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Essay: To What Extent Do These Sources Prove That The Wars Of The Rose


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#1 leonhargreaves

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

Hi all.

This is my second history essay for A level. The first one I tried was shot down with an 'E' grade by my teacher (as was everyone's in the class). I'm not sure how to write it, as this question has no interpretation to work off like the last one did.
I have started to explain in my introduction the different opinions of the word 'devastation', and what it actually means.

I'm not sure how to write the main body of the essay though. On my first attempt, the question was on the attitudes towards Native and African Americans between 1865 and the 1970's, so there was different sections to write about, such as the economic, environmental, political and financial gains.

What can I write about? I'm not going to write the sources out as that would take too much time, but any help on what to write about would be terrific.
We've (my class) have been told not to write about the sources one by one, and not to use direct personal opinions, which I'm guessing is correct.

Thanks

Leon

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:52 PM

Welcome to the Forum.

Don't worry if your first essay wasn't a huge success. It is a big step up from GCSE to A-Level History, but it's well woth while making the effort, as higher-level study of History should be really rewarding. Essay technique can be learned, it's a process you have just started.

I will give some general advice, but if you could let me know (and find out if you don't already know) which Exam board and Units you are doing, this would be helpful, as I could then be more specific.

For all source questions, you have to focus on the sources. Yes, I know that sounds obvious but a surprising number of candidates lose sight of this. The sources provided will give information both for and against the 'interpretation' given in the question. Some boards don't require much 'contextual knowledge' (what you know) to support what you have found from the sources, as you mentioned in your post.

So, a possible structure would be:

1.Introduction: very brief (unless your teacher says differently)

2. Points from the sources which support the argument in the question (don't go through the sources in succession, take a point from one source and find anything from other sources which supports it).

3. Points from the sources which go against the argument in the question.

4. [If required] Evaluation of the sources as evidence, i.e. nature, origin, purpose etc. I won't go into detail on this now, but get back to us if you need help on this aspect.

5. Conclusion: come to a judgement about 'how far', which is supported by the evidence you have found in the sources.

It will take time to get all of this right, but it can be done. Hope that this helps and, if you need more help, let us know.

#3 leonhargreaves

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 03:38 PM

The exam board is OCR and I think we're doing F983 F981 and F984 F982.

I'm going to see my teacher tomorrow and ask for help from him, although your advise was very helpful.

Thanks,

Leon

EDIT: changed course numbers.

Edited by leonhargreaves, 25 September 2011 - 06:33 PM.


#4 Mr. D. Bryant

Mr. D. Bryant
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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:58 PM

I'm going to see my teacher tomorrow and ask for help from him, although your advise was very helpful.


Excellent. Anything that your teacher says which disagrees with my earlier post, please go with your teacher's advice. Best of luck.




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