How to get a first/2.1 in history essay.. structure/plan/historiography.. ?

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01234567
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hi, I'm a second year studying history and really struggling with the structure of history essays

does someone have a history essay they got a first in they could send me, so i could dissect the argument, and really see how to structure the historiography, historians arguments, evidence and my own opinion

or just give me some advice?

i would find it really helpful if someone could just post an extract of a paragraph and then show me how they put in their own opinion and used evidence/historiography


i also read somewhere, that you get the most marks for disagreeing with the question entirely then backing it up... anyone got any more thoughts on that?

thanks in advance! any help is appreciated.
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EloiseStar
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(Original post by 01234567)
does someone have a history essay they got a first in they could send me, so i could dissect the argument, and really see how to structure the historiography, historians arguments, evidence and my own opinion

or just give me some advice?

i also read somewhere, that you get the most marks for disagreeing with the question entirely then backing it up... anyone got any more thoughts on that?

thanks in advance! any help is appreciated.
Hi, I'm not going to post an extract because it wont make much sense!

Introduction
  • BRIEF historical comment (including dates and such) about the topic in hand. Example: The Second World War (1939-1945) was .... during this period .... as a result...
  • Outline what you will look at in your essay. THEMES! Example: England/Germany, Social/Economic/Political
  • State your argument. This needs to be continually supported throughout your essay.


Typically after my introduction I will add a general historiographical comment. Discuss different view points of historians and their approach/view and how this correlates to my argument.

Main basis of essay/themes
  • Point. Make a statement. It should be relevant to your argument and introduce the theme you will discuss.
  • Give historical background. Quotes. Try to use primary sources. Make sure to demonstrate what has happened or give evidence WITHOUT telling a story.
  • Critical analysis. This is your time to shine! Tell the reader what the above point means. Be cynical, support it, cross reference it - DO SOMETHING!
  • Somewhere in each paragraph include historiography. Don't attach it at the end of each paragraph but weave it through. Got a quote in your background and there's a bit of historiography you could add? Add it here!


Conclusion
  • Summarise the question and reiterate your argument.
  • Summarise themes.
  • One final analytical comment about how your argument is the most important/relevant.


Make sure that you DO NOT write 'in this essay I will...'. It is quite possibly the worst thing you could write in an essay. Get straight to the point!

I've never got less than a 2:1 following this
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User1333171
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(Original post by 01234567)
hi, I'm a second year studying history and really struggling with the structure of history essays

does someone have a history essay they got a first in they could send me, so i could dissect the argument, and really see how to structure the historiography, historians arguments, evidence and my own opinion

or just give me some advice?

i would find it really helpful if someone could just post an extract of a paragraph and then show me how they put in their own opinion and used evidence/historiography


i also read somewhere, that you get the most marks for disagreeing with the question entirely then backing it up... anyone got any more thoughts on that?

thanks in advance! any help is appreciated.
I'm not studying history, so I can't pass on an essay or any kind of specific advice, but the book 'How To Get a First' by Thomas Dixon was recommended on the Cambridge theology department website and that might help you-I've read it a number of times and it's pretty good. There's a focus on the humanities, especially theology and history, as the writer taught in those departments himself. He goes through research, how to answer questions, exams, taking notes, etc etc.
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01234567
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(Original post by EloiseStar)
Hi, I'm not going to post an extract because it wont make much sense!

Introduction
  • BRIEF historical comment (including dates and such) about the topic in hand. Example: The Second World War (1939-1945) was .... during this period .... as a result...
  • Outline what you will look at in your essay. THEMES! Example: England/Germany, Social/Economic/Political
  • State your argument. This needs to be continually supported throughout your essay.


Typically after my introduction I will add a general historiographical comment. Discuss different view points of historians and their approach/view and how this correlates to my argument.

Main basis of essay/themes
  • Point. Make a statement. It should be relevant to your argument and introduce the theme you will discuss.
  • Give historical background. Quotes. Try to use primary sources. Make sure to demonstrate what has happened or give evidence WITHOUT telling a story.
  • Critical analysis. This is your time to shine! Tell the reader what the above point means. Be cynical, support it, cross reference it - DO SOMETHING!
  • Somewhere in each paragraph include historiography. Don't attach it at the end of each paragraph but weave it through. Got a quote in your background and there's a bit of historiography you could add? Add it here!


Conclusion
  • Summarise the question and reiterate your argument.
  • Summarise themes.
  • One final analytical comment about how your argument is the most important/relevant.


