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Aqa Reformation (1C) (All Can Assist)


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#1 Greg99

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:18 PM

Hey there new user here, I've got a History resit next week (History 1C AQA.I'm just wondering if you could give me an explanation as to what is meant by an understanding of historical interpretation in the mark scheme, it seems to be a key condition for getting a good mark and I don't understand how to show this or what to show.
Secondly what exam structure should I follow for the long 24 marker to get the top marks, we were told to use the PEEL technique (Point, Explanation,Evaluation and Link to the question and next point).
Thank you for your help, I'm not really looking for information that specifically deals with my topic, however that may be useful.

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:49 PM

First of all, hi, and best of luck.

Secondly, interpretations.
I've had a look at one markscheme (2010), and it seems to me that they really matter only in the (b ) part of the questions - they aren't mentioned in the markscheme for the (a) section, though of course there's nothing to stop you mentioning them in a causation essay if it's relevant.

But 'interpretations' come into it where you are asked 'how far' questions because the question is all about how you interpret the data. if you look at the 'indicative content' after the markschemes, it's clear that the examiners are looking for an 'on the one hand...on the other' approach to the answer. And it's the differences in how you interpret which bits are important and which bits aren't which leads to the contrasting opinions 'on the one hand' and 'on the other hand'.

SO - at its most basic - YOU are offering interpretations simply by adopting an 'on the one hand...on the other' approach. You can make this clear - and click the marks - by including this in the language you use, by employing phrases such as 'one interpretation of this would be...', 'according to this interpretation...', etc.

However, if you are going to access the higher marks, you will agree that you want to do more, so you will need to progress from your own (conjectural, opposing) interpretations, to the actual interpretations of actual historians. For this you need to have read! But as soon as you have read a little, you will be able to pad out your account of one hand or the other by mentioning the views of actual historians. The proper term for this is 'historiography'.
Thus, if you are - for instance - answering the last question about the importance of the jesuits, when you are doing the first part, arguing that the jesuits WERE important, do you know any historian who agrees with this point of view, and can you tell the examiner what they said/thought? And likewise, when you are writing the second part of the essay, presenting the point of view which says that they were NOT so important, do you know of an historian who dissed them, and can you say what they said/thought?

If you can do this, you will be WAY ahead of the game. In my experience, teachers and examiners have precious little understanding about this - and the proof is that, although the markschemes of the paper I drew your attention to all mention 'interpretations', the 'indicative content' sections actually fail to mention ANY historiographical points until the last (Jesuits) question, which mentions two people (an historian and a poet!), who both support one side!!! Useless, and I would fail them!!!

I think, if you want to prepare for this, be aware for every subject of the kinds of debate which historians are having about the subject, and who supported which side and who said what. There's lots of easy opportunity for this on the reformation, with historians like the 19th century Whig historians, Knowles, Elton etc. expressing very contrasting opinions. Judging by the markscheme, you won't need to know much to impress.

Just one last thing. For me, 'historiography' is about what secondary historians have said about the issue. However, examiners are much moer wishy washy about the matter, and they will allow you to cite contemporary interpretations as 'interpretations'. So, as well as citing the opinions of historians on the one side or the other, you can quote/paraphrase/cite contemporaries who expressed opinions on the one side or the other, and these will be judged as acceptable.



As for essay structure, I have two bits of adviec:
1. PEEL is an acceptable structure for the part (a) 'causation' essays, which really just require a causal exaplanation/analysis. However it is most certainly NOT adequate for the 'how far' part (b ) questions, which need a thesis-antithesis-synthesis/solution approach.
2. Always start or finish (whichever your teacher advises - different teachers advise different approaches) with an EXTRA paragraph which cuts free of the formal structure, and just expresses in your own words a summary/overview of your whole argument. If it appears at the end of your essay it will start 'Therefore...', and it will end with a sentence which gives your final, studied, solution.

#3 Greg99

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 11:18 AM

x


Thanks so much! I've been trying to learn the opinions of historians and should have some good quotes up my sleeve for the examination, I'll also take you advice and use language that explicitly refers to an historical interpretation as well.
Is there anyway in which you could expand on essay technique for the long 'how far' questions,I feel this is the thing holding me back as I have all the knowledge and historical understanding (I hope) but am unsure how to convey this.
Thanks again your help is much appreciated.

#4 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 01:25 PM

There's loads on this on the forum already - just do searches for things like "essay structure" and "essay technique", especially this thread on how far questions and this thread on how to write a conclusion.




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