brightxburns
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Can anyone give me any hints/tips/vague ideas?

I mean, the fact that this so general is leaving me floundering. We have been told that we can write about absolutely anything we want...

I mean, I would love to do something 'different' from my the topics covered in my History course, which are Votes For Women, Civil Rights in the USA, the Tudor Crisis & Cromwell and the Protectorate.

Something 'different' like maybe the Ancient Egyptians would be fascinating, but there is very little material to draw detailed arguments/information from.

Any constructive advice about time periods & what to AVOID writing about?

I'm a bit lost!
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Loveisonthedole
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I think you'd find it useful to pick a past question on Votes For Women, Civil Rights in the USA, the Tudor Crisis & Cromwell or the Protectorate.

Call me unadventurous, but this prepares you for your exam and the whole point is to get a good grade.

There's another thread floating around the forum full of ideas.
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Crystal89
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Ancient Egyptians or similar would probably be a bit dodgy because you won't be able to find any source material on it. Try and think of something that you are interested in that is not too obscure, it's OK to be different but there's no need to make it unecessarily difficult for yourself. What board do you do? I did OCR and we got a load of questions that we could adapt for ourselves on whatever topic we wanted to do. I know at first it seems a bit daunting but it's OK really, just think you have an entire year and try to do it regularly instead of leaving it until the last minute. Before you choose a topic make sure there are books available, examiners do not want to see lots of websites because they are all old and decripit history dons.

The only thing we were advised against doing was Hitler and the Nazis because apparently the examiners are sick of the sight of him! We had a real range in our class, I did Northern Ireland troubles, but we had Stalin, Napoleon, Siegfried Sassoon. Just go for something that genuinely interests you and have fun! (haha)
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Dionysus
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Don't do anything from Ancient History. Fascinating though it is, you'll never be able to write about the historical debate properly. I would strongly recommend doing something either directly related to your area of study for the course or something in the recent past with clear controversy, like the Miner's strike. I know that may seem like a boring and unimaginative restriction, but honestly, you'll find it much easier. I did a Marxist interpretation of the revolution of the Bourgeoisie which manifested itself in the form of the English Civil War. DON'T try to do anything like that lol!!! Yes, it looks like I got full marks on UMS, but there are MUCH easier ways of doing it!
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Lady Justice
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Can I ask...what type of format the question for this coursework has to take? Because, most of my class are doing questions such as "Did Protector Somerset deserve his tarnished reputation?" or "How far was Henry VIII a victim of faction?" ...

...and at the minute I'm very undecided about what I want to do.

One of my ideas, however, is to a question such as "What kind of reform was Russia on the road to before the First World War; is Timasheff's evolutionary view, or Service's revolutionary view the more accurate?"

i.e. the question is mainly about two sources, and then I'm using other sources to sort of back/ criticise/ generally evaluate these two. But is this allowed?

Alternatively, I had ideas about:

* El Dorado and the Conquistadors (using Edgar Allan Poe's poem as a source, perhaps)
* The reputation of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
*John Knox
*Elizabeth I's attitude to Mary Queen of Scots
*The Warsaw Pact vs NATO
*Why Oliver Cromwell rejected the crown
*The Thirty Years' War
*Polpot
*How far the Divine Right of Kings can be blamed for the English Civil War

Any ideas, comments, criticisms etc etc etc are MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!

We have been told we have to have our proposal forms sent off by Friday June 27th...and I'm on OCR, btw.

Thanks!

Jess x
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FadeToBlackout
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(Original post by brightxburns)
Can anyone give me any hints/tips/vague ideas?

I mean, the fact that this so general is leaving me floundering. We have been told that we can write about absolutely anything we want...

I mean, I would love to do something 'different' from my the topics covered in my History course, which are Votes For Women, Civil Rights in the USA, the Tudor Crisis & Cromwell and the Protectorate.

Something 'different' like maybe the Ancient Egyptians would be fascinating, but there is very little material to draw detailed arguments/information from.

Any constructive advice about time periods & what to AVOID writing about?

I'm a bit lost!
Think about the periods you enjoy; do you enjoy ancient history? Modern history? Tudor history? Make a shortlist of periods that you like.

Then, think about the types of history that you enjoy. Would you want to do something political, or something a bit more social?

When you've worked that out, you can start to think more about what to do.

I listed out the topics and questions I was thinking about, and then did a few google searches to see how much information was available. In the end, I looked at Ultra (the Allies breaking the Enigma codes) and D-Day which was fascinating and had LOTS of material.

***

In terms of the kind of question, lots of people do "TO What Extent" questions. You could make up a statement or a quote, and then argue the extent to which you agree. For example:

"The English Civil War was caused by Charles' adherence and belief in the divine right of Kings." To what extent can this be proven?"

