ylime20
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Hello everyone,

I have just started the AQA AS history course and I am currently studying the units on Tsarist Russia and The Failure of Absolutism. We have just been given back our first proper pieces of essay writing (12 mark question) from each unit. I scored 8 on TR and 6 on FoA

I just wondered if anyone could give me any tips on essay writing for a level history. One of my teachers says that it is my english essay writing side coming through and that I give to much information and not enough analysis.

If anyone could post an exemplar paragraph or even rules they follow when answering questions that would be fantastic

Hope everyone is enjoying sixth form
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TSR Learn Together
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Hi there,

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AndrewGrace
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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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ylime20
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Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely use this as a guide for my next history essay. It's definitely the links that wound my essays the most. Thanks again for the pointers.
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AndrewGrace
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You are welcome, it is often the case that actually the content of your essays is good but the structure just isn't there in full. Let me know how your next essay goes
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JA11K
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Hey,

I got an A in History at AS and the formula I used was the PEE model (similar to the PAE detailed before but Point, Evidence and Explanation). For the 12 markers, I did a brief introduction detailing what happened, followed by three paragraphs and then a conclusion.

The key to it, from what I learned from examiner's reports and mark schemes, was making sure that all of the paragraphs had an inter-relating point; that they all linked back to my interpretation of what the main cause of something was.

Sorry if this sounds like rambling but what got me the grades was the inter-relating point in each of the three paras.
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ylime20
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Thank you. I think the 'inter-relating points' is an important thing for me to remember. I have a few essays coming up, I'll post how it goes.


Just thought this was worth posting...I got the results from a Politics essay today and, although it was a different question (and a different subject), I went from 16/25 to 21/25!!
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AndrewGrace
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(Original post by ylime20)
Thank you. I think the 'inter-relating points' is an important thing for me to remember. I have a few essays coming up, I'll post how it goes.


Just thought this was worth posting...I got the results from a Politics essay today and, although it was a different question (and a different subject), I went from 16/25 to 21/25!!
Absolutely the top end of the mark scheme is focused on making links between points and keeping your answer focused. And i shall look out for your post

And well done, that is certainly impressive, is that using the suggested essay structure?
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AdvanceAndVanquish
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(Original post by ylime20)
Hello everyone,

I have just started the AQA AS history course and I am currently studying the units on Tsarist Russia and The Failure of Absolutism. We have just been given back our first proper pieces of essay writing (12 mark question) from each unit. I scored 8 on TR and 6 on FoA

I just wondered if anyone could give me any tips on essay writing for a level history. One of my teachers says that it is my english essay writing side coming through and that I give to much information and not enough analysis.

If anyone could post an exemplar paragraph or even rules they follow when answering questions that would be fantastic

Hope everyone is enjoying sixth form
If you'd like to post or pm any of your essays, I'd be happy to take a look at them and offer advice on your technique.
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ylime20
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(Original post by AndrewGrace)
Absolutely the top end of the mark scheme is focused on making links between points and keeping your answer focused. And i shall look out for your post

And well done, that is certainly impressive, is that using the suggested essay structure?
I used the teacher's comments and the recommendations written on this thread. I have actually word processed another essay for history tomorrow. I probably will not get the marks back until after half term, which is a shame, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

I was really happy with the Politics mark actually, it's good to see an improvement already, just need to sustain a higher level of writing now!
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AndrewGrace
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(Original post by ylime20)
I used the teacher's comments and the recommendations written on this thread. I have actually word processed another essay for history tomorrow. I probably will not get the marks back until after half term, which is a shame, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.

