The first step in breaking down a prescribed title is carefully picking apart / analyzing the key words in it.

1. Can there be knowledge that is independent of culture? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge. 

Try to avoid superficial / stereotypical approaches to the prescribed title – e.g. “mathematical knowledge is based on fundamental universal principles and thus there is no link to culture.”  That kind of a basic approach is easy to make but certainly lacks depth and may not score very well.  You need a more insightful and nuanced approach.

“Knowledge” – make sure you are clear and specific in your essay about what kinds of knowledge you are focusing on.  Look at a number of specific examples and see what exact knowledge there is in them that does or does not have a link to culture.  Make sure the marker can see precisely what aspects of knowledge you are discussing in each paragraph of your essay.

“Independent” – There may not be that many cases where knowledge is completely independent of culture but there will be cases where the connection between knowledge and culture is quite weak.  You need to find specific examples where there is a direct link between knowledge and culture and others where there is only a weak link or no link at all.

“Culture” – This is a very broad term.  Here are a few definitions

Make sure you look carefully at narrow aspects of culture that appear in the specific examples you are investigating.  The marker should be able to clearly identify what elements of culture you are focusing on in each essay paragraph.

“Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.”  Your choices are limited but clear with PT #1 – you MUST choose mathematics and one other AOKs.  If you do not write about mathematics or you write about mathematics and two other AOKs it seems clear that you will lose marks.

(Key words and phrases for additional prescribed titles will be added shortly)