Harrietcrossin
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Hey! I'm starting uni in September (HOPEFULLY) and as I now have 6 months off, I thought I would get a headstart on writing uni level essays! Does anyone have examples of questions they were set as an undergraduate? or even just any advice on where to start? would be greatly appreciated thanks
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
Hey! I'm starting uni in September (HOPEFULLY) and as I now have 6 months off, I thought I would get a headstart on writing uni level essays! Does anyone have examples of questions they were set as an undergraduate? or even just any advice on where to start? would be greatly appreciated thanks
One useful book is Studying History by Black and Macraild. The second part deals with the practicalities.
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oswalds
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I'm a history postgrad, and I think something I wish I'd had more time to do before starting my undergrad was to just enjoy reading about history. First year is typically a lot of getting everyone onto the same playing field regarding what you know, so you might find yourself doing longer survey courses on different periods/regions. Mine was split into 7 modules - four covered time periods (Roughly 500-1000, 1000-1500, 1500-1800 and 1800-2000), two were historical theory and one was a subject outside of my department. Don't worry about teaching youself loads right now - the idea of first year is to give you a wider knowledge of the subject. It might be nice just to focus on something you personally enjoy learning about in history and have a read around it! I personally would not have found it useful to write essays before uni because you get taught how do write in a specific style when you arrive, but that's just me.

It could be useful to read something theoretical? This can be more difficult just because you don't do a lot of it at GCSE and A-Level. One of the most widely cited introductions to this is In Defence of History by Richard J. Evans. If there is anything specific you're interest in regarding historical topics I can also see if I have any recomendations if you'd like!

Here are some questions I have been set - most of them are not the exact wording but the general gist of the essay. There were more but I can't remember most of the earlier ones. I didn't write as many essays in 3rd year and my MA as they both included a long dissertation.
1st year -

What role did culture play in the 1916 Easter Rising?
How far did Victorian women comply with the 'Angel in the House' ideal?
Compare the approaches that Christina Larner and Lyndal Roper take in their studies of early modern witch hunting.

2nd year -

Does vibrant matter matter?
Did Henry VIII completely move away from Catholicism? (Plus one on Mary I I think?)

3rd year

To what extent did changes in street lighting change the lives
of Londoners in the 18th and 19th centuries?
Why was water an important commodity in 18th and 19th century London?
Last edited by oswalds; 9 months ago
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Harrietcrossin
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(Original post by oswalds)
I'm a history postgrad, and I think something I wish I'd had more time to do before starting my undergrad was to just enjoy reading about history. First year is typically a lot of getting everyone onto the same playing field regarding what you know, so you might find yourself doing longer survey courses on different periods/regions. Mine was split into 7 modules - four covered time periods (Roughly 500-1000, 1000-1500, 1500-1800 and 1800-2000), two were historical theory and one was a subject outside of my department. Don't worry about teaching youself loads right now - the idea of first year is to give you a wider knowledge of the subject. It might be nice just to focus on something you personally enjoy learning about in history and have a read around it! I personally would not have found it useful to write essays before uni because you get taught how do write in a specific style when you arrive, but that's just me.

It could be useful to read something theoretical? This can be more difficult just because you don't do a lot of it at GCSE and A-Level. One of the most widely cited introductions to this is In Defence of History by Richard J. Evans. If there is anything specific you're interest in regarding historical topics I can also see if I have any recomendations if you'd like!

Here are some questions I have been set - most of them are not the exact wording but the general gist of the essay. There were more but I can't remember most of the earlier ones. I didn't write as many essays in 3rd year and my MA as they both included a long dissertation.
1st year -

What role did culture play in the 1916 Easter Rising?
How far did Victorian women comply with the 'Angel in the House' ideal?
Compare the approaches that Christina Larner and Lyndal Roper take in their studies of early modern witch hunting.

2nd year -

Does vibrant matter matter?
Did Henry VIII completely move away from Catholicism? (Plus one on Mary I I think?)

3rd year

To what extent did changes in street lighting change the lives
of Londoners in the 18th and 19th centuries?
Why was water an important commodity in 18th and 19th century London?

MA (I wrote the 1st and 3rd questions myself but they had to be approved by lecturers) -

How have histories of the paranormal developed since the publication of Winter's Mesmerized in 1998?
How can cultural historians uncover meaning in the past?
How can Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall be used to analyse Victorian ideas surrounding women and power?
Thank you so much! This is very helpful! I have already read The Uses and Abuses of history by Margaret Macmillan which I thoroughly enjoyed so I will definitely give Evans a go! Thank you
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