Amazon should remove them from the platform indefinitely, because of the fact that large corporations should not stand by as young children are exploited. Balenciaga has amassed a net worth of $51.28 million. If they were to be challenged to the extent that a large sum of profits were lost, this may make the brand reconsider how they present themselves.

Likewise, the same could be said of the giant superstore, ASDA UK could be held accountable for the way they sell clothing. Their brand name known as “George” is best known for selling school clothing at a cheap rate. Blazers and ties will be bought via the school supplier whereas, the more common basic items are mainly bought from ASDA or similar stores.

Should the seller be held accountable for how the goods are sourced?

In the end, the responsibility must be held with everyone to make sound and just decisions when purchasing from preferred brands.

E3YK0A George at Asda fashion2014. Image shot 06/2014. Exact date unknown.


Given the fact that on Monday, if when he takes his Paper 2 Mock, for Y11, in preparation for his GCSE exams in June, if he does something like this in the mock and then improves on it in the real thing, as I am sure he will with my help, then he should do very well indeed.

Have a look at some of the finer things in it, like the use of rhetorical questions and make a list of the things contained therein. See what he does with his language and try to emulate him, or even better, write on on the same subject that improves on this.

I dare you to try!