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    Im taking history AS next year when i start sixth form and Im just looking for some advice from both people who have done the course and those about to do it.

    I didnt do History GCSE (though I wish I had, I only chose geography instead cos it had a better trip lol) and so I was looking to find out if there is anything I should be reading up on over the summer?

    I have been assured that the AS and A2 course cover different areas than GCSE so the only thing I will have missed out on is history essay writing skills. Just looking for some clarification on that.

    This is aimed at those who have done the course, could you recommend some summer reading for me? Just to fill my spare time i figured i would read up on what the course covers so any help here on specific books would be great.

    I think that my college covers American civil war and English politics or something ... *runs off to check* ... ok so this is what my course covers:
    USA 1840 - 1940
    Britain 1846 - 1906
    Ireland 1798 - 1921

    Any guidance would be much appreciated, thanks
    Upliftmof0
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    You don't really need to read anything in particular prior to starting the course, though you could maybe ask your (future) teachers if they can recommend anything. Um...try and get a basic understanding of what went on in that period (you can download specifcations from exam board websites, if you want specific details), and maybe read some general history stuff from someone like Eric Hobsbawm - he's quite easy to get into, I found, even though I do a completely different period, and I like his style.
    And I really wouldn't worry about not having done GCSE history, I don't think there's any difference between the people in my A level class who did GCSE and those who didn't, if anything it probably helps, as the essay-writing skills and so on are totally different from the ones you would have used at GCSE.
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    In my case, half of the A-level units (1 AS and 2 A2) follow on from what we learnt at GCSE, so those who didn't do GCSE were at a bit of a disadvantage, but if your school does different topics for GCSE and A-level, that won't be true with you. I think doing GCSE does help, but it's by no means necessary. The reason I say that is because there is a source paper at AS where you have to analyse things like letters, posters, cartoons and reports and there are certain things you have to talk about, so if you're used to doing this, it obviously helps, but it's not difficult and the essay-writing is really the same sort of thing as any other essay subject. In my class, it was a pretty even split between those of us who did GCSE and those who didn't, and it doesn't seem to have made much difference. I don't think you really need to do any reading as no-one else will have done the topics before either.
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    (Original post by UpliftMof0)
    Im taking history AS next year when i start sixth form and Im just looking for some advice from both people who have done the course and those about to do it.

    I didnt do History GCSE (though I wish I had, I only chose geography instead cos it had a better trip lol) and so I was looking to find out if there is anything I should be reading up on over the summer?

    I have been assured that the AS and A2 course cover different areas than GCSE so the only thing I will have missed out on is history essay writing skills. Just looking for some clarification on that.

    This is aimed at those who have done the course, could you recommend some summer reading for me? Just to fill my spare time i figured i would read up on what the course covers so any help here on specific books would be great.

    I think that my college covers American civil war and English politics or something ... *runs off to check* ... ok so this is what my course covers:
    USA 1840 - 1940
    Britain 1846 - 1906
    Ireland 1798 - 1921

    Any guidance would be much appreciated, thanks
    Upliftmof0
    Right, well, in your situation, I'd use the Norman Lowe books "Mastering Modern British History" and "Mastering Modern World History". They're sort of aimed at GCSE level, and they're easy to understand. They're very factually based but not overwhelmingly so. I'd also reccomend, for the British side of things "Years of Expansion: Britain 1815-1914" edited by Michael Scott-Baumann. Definitely the Norman Lowe, though.
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    Yes I second the need for Norman Lowe. Excellent arrangement of fact. I do AQA and we were also recommended a textbook by Murphy - basically because he's the head examiner so wrote what he wanted to see in our exams!

    Also I cannot stress enough how useful I found the book Aspects of British History 1815-1914 by Stephen J Lee (refered to by many in my class as "the god of British history"). Basically it is just really easy to understand, interesting without going off on too many tangents and he refers to the ideas of other historians so thats a lot of your historiography sorted. (The British half of my course went from 1815-1841 at AS and then 1841-1886 at A2).

    I wouldnt say not doing GCSE would be too much of a problem. We had to unlearn all the essay/source skills they taught us at GCSE anyway. As long as you can structure essays ok then it'll be fine.

