average_human
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Hi, I have been given a 16 mark exam question to do: 'There was little progress in medicine in Britain during the Renaissance period.' (1500-1700). How far do you agree? Explain your answer. You may use the following in your answer: The work of Harvey, bloodletting and purging.

I don't know how many paragraphs I should do (we've been told to do an agree, disagree and a conclusion) and whether I should do an introduction. Could anyone help?
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Oluwatoniloba18
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Hi,

When I was doing GCSE, (feels like a long time ago! ), for 16 markers , my teacher would tell us to write at least 3 paragraphs (maybe 4 if you have time), and write them on each factor. So for example, in your answer you could talk about the refusal of the Church to move on from the writings of Galen, even though Versalius had proven him wrong on the structure of the human jawbone and the circulatory system. You could also mention if you want about how although Pare managed to find a different way to treat gunshot wounds instead of pouring hot oil, the problem of infection and bloodloss during medieval surgery hadn't been solved during the Renaissance due to a lack of knowledge about germs, hence the little progress of medicine during the Renaissance period.

I hope this helps,
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average_human
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Thanks. Do I need to do an introduction? Also, say if I agreed with it, should I 2 paragraphs agreeing and 1 disagreeing to make my argument stronger?
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Oluwatoniloba18
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(Original post by average_human)
Thanks. Do I need to do an introduction? Also, say if I agreed with it, should I 2 paragraphs agreeing and 1 disagreeing to make my argument stronger?
Yes, you would need a short introduction, maybe saying for example: "During the Renaissance period, there was relative progress in medical discovery in the areas of X, Y and Z. However, the progress of medicine in these areas were limited due to (mention your factors, eg. Religion), and it can be said that overall, there was a lack of progress in medicine during the Renaissance period."

Also, when writing your paragraphs, you shouldn't do two paragraphs agreeing and one disagreeing. Rather, within each paragraph, have like a counter argument to your side of the argument, but then give an overall judgement in which you state why your point of view is stronger, eg. "However, some would argue" or "Although some would argue that X, Y and Z, it cannot be disputed that..." and then you say why and say that overall, there was a lack of progress.

I hope this helps. Also, bear in mind that my style of writing may not be compatible with what your teachers will have taught you at GCSE because my structure is a bit similar to what I'm currently doing at A-level. But I do remember from GCSE that we were told to do for and against in one paragraph.

All the best,
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average_human
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thanks this is a massive help
what would my factor in the disagree paragraph if I was talking about the 4 humours and how there was no progress in treatments?
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average_human
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to explain this, in the introduction I'm saying there was progress in anatomy, but it was limited due to (I don't know what to put here )
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by average_human)
thanks this is a massive help
what would my factor in the disagree paragraph if I was talking about the 4 humours and how there was no progress in treatments?
What a fascinating essay - I had to google what was happening then and found this article

https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/renaissance-medicine/

There was little progress in treatments - but more people could read and write, so herbal remedies were written down. This was the time of Leonardo da Vinci - and we all know about his amazing anatomical drawings. Also there were new ingredients arriving from the Americas and Asia
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Oluwatoniloba18
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I mean, you could say that the progress in anatomy was limited due to religious limitations, eg. Both Islam and Christianity at the time prohibited the dissecting of dead bodies, because they believed the body should be whole in the after life, or that the Catholic Church refused to move on from the writings of Galen, for example the four humours (like you have already stated).

And yes, you could definitely talk about the four humours being a hindrance to medical development during the Renaissance in your against paragraph. Make sure though, that you talk about the long term effects, eg. The theory of the Four Humours allowed treatments like bloodletting to continue for a long time, until it was disproven by the Germ Theory.

All the best with your essay,
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average_human
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(Original post by Oluwatoniloba18)
I mean, you could say that the progress in anatomy was limited due to religious limitations, eg. Both Islam and Christianity at the time prohibited the dissecting of dead bodies, because they believed the body should be whole in the after life, or that the Catholic Church refused to move on from the writings of Galen, for example the four humours (like you have already stated).

And yes, you could definitely talk about the four humours being a hindrance to medical development during the Renaissance in your against paragraph. Make sure though, that you talk about the long term effects, eg. The theory of the Four Humours allowed treatments like bloodletting to continue for a long time, until it was disproven by the Germ Theory.