I was really happy with the Politics mark actually, it's good to see an improvement already, just need to sustain a higher level of writing now!
Absolutely, nothing worse than waiting for an essay mark

Immediate improvement is always good, and you should just keep working at it, sometimes you may only achieve a 2 or 3 marks higher but if you can stay in that top band of the mark scheme you are definitely doing something right
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social outcast
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One of the really nteretsing things my teacher told me after similar results are things like answer your question in the introduction, not use I and have all the for and all the negative points together and referance everything to the title.
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ylime20
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(Original post by social outcast)
One of the really nteretsing things my teacher told me after similar results are things like answer your question in the introduction, not use I and have all the for and all the negative points together and referance everything to the title.
sounds good. one of my let downs at GCSE was definitely not including a god enough introduction, as I've always found them difficult to write.
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pink pineapple
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(Original post by ylime20)
Hello everyone,

I have just started the AQA AS history course and I am currently studying the units on Tsarist Russia and The Failure of Absolutism. We have just been given back our first proper pieces of essay writing (12 mark question) from each unit. I scored 8 on TR and 6 on FoA

I just wondered if anyone could give me any tips on essay writing for a level history. One of my teachers says that it is my english essay writing side coming through and that I give to much information and not enough analysis.

If anyone could post an exemplar paragraph or even rules they follow when answering questions that would be fantastic

Hope everyone is enjoying sixth form
Hey
I've just finished my A-level history and I did Tsarist Russia for AS.
What I did when I was doing history was to pick a few points that were for and against the question then I made sure that what I was writing answered the question, instead of just writing a story. Not enough analysis was a problem for me too and I think in almost every essay I wrote, not enough analysis was mentioned in the comments! Obviously good, detailed knowledge is great but it's the good analysis that will get you the top marks.
Also a good intro and conclusion is essential. I think I rememebr hearing somewhere that the examiner shoudl be able to know the general points of your essay from reading the intro only, so stick to one viewpoint throughout. In the conclusion, mention points both for and against the question however come down one side overall, don't sit on the fence if you know what I mean.

Also, I saw you mention that you Politics as well? If you need any help with that as well, just ask
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AndrewGrace
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How have you been getting on with your essays recently?
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ylime20
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Hi again! Sorry for the little replies, been drowned in work recently. Most recent history essay was a 24 marker and I scored 20. Must be doing something right!? Will post with a but more detail later...but it's been getting easier and the marks have been getting better
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AndrewGrace
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Hi! don't worry about it sixthform work load is an absolute killer. Certainly sounds like you have practically got the essay technique spot on now! whenever you get time it would be good to see but yeah keep it up and the marks will be consistently high
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bananaterracottapie
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(Original post by JA11K)
Hey,

I got an A in History at AS and the formula I used was the PEE model (similar to the PAE detailed before but Point, Evidence and Explanation). For the 12 markers, I did a brief introduction detailing what happened, followed by three paragraphs and then a conclusion.

The key to it, from what I learned from examiner's reports and mark schemes, was making sure that all of the paragraphs had an inter-relating point; that they all linked back to my interpretation of what the main cause of something was.

Sorry if this sounds like rambling but what got me the grades was the inter-relating point in each of the three paras.
Hi, sorry to bump an old thread, but i was wondering how many points would you include for the 12 and 24 marker questions. I am doing 60s social revolution but i doubt it would change much between topics! cheers in advance and well done on the great grade!
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JA11K
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(Original post by bananaterracottapie)
Hi, sorry to bump an old thread, but i was wondering how many points would you include for the 12 and 24 marker questions. I am doing 60s social revolution but i doubt it would change much between topics! cheers in advance and well done on the great grade!

Hey, no worries. For the 12 markers, I wrote 3 points and a conclusion, making sure all three points were inter-related, and for the 24 marks I did 6 points (3 for and 3 against) plus a conclusion - being inter-related doesn't matter for this bit, though.

Hope this helps!
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ylime20
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Hi everyone, thought I would post an update just to say thanks for the help that you have provided me. In my last few history essays, I have achieved 10/12 (obviously for the 12 markers) and 20/24 for the 24 markers. With the mocks just around the corner, this is excellent news for me. Thanks again!
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