Structure for A-Level History 25 marker

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cathpiglet
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How would you recommend I structure my 25 marker?

I've searched all over here and the internet and can't find any answers. We've just started working from home due to covid cases and my teacher can't respond to emails so I could really use some help. This is the first 25 marker I've ever done so I have no clue what is the best way to approach it.

(Thank you so much for any advice, i have submitted the answer now and am feeling quite confident with it)
Last edited by cathpiglet; 4 weeks ago
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MadameRazz
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...has your teacher not told you?
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Sinnoh
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What's the exam board and what's the topic?
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cathpiglet
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
What's the exam board and what's the topic?
AQA America as a Superpower
'African Americans were truly free from 1865' Do you agree or disagree with this statement? (25marks)
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cathpiglet
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(Original post by MadameRazz)
...has your teacher not told you?
Nope, he simply sent home the work and the final task was just the 25 mark exam question, of which we've never done before in lessons.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by cathpiglet)
AQA America as a Superpower
'African Americans were truly free from 1865' Do you agree or disagree with this statement? (25marks)
So while I did do civil rights in the USA 1865-1992 as part of my history A-level, it was for OCR. The way I would have done such a question if it came up in my exam would be to split it thematically - one long paragraph about social rights (e.g. segregation, lynching), one long paragraph about political rights (so voting and also participation in politics) and one long paragraph about their economic rights and positions (e.g. sharecropping, wage discrepancies, affirmative action).
Because with such a question there's a risk that you just state a load of facts without actually making an argument.

e.g. In terms of their political rights, African Americans were not 'truly free' on the same level as white citizens in the South until at least 1965, with the exception fo the Reconstruction Era until 1877. Or something like that. That's an argument. You never want to start a paragraph off just by stating a fact (although what I wrote really does feel like stating the obvious). Then I'd go on to explain why - voting qualifications are a large reason, poll tax, the grandfather clause, black people initially being banned from primary elections. Acknowledge counter-points, such as the 15th amendment granting them the vote and explain why it didn't work. Then it would be something like The situation in the South for African-American voters did notably improve following the introduction of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, explaining what it did, how it helped and giving evidence that it helped.

This is just how I would have gone about answering it. I don't know how in-depth your curriculum goes into this topic, or what chronological period they look at. It is a pretty obvious "disagree" for the question, but you need to carefully qualify your response.
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cathpiglet
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
So while I did do civil rights in the USA 1865-1992 as part of my history A-level, it was for OCR. The way I would have done such a question if it came up in my exam would be to split it thematically - one long paragraph about social rights (e.g. segregation, lynching), one long paragraph about political rights (so voting and also participation in politics) and one long paragraph about their economic rights and positions (e.g. sharecropping, wage discrepancies, affirmative action).
Because with such a question there's a risk that you just state a load of facts without actually making an argument.

e.g. In terms of their political rights, African Americans were not 'truly free' on the same level as white citizens in the South until at least 1965, with the exception fo the Reconstruction Era until 1877. Or something like that. That's an argument. You never want to start a paragraph off just by stating a fact (although what I wrote really does feel like stating the obvious). Then I'd go on to explain why - voting qualifications are a large reason, poll tax, the grandfather clause, black people initially being banned from primary elections. Acknowledge counter-points, such as the 15th amendment granting them the vote and explain why it didn't work. Then it would be something like The situation in the South for African-American voters did notably improve following the introduction of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, explaining what it did, how it helped and giving evidence that it helped.

This is just how I would have gone about answering it. I don't know how in-depth your curriculum goes into this topic, or what chronological period they look at. It is a pretty obvious "disagree" for the question, but you need to carefully qualify your response.
Thank you so much for the help. I'm feeling reasonably confident about the task now,it's been submitted so I'll see what happens but I'm not being too worried as it's the first one and it's a good chance to gauge the areas I need to work on for exam responses.
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Poppynicholson01
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
So while I did do civil rights in the USA 1865-1992 as part of my history A-level, it was for OCR. The way I would have done such a question if it came up in my exam would be to split it thematically - one long paragraph about social rights (e.g. segregation, lynching), one long paragraph about political rights (so voting and also participation in politics) and one long paragraph about their economic rights and positions (e.g. sharecropping, wage discrepancies, affirmative action).
Because with such a question there's a risk that you just state a load of facts without actually making an argument.

e.g. In terms of their political rights, African Americans were not 'truly free' on the same level as white citizens in the South until at least 1965, with the exception fo the Reconstruction Era until 1877. Or something like that. That's an argument. You never want to start a paragraph off just by stating a fact (although what I wrote really does feel like stating the obvious). Then I'd go on to explain why - voting qualifications are a large reason, poll tax, the grandfather clause, black people initially being banned from primary elections. Acknowledge counter-points, such as the 15th amendment granting them the vote and explain why it didn't work. Then it would be something like The situation in the South for African-American voters did notably improve following the introduction of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, explaining what it did, how it helped and giving evidence that it helped.