All the best with your essay,
x
What do you think of this paragraph to disagree with the statement? I'm not sure if my argument is backed up well though:


One reason why it can be argued that there was progress in
medicine during the Renaissance is that there was lots of progress in the
area of anatomy. William Harvey was very important in making new discoveries; he
explained that the heart was like a pump, and blood flows/circulates around the
body. This was progress as it meant that Galen’s theory was proved wrong, as according
to Galen’s theory, the blood did not return to the liver or the heart. Although it can be argued that this was a significant medical
discovery, it can’t be disputed that this didn’t lead to anything during
the renaissance, it didn’t lead to improved treatments, it was just a discovery
and it wasn’t until years after that all medical professionals believed Harvey’s
theory over Galen’s. Therefore, this didn't really lead to progress in medicine in the Renaissance.
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average_human
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This is my conclusion as well. Is this strong enough to sum up my argument ?



Overall, despite the Renaissance bringing about new
attitudes towards medicine, I would agree that there was still a lack of
progress in medicine in the Renaissance. The small amount of progress there was
was limited to a small area of medicine (anatomy), and there was no progress in
medical treatments, with hundreds of years old methods being used. Even William
Harvey himself still prescribed bleeding to his patients, which shows how there
was absolutely no progress in the quality of medical treatments, with patients
still being subjected highly dangerous treatments. Therefore, it simply can’t be
argued that there was significant progress in medicine in the Renaissance.
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Oluwatoniloba18
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(Original post by average_human)
What do you think of this paragraph to disagree with the statement? I'm not sure if my argument is backed up well though:


One reason why it can be argued that there was progress in
medicine during the Renaissance is that there was lots of progress in the
area of anatomy. William Harvey was very important in making new discoveries; he
explained that the heart was like a pump, and blood flows/circulates around the
body. This was progress as it meant that Galen’s theory was proved wrong, as according
to Galen’s theory, the blood did not return to the liver or the heart. Although it can be argued that this was a significant medical
discovery, it can’t be disputed that this didn’t lead to anything during
the renaissance, it didn’t lead to improved treatments, it was just a discovery
and it wasn’t until years after that all medical professionals believed Harvey’s
theory over Galen’s. Therefore, this didn't really lead to progress in medicine in the Renaissance.
Yes, I think this a good paragraph: your counter argument as to why the discovery didn't make much difference during the Renaissance because people still believed believed Galen is very good, but maybe you could explain how significant the discovery was eg. Harvey's discovery also proved that the heart didn't 'burn' blood, but that it circulated the body instead. You could then argue its significance in the sense that it showed the error in the treatment of bloodletting: letting blood out of the body would lead to excess blood loss, which would be hard for the body to replace, and in turn lead to all sorts of complications (including death).

Also, in your judgement at the end, you could hint just a little bit at how the lack of progress is demonstrated during the Renaissance period, eg. The continuation of bloodletting.

Overall, this is a really good paragraph, I'm probably being overly analytical.
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average_human
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(Original post by Oluwatoniloba18)
Yes, I think this a good paragraph: your counter argument as to why the discovery didn't make much difference during the Renaissance because people still believed believed Galen is very good, but maybe you could explain how significant the discovery was eg. Harvey's discovery also proved that the heart didn't 'burn' blood, but that it circulated the body instead. You could then argue its significance in the sense that it showed the error in the treatment of bloodletting: letting blood out of the body would lead to excess blood loss, which would be hard for the body to replace, and in turn lead to all sorts of complications (including death).

Also, in your judgement at the end, you could hint just a little bit at how the lack of progress is demonstrated during the Renaissance period, eg. The continuation of bloodletting.

Overall, this is a really good paragraph, I'm probably being overly analytical.
Thanks, this really helpful. How would you make a strong argument in the agree paragraph? I'm writing about how all the treatments stayed the same (4 humours and leeches, the treatment of bloodletting), therefore there wasn't really any progress.

Also just wondering, what grade did you get in history GCSE? I'm aiming for a 7 (even an 8) and was wondering if you have any general tips.

Thanks,
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