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    I've got to write an essay for history, the essay title is: "Describe and Explain how Germany changed from an autocracy to a democracy?" I have brief information on what it was like however I still need more, so any help with more information would be appreciated! And I don't understand how to Describe and Explain a history essay i have never been taught how to describe a history essay. My teacher is also very strict on how we write our introduction so are there any better alternatives to "In this essay..." (We aren't allowed to use In this essay)
    thank you in advance! Help would be appreciated!
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    I'm afraid I can't help you with the facts (but I would say go raid your library for books) but when you're asked to 'describe and explain' in a history essay it's a lot easier than it sounds and once you get your head around it you won't have a problem What your essay is looking to do, to put it really simply, is to essentially list the reasons why Germany's political system changed and then analyse those reasons.

    So first thing to do will be go do plenty of research around the subject, make sure you fully understand what you're writing about, then (it'll depend on your word count) but try and come up with maybe 4 - 6 points which affected Germany's political system, make sure you have plenty of information on these (this is the 'describe' part). You'll probably want to find some sources to back this up if you can (you might have been given some things in class already?) so this could be things like posters from the time, newspaper articles, quotes from people (try politicians maybe?) or even photographs, and you'll want to talk about how it backs up the point you're talking about.

    The explain part is where you'll get the most marks so you'll want to talk about not just what the reason is anymore but how and why it lead to that conclusion. You can also talk about why one reason may have influenced another or maybe even contrast reasons so you could say (in more detail than this obviously) 'Some people believe X happened because of Y reason, however, other disagree because of Z and instead believe it was because of A'.

    For an introduction try and avoid writing in first person and try and avoid stating the obvious (such as with the 'in this essay' statement you've, rightly, highlighted as being quite weak). Instead when I'm writing an essay I try and use the introduction as a way of summarizing the topic of the essay and defining the key terms. So in this case you might want to talk briefly about what an autocracy and democracy are, when it changed and a little bit about the position of Germany at the time.

    Really hope this helps and good luck with the rest of your essay. You can do it!
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    (Original post by Rachel0)
    I'm afraid I can't help you with the facts (but I would say go raid your library for books) but when you're asked to 'describe and explain' in a history essay it's a lot easier than it sounds and once you get your head around it you won't have a problem What your essay is looking to do, to put it really simply, is to essentially list the reasons why Germany's political system changed and then analyse those reasons.

    So first thing to do will be go do plenty of research around the subject, make sure you fully understand what you're writing about, then (it'll depend on your word count) but try and come up with maybe 4 - 6 points which affected Germany's political system, make sure you have plenty of information on these (this is the 'describe' part). You'll probably want to find some sources to back this up if you can (you might have been given some things in class already?) so this could be things like posters from the time, newspaper articles, quotes from people (try politicians maybe?) or even photographs, and you'll want to talk about how it backs up the point you're talking about.

    The explain part is where you'll get the most marks so you'll want to talk about not just what the reason is anymore but how and why it lead to that conclusion. You can also talk about why one reason may have influenced another or maybe even contrast reasons so you could say (in more detail than this obviously) 'Some people believe X happened because of Y reason, however, other disagree because of Z and instead believe it was because of A'.

    For an introduction try and avoid writing in first person and try and avoid stating the obvious (such as with the 'in this essay' statement you've, rightly, highlighted as being quite weak). Instead when I'm writing an essay I try and use the introduction as a way of summarizing the topic of the essay and defining the key terms. So in this case you might want to talk briefly about what an autocracy and democracy are, when it changed and a little bit about the position of Germany at the time.

    Really hope this helps and good luck with the rest of your essay. You can do it!
    thank you! it did help! how do i explain effectively? (weak point)
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    I don't think very many students really are taught essay writing - at least that is what the number am teaching essay writing to would suggest. Have you made a clear plan with your themes identified?
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    (Original post by mr_essay)
    I don't think very many students really are taught essay writing - at least that is what the number am teaching essay writing to would suggest. Have you made a clear plan with your themes identified?
    Sorry for the late reply, and no I'm rubbish at making plans that's why I always skip them!

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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Sorry for the late reply, and no I'm rubbish at making plans that's why I always skip them!

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    Doing a good plan would go a long way towards helping your output! I really recommend doing a plan which is focused on how you will include discussion in each of your paragraphs.
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    Hope that helps.
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    (Original post by mr_essay)
    Doing a good plan would go a long way towards helping your output! I really recommend doing a plan which is focused on how you will include discussion in each of your paragraphs.
    Yes, thank you.. but if you don't mind how can I make a plan as I'm very bad at doing it?
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    Ok so this is a general format and can be adapted if you wish

    introduction- set out what you intend to argue- essentially give pointers and introduce the notion of historical debate around said topic, lastly always answer the question (to what extent etc..). keep this concise but accurate

    Paragraphs- dont make these obscure, start off by making the point you intend to make and then provide the detailed analysis, and then provide any evidence&historical interpretation to support this claim (note for the high grades- detailed analysis and historical interpretation is so so important. Your analysis should be like 'links in a chain, and if there aren't atleast 4 or 5 links then it probably isn't detailed enough)- general rule of thumb for paragraphs is follow PAE (Point, Analysis, Evidence) and lastly keep focus on the question

    conclusion- DO NOT introduce any new points, here you are simply tying up your argument and providing a final judgement, (which must not change from your original judgement)
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    (Original post by AndrewGrace)
    Ok so this is a general format and can be adapted if you wish

    introduction- set out what you intend to argue- essentially give pointers and introduce the notion of historical debate around said topic, lastly always answer the question (to what extent etc..). keep this concise but accurate

