cruisequeen
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I've just been given an essay to write for history and I haven't a clue how to approach it. Can anyone help? The question is: Assess the view that Thatcher's policy towards Europe did more damage than improve Britain's interests. I have NO idea how to go about answering this one. All/any help gratefully received!
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AndrewGrace
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'Assess the view that Thatcher's policy towards Europe did more damage than improve Britain's interests'

The question provided a statement that you must address and provide an argument for and against: BUT NOT SITTING ON THE FENCE, YOU SHOULD WEIGHT YOUR ESSAY (70/30 Towards a particular judgement)

Your introduction should be something along the lines of 'The view that Thatcher's policy towards Europe did more damage than improve Britain's interests is constructed by analysing.... (whatever your two paragraphs will address). This view is a largely (accurate/inaccurate- depending on your judgement) assessment of Thatcher's policy . (Nevertheless/Therefore- depending on whether you use accurate/inaccurate) the view that actually Thatcher's policy towards Europe was beneficial to Britain also needs to be analysed and this is done so through assessing... (Whatever your other two paragraphs will address)'

Your main paragraphs:

-That Thatcher's policy did more damage than improve Britain's interests

You need two paragraphs here that analyse areas in which this is the case

-That Thatcher's policy was beneficial to Britain's interests
You need two paragraphs that analyse areas in which this is the case

Both paragraphs should follow a PEEEL (Point, Evidence, Explanation, Evaluation, and Link back to the question) format and you should never, ever sit on the fence. Always stay true to your initial judgement

Finally: You need to conclude your essay, summarise what you have said (do not repeat yourself) and provide a final closing judgement

(If you can get some quotes from historians to back up your argument, then that would be excellent, but if not don't worry)

In terms of content use a textbook or find the examiners report on the exam board website and that will discuss the content you should be looking to include
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cruisequeen
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Thanks Andrew - your comments are VERY helpful. Now I know how to structure, I'll have to check some exam board website to see if there are any clues to which areas I need to look at. At the moment I'm thinking about (obviously) the EEC - and her CAP rebate and fishing quotas; her constant 'bickering' with the 'boys' in Brussels; anti-unification of Germany - because of her personal views; her aim to rid Eastern Europe of communism (which she did relatively peacefully, but is this not part of our economic problem in 2014?) and of course her goal to put the 'Great' back into Great Britain - given that it had become the 'sick man of Europe'. (I'm not sure if I need to go into domestic economic policy here?). Do you think I'm on the right lines here?
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AndrewGrace
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(Original post by cruisequeen)
Thanks Andrew - your comments are VERY helpful. Now I know how to structure, I'll have to check some exam board website to see if there are any clues to which areas I need to look at. At the moment I'm thinking about (obviously) the EEC - and her CAP rebate and fishing quotas; her constant 'bickering' with the 'boys' in Brussels; anti-unification of Germany - because of her personal views; her aim to rid Eastern Europe of communism (which she did relatively peacefully, but is this not part of our economic problem in 2014?) and of course her goal to put the 'Great' back into Great Britain - given that it had become the 'sick man of Europe'. (I'm not sure if I need to go into domestic economic policy here?). Do you think I'm on the right lines here?
This isn't my area of particular expertise, however from what i know roughly the EEC and CAP is definitely key to this argument. The others seem like you are on the right lines, however just make sure you are always sticking to the question and not going off on a tangent.
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cruisequeen
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Thank you Andrew Grace.

I have one more question for you. I'm retaking my AS England New Century (OCR) paper and I wondered if you would be able to remind me how to answer sources questions a and b. For example, if you could let me know the ratio of knowledge and sources skills, that would be great.
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AndrewGrace
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Unfortunately i don't have any real experience of the OCR source papers and so cannot be of help, is there not a member of staff in your school's history department (your teacher perhaps) who can help you?
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cruisequeen
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Thanks, I've tried them, but their not very helpful.
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AndrewGrace
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The best thing i would say to do is get on the OCR website and read the examiners reports from past exams, these give you a really good idea of how good answers were formed in previous exams and what to avoid
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cruisequeen
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Thank you very much
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