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HY1101: Understanding History

Effective research and essay preparationIntroducing the marking criteria for ‘Essay Builder’

Chilanga Cement

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of HY1101: Understanding History

(Assignment 2)
Effective research and essay preparation - Introducing the marking criteria for ‘Essay Builder’.
Haphazard planning results in:
incoherent flow
missed opportunities
poor grade!
Planning stems from the question obviously!

Remember the 'research questions' you devised in relation to the essay question?

'How do historians do what they do and what are the major challenges they face?'
Good essays show evidence of
being carefully planned
What sources do historians use?
Where are documents located?
What are the challenges faced in relation to gathering sources?
What are the 'challenges' of being an historian?
How do historians establish 'truth'?
What problems could be associated with evidence?
What are the challenges of bias, personality, etc.?
Your research questions
help the planning process
Introduction: Inform reader of how you will answer the question and how you have organised the response.
Ok - sounds obvious?
Try answering the question in the first sentence!
What sources and evidence you are using
Your introduction must carefully match the rest of your essay
This needs to be the culmination of the points raised
Don't be repetitive
Be bold
Use a strong topic sentence
'How do historians do what they do and what are the major challenges they face?'
Planning this essay
The 'provided' sources
The sources on Blackboard will help with the second part of the question
Remember how the question is phrased - ".....
and what are the most important challenges they face?
This calls for you to make the evaluation of what
most important.
Your reasoning for choosing certain factors over others should be rationalised in your essay - a major rationalisation may well be 'adequate space within the assignment'.
Seminar's this week...
...will examine the practical challenges about sources etc.
What is the question actually asking for - both literally and implicitly?
Historical methodology - locating sources - possible barriers to research - availability of sources for chosen topic - reliability of sources
'Challenges' of being an historian - personality/identity impacts on practice - role of debate and peer review - historiography.....

What examples can I use to illustrate, reinforce and justify the arguments I make?
Examples drawn from your own observations/thoughts (and perhaps obvious points) - what research can really be done if there is no surviving evidence?
Examples drawn from literature
There is no model answer to any history essay!
The Body of the Essay
Intelligent paragraphing is Vital
Each paragraph should support an argument (building on your overall conclusion)
Guide the reader from point-to-point, Premises (more next week)
Signpost your evidence...
Full transcript