The Distinctions Between General Paper and Economics Essays in JC A Level Exams


As students progress through their JC A Level studies, they encounter various subjects with unique demands and writing styles. Two prominent subjects are General Paper (GP) and Economics, each having its own distinct characteristics when it comes to essay writing. Many students that take both subjects are often confused as the style of writing and analysis can be somewhat similar yet highly different. Who else better to ask then Mr Kelvin Hong, Chief Tutor of Edventures Pte Ltd in Singapore, which offers both JC A Level Economics Tuition and JC A Level GP Tuition.

This article, contributedby Mr Hong, aims to highlight the differences between writing a General Paper essay and an Economics essay in the context of JC A Level exams, exploring their respective structures, content requirements, and evaluation criteria.

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Purpose and Focus:

The primary distinction between a General Paper essay and an Economics essay lies in their purpose and focus. A General Paper essay assesses a student’s ability to critically analyze complex issues from multiple perspectives, developing their ability to communicate effectively and argue persuasively. In contrast, an Economics essay evaluates a student’s understanding of economic theories, principles, and their ability to apply these concepts to real-world scenarios and draw appropriate conclusions.

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The structure of a General Paper essay typically follows a more flexible format. Students are encouraged to adopt a well-structured, logical approach but have the freedom to choose between various essay types, such as argumentative, discursive, or descriptive. On the other hand, an Economics essay adheres to a more standardized format. It usually comprises an introduction, theoretical framework, real-world application, data analysis, and a conclusive section.

Content and Depth:

In a General Paper essay, students are expected to explore a wide range of topics, covering social, political, economic, and environmental issues. The emphasis is on demonstrating a broad knowledge base and the ability to think critically and creatively. In contrast, an Economics essay requires a deep understanding of economic theories and models. Students must analyze economic concepts with precision and provide clear and concise explanations. For more information about the A Level Economics and General Paper Syllabus, please visit

Use of Evidence:

Both essays necessitate the use of evidence to support arguments, but the nature of evidence differs. In General Paper essays, evidence can include statistical data, quotes from experts, historical examples, and real-life anecdotes. The aim is to bolster the student’s position and showcase a holistic understanding of the issue. In Economics essays, evidence is primarily drawn from economic data, charts, graphs, and relevant case studies. The focus is on applying economic theories to the evidence and drawing insightful conclusions.

Language and Style:

The language and writing style employed in General Paper essays tend to be more versatile, allowing students to exhibit their language proficiency and creativity. There is an emphasis on the use of varied vocabulary and sophisticated sentence structures. Economics essays, on the other hand, require clear and precise writing. The focus is on effectively conveying economic concepts without unnecessary embellishment.

Evaluation Criteria:

The assessment of General Paper essays revolves around the student’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information from various sources, presenting a well-reasoned argument. The examiner evaluates the quality of critical thinking, communication skills, and the ability to engage with complex topics effectively.

In Economics essays, the evaluation criteria include the application of economic concepts to the given scenario, the accuracy of economic analysis, the use of appropriate diagrams, and the ability to draw appropriate conclusions. Students are also assessed on their understanding of economic terminology and their ability to present economic arguments clearly.

In conclusion, the process of writing a General Paper essay differs significantly from that of an Economics essay in JC A Level exams. While General Paper essays emphasize critical thinking, broad knowledge, and persuasive communication, Economics essays prioritize deep understanding, application of economic principles, and clear, precise analysis. Recognizing these distinctions and honing the relevant skills in each subject are crucial for achieving success in the JC A Level examinations. With diligent practice and a clear understanding of the requirements, students can excel in both subjects and express their ideas effectively in the context of the exam.