The best way to structure an AS History Essay?Watch
My teachers haven't gone over essay structure at all, or exam practice, rather they've just been taking us through content (which kinda sucks for me, since I'm not too familiar with how to write a history essay.)
This is my thoughts on how to structure a history essay:
For example, if the question was
'Rebellions during Henry VII's reign were of no real threat' Assess the validity of this view.
Introduction: Start with your own judgement (whether you believe they were a threat or not), maybe put in a historical interpretation such as: 'it is in the words of John Guy that 'no rebellion was a true threat to Henry VII, rather they were an obstacle in his path to consolidating his throne' or some bs like that. Would I need to include anything else in this introduction?
First Paragraph: Focus on one rebellion in particular, for example the Yorkshire rebellion which was to do with tax, focus on the fact that this wasn't a real threat as it wasn't a rebellion that had dynastic intentions, it was also crushed quite easily, say how it was influenced (taxation) - make sure you stick to your argument which was that rebellions were of no real threat (maybe throw in another historical interpretation) and talk about statistics (how he wanted to raise £100,000 but only raised £27,000 whatever.) However you should also make some points against this argument as far as I'm aware? For example I could say like... 'however this rebellion had great support and it was one that Henry had to take seriously, due to the murder of the duke of Northumberland and the first serious rebellion Henry faced, '... possibly mention some other points and then reiterate your original argument and be like 'he never faced a threat in the north again'.
To be honest I chose a bad rebellion to start with because it doesn't really have too many negatives to focus on.
Second Paragraph: Talk about a more serious rebellion, for example Lambert Simnel who gained the support of Margaret of Burgundy and many other Yorkists... talk about all the serious threats but then reiterate your argument that this was easily crushed by Henry and did not escalate into anything too big. Obviously I'd probably go into more detail in the actual exam but I'm just summarising what I would write.
I'd probably just do the same thing for the other rebellions and then conclude with my overall judgement on whether these rebellions were serious (I'd probably say no, aside from the one Cornish rebellion, which was a monetary rebellion and not even dynastic so it wasn't actually a real threat).
I'd really appreciate some help because my exams next week and I'm lost on essay structure, but I'm pretty familiar with most of the content (at least for Henry VII LOL).
I think that your proposed structure is fine, but try and make sure sure you are always linking back to the question eg. "This shows that Rebellions during Henry VII's reign were of no real threat as...". While this is perfectly adequate, if you just do simple PEE paragraphs, that the highest mark you'll get is 18-19 (still an A!). The examiners want to see analytical skills- try categorising your points. For example, the Yorkish and Cornish rebellion's were a consequence of Henry VII's excessive use of parliamentary taxes (to fund Henry's provision of troops in Brittany for example) thus these rebellions were associated with Henry's finance, whereas Simnel and Warbeck were contendenders to the throne (which may have been a threat to the stability of England- support from Richard De la Pole and the Earl of Kildare etc. The best way to do this is after writing two points try and link them-to see them as collective points and then relate the category back to the question. Hope this helps!
I had no idea the Earl of Kildare even existed which kind of makes me doubt my real knowledge, do you have any specific resources that you used to study from?
I'm currently using 's-cool' revision site that goes into Henry VII's depth pretty damn well, but it's lacking when it comes to Henry VIII. Any advice?
What's your email? I can send you a really good resource our teacher gave us.