AS/ALEVEL HISTORY Help

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Abbiecalm
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#1
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#1
i am currently studying this subject in year 12 my courses are tsarist russia and modern Britain, In Tsarist russia my marks are always low, I get 9/25, and my teacher says I need to be less discriptive and relate to the question, how do I do this, and how do I structure my essay and make My essay link to the question properly
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dking2001
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#2
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The step from GCSE to A Level in essay based subjects often has people floundering to start with. At GCSE level students can often get good marks simply by including everything they know about a subject in their essays. At A level you need to be more analytical and give specific answers to the questions being asked.

The first thing I would recommend is asking your teacher if they can provide some sample answers to questions from high scoring essays so that you get an understanding of what good actually looks like.

Before answering the question you need to ensure you understand exactly what it is the examiner is expecting of you so, for example, if a question states 'How effective was The Duma in Russia between 1906 and 1917' the key word there is effective. A descriptive answer may simply say when The Duma was set up, how long each Duma lasted and perhaps why it was set up. However you are being asked to evaluate its effectiveness which means you need to understand its role (ie what was it supposed to achieve) and how successful it was in delivering what it was meant to achieve. You should be using your knowledge to carry out this analysis making points that support each side the argument (it was effective in xxxxx however it was ineffective in doing yyyyy) and reach a conclusion that refers back to the question.

It will get easier, especially if you can secure some sample answers so that you can look at others writing styles and how they successfully refer back to the question to form an analytical response.

EDIT - Did a little bit of thinking on how I could use a non historical analogy to show how you refer back to and ensure you answer the question. Forgive me if this seems a little obvious but I am exaggerating to illustrate the point:

Let's suppose you had a question in another subject along the lines of 'How has the domestic cat adapted to become a successful hunter.' What this is not asking you to do is write everything you know about domestic cats it is specifically asking about adaptations and success.

Statements along the lines of cats having fur, long whiskers , four legs and upright tails would not be responding to the question as they are not saying how the cat has adapted to be successful. Successful statements would be along the lines of 'cats have evolved retractable claws, this adaptation means allows them to move more silently when stalking prey as their hard claws do not make contact with the ground and thus no noise. This has increased their success in hunting'.

Hopefully this illustrates how you use your knowledge selectively to respond specifically to what the question is asking.

Good Luck
Last edited by dking2001; 2 years ago
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Abbiecalm
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#3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by dking2001)
The step from GCSE to A Level in essay based subjects often has people floundering to start with. At GCSE level students can often get good marks simply by including everything they know about a subject in their essays. At A level you need to be more analytical and give specific answers to the questions being asked.

The first thing I would recommend is asking your teacher if they can provide some sample answers to questions from high scoring essays so that you get an understanding of what good actually looks like.

Before answering the question you need to ensure you understand exactly what it is the examiner is expecting of you so, for example, if a question states 'How effective was The Duma in Russia between 1906 and 1917' the key word there is effective. A descriptive answer may simply say when The Duma was set up, how long each Duma lasted and perhaps why it was set up. However you are being asked to evaluate its effectiveness which means you need to understand its role (ie what was it supposed to achieve) and how successful it was in delivering what it was meant to achieve. You should be using your knowledge to carry out this analysis making points that support each side the argument (it was effective in xxxxx however it was ineffective in doing yyyyy) and reach a conclusion that refers back to the question.

It will get easier, especially if you can secure some sample answers so that you can look at others writing styles and how they successfully refer back to the question to form an analytical response.

EDIT - Did a little bit of thinking on how I could use a non historical analogy to show how you refer back to and ensure you answer the question. Forgive me if this seems a little obvious but I am exaggerating to illustrate the point:

Let's suppose you had a question in another subject along the lines of 'How has the domestic cat adapted to become a successful hunter.' What this is not asking you to do is write everything you know about domestic cats it is specifically asking about adaptations and success.

Statements along the lines of cats having fur, long whiskers , four legs and upright tails would not be responding to the question as they are not saying how the cat has adapted to be successful. Successful statements would be along the lines of 'cats have evolved retractable claws, this adaptation means allows them to move more silently when stalking prey as their hard claws do not make contact with the ground and thus no noise. This has increased their success in hunting'.

Hopefully this illustrates how you use your knowledge selectively to respond specifically to what the question is asking.

Good Luck
Thankyou very much, this is very useful. I have an essay to write, ill use your tips and I’ll tell you how much I achieved, again Thankyou very much !
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ISHxxxx
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#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by dking2001)
The step from GCSE to A Level in essay based subjects often has people floundering to start with. At GCSE level students can often get good marks simply by including everything they know about a subject in their essays. At A level you need to be more analytical and give specific answers to the questions being asked.

The first thing I would recommend is asking your teacher if they can provide some sample answers to questions from high scoring essays so that you get an understanding of what good actually looks like.

Before answering the question you need to ensure you understand exactly what it is the examiner is expecting of you so, for example, if a question states 'How effective was The Duma in Russia between 1906 and 1917' the key word there is effective. A descriptive answer may simply say when The Duma was set up, how long each Duma lasted and perhaps why it was set up. However you are being asked to evaluate its effectiveness which means you need to understand its role (ie what was it supposed to achieve) and how successful it was in delivering what it was meant to achieve. You should be using your knowledge to carry out this analysis making points that support each side the argument (it was effective in xxxxx however it was ineffective in doing yyyyy) and reach a conclusion that refers back to the question.

It will get easier, especially if you can secure some sample answers so that you can look at others writing styles and how they successfully refer back to the question to form an analytical response.

EDIT - Did a little bit of thinking on how I could use a non historical analogy to show how you refer back to and ensure you answer the question. Forgive me if this seems a little obvious but I am exaggerating to illustrate the point:

Let's suppose you had a question in another subject along the lines of 'How has the domestic cat adapted to become a successful hunter.' What this is not asking you to do is write everything you know about domestic cats it is specifically asking about adaptations and success.

Statements along the lines of cats having fur, long whiskers , four legs and upright tails would not be responding to the question as they are not saying how the cat has adapted to be successful. Successful statements would be along the lines of 'cats have evolved retractable claws, this adaptation means allows them to move more silently when stalking prey as their hard claws do not make contact with the ground and thus no noise. This has increased their success in hunting'.

Hopefully this illustrates how you use your knowledge selectively to respond specifically to what the question is asking.

Good Luck
If the question how transformative is something for example how far was the contraceptive pill the most transformative change for women in Britain between 1939 - 79
How should I answer the question with the key word
transformative

Thank youuuuuu
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dking2001
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#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
(Original post by ISHxxxx)
If the question how transformative is something for example how far was the contraceptive pill the most transformative change for women in Britain between 1939 - 79
How should I answer the question with the key word
transformative

Thank youuuuuu
Transformative suggests it radically changed from something to something else. So how did the pill radically change (transform) womens ability to family plan, womens role in the work place, gender roles in society, religion, attitides to pre marital sex etc etc
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