AQA A-Level History Coursework ideas/discussions?Watch this thread
As we all just finished our as mocks/exams (if your place of education makes you sit exam board set exams) its time to think about course work.
As explained by my history teacher, we have to stick into a '200 year rule' forsay. which is inconvenient because it means that for my particular breath (political quest for stability Germany 1871-1991) and depth (making of modern Britain 1951-2007) it means I am restricted to nothing after about 1820; and I am more interested in modern political history such as the rise of communism in the 20/21st century and does it function.
The current idea's I am thinking around is:
-The rise and creation of Islam
-The formation of the slave trade
-French Revolution ( this is only because I have prior studied it for one year in my old school before retaking however hated it )
-The creation of the English language/print press
-the economic situation of some time I've not decided.
Feel free to share ideas'/sources/resources/references!
First of all, I would really recommend writing about something from early-late antiquity. If you find this interesting it is a huge bonus, but also the fact there is such a reduced number of sources makes the whole thing 10x easier. But before you jump on a time period, just remember you need to effectively reference across the whole 200 year time period and not just the start or the end. Because of this, I would really recommend selecting a question that has been thoroughly discussed and debated already.
Although it is personally too late a time period for myself, the slave trade has been taken apart, analysed and scrutinised for hundreds of years giving you a good variety of historians to use as a secondary source. This allows you to comment on the prevailing attitudes of the day, what may have impacted their opinions etc.
Most importantly, I would advise you to really read your chosen books. Start early and get stuck in. This not only helped me become more comfortable with the period that had nothing to do with our course but it also really impacted my writing style. I was deeply influenced by the prose of my selected authors and my teacher even mentioned how the quality of my work was a whole level above my regular a level essays.
When you say it has to be a 200 year period, am I right in thinking that this rules out the 1920-1940 period in British history?
Also, would it be acceptable to focus almost entirely on the economic side of the period? I'm considering economic history as a degree and so it'd be a great benefit if the coursework strengthened my knowledge on the subject (which is why I originally intended to do 1920s-30s Britain). And, you say that a period with fewer sources is a great advantage but then say that so is a period that has been thoroughly discussed already; I can't tell if you're recommending I do an area that is well-known or one that is obscure, or both.
Last question, I promise: were there any websites you used which you found were great for resources and information, like JSTOR?
Thank you in advance. I know it's a lot of questions but since you clearly did amazingly well in your coursework, it would be a wasted opportunity not to ask.