The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the Cold War, and the fact that "peace" seems to be breaking out in many regions of the world. Most of these analyses lack any larger conceptual framework for distinguishing between what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history, and are predictably superficial. Gorbachev were ousted from the Kremlin or a new Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium from a desolate Middle Eastern capital, these same commentators would scramble to announce the rebirth of a new era of conflict.
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. Why do historians set essays? It is useful to begin by considering why essay-writing has long been the method of choice for assessment in history.
The chief reason is that no other method provides as effective a means of testing a student's comprehension of a topic. We want you to show us that not only have you acquired a knowledge of the topic but also that you fully understand the topic and the issues raised by it.
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. Essays which do not answer the question can only be regarded as demonstrating some knowledge of the topic, they cannot be said to show understanding of the topic.
Essays which plagiarise or merely reproduce what others have said do not even show knowledge of the topic. Plagiarism is thus not merely a matter of theft, it involves an entirely unacceptable subversion of the learning process.
Is there a right and a wrong answer?
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. With most historical problems certainly the most interesting ones it is seldom possible to arrive at a definitive answer.
The evidence almost always permits a variety of solutions, and different approaches generate divergent conclusions. There are, however, limits to the field of possible solutions, since they must fit in with 'the evidence'.
Of course, exactly what constitutes 'the evidence' is almost invariably one of the issues under discussion among the historians who are most deeply engaged with the problem, but in general for each historical question there will be a body of evidence which is recognised as being relevant to it.
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.
It follows from all of this that there certainly are wrong answers — that is, answers which fall outside the field of possible solutions or which fail to take account of received evidence — even though there is no 'absolutely right' answer.
Analysing the Question Essential steps: Circling the key words in the question is sometimes a helpful first step in working out exactly what you need to do. It is useful to note that there is usually a natural way of structuring your answer: It might be useful to define and defend the criteria on which your judgement depends.The British Council Allied Centre in Liverpool, in operation from to This was the first Allied Centre in the city, and was bombed two weeks after opening.
The 18th Century proudly referred to itself as the "Age of Enlightenment" and rightfully so, for Europe had dwelled in the dim glow of the Middle Ages when suddenly the lights began to come on in men's minds and humankind moved forward. Essay: France. Introduction France, which is the largest nation in Western Europe, is a presidential republic.
History France has one of the most complete records of human history in all of Europe. Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts that are more than , years old.
HISTORY OF ALGERIA including The Barbary coast: The dey and the fly whisk, The French in Algeria, Nationalism and reaction, De Gaulle's moment, Struggle for independence, The FLN years, Civil war. Colonial Williamsburg journal, a popular history magazine about historic Williamsburg its people.
There is something powerfully raw and vivid about Hannah Arendt’s essay that came out in the midst of Europe’s darkness in the Second World War, before the worst horrors inflicted upon the Jews were fully unveiled.
Originally published in January as “We Refugees” in a small Jewish journal called Menorah