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Y13 History Coursework inquiries

Has anymore here done the A-level History courses work on USA 1865-1965?

I have been given three different questions that I can choice to answer but I'm not sure which one to pick.(I think I should do the first one).

I was wondering out of experience which question was the easier to structure/answer to achieve a high grade?



The questions are:

White resistance in the years 1865 to 1965 proved to by the main barrier to the advancement of African American civil rights?

How significant was African-American leadership to the advancement of black civil rights in the period 1865 to 1965?

To what extent was the federal government the most important influence on the advancement of African-American civil rights in the period from 1865 to 1965

Thank you for your time.
Hello,
I'm doing my NEA at the moment and just sent my second draft for 'From the years 1865-1968 to what extent was federal government inaction the main barrier to the advancement of African-American Civil Rights.' Basically the same as your first question just differing in time period.

I like my question and it was good to answer, I struggled a bit more identifying clear factors and etc.

I would recommend the second question because even though I found the first a bit more interesting, I struggled to get historical interpretations a bit more and found quite a few that could relate to the second question due to the influence of characters like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. I think you also have a broader perspective with the second question because the failures of Reconstruction meant key black figures like Ida B Wells and Booker T Washington could start progression for rights through their own influence.

The other two are both good but I just think there's probably more easily accessible knowledge on the second question as well as historical interpretation. There's also a lot of notable figures over a large time period as well as groups like the Black Panthers or the NAACP etc but federal action is patchy and there are moments of loads of actions like the 60s and decades of none.
Reply 2
Original post by amelia2004_
Hello,
I'm doing my NEA at the moment and just sent my second draft for 'From the years 1865-1968 to what extent was federal government inaction the main barrier to the advancement of African-American Civil Rights.' Basically the same as your first question just differing in time period.

I like my question and it was good to answer, I struggled a bit more identifying clear factors and etc.

I would recommend the second question because even though I found the first a bit more interesting, I struggled to get historical interpretations a bit more and found quite a few that could relate to the second question due to the influence of characters like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. I think you also have a broader perspective with the second question because the failures of Reconstruction meant key black figures like Ida B Wells and Booker T Washington could start progression for rights through their own influence.

The other two are both good but I just think there's probably more easily accessible knowledge on the second question as well as historical interpretation. There's also a lot of notable figures over a large time period as well as groups like the Black Panthers or the NAACP etc but federal action is patchy and there are moments of loads of actions like the 60s and decades of none.


Thank you so much.
That what I was thinking which one had more accessible knowledge.

I'm not sure if I am allowed to ask this,so if you don't want to answer there's no need to.

Could I ask what was your summary/overall argument for this question?
It's just I'm not too sure how to answer that question ,I know I just started the coursework(started on Tuesday).But like what factors do you use??
Like...sorry I know I'm not explaining myself well but for me I do Stuart's and for Essay if for example,it says To what extent was religion the main cause of tension between 1660-1708?
You would have an Introduction,Then talk about Religion first(even if it's not your main argument),A Factor that is your main Argument e.g Political/Parliament,then another factor e.g Financies.
Then overall argument e.g Although,Religion & Finances caused tension ect ECR However,the divisions between the Monarch and Political was the main source of tension ect.

Yeah I'm not sure how to start answering this question,I know I JUST began learning the connect but it would help if I had some advice but answering this question.Especially, since we for Stuart's & Nazi Germany paper did not have to get Historical Interpretations.

I'm think of watching the Yale lectures on this topic and print since I notice on the first lecture the teacher reads out a speech.
I think the Historical Interpretations are like sources/Extract e.g a speech,newspaper,a letter, diary.

Again,thank you for your time:smile:
Original post by B-star
Thank you so much.
That what I was thinking which one had more accessible knowledge.

I'm not sure if I am allowed to ask this,so if you don't want to answer there's no need to.