    I hardly did any reading apart from Lee and the handouts from books we were given (I dont know how it works at your school) and I was fine (I got an A last year - a good A).
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    A levels History is what I find very different to GCSE. By the way is your American module titles boom and bust? because that is the best module.
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    hey ... id just like to say I do A-Level history and I didnt do it for GCSE and i got an A at AS (only just! but still... hehe)... and I didn't find it at all difficult to get the hang of it :-) so i wouldn't worry! history essays are no different to essays ull write in other subjects such as english. its a great subject- you'll enjoy it :-)
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    I didn't do history at GCSE either and now i hope to do it at uni level I didn't really find that doing GCSE history gave people in my class much advantage, as long as you can write decent essays you'll be fine. We certainly didn't cover anything directly related to GCSEs in my classes.
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    for the ireland period, robert kee the green flag is quite good
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    (Original post by UpliftMof0)
    Im taking history AS next year when i start sixth form and Im just looking for some advice from both people who have done the course and those about to do it.

    I didnt do History GCSE (though I wish I had, I only chose geography instead cos it had a better trip lol) and so I was looking to find out if there is anything I should be reading up on over the summer?

    I have been assured that the AS and A2 course cover different areas than GCSE so the only thing I will have missed out on is history essay writing skills. Just looking for some clarification on that.

    This is aimed at those who have done the course, could you recommend some summer reading for me? Just to fill my spare time i figured i would read up on what the course covers so any help here on specific books would be great.

    I think that my college covers American civil war and English politics or something ... *runs off to check* ... ok so this is what my course covers:
    USA 1840 - 1940
    Britain 1846 - 1906
    Ireland 1798 - 1921

    Any guidance would be much appreciated, thanks
    Upliftmof0
    I studied entirely different units, but I can recommend the Heinemann Advanced History series. Not sure if they cover all of your topics, but if they do, they are well worth buying.

    Here's a link to some of the titles available on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...266143-3798852

    Another series I'd recommend is the Access to History one. Less reader-friendly than the first suggestion, but not horribly so. Lots of really interesting and important investigative areas.

    Amazon link:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...266143-3798852

    And to add to what everyone else has been saying: don't worry about not having taken the subject for GCSE. You will adapt to the course style and essay structuring .
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    Thanks everyone, you have all been really helpful. Im gonna check out those links, and tomorrow im popping down to my local library (im sad i kno but igot used to that place during study leave) and see what they have for me.
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    for a more basic, but still useful overview of ireland 1798-1921 try Nick Pellings book. also any books by R.F. Foster such as Modern Ireland, and like some one said before the robert kee book 'the green flag' is proably the best
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    (Original post by clockworkapples)
    Yes I second the need for Norman Lowe. Excellent arrangement of fact. I do AQA and we were also recommended a textbook by Murphy - basically because he's the head examiner so wrote what he wanted to see in our exams!

    Also I cannot stress enough how useful I found the book Aspects of British History 1815-1914 by Stephen J Lee (refered to by many in my class as "the god of British history"). Basically it is just really easy to understand, interesting without going off on too many tangents and he refers to the ideas of other historians so thats a lot of your historiography sorted. (The British half of my course went from 1815-1841 at AS and then 1841-1886 at A2).

    I wouldnt say not doing GCSE would be too much of a problem. We had to unlearn all the essay/source skills they taught us at GCSE anyway. As long as you can structure essays ok then it'll be fine.

    I hardly did any reading apart from Lee and the handouts from books we were given (I dont know how it works at your school) and I was fine (I got an A last year - a good A).
    :ditto:
    Stephen J Lee is amazing, I'm using it now as a matter of fact.
    The flagship series are not bad for the basics, bgut they are a bit pricey, and you'll need to read some more advanced books. I think someone mentioned Baumann already. Other key historians that I've come across for British side of things are Eric Evans, Norman Gash and Edgar Feuchtwanger (great name). Gash's is called (I think) "Aristocracy and People, and the other two I've onlyreally come across in articles that my teacher gives out, but are useful.
 
 
 
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