How To Write A-Level History Coursework

1. Stick to your word limit, its 2000 words for a reason. Also you do not want to be penalised for writing too much.

2. In your introduction really focus on the historic event you are assessing, make explicit reference to it, supporting with statistics or relevant historic policies.

3. Clearly concentrate on your coursework question, make clear in your introduction what the different interpretation`s views of this question are. Which ones you think are the most credible and why, support with historical evidence. Then make your judgment.

4. Remember at the end of the day your coursework is indeed similar to an AS History source exam. So structure it and think of it as an essay.

5. Some schools may have given you a structure for how to tackle the sources. If they have use it, it will assist the flow and structure of your essay. If they have not given you a structure, familiarize yourself with each of the interpretations. Additionally you might find it useful to start with the interpretations which support the question.

6. In your planning stages ensure you include all of the relevant quotes from whichever of the interpretations you are examining. You might find it useful to create a table for this.

7. Then you want to briefly examine or explain this quote in your own words and demonstrate how this supports the historian`s interpretation or view. Again you could include this in the table in a new column.

8. Next still using your table justify and support your analysis so far with relevant historical evidence to support the interpretation. This could be another column in your table.

9. Ensure you frequently refer to and demonstrate with quotes, explanation/analysis or historic evidence the historian`s credibility, persuasiveness or demonstrate the strength of their argument. Again use the terms "credibility", "credible argument", "credible", "supported" etc...

10. Introduce the next interpretation by noting how it is similar to the first. E.g. "Similarly" then follow the same format as before.

11. Then highlight the limitations or weaknesses of these interpretations by explaining what they have omitted or not examined.

12. Next demonstrate how the next interpretation differs from the previous interpretation, then follow the same format for this and your final interpretation.

13. Your conclusion should explain which two sources are the most credible and why, then answer the question

Best wishes with your coursework everyone.

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For GCSE and A-Level there is a somewhat similar structure to an answer, however it depends on the mark scheme and the Assessment Objectives which need to be covered.

For A-Level it is important to include an introduction, 3/4 main points which answer the question and present a coherent argument and finally a conclusion.

Every introduction should include 3 main things, brief context, the different points you will be making and finally your argument, which I will explain.

Firstly, it should include one brief sentence of context, so context around the question. For example if the question was 'Why did the Cold War end?' context could be given about when the Cold War actually ended, how long communism been around, e.g. "After over 70 years of communism, the USSR fell in 1991 with the collapse of the satellite states first and then the Soviet Union."

Secondly, after giving context you then need to write about what your essay is going to consist of. So, you need to talk about the different arguments which can be put forward, the different points you will be making. So, for same question as above, you would list the different reasons why communism fell which could be supported by a historian. For example, "There are many different interpretations as to why communism fell in the USSR. Dockmills argues that it was for economic reasons as to why communism fell, Ferguson argues that it was due to Reagan's harsh policies... ect.

Finally in your introduction you need to talk about you argument which is the most important bit. This mean what you think the answer to the question is, your opinion, and what you will be arguing throughout your essay. So for the same question you'd have to think what was the most important factor as why communism fell so for example... "However, the most convincing argument as to why communism fell, as argued by Jones, is that it was Gorbachev's policies as this allowed..." After stating your argument give one brief explanation as to why you believe this is the most convincing factor/argument.

Then you're ready to write your essay!

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