This is just how I would have gone about answering it. I don't know how in-depth your curriculum goes into this topic, or what chronological period they look at. It is a pretty obvious "disagree" for the question, but you need to carefully qualify your response.
Do you have any revision or advice you could help me with! I’m hoping to sit my exams next summer (2021) and I was previously doing the same course topic (Civil Rights on OCR) , I was barely going into school when my class was learning this however, so I’m really struggling with the whole idea of it being thematic essays !
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Poppynicholson01)
Do you have any revision or advice you could help me with! I’m hoping to sit my exams next summer (2021) and I was previously doing the same course topic (Civil Rights on OCR) , I was barely going into school when my class was learning this however, so I’m really struggling with the whole idea of it being thematic essays !
Sure. I could send you a dropbox of some of the notes my teacher gave us, they were very thorough. Unfortunately I don't have any of the notes given for Native Americans, I obtained these before I left school.

Here's how we were told to structure the 25-markers:
African American civil rights: split into political rights, economic rights, social rights. Voting rights and political participation falls into political, social rights would include segregation, police brutality, lynchings, that kind of thing.

Native Americans: political rights, economic rights and cultural rights. Political rights include both land issues and voting rights, cultural rights would be things like being able to practise their religions and keep their traditions

Women's rights: again, political, social & economic. Social rights in this case includes things like contraception and abortion and laws on sexual harassment and rape.

Trade union & labour rights: this is the outlier. We split it into the right to join and form unions, the right to actually go on strike, and general labour rights and working conditions, such as working hours and minimum wages. The reason it's split like this is because there is a distinction between forming a union and going on strike - e.g. whilst federal government employees were allowed to form unions, they weren't allowed to go on strike as evidenced by the 1919 Boston police strike and the 1981 PATCO strike.

Putting this bit in a spoiler because it's quite long.

Spoiler:
Show



You should address the question in the context of each theme of rights - suppose you're given "The Second World War was the most important turning point in the for the civil rights of African-Americans in the period 1865-1992". That's a very standard kind of question. The way to answer this would be to go by each theme and decide to what extent it actually was a turning point and then perhaps identify an alternative turning point if you have another suggestion.

e.g. The Second World War did show improvements in the economic rights of African Americans, although the overall effects were limited.
That's the initial argument to start the paragraph off. Then you bring up the specific examples.
Gains were made in the defence sector, with Roosevelt's 1941 executive order prohibiting discrimination in the defence industries and the establishment of the Fair Employment Practices Commission to investigate complaints made about discrimination. As a result of these efforts, black participation in the iron and steel industries increased by 25% and the number of black federal employees quadrupled during Roosevelt's tenure.

But then you have to moderate this a bit, otherwise you're kind of just telling a story which is something you want to avoid.

However, the scope of these advances was only within the defence sector and only occurred due to the pressures of the war. Therefore it can be argued that the Second World War failed to be a lasting and positive turning point for all African Americans (linking it back to the question).

Then you might want to introduce your alternative turning point., e.g The New Deal era just preceding the Second World War on the other hand...


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Poppynicholson01
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Sure. I could send you a dropbox of some of the notes my teacher gave us, they were very thorough. Unfortunately I don't have any of the notes given for Native Americans, I obtained these before I left school.

Here's how we were told to structure the 25-markers:
African American civil rights: split into political rights, economic rights, social rights. Voting rights and political participation falls into political, social rights would include segregation, police brutality, lynchings, that kind of thing.

Native Americans: political rights, economic rights and cultural rights. Political rights include both land issues and voting rights, cultural rights would be things like being able to practise their religions and keep their traditions

Women's rights: again, political, social & economic. Social rights in this case includes things like contraception and abortion and laws on sexual harassment and rape.

Trade union & labour rights: this is the outlier. We split it into the right to join and form unions, the right to actually go on strike, and general labour rights and working conditions, such as working hours and minimum wages. The reason it's split like this is because there is a distinction between forming a union and going on strike - e.g. whilst federal government employees were allowed to form unions, they weren't allowed to go on strike as evidenced by the 1919 Boston police strike and the 1981 PATCO strike.

Putting this bit in a spoiler because it's quite long.

Spoiler:
Show



You should address the question in the context of each theme of rights - suppose you're given "The Second World War was the most important turning point in the for the civil rights of African-Americans in the period 1865-1992". That's a very standard kind of question. The way to answer this would be to go by each theme and decide to what extent it actually was a turning point and then perhaps identify an alternative turning point if you have another suggestion.

e.g. The Second World War did show improvements in the economic rights of African Americans, although the overall effects were limited.
That's the initial argument to start the paragraph off. Then you bring up the specific examples.
Gains were made in the defence sector, with Roosevelt's 1941 executive order prohibiting discrimination in the defence industries and the establishment of the Fair Employment Practices Commission to investigate complaints made about discrimination. As a result of these efforts, black participation in the iron and steel industries increased by 25% and the number of black federal employees quadrupled during Roosevelt's tenure.

But then you have to moderate this a bit, otherwise you're kind of just telling a story which is something you want to avoid.

However, the scope of these advances was only within the defence sector and only occurred due to the pressures of the war. Therefore it can be argued that the Second World War failed to be a lasting and positive turning point for all African Americans (linking it back to the question).

Then you might want to introduce your alternative turning point., e.g The New Deal era just preceding the Second World War on the other hand...

Wow ! Thank you so so so much ! Do you have an email or any way you’d be able to send me the notes !
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Poppynicholson01)
Wow ! Thank you so so so much ! Do you have an email or any way you’d be able to send me the notes !
I can put them on dropbox and then PM you the link.
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Poppynicholson01
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
I can put them on dropbox and then PM you the link.
That would be brilliant !
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