Clarification on what an essay should compose of? Watch

Spmorp
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In AS history we are told to use historians' opinions in our essays as well as in source questions, however the specimen answers on the AQA website don't include any. Can anyone else who is doing history provide some sort of clarification? Should you use quotes in an essay or not? If so, how many per essay? We've been doing the Britain 1783 - 1883 Topic and the USA 1945-85 topic if that's any kind of help. (sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, this is my first post here)
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CathyHeathcliff
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What exam board do you do? I do Edexcel and I've never been told to quote historians when it's not in a source question, although I haven't ever been told not to either. I think I remember reading an examiners' report once saying that it can be good to quote historians but some people try to force it into their argument too much. I would assume that using historians may look impressive if it is relevant and adds something to your argument but otherwise it's not worth it. Personally I think that they would be more interested in what you think not what you know other people think so talking about historians too much would limit the personal aspect of your response.
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Spmorp
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(Original post by CathyHeathcliff)
What exam board do you do? I do Edexcel and I've never been told to quote historians when it's not in a source question, although I haven't ever been told not to either. I think I remember reading an examiners' report once saying that it can be good to quote historians but some people try to force it into their argument too much. I would assume that using historians may look impressive if it is relevant and adds something to your argument but otherwise it's not worth it. Personally I think that they would be more interested in what you think not what you know other people think so talking about historians too much would limit the personal aspect of your response.
I'm on the AQA exam board I think, and I read a similar thing somewhere else. I'm starting to get a little concerned to be honest
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JimJam456
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(Original post by Spmorp)
I'm on the AQA exam board I think, and I read a similar thing somewhere else. I'm starting to get a little concerned to be honest
Not sure about source questions. I did the old AQA AS exam last year and did use historians opinions- at least a few. It makes you look more intelligent and backs up your argument. I got an A.
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Spmorp
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(Original post by JimJam456)
Not sure about source questions. I did the old AQA AS exam last year and did use historians opinions- at least a few. It makes you look more intelligent and backs up your argument. I got an A.
Right ok, we've been told to use at least 8 in an essay but looking at the specimen material that doesnt seem right at all
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JimJam456
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(Original post by Spmorp)
Right ok, we've been told to use at least 8 in an essay but looking at the specimen material that doesnt seem right at all
Just use them wjere theyre necessary. If they get in the way of the argument then they stop serving the purpose.
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popcornjpg
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(Original post by Spmorp)
Right ok, we've been told to use at least 8 in an essay but looking at the specimen material that doesnt seem right at all
nope, you don't, my essays often get full marks but I never add in historians. it'll impress the examiner if you can use it to strengthen your argument but its not essential.
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DBR247
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(Original post by Spmorp)
In AS history we are told to use historians' opinions in our essays as well as in source questions, however the specimen answers on the AQA website don't include any. Can anyone else who is doing history provide some sort of clarification? Should you use quotes in an essay or not? If so, how many per essay? We've been doing the Britain 1783 - 1883 Topic and the USA 1945-85 topic if that's any kind of help. (sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, this is my first post here)

Yes, you can certainly include quotes if they are relevant to the points being discussed, e.g a quote on radicalism/Parliamentary Reform for Britain 1783-1883 and they sometimes can substantiate your points but there is absolutely no point using quotes if they have little purpose however, just leave them out entirely if they are unexplained. The examiner isn't examining your ability to remember and analyse quotes but rather your critical understanding.

I hope that is of help,
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Spmorp
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Thanks so much guys, this has been a big help. It's good to know I can move the bulk of my revision from pages and pages of quotes to actual relevant material
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popcornjpg
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(Original post by Spmorp)
Thanks so much guys, this has been a big help. It's good to know I can move the bulk of my revision from pages and pages of quotes to actual relevant material
keep some quotes though, just maybe like 1 or 2 per chapter and make sure they are concise and relevant to possible essay topics
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Spmorp
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(Original post by popcornjpg)
keep some quotes though, just maybe like 1 or 2 per chapter and make sure they are concise and relevant to possible essay topics
Thanks, will do
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