Make sure that you DO NOT write 'in this essay I will...'. It is quite possibly the worst thing you could write in an essay. Get straight to the point!

I've never got less than a 2:1 following this

thanks, this was so helpful!!! what do you mean by the part, include historiography as the last part to the structure? is that schools of thought? i thought that using a historians view would mean you're using historiography already?

Thanks!
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01234567
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(Original post by mscaffrey)
I'm not studying history, so I can't pass on an essay or any kind of specific advice, but the book 'How To Get a First' by Thomas Dixon was recommended on the Cambridge theology department website and that might help you-I've read it a number of times and it's pretty good. There's a focus on the humanities, especially theology and history, as the writer taught in those departments himself. He goes through research, how to answer questions, exams, taking notes, etc etc.


thank you, i will definitely check it out
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EloiseStar
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(Original post by 01234567)
thanks, this was so helpful!!! what do you mean by the part, include historiography as the last part to the structure? is that schools of thought? i thought that using a historians view would mean you're using historiography already?

Thanks!
Do you mean after the introduction? I'm not sure I understand what you're asking
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01234567
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(Original post by EloiseStar)
Do you mean after the introduction? I'm not sure I understand what you're asking
Main basis of essay/themes
Point. Make a statement. It should be relevant to your argument and introduce the theme you will discuss.
Give historical background. Quotes. Try to use primary sources. Make sure to demonstrate what has happened or give evidence WITHOUT telling a story.
Critical analysis. This is your time to shine! Tell the reader what the above point means. Be cynical, support it, cross reference it - DO SOMETHING!
Somewhere in each paragraph include historiography. Don't attach it at the end of each paragraph but weave it through. Got a quote in your background and there's a bit of historiography you could add? Add it here! <--- this part
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EloiseStar
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(Original post by 01234567)
Main basis of essay/themes
Point. Make a statement. It should be relevant to your argument and introduce the theme you will discuss.
Give historical background. Quotes. Try to use primary sources. Make sure to demonstrate what has happened or give evidence WITHOUT telling a story.
Critical analysis. This is your time to shine! Tell the reader what the above point means. Be cynical, support it, cross reference it - DO SOMETHING!
Somewhere in each paragraph include historiography. Don't attach it at the end of each paragraph but weave it through. Got a quote in your background and there's a bit of historiography you could add? Add it here! <--- this part

Ok so basically you need to include historiography wherever you can, wherever it's relevant to demonstrate your understand the topic in hand. Instead of adding at the end of a paragraph which relates most closely to it, add it in the paragraph.

So. Point. Evidence (quote). Critical analysis.

Add your historiography either between the first point and your evidence or between your evidence and critical analysis.

If you can find an appropriate place to include it, just add it at the end but try to avoid this at all costs.
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jillie33
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(Original post by EloiseStar)
Hi, I'm not going to post an extract because it wont make much sense!

Introduction
  • BRIEF historical comment (including dates and such) about the topic in hand. Example: The Second World War (1939-1945) was .... during this period .... as a result...
  • Outline what you will look at in your essay. THEMES! Example: England/Germany, Social/Economic/Political
  • State your argument. This needs to be continually supported throughout your essay.

Typically after my introduction I will add a general historiographical comment. Discuss different view points of historians and their approach/view and how this correlates to my argument.

Main basis of essay/themes
  • Point. Make a statement. It should be relevant to your argument and introduce the theme you will discuss.
  • Give historical background. Quotes. Try to use primary sources. Make sure to demonstrate what has happened or give evidence WITHOUT telling a story.
  • Critical analysis. This is your time to shine! Tell the reader what the above point means. Be cynical, support it, cross reference it - DO SOMETHING!
  • Somewhere in each paragraph include historiography. Don't attach it at the end of each paragraph but weave it through. Got a quote in your background and there's a bit of historiography you could add? Add it here!

Conclusion
  • Summarise the question and reiterate your argument.
  • Summarise themes.
  • One final analytical comment about how your argument is the most important/relevant.

Make sure that you DO NOT write 'in this essay I will...'. It is quite possibly the worst thing you could write in an essay. Get straight to the point!

I've never got less than a 2:1 following this
Your guide is pretty good. I used it for my history paper. But also I made sure that my paper was organised and structured clearly with proper transitions between paragraphs. Aditionally I think that it's good if a paper contains more than three sources and all historians’ ideas were conveyed accurately (I got this tips from http://blogs.dickinson.edu/hist204-f...ay-assignment/ and http://historyessay.org/). These are pretty obvious but most ofen we forget about basics.
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