How to use 'criteria' in essay writing, history A level

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nexgirl
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tbh I don't exactly know the meaning of criteria in essay writing. yes, quite a dumb thing!😂 could someone please tell me what does it exactly mean to apply criteria in history essays and how do I apply criteria? thanks
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EssayDoctor
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(Original post by nexgirl)
tbh I don't exactly know the meaning of criteria in essay writing. yes, quite a dumb thing!😂 could someone please tell me what does it exactly mean to apply criteria in history essays and how do I apply criteria? thanks
This is a great question. It's not a phrase you come across at undergrad or postgrad level. I wasn't sure about the definition of this either so I took a look at this https://qualifications.pearson.com/c...d-criteria.pdf

The above goes into considerable detail - or appears to - of what "criterion" in the context of A level essay writing means. I can't say it is actually very clear, and I've read some very opaque stuff over the years. So can't blame you for not getting it clear in your mind either.

Reading all the material provided, the answer to your question IMHO appears to be the "criteria" are the angles you take in analyzing the different parts of the Q. This is standard practice for undergrad essays, but quite advanced for A level imho.

For example: Discuss to what extent the 1848 European revolutions could be considered a success? You focus on the Q and have a think...

In the context of criteria - your criteria would be (for example - you have to do this for every new Q, but these are typical):

What sort of essay is a "discuss"? The usual answer to this is find some debating sources and say one says this, another says that. Then say - with further separate source material from somewhere else why YOU think one should be given the greater credence.

Key words you draw out:

Extent. Was it slightly successful, very successful? Somewhere in between? In the short run vs the long run? See below.
Revolution. Definitions of revolution - was it a revolution, an evolution or something in between? Something new you could give a name to? (bonus pt)
Success: For whom? Some, not others? Again, short term vs longer term?

This would form the basis of your reading. Then your essay plan. Then your first draft essay. (then you speak to your tutor). Then final draft. Then you get an A*. Good luck!

Feel free to msg if you'd any clarification or further detail. Happy to help. I'm designing an essay writing course and feedback is useful. All the best.
Last edited by EssayDoctor; 2 years ago
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Elinrebekah
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I do WJEC A-level but would assume in many ways that the techniques are very similar. In essays we’ve been taught to write a success criteria in our introduction. So for my intros I use DOA (define, operationalise, answer)

eg. “To what extent did the Liberal reforms successfully alleviate poverty between 1906-1914”

D - define poverty, perhaps as absolute poverty or using the concept of a poverty line.

O - success criteria - basically explain how I’ll measure the success of the liberal reforms - for example, whether poverty declined in the period, how standards of living rose among different groups (young, old, women, men) and whether problems linked to poverty were alleviated (housing, health, unemployment etc)

A - then, using the above criteria I’d try to answer the essay in a nutshell eg. “ The liberal reforms clearly did help alleviate poverty as can be seen by ________ but the extent of their success is debatable.

Then I’d make my first point!

I may have over-complicated things but I really hope this helps!

(Original post by nexgirl)
tbh I don't exactly know the meaning of criteria in essay writing. yes, quite a dumb thing!😂 could someone please tell me what does it exactly mean to apply criteria in history essays and how do I apply criteria? thanks
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