Tuesday, 28 April 2009

How to write a good essay!

This unit is assessed by two exam essays. This means that aswell as having to remember all those meaty bits of history you will also be under considerable time pressure. Therefore it is essential that you are able to plan quickly and write concisely to ensure you are able to put across all the key points.

Your essays will come from one of the four pots we have considered in lesson:
1. The Main Causes of Rebellion and Disorder in England
2.The Frequency and Nature of disturbances
3.The Impact of disturbances on Tudor Governments
4.The maintenance of Political Stability

However the style of question asked has an impact on how you should answer.

Advice on answering questions about causation

Causation questions tend to begin with the following stems:

  • Assess the role of factor x in?
  • Assess the importance of factor x in?
  • How far was rebellion caused by factor x?
  • To what extent was rebellion caused by factor x?

To get a good mark you must consider the role of factor x in causing rebellions. In doing so you must provide examples of when this factor did indeed cause rebellion. You should also consider its relationship with other causation factors. This allows you the opportunity to highlight patterns of change and continuity.

Advice on answering questions about historical turning points

A turning point is when the historical train rumbles over the points and proceeds one way or another. If the question identifies a particular year as a turning point you should consider the situation before and after this year. You should use examples of change and continuity to argue both for and against the opinion that a particular year or event marked a turning point in history.

Advice on answering Explanation questions

  • Assess the reasons why
  • How do you account for
  • Why did

You must be careful when answering these questions that you do not just write a narrative list of reasons. Each reason must be fully explained and linked to the bigger context by highlighting periods of continuity and change.

Advice on answering questions on importance

Some questions consider how important a particular element was. These essays are most common when considering the response to rebellions or the maintenance of political and royal authourity. These questions are similar to those about causation. You should consider the factor highlighted in the question identifying examples which support the statement. In doing so you can identify any developments over the 100 year period. You should then consider the other elements or factors and argue there relative importance.

How to structure a good paragraph


E- Evidence (Examples)



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