    Paragraphs- dont make these obscure, start off by making the point you intend to make and then provide the detailed analysis, and then provide any evidence&historical interpretation to support this claim (note for the high grades- detailed analysis and historical interpretation is so so important. Your analysis should be like 'links in a chain, and if there aren't atleast 4 or 5 links then it probably isn't detailed enough)- general rule of thumb for paragraphs is follow PAE (Point, Analysis, Evidence) and lastly keep focus on the question

    conclusion- DO NOT introduce any new points, here you are simply tying up your argument and providing a final judgement, (which must not change from your original judgement)
    Thank you so much that's simple and easily understandable! But with the "analysis"- I'm not to sure how to go about doing that because my oboes and evidence are always the weakest.. so how do I go about this? Would you mind giving me an example self if you have studied Germany 1919-45 then an example in that field would be great! Thank you for posting!
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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Thank you so much that's simple and easily understandable! But with the "analysis"- I'm not to sure how to go about doing that because my oboes and evidence are always the weakest.. so how do I go about this? Would you mind giving me an example self if you have studied Germany 1919-45 then an example in that field would be great! Thank you for posting!
    Thankyou, and analysis is often the difficult part when writing an essay. I haven't studied this time period unfortunately but i can try a generic example; so you would make your original point (P), then you would state what happened as a result of this (This is the ANALYSIS), then you would give a historical example/ maybe facts and figures (Evidence)

    Hope that was of some help
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    Actually an example would be

    Germany changed from an autocracy to a democracy as a result of increased party choice (Point), as a result of this the people had increased choice in who they could vote for and so weren't limited to one party (Analysis), this is evident in the number of different parties represented in the Wiemar republic (Evidence)

    Pretty basic but just an example
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    (Original post by AndrewGrace)
    Actually an example would be

    Germany changed from an autocracy to a democracy as a result of increased party choice (Point), as a result of this the people had increased choice in who they could vote for and so weren't limited to one party (Analysis), this is evident in the number of different parties represented in the Wiemar republic (Evidence)

    Pretty basic but just an example
    Yeah so I understand now! So do you have to do the evidence as well as the analysis bit? And are there any alternatives to "in this essay..."(my teacher dislikes this the most!)& do you have any top tips on how to get an A* in a history exam? Thank you ever so much for your help and time!
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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Yeah so I understand now! So do you have to do the evidence as well as the analysis bit? And are there any alternatives to "in this essay..."(my teacher dislikes this the most!)& do you have any top tips on how to get an A* in a history exam? Thank you ever so much for your help and time!
    Yeah yeah evidence and analysis must both be done. There are plenty of alternatives "through written explanation", or leave out the 'in this essay' and launch straight into your introduction & simply stick to the question, make sure you include historical interpretation and finally include extra analysis that isn't stated on the course specification, but is still relevant to the question i.e. evidence of wider reading that makes you appear better than the other candidates. You are more than welcome and let me know how your essays go
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    (Original post by AndrewGrace)
    Yeah yeah evidence and analysis must both be done. There are plenty of alternatives "through written explanation", or leave out the 'in this essay' and launch straight into your introduction & simply stick to the question, make sure you include historical interpretation and finally include extra analysis that isn't stated on the course specification, but is still relevant to the question i.e. evidence of wider reading that makes you appear better than the other candidates. You are more than welcome and let me know how your essays go
    Ok, thank you in an essay will I be required to write am introduction? If you don't mind, do you have any sample GCSE essays on any historical event preferably Germany but i don't mind! That's very kind you
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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Ok, thank you in an essay will I be required to write am introduction? If you don't mind, do you have any sample GCSE essays on any historical event preferably Germany but i don't mind! That's very kind you
    Yes always, an essay without an introduction has no direction and is essentially just a few ideas on a sheet of paper.

    I don't have any to hand but i can have a look and get back to you if that is ok?
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    (Original post by AndrewGrace)
    Yes always, an essay without an introduction has no direction and is essentially just a few ideas on a sheet of paper.

    I don't have any to hand but i can have a look and get back to you if that is ok?
    Ok, it's just that my teacher said to me that an introduction isn't needed and won't get marked in the exam, yet your reason is more believable and makes sense therfore I'll choose your reason & ok, that's fine, I don't mind

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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Ok, it's just that my teacher said to me that an introduction isn't needed and won't get marked in the exam, yet your reason is more believable and makes sense therfore I'll choose your reason & ok, that's fine, I don't mind

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    don't get me wrong it should always be concise but nonetheless it is still important, why thankyou and haven't been able to find any sample essays, i do apologise
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    (Original post by AndrewGrace)
    don't get me wrong it should always be concise but nonetheless it is still important, why thankyou and haven't been able to find any sample essays, i do apologise
    Ok, yes I agree with you! Oh no that's fine do you have an PEE paragraphs gcse qualification, style answers for history? Thank you

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    (Original post by maths_geek)
    Ok, yes I agree with you! Oh no that's fine do you have an PEE paragraphs gcse qualification, style answers for history? Thank you

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    Ok and I do have them but they are for the medicine through time and American west courses and therefore are unlikely to be of any use, so up to you?
 
 
 
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