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Standard Grade History 8 Mark Essay Example

How do we answer these questions?

...for example, "To what extent..?" or "How far do..?"

These questions appear can appear in either Unit 2 or Unit 3. It is not uncommon to find a comparison question in both Unit 2 and Unit 3.

These questions can be worth 4 or 5 marks. You can score marks in this type of question in 3 ways.

If the question asks you how far the sources agree:

  1. Find points of agreement in the source
  2. Find points of disagreement in the source
  3. Find points that are only mentioned in one source

If the question asks you how far the sources disagree:

  1. Find points of disagreement in the source
  2. Find points of agreement in the source
  3. Find points that are only mentioned in one source

Simple? Yes! However, when you make a comparison you are only given 1 mark for a simple comparison:

Whereas, a developed comparison will be awarded 2 marks.

If you are able to write a simple comparison then you have already found the required information to make a developed comparison. The developed comparison shows the evidence you are using to make the comparison to the marker and gives you the extra mark for very little effort.

In a 4 mark question you would require 4 simple comparisons for full marks but only 2 developed comparisons. So…develop your comparisons in the answer!

Introduction to 20 mark essay writing

Essay writing in Higher History is very important. Overall, 70% of your grade will be ascertained from the essays you write, 30% from your extended essay and 40% from your 2 essays in Paper 1 of the final examination.

As you have advanced through the school in Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 you will have learned how to write short essays worth 8 marks. You will remember how daunting these essays seemed to be when you first started writing them. You will also remember how writing these essays became easier with practice.

Essay writing is a skill, something that has to be learned. You had to learn how to introduce your essay, develop the points and then conclude your argument when writing 8 mark answers.

Essay writing at higher takes you a stage further in your development as rational, discursive and deliberating beings and again you will have to learn how to write Higher Essays skilfully.

However, some words of warning! Your development of these “higher” skills will not come naturally, neither will they come from listening attentively to your teacher or copying your friends essays (it does happen and these people are invariably caught). Your development of these essay writing skills will be down to hard work, reading and practice. Simple.