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    Pretty self explanatory title. Starting in October and feeling nervous. Any advice from current history students about what to expect? So far I've decided i want to do paper 14.

    Also, any general advice on the HAP paper and what I should go over to be better prepared?

    I'd love a run through of what to expect from my first week of lectures/first supervision! (If anyone wants to send me an example supervision essay I wouldn't complain)

    I just want to be able to gauge what is expected of me a little better. Of course I'm getting through the reading list too

    Thank you.
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    Well, HAP is a strange beast. I'd recommend that you, at some point, take a modern paper, as a lot of the major topics in HAP tend to speak more to the modern than to pre-1500. (Having said that, I've met modernists who think HAP's biased towards medievalists, so take things with a pinch of salt). Don't revise for HAP as such, particularly in first year. It's better to have lots of evidence on which you can draw rather than to have a pre-prepared answer.

    With reading lists, always ask for a 'running order' from your supervisor (i.e. what to read in what order) as well as which sections are the most important. You're not going to be able to read more than two full books a week (at most) and it's much better to skim through stuff, particularly at Part I. Personal reading is so much more important than lectures, although you should certainly go to the latter. Just don't expect that repeating the lecture will get you past a middling 2.1.

    Supervisions reward the ability to just run with things. It doesn't matter if your essay was brilliant or not so good at that point, so you can always go further. Ask for feedback, as not all supervisors dish it out as readily as you might like, but they'll normally do so if asked. If you're not happy with your supervisor, go to your DoS - short supervisions (significantly less than an hour) would be a warning sign. It's also good to go into supervisions with a list of questions.

    As for essay style, please plan them, and then get to the point. Introductions that waffle are no good. Ideally, the introduction is there to deal with (but not answer) the question, unpacking it and explaining what issues the question raises in the wider topic. The rest of the essay should then flow from that unpacking, as you follow arguments through. Try to find your own way through historical debates, and do avoid fence-sitting. It's fine to take a 'middle way' but explain why neither 'side' is wholly convincing. Alternatively, it's fine to agree with one historian, but argue their case using your own words and (preferably) with different pieces of evidence. Please don't ever name-drop historians as if they're a substitute for evidence.

    Do ask if you've any other questions. The nice thing about first-year history is that you don't have any proper exams, so you've got time to work out how everything works.
 
 
 
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