Hey, I'm doing higher so I should hopefully be able to offer some help.
So, first things first, know that you're not alone - I'm 90% sure everyone hates
higher history essays.
The good news is that there is only really three types of question you can get asked:
- Isolated Factor - "To what extent were racist attitudes
the main reason for the development of the
- Overall Evaluation - "To what extent did the social reforms of the Liberal Government, 1906–1914, meet
the needs of the British people?"
- How valid is this view - "The part played by women in the war effort was the main reason why some women
were given the vote in 1918. How valid is this view?"
For both Isolated Factor and Overall Evaluation, the essays can be easily memorised beforehand, meaning you've got them up your sleeve and are ready to go from the minute you enter the exam hall (I'm not sure about How valid questions as we don't do them but I'm sure they will be the same!).
Each topic will have a specific type of question that is always asked about it, for example if you are doing Britain 1851-1951, the Labour reforms will always be Overall Evaluation while the Causes of the Liberal Reforms will always be Isolated Factor.
Overall Evaluation questions never change year from year, they are just reworded, meaning the only thing you need to edit while writing the essay would be your links to the question (ie. If the question is about the needs of the British people, mention the needs of the British people regularly to link to the question!).
However, for Isolated factor questions, you do need to ensure you address the factor that is isolated in the question first, meaning it should always be your first paragraph (after your introduction), but this would likely be the only thing you need to do is re-order your paragraphs!
Now for the parts of an essay:
- Introduction (3 Marks) - Your introduction should provide some brief
historical context to the question (2-3 lines), then go on to mention the factors you will discuss and create a line of argument (ie for Liberal Reforms: The most important factor in causing the Liberal Reforms was... However other factors such as.... also played a very important role.)
- Knowledge (6 Marks) - You get knowledge marks for developed recalled facts that are relevant to your argument (you should probably get 4/5 for this without any effort!). You can often find useful statistics and things on websites such as BBC Bitesize and Glow.
- Analysis (3 Marks) - This is where this get complicated, but a very brief way of describing analysis is mentioning what makes what your talking about important (ie. This is important because....)
- Analysis + (3 Marks) - So these marks are also pretty complicated, you get them for secondary points of analysis (ie Furthermore, this also casued... or However, this is not as important as it....)
- Evaluation (4 Marks) - This is the worst of all of them, you can get these marks in a variety of different ways, including providing a brief summery and comparing different factors (Therefore, while the New Liberals were important in bringing about change, they relied upon the evidence created by the Social Investigations of Booth and Rowntree...) or summarising using new evidence and sources.
-Conclusion (3 Marks) - Similar to an introduction, you repeat your line of argument and briefly summarise your factors, demonstrating your different arguments.
As for revising for the actual essays, you can only draft them (I don't recommend learning whole essays word for word but rather essay plans), learn them (flashcards are brilliant for this) and practise writing them!
Once you crack how to do the essays it all becomes a lot easier, hope this helps and if you have any other questions (or if I'm not making any sense) feel free to ask!
Last edited by LeastWolf; 2 weeks ago