Could I ask what was your summary/overall argument for this question?
It's just I'm not too sure how to answer that question ,I know I just started the coursework(started on Tuesday).But like what factors do you use??
Like...sorry I know I'm not explaining myself well but for me I do Stuart's and for Essay if for example,it says To what extent was religion the main cause of tension between 1660-1708?
You would have an Introduction,Then talk about Religion first(even if it's not your main argument),A Factor that is your main Argument e.g Political/Parliament,then another factor e.g Financies.
Then overall argument e.g Although,Religion & Finances caused tension ect ECR However,the divisions between the Monarch and Political was the main source of tension ect.

Yeah I'm not sure how to start answering this question,I know I JUST began learning the connect but it would help if I had some advice but answering this question.Especially, since we for Stuart's & Nazi Germany paper did not have to get Historical Interpretations.

I'm think of watching the Yale lectures on this topic and print since I notice on the first lecture the teacher reads out a speech.
I think the Historical Interpretations are like sources/Extract e.g a speech,newspaper,a letter, diary.

Again,thank you for your time:smile:


To be honest, I'm not totally sure if my structure is really the one to follow because I really struggled with it for my first draft and have only just got the grasp of it. So I'd recommend maybe just researching A-Level History NEA examples and having a look at the structure even if the topic is different but even so there are quite a few Civil Rights -focused ones out there.

An introduction and a conclusion are definitely necessary, I'd say maybe outline your general judgement in the intro with a few factors eg the one in the question and any others you think are relevant and that you will talk about.

I initially wrote my nea in chronological order and my teacher said it was good but it lacked a clear line of argument so she said to take a thematic approach and I'd recommend that to you as well. Pick out 3-5 (ideally around 4) factors including the one in the question and do a section on each in a sort of PACO style. So give the factor and any evidence supporting and analysis but then say what evidence limited the importance of the factor.

I don't know what exam board you're doing, but mine is AQA and we have to have 2 historical interpretations (which are differing but not totally different) and 3 sources. I applied my sources to wherever they fit in with the context of my evidence and the factor such as when I brought up key black figures I then included and analysed one of my sources which was a speech from Ida B Wells in the 1890s. Sources and interpretations aren't meant to be placed anywhere specific, as long as they relate to what you're talking about at that point in your essay I think its fine.

For the conclusion, comment on your overall judgement but maybe briefly mention the other factors that you include as well.

I highly recommend including extra information. If you find a few quotes or historians' opinions on a certain event, I think it's good to use them because it shows you've got a broad understanding of typical attitudes and strengthens your argument. If you have access to JSTOR, thats great for interpretations and the loc.gov website is great for sources.

I would also ask your teacher, even if they aren't meant to explicitly help you write it, they can still give advice. So maybe ask them about structure or start writing your NEA and ask them to read it so you know if you're on the right track.
Original post by amelia2004_
To be honest, I'm not totally sure if my structure is really the one to follow because I really struggled with it for my first draft and have only just got the grasp of it. So I'd recommend maybe just researching A-Level History NEA examples and having a look at the structure even if the topic is different but even so there are quite a few Civil Rights -focused ones out there.

An introduction and a conclusion are definitely necessary, I'd say maybe outline your general judgement in the intro with a few factors eg the one in the question and any others you think are relevant and that you will talk about.

I initially wrote my nea in chronological order and my teacher said it was good but it lacked a clear line of argument so she said to take a thematic approach and I'd recommend that to you as well. Pick out 3-5 (ideally around 4) factors including the one in the question and do a section on each in a sort of PACO style. So give the factor and any evidence supporting and analysis but then say what evidence limited the importance of the factor.

I don't know what exam board you're doing, but mine is AQA and we have to have 2 historical interpretations (which are differing but not totally different) and 3 sources. I applied my sources to wherever they fit in with the context of my evidence and the factor such as when I brought up key black figures I then included and analysed one of my sources which was a speech from Ida B Wells in the 1890s. Sources and interpretations aren't meant to be placed anywhere specific, as long as they relate to what you're talking about at that point in your essay I think its fine.

