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Edexcel A Level History: How do I structure essays?

Hiya, I have been ill for six years suffering from FND, I have spent two years in the hospital paralysed from the waist down and eighteen months fully paralysed. I am in desperate need of help if you can. I am currently doing A level Edexcel History, my First Topic is 1E: is From Lenin to Yeltsin Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations
The second topic is 2E: Mao's China Paper 2: Depth study
My Third Topic is 30: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII, 1399–1509 Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth.
If anyone that has previously done or is doing A level History and has a good structure for each of these it would be amazing if you could help. Thank you
Hi, I'm doing all of those.
I used a similar structure to this:

Intro:
- Brief background/definiton of steer (e.g. if it was on social security 17-85, then a brief statement on social security in that period)
- My judgement on the question
- Reasons for my judgement - I.E my factors (such as political, social, economic, or agree/disagree factors)
- Final judgement

Para 1
- Point - the criteria, and briefly lay out your support (e.g. It could be argued that X was indeed well maintained in xx-xx years politically, as evidenced by X, Y, Z (x,y,z being areas of CK))
- Evidence - X evidence in relation to my argument
- Analysis - analyse how that evidence proves your point
- Repeat the evidence-analysis a few times
- Judgement - link your ideas together and critically analyse them, evaluate their weighting, how do they support your point you're making? Then conclude your argument

Repeat this paragraph structure 2-3 times. Quality over quantity of writing, if you have sustained quality analysis, this is better than 6 sides of waffling.

Your conclusion can really save an essay that's gone off track. Remember to leave time for it.
I struggle somewhat with conclusions but I generally:

- State your judgement on the question
- Present your factors once more - link these ideas together and analyse/evaluate how these ideas weigh up and influence your final judgement.
- Concluding statement - your assured judgement on the question. If you feel like you can drop a mic after writing your conclusion then it's most likely going to be good.

Other tips: Don't hedge. have an assured judgement on the question. No answer/side is wrong if you can sufficiently support it with your contextual knowledge and analysis of the features of the period.
Try and keep sustained analysis throughout, if you can feel yourself going awry or waffling in your writing, stop, read back up to your argument.
Link to your point throughout each paragraph and to the steer - keep a direct focus on the question.
Don't just regurgitate CK from your textbook - apply sufficient knowledge to support the case you are making.
Lastly - you'll be alright. History is a very very hard subject and exam boards appreciate that the students sitting these exams are 17-18 years old, you're not expected yet to be profound and genius historians. You're young adults sitting multiple exams (most likely).

I achieved an A grade in AS History and predicted an A* this year - I don't feel AT ALL confident to be honest and I'm rather scared about not getting the grade I need for university, but writing that all out has helped me reassure myself. Best of luck in your exams! (p.s. Henry VI sucked)
Reply 2
Original post by 43ketchup

haha, absolutely agree with you r.e Henry VI.:bigsmile: What you have sent is absolutely amazing! its made me feel much less stressed with the upcoming exams. I'm going to use this way of doing essays in my practice ones now. Thank you so much for your response it really has made me feel better!!!
P.S. What does CK mean?
(edited 6 years ago)
[QUOTE="KGoulden;77501918"]
Original post by 43ketchup

haha, absolutely agree with you r.e Henry VI.:bigsmile: What you have sent is absolutely amazing! its made me feel much less stressed with the upcoming exams. I'm going to use this way of doing essays in my practice ones now. Thank you so much for your response it really has made me feel better!!!
P.S. What does CK mean?


I think CK means contextual knowledge? :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by 43ketchup
Hi, I'm doing all of those.
I used a similar structure to this:

Intro:
- Brief background/definiton of steer (e.g. if it was on social security 17-85, then a brief statement on social security in that period)
- My judgement on the question
- Reasons for my judgement - I.E my factors (such as political, social, economic, or agree/disagree factors)
- Final judgement

Para 1
- Point - the criteria, and briefly lay out your support (e.g. It could be argued that X was indeed well maintained in xx-xx years politically, as evidenced by X, Y, Z (x,y,z being areas of CK))
- Evidence - X evidence in relation to my argument
- Analysis - analyse how that evidence proves your point
- Repeat the evidence-analysis a few times
- Judgement - link your ideas together and critically analyse them, evaluate their weighting, how do they support your point you're making? Then conclude your argument

Repeat this paragraph structure 2-3 times. Quality over quantity of writing, if you have sustained quality analysis, this is better than 6 sides of waffling.

Your conclusion can really save an essay that's gone off track. Remember to leave time for it.
I struggle somewhat with conclusions but I generally:

- State your judgement on the question
- Present your factors once more - link these ideas together and analyse/evaluate how these ideas weigh up and influence your final judgement.
- Concluding statement - your assured judgement on the question. If you feel like you can drop a mic after writing your conclusion then it's most likely going to be good.

Other tips: Don't hedge. have an assured judgement on the question. No answer/side is wrong if you can sufficiently support it with your contextual knowledge and analysis of the features of the period.
Try and keep sustained analysis throughout, if you can feel yourself going awry or waffling in your writing, stop, read back up to your argument.
Link to your point throughout each paragraph and to the steer - keep a direct focus on the question.
Don't just regurgitate CK from your textbook - apply sufficient knowledge to support the case you are making.
Lastly - you'll be alright. History is a very very hard subject and exam boards appreciate that the students sitting these exams are 17-18 years old, you're not expected yet to be profound and genius historians. You're young adults sitting multiple exams (most likely).

I achieved an A grade in AS History and predicted an A* this year - I don't feel AT ALL confident to be honest and I'm rather scared about not getting the grade I need for university, but writing that all out has helped me reassure myself. Best of luck in your exams! (p.s. Henry VI sucked)

this was very useful to read right before a mock exam, thanks
I'm excited to share my experience with the outstanding

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