"Ultra was Decisive" (Eisenhower) To what extent is this correct in relation to the initial stages of the Operation Overlord landings? (July 1943-June 14th 1944)

***

You can also pick dates that are convienient for the question. I did the second one that I listed above, and picked the dates to be able to use my material- the situation got really complex in August 1944, so I chose to end my question in the early stages in June to make things easier.

Edit: http://www.rhs.ac.uk/bibl/bibwel.asp is VERY useful for finding book titles.
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Dionysus
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Remember that your question MUST begin "How far" or "To what extent" or similar.
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-CBee-
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(Original post by Cage)
Remember that your question MUST begin "How far" or "To what extent" or similar.
It doesn't actually, my question began Compare contrasting interpretations of... which is acceptable as (on OCR at least) the sources and debate carry the most weight in the marking.

Mind you, a 'To what extent...' question would probably lead to a more interesting essay as endless historical debate can get a bit repetative.
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polka_dott
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I did "Was Mary I's reign dominated by her religous policy?" We'd done Mid-Tudor rebellions in AS so I already knew something about her. I was going to do about what were the causes of WW2 but it seemed too difficult to do. My teacher reckons i got a B for it, but it was soo hard to do..my teacher wasn't really allowed to help me with it.
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NickiM
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I chose something which I'd never studied before, or even really known about....!

Originally I was going to do Prohibition.....I'm so glad I didn't now. In the end I did the Salem Witch Trials. I found it so interesting, it was so different to what everyone else did, and I really, really enjoyed it
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sol89
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Sorry but what is Personal Study? I've never even heard of it. Is it something to do with OCR or AQA History, cos I do Edexcel?
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NickiM
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With OCR - the coursework option
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sol89
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(Original post by NickiM)
With OCR - the coursework option
Ah right, so it's just the name that OCR give to coursework. Is it any harder or easier or worth more marks or anything?
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cuzza
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The problem I have with all the ideas I come up with is that I have no idea if there are any conflicting historians views on it, since the coursework is historiography based it's a bit of a problem.
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NickiM
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(Original post by sol89)
Ah right, so it's just the name that OCR give to coursework. Is it any harder or easier or worth more marks or anything?
I'm not sure!

But I found it really interesting.

Cuzza - anything can be of historical debate! I mean, I looked at reasons for Salem Witch Trials!!!! It wasn't something like reasons for 1917 Revolution in Russia.
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cuzza
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I know, I mean more that I can't find the actual contrasting views on certain topics.
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-CBee-
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(Original post by cuzza)
The problem I have with all the ideas I come up with is that I have no idea if there are any conflicting historians views on it, since the coursework is historiography based it's a bit of a problem.
Don't worry too much about that now- if you're still at the stage of deciding what topic to do, find brief summaries of the ones you're interested in (i.e. in A-level course based books or even on Wikipedia) and there will usually be mention of different historian's viewpoints.

But there's historical debate over virtually everything in history! You can pick the tiniest piece of legislation and find historians who disagree over its impact or motivations, so don't worry about that too much.
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sammyrj
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I'm having the same problem right now. I'd really love to do the Spartans or Romans as ancient history fascinates me (and unfortunately Classics isn't offered at my Sixth Form).

I have quite a few books in mind for Sparta, eg. Histories by Herodotus, The Peloponnesian Wars by Thucydides and some modern stuff by Paul Cartledge. I'm tempted to go into whether Sparta was a state that stood for "freedom" or whether it was simply a false front supported by slavery and barbarism. I'm probably just going to be flat out refused by my teacher though (we have to seek approval for our topic and question).

If not I'll probably just do something to do with Elizabeth I, who we study at AS and A2. *Yawn*.
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-CBee-
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(Original post by BennyBoop)
I'm having the same problem right now. I'd really love to do the Spartans or Romans as ancient history fascinates me (and unfortunately Classics isn't offered at my Sixth Form).

I have quite a few books in mind for Sparta, eg. Histories by Herodotus, The Peloponnesian Wars by Thucydides and some modern stuff by Paul Cartledge. I'm tempted to go into whether Sparta was a state that stood for "freedom" or whether it was simply a false front supported by slavery and barbarism. I'm probably just going to be flat out refused by my teacher though (we have to seek approval for our topic and question).

If not I'll probably just do something to do with Elizabeth I, who we study at AS and A2. *Yawn*.
Are you on OCR? If so I'm afraid you won't be able to study anything before 768AD, so no Romans heh heh
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cuzza
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I was looking at something to do with the SS, not particularly sure what I could do exactly. It's something we've briefly covered so I could get teacher help plus I have a genuine interest in it.

If I can't come up with anything, I could always go for the traditional Hitler, structuralist, intentionalist argument... LOADS of historians there, just not too interesting.
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