For the conclusion, comment on your overall judgement but maybe briefly mention the other factors that you include as well.

I highly recommend including extra information. If you find a few quotes or historians' opinions on a certain event, I think it's good to use them because it shows you've got a broad understanding of typical attitudes and strengthens your argument. If you have access to JSTOR, thats great for interpretations and the loc.gov website is great for sources.

I would also ask your teacher, even if they aren't meant to explicitly help you write it, they can still give advice. So maybe ask them about structure or start writing your NEA and ask them to read it so you know if you're on the right track.

Also wanted to mention, you have to cite sources in a specific way so if you're watching a YALE lecture because a speech is read out, that's fine for general knowledge but I'd recommend just looking up the speech and reading it yourself.

The NEA is basically just an extra long essay in the same sort of style as your 25 markers but with the skills applied that you use in 30 markers (eg analysing a source and its relevance etc). Once you get started its not actually as stressful as it seems but make sure you get sources and interpretations from somewhere credible or else its a hassle trying to find something else.

I'd recommend Better Day Coming by Adam Fairclough or The Souls of the Black Folk by WEB Dubois.
Reply 5
Original post by amelia2004_
To be honest, I'm not totally sure if my structure is really the one to follow because I really struggled with it for my first draft and have only just got the grasp of it. So I'd recommend maybe just researching A-Level History NEA examples and having a look at the structure even if the topic is different but even so there are quite a few Civil Rights -focused ones out there.

An introduction and a conclusion are definitely necessary, I'd say maybe outline your general judgement in the intro with a few factors eg the one in the question and any others you think are relevant and that you will talk about.

I initially wrote my nea in chronological order and my teacher said it was good but it lacked a clear line of argument so she said to take a thematic approach and I'd recommend that to you as well. Pick out 3-5 (ideally around 4) factors including the one in the question and do a section on each in a sort of PACO style. So give the factor and any evidence supporting and analysis but then say what evidence limited the importance of the factor.

I don't know what exam board you're doing, but mine is AQA and we have to have 2 historical interpretations (which are differing but not totally different) and 3 sources. I applied my sources to wherever they fit in with the context of my evidence and the factor such as when I brought up key black figures I then included and analysed one of my sources which was a speech from Ida B Wells in the 1890s. Sources and interpretations aren't meant to be placed anywhere specific, as long as they relate to what you're talking about at that point in your essay I think its fine.

For the conclusion, comment on your overall judgement but maybe briefly mention the other factors that you include as well.

I highly recommend including extra information. If you find a few quotes or historians' opinions on a certain event, I think it's good to use them because it shows you've got a broad understanding of typical attitudes and strengthens your argument. If you have access to JSTOR, thats great for interpretations and the loc.gov website is great for sources.

I would also ask your teacher, even if they aren't meant to explicitly help you write it, they can still give advice. So maybe ask them about structure or start writing your NEA and ask them to read it so you know if you're on the right track.

Thank you so much.

I think right now I just focus on learning and understanding the content since we just started.
I my teachers will(I'm they did says that)about the structure.

My main focus was which question to do based on which one has the most available evidence/easier to answer to get top marks.

So I will do the "How significant was African-American leadership to the advancement of black civil rights in the period 1865 to 1965?":smile:

Original post by amelia2004_
Also wanted to mention, you have to cite sources in a specific way so if you're watching a YALE lecture because a speech is read out, that's fine for general knowledge but I'd recommend just looking up the speech and reading it yourself.

The NEA is basically just an extra long essay in the same sort of style as your 25 markers but with the skills applied that you use in 30 markers (eg analysing a source and its relevance etc). Once you get started its not actually as stressful as it seems but make sure you get sources and interpretations from somewhere credible or else its a hassle trying to find something else.

I'd recommend Better Day Coming by Adam Fairclough or The Souls of the Black Folk by WEB Dubois.

Thank you again. EDIT:Please ignore the first reply I thought that got deleted since it disappeared on my screen,please read this one instead)

My main focus was find which which had the most available evidence/easier to answer to get the top marks.

My teachers said they will guild us on structure but its important that we first understand and absorb the content that what I'll do first.
16731028839576746964282706632934.jpg16731029397239035586740903520391.jpg
I plan to use:
-1865-1977 Standing in the sun
-Yale lectures(there's 17)
-And Henry Louis Gates 'African-Americans:Many Rivers to cross(have you heard of this what do you think,)

I'm a very visual learner so I found videos/YouTube/Lecture much more helpful than reading a book since I feel that with a book it may give me too much info.
I tend to write alot,my last Essay was 5 pages on Stuarts(and all I used was my textbook).I think the word count is 3,500-4,500 which is I think(please correct me if I'm wrong) 4 pages?
So I'm worried with a book I'll add too much.
Also,I'm aware that I have to add Sources and Historical Interpretations.

I was originally,going to pick the first because I found that might be easier but based on your experience I will answer
"How significant was African-American leadership to the advancement of black civil rights in the period 1865 to 1965?" :smile:
I hope you don't think I getting ahead of myself,its just you already have experience on this so I wanted to ask questions.

I search examples like you said didn't really find what I was looking for but I'll keep it in my tabs just in case,so thank you for the suggestions.

Could you please tell me more about the sources and the Historical Interpretations part?I'm doing AQA.

Do you have any websites/videos ect that you recommend or wished you knew earlier for source and Historical Interpretations.

I think sources are like speech/diaries ect but how do you link that to your argument.Do you have to example the purpose of the source or do you just add it to BOOST your point like oh
here is my argument,then this is shown in Insert source ??

Also,about Historical Interpretations is that not the same as an Extract?
For Stuarts we get Extract that is based on a Historians about a time period.How do you add that to an argument?

Sorry I am aware that I'm again asking alot but yeah this is what I curious at the moment.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by B-star
Thank you so much.

I think right now I just focus on learning and understanding the content since we just started.
I my teachers will(I'm they did says that)about the structure.

My main focus was which question to do based on which one has the most available evidence/easier to answer to get top marks.

So I will do the "How significant was African-American leadership to the advancement of black civil rights in the period 1865 to 1965?":smile:


Thank you again. EDIT:Please ignore the first reply I thought that got deleted since it disappeared on my screen,please read this one instead)

My main focus was find which which had the most available evidence/easier to answer to get the top marks.

My teachers said they will guild us on structure but its important that we first understand and absorb the content that what I'll do first.
16731028839576746964282706632934.jpg16731029397239035586740903520391.jpg
I plan to use:
-1865-1977 Standing in the sun
-Yale lectures(there's 17)
-And Henry Louis Gates 'African-Americans:Many Rivers to cross(have you heard of this what do you think,)

I'm a very visual learner so I found videos/YouTube/Lecture much more helpful than reading a book since I feel that with a book it may give me too much info.
I tend to write alot,my last Essay was 5 pages on Stuarts(and all I used was my textbook).I think the word count is 3,500-4,500 which is I think(please correct me if I'm wrong) 4 pages?
So I'm worried with a book I'll add too much.
Also,I'm aware that I have to add Sources and Historical Interpretations.

I was originally,going to pick the first because I found that might be easier but based on your experience I will answer
"How significant was African-American leadership to the advancement of black civil rights in the period 1865 to 1965?" :smile:
I hope you don't think I getting ahead of myself,its just you already have experience on this so I wanted to ask questions.

I search examples like you said didn't really find what I was looking for but I'll keep it in my tabs just in case,so thank you for the suggestions.

Could you please tell me more about the sources and the Historical Interpretations part?I'm doing AQA.

Do you have any websites/videos ect that you recommend or wished you knew earlier for source and Historical Interpretations.

I think sources are like speech/diaries ect but how do you link that to your argument.Do you have to example the purpose of the source or do you just add it to BOOST your point like oh
here is my argument,then this is shown in Insert source ??

Also,about Historical Interpretations is that not the same as an Extract?
For Stuarts we get Extract that is based on a Historians about a time period.How do you add that to an argument?

Sorry I am aware that I'm again asking alot but yeah this is what I curious at the moment.


A lot of people struggle filling up the word count but I went over it at first because I focused too much on content so its important to remember your argument is just as important as evidence and not to overwhelm your answer trying to get as many facts as possible in.
The source is contemporary of the period so like you said can be a diary or speech etc and acts as evidence but can also link to your argument. Sources aren't going to be historical opinions like an interpretation so won't necessarily support your argument. Like I've used Ida B Wells speech about lynching but that doesn't really support my argument. I used it to link in to one of my points (which was that because of the importance of key black figures after Reconstruction ended, it wasn't necessarily accurate to say Federal Government inaction was the main barrier in the advancement of Civil Rights because this was the period most lacking Federal support and yet the movement advanced quickly due to the work of people and organisations like Ida B Wells and Booker T Washington - and later the NAACP and Malcolm X) and then used the speech to identify Ida B Wells as one of these figures and to show her influence. Its not my best use of a source but theyre basically used to back up a point - not necessarily your whole line of argument. You need a balanced argument so it's good to have them to either support a point that leads into your LoA, like I used the speech I talked about, or even a different point that disagrees with your LoA.

If you're doing AQA A-Level, then you probably have exam questions about extracts and sources (30 markers). Extracts basically are historical interpretation's because it's a historian's interpretation of history. It's ideal to have an extract that shows the historian's opinion and should be differing from each other but not entirely contrasting.

I haven't heard of the sources you talked about so check with your teachers instead because they can tell you whether they fit the right criteria or not. I'm not in love with the idea of using Yale lectures as sources (I think you said? If interpretations, thats slightly different) but even so, I think you need to find a specific part of the lecture to use. Your sources need to be contemporary of the period but your interpretations can be relatively recent so if that's the case, I don't see any problems.

I think books are still more useful to use, you only have to cite them so you don't have to include a whole interpretation or read the whole thing. Your teacher should have some to relate to the topic and you can look through them and look at the contents page to see where there might be something relevant to your point or argument and then you can look over that section. Books are useful for interpretations and I think you might struggle to find one that works that isn't from a book considering most historians publish their opinion through books or journals.

I added my interpretations in to show my own argument and how historians agree with it but it's easier to view sources and interpretations as evidence to support your argument and there is nowhere specific for them to go.

I would say sources are more evidence to support your argument/point/factor and interpretations support your judgement.

I think it is better to focus on the knowledge as a whole as once you know the actual history of Civil Rights, you can make your overall judgement and then choose factors to support your argument.

I found my sources on the loc.gov website and in the book African American voices (which is a coalition of sources like speeches, newspaper articles etc). One is an image, one is a newspaper article and the third is a speech.

Both my interpretations are from books and Better Day Coming is one I recommend highly. Everyone in my class loves it so I think it could relate well to your question.

There aren't any specific websites I found that became integral to my NEA other than loc.gov but maybe look on google scholar for articles, they might be useful. I also suggest researching after you learn in lessons because there is additional information that may not be in the book and you could find some good quotes or a cited interpretation. A good website is Miller Center but it is slightly biased so keep that in mind.

