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Explain Ocr A2 Mark Scheme For Investigation


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#1 HarveyClan2

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 05:03 PM

I'm having a major stress about my OCR history coursework. I really don't understand what my essay requires to qualify for the A02a Level 1A strand!!! My history title is "How Far was Elizabeth's failure to Marry a Result of the Attitude of Her Council?". I have no idea what it means when it talks about analysis in the historical context!! And what is "critical use of research materials" and what is "discrimination"? Can someone please give me a working example of what each of these three bullet points mean, so I can perhaps identify where my essay qualifies for this mark strand and add more/alter if neccesary!! I am aiming for an A* so it is very important that I get in the top strand.


[*]Excellent analysis of the problem in its historical context
[*]Critical use of a range of research materials
[*]High level of discrimination ie judgement of relevance and relative significance of research materials in relation to the problem

I desperately need help asap, so ANY input would be most appreciated!!!

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 08:06 PM

OK.
I can't give you examples, but I will expand.

Analysis means that you won;t just tell a narrative story, but will analyse the question in terms of 'points' and 'reasons', and weigh the points in terms of their importance.

'Context' menas that you will not just make a series of points in isolation, but you will be aware of the wider historical setting in which it all happened, and you will be able to show how all the things fitted together and fitted the times.

'Range of research materials' means that you will have a good knowledge of the primary sources from the time, but also of the secondary history books (the 'historiography') that have been written about the topic over the years.

'Critical' means you will not just saqy what they say, but that you will evaluate how reliable and how useful they are.

It tells you what 'discrimination' is - it is 'judgement of relevance and relative significance of research materials in relation to the problem'.


As for the question, it is a typical A-level question.
At base, it is VERY easy - why did Elizabeth not marry?
But what they do to make it more complicated at A-level is they give you one or two of the answers and ask you to debate which was more important.
So it becomes a simple debate essay:

START by saying 'It could be argued that Elizabeth's Council was critical in her failure to marry...' and then give all the evidence and arguments which would seem to support that idea.

NEXT, write: 'On the other hand, it could be argued that other factors were more important in her failure to marry...' and then give all the evidence and arguments which would seem to support these ideas.

FINALLY write 'In conclusion...' and weigh the two sides of the argument and come to a conclusion.

#3 HarveyClan2

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:57 AM

I am having a little problem discerning what points add marks to my essay and which ones just use up my word count and add little value. My essay is "How Far Was Elizabeth's failure to Marry A Result of The Attitude of Her Council". One of my points that take up a whole papargraph is that the Council's forceful tactics used to exhort Elizabeth actually ended up averting her from marriage. Is this necessary? I have already got 2 paragraphs using the Doran argument and the effect of faction. I just want to make sure that I am fully addressing the premise of the question, not just doing it too fleetingly. Also, I am aware that essay structures usually follow an AGREE/DISAGREE/OTHER FACTORS structure, but I have added in a paragraph inbetween the disagree and other factors section arguing that actually the Council had little impact on Elizabeth anyway, and that she was in full control of them. Is that one step too far in my argument? Does it add any value to my esay or not? This word count business will just never seem to go away, and I'm scared that if I am just 10% over I will get penalised :(

#4 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 01:15 PM

I am having a little problem discerning what points add marks to my essay and which ones just use up my word count and add little value. My essay is "How Far Was Elizabeth's failure to Marry A Result of The Attitude of Her Council". One of my points that take up a whole papargraph is that the Council's forceful tactics used to exhort Elizabeth actually ended up averting her from marriage. Is this necessary? I have already got 2 paragraphs using the Doran argument and the effect of faction. I just want to make sure that I am fully addressing the premise of the question, not just doing it too fleetingly.

From what you are saying it sounds that you are doing a good job! I would alwys advise you to address the issue in depth, and all three of those matters seem relevant to me. What you need to eliminate is IRRELEVANT matter.

Also, I am aware that essay structures usually follow an AGREE/DISAGREE/OTHER FACTORS structure, but I have added in a paragraph inbetween the disagree and other factors section arguing that actually the Council had little impact on Elizabeth anyway, and that she was in full control of them. Is that one step too far in my argument? Does it add any value to my esay or not?

This is not just not going too far, it is great. I do not think an 'agree/disagree/other factors' structure is appropriate for this essay. I think it needs an 'Impact of the council/impact of other factors/weigh' structure.
So your first section discusses and attemots to weigh the impact of the council, and - yes - that will include facts for and against, until you are able to come up with a 'net weight' of impact for that factor.

This word count business will just never seem to go away, and I'm scared that if I am just 10% over I will get penalised :(

You need to keep to the word count but, apart from eliminating irrelevant points, one way you can reduce content is by not going into great factual detail when you mention facts and ideas. If you are using a fact or event to exemplify or prove a point, there is no need to witter on about what happened. Assume the examiner knows the facts! And in that way you can go straight in to talking about what aspect of the event/fact illustrates/proves the point you were making.


As you know, I do not teach A-level, so I am also posting your case on the Teachers' forum, so perhaps someone can look into the forum and make sure my advice is OK.

Please also note that, when I am sure you have seen this, I intend to merge it with your earlier thread on this essay.


One final thing. Is this for coursework?
If it is, don't forget to cite this forum in your bibliography.

#5 HarveyClan2

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 01:28 PM

Thanks for your help, I will look out for my post on the Teacher's Forum!

#6 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 03:46 PM

Thanks for your help, I will look out for my post on the Teacher's Forum!

Yeah - I've asked.
Sometimes teachers are too busy - they've got all their own students, of course.
Look back in a couple days an hopefully someone will have posted.
if not, sorry -- it'll have to be me!
:(

#7 steflaraH

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Help I am also doing this essay: "How Far was Elizabeth's failure to Marry a Result of the Attitude of Her Council?"
My teacher haven't given me any sources for it and i have to find my own. But I am having trouble finding sources to use, except ones that are quoted by historians, so I cant be certain always of where they have come from. Where can I find primary sources?

#8 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:33 PM

You can use the statements of historians as (secondary) sources, providing you make it clear who said it; have you seen this?
You will find that good historians quote prinary sources as they go along (e.g. here) and you can pinch their quotes.

There are some longer primary sources here.

#9 steflaraH

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:42 PM

Thanks for this




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