Writing Essay Introduction History

One method of tackling such an essay would be to distinguish five or six areas of similarity and contrast, and to devote a section of the essay to each area - a section in which you would assess the degree of similarity and reach a sub-conclusion.The conclusion would then require a summation of the various 'sub-conclusions'.It needs to be stressed that none of these types of question calls for a narrative approach.

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One way of answering the question would be set up a series of 'tests', as it were, that can be investigated in turn.

This essay will examine five spheres which cast light on the extent of Jewish influence in high medieval France: namely, their role in the commercial life of the towns, the role of Jewish banking in the agrarian economy, their influence on Christian intellectual life, .. 'Quote-and-discuss' questions require you to identify the issue at stake and to produce a reasoned response.

This body of evidence will typically comprise what the primary sources tell us about the events and phenomena under discussion.

A good answer will need to harmonise with all of this evidence, or explain why particular items have been dismissed as having no bearing on the problem.

'Assess', 'evaluate' and 'define-the-significance-of' questions require judgements supported by reasons, explanation and evidence.

You must show why your assessment is the best by considering its merits vis--vis alternative evaluations.That is, the question requires a discussion of the system as a whole and the consideration of alternative explanations of how 'X' worked within it.'To-what-extent' questions involve a judgement of measure.Treat it as food for thought, as providing a set of suggestions some of which you might incorporate into your own method for writing essays.It is useful to begin by considering why essay-writing has long been the method of choice for assessment in history.Plagiarism is thus not merely a matter of theft, it involves an entirely unacceptable subversion of the learning process.History essays are less about finding the correct answer to the set question than they are about demonstrating that you understand the issues which it raises (and the texts which discuss these issues).If possible you should always examine the book or article from which the quotation has been taken in order to discover what its author meant by it, to discover how the author has understood the issues.'Compare-and-contrast' questions demand the identification of similarities and differences.Essays test understanding by asking you to select and re-organise relevant material in order to produce your own answer to the set question.An undergraduate essay need not be particularly innovative in its approach and insights, but it must be the product of the student's own dialogue with the subject.

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