At this point in time I think you should focus on learning and doing extra reading outside of lesson to find out as much as you can because once you have all the knowledge you can identify your own overall argument and judgement and then factors to include in your NEA so it will be easier to find relevant sources and interpretations.
Reply 7
Original post by amelia2004_
A lot of people struggle filling up the word count but I went over it at first because I focused too much on content so its important to remember your argument is just as important as evidence and not to overwhelm your answer trying to get as many facts as possible in.
The source is contemporary of the period so like you said can be a diary or speech etc and acts as evidence but can also link to your argument. Sources aren't going to be historical opinions like an interpretation so won't necessarily support your argument. Like I've used Ida B Wells speech about lynching but that doesn't really support my argument. I used it to link in to one of my points (which was that because of the importance of key black figures after Reconstruction ended, it wasn't necessarily accurate to say Federal Government inaction was the main barrier in the advancement of Civil Rights because this was the period most lacking Federal support and yet the movement advanced quickly due to the work of people and organisations like Ida B Wells and Booker T Washington - and later the NAACP and Malcolm X) and then used the speech to identify Ida B Wells as one of these figures and to show her influence. Its not my best use of a source but theyre basically used to back up a point - not necessarily your whole line of argument. You need a balanced argument so it's good to have them to either support a point that leads into your LoA, like I used the speech I talked about, or even a different point that disagrees with your LoA.

If you're doing AQA A-Level, then you probably have exam questions about extracts and sources (30 markers). Extracts basically are historical interpretation's because it's a historian's interpretation of history. It's ideal to have an extract that shows the historian's opinion and should be differing from each other but not entirely contrasting.

I haven't heard of the sources you talked about so check with your teachers instead because they can tell you whether they fit the right criteria or not. I'm not in love with the idea of using Yale lectures as sources (I think you said? If interpretations, thats slightly different) but even so, I think you need to find a specific part of the lecture to use. Your sources need to be contemporary of the period but your interpretations can be relatively recent so if that's the case, I don't see any problems.

I think books are still more useful to use, you only have to cite them so you don't have to include a whole interpretation or read the whole thing. Your teacher should have some to relate to the topic and you can look through them and look at the contents page to see where there might be something relevant to your point or argument and then you can look over that section. Books are useful for interpretations and I think you might struggle to find one that works that isn't from a book considering most historians publish their opinion through books or journals.

I added my interpretations in to show my own argument and how historians agree with it but it's easier to view sources and interpretations as evidence to support your argument and there is nowhere specific for them to go.

I would say sources are more evidence to support your argument/point/factor and interpretations support your judgement.

I think it is better to focus on the knowledge as a whole as once you know the actual history of Civil Rights, you can make your overall judgement and then choose factors to support your argument.

I found my sources on the loc.gov website and in the book African American voices (which is a coalition of sources like speeches, newspaper articles etc). One is an image, one is a newspaper article and the third is a speech.

Both my interpretations are from books and Better Day Coming is one I recommend highly. Everyone in my class loves it so I think it could relate well to your question.

There aren't any specific websites I found that became integral to my NEA other than loc.gov but maybe look on google scholar for articles, they might be useful. I also suggest researching after you learn in lessons because there is additional information that may not be in the book and you could find some good quotes or a cited interpretation. A good website is Miller Center but it is slightly biased so keep that in mind.

At this point in time I think you should focus on learning and doing extra reading outside of lesson to find out as much as you can because once you have all the knowledge you can identify your own overall argument and judgement and then factors to include in your NEA so it will be easier to find relevant sources and interpretations.


Hi :smile:

Not too sure if you will reply to this but
(Firstly,thank this is so helpful for me)
What do you think about only using three different resources for this course?

I have picked 'Black leadership was most significant in advancement of Civil rights 'but I'm aware that I still need to talk about other factors (my main point is that White Involvement is the most significant...)

-Im using a Textbook (school gave for core content)

-Yale Lectures(I really like these)

-and better days coming(I also really like this book, Chapter 2 had alot about Black Women Leadership e.g Ide Wells)

I feel that this is enough content to help me write my essay question(black leader...) but what do you think?

For the lectures here's the link:
https://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162

I was told up to 17 is relevant to my course so I will print out the transcript.

Better days coming I'm print out the relevant chapters,I found that easier for me to highlight and annotate.

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