How to cover everything in history essay? Watch

theeetimdoherty
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Hi all,

I'm new to A Level History, and my first 25 mark essay is due. But, I'm finding it extremely difficult to write about everything in the time provided. In my case, the statement to evaluate is "The Suez Crisis showed that Britain was no longer a world power" although our teacher has instructed us to write about 4 additional topics, which are: European integration, nuclear deterrent, superpower relations, and decolonisation.

Now, in the exam, the 25 mark question equates to roughly 46 minutes of writing, and in that time I can write about 800 words. Yet, as I type, I've already reached 600 words after covering just two of those topics. This is after I've done a lot of sentence shortening and removing unnecessary points and description the best I can.

How did you deal with this in A Level History? My exam board is AQA and as someone who got a 9 at GCSE History, I feel it is of no use to me whatsoever.

Thank you in advance!
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999tigger
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Report 8 months ago
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(Original post by theeetimdoherty)
Hi all,

I'm new to A Level History, and my first 25 mark essay is due. But, I'm finding it extremely difficult to write about everything in the time provided. In my case, the statement to evaluate is "The Suez Crisis showed that Britain was no longer a world power" although our teacher has instructed us to write about 4 additional topics, which are: European integration, nuclear deterrent, superpower relations, and decolonisation.

Now, in the exam, the 25 mark question equates to roughly 46 minutes of writing, and in that time I can write about 800 words. Yet, as I type, I've already reached 600 words after covering just two of those topics. This is after I've done a lot of sentence shortening and removing unnecessary points and description the best I can.

How did you deal with this in A Level History? My exam board is AQA and as someone who got a 9 at GCSE History, I feel it is of no use to me whatsoever.

Thank you in advance!
You nee to be writing to your limit and accept you cant write any more. This is why exam practice is crucial.

The thing is with History questions there are always several ways to approach it and that can mean the emphasis and way you include your teachers suggested topics can differ . They could be the only things you emphasise or they could be secondary and background. There could also be other aspects such as military capability and diplomatic influence..

What you need to do is to plan.
If 800 words is your limit, then I would already be thinking about the shape of my essay and what it means.
There would be key areas I know I would have to cover.


All essays have a middle a beginning and an end.

In your case.

Introduction 50- words

I would also like to cover what the issues were to me and how I would investigate them.
In this case I might do a few sentences on what happened and why you could say Britain wasnt a world power at that moment.
If it had been a world power then it would possibly have been a success.

You then go onto the reasons why this failure or falling short of the mark came about. You can use peel paragraphs is you wish. Point, evidence, explanation, link, but dont become a slave to them. The important point here you have 500- 600 words to do it in.

For ease of explanation 5 or 6 reasons to back up the idea why it wasnt a world power.

1.
2
3
4
5
6

You then have your conclusion 150 words to evaluate ans say something meaningful to distinguish your answer and draw things together. What will those points be? That could be 7-12 points.


Clearly what you are doing wrong is you are writing at a level of detail you dont have time for, which means you need to streamline your answer, make the key point and cut the rest out. If you dont do this it means you will never finish your essays and miss out on getting a balanced essay which scores the easy points and instead have an unbalanced essay which is too detailed and only partly finished.

You will need to improve your essay planning and also start looking at revision books and mark schemes. It just takes practice.
The aim is to write only hats needed within the 45 minutes to score max marks rather than mistime and fail. It takes discipline.
Essay planning, bullet pointing and practice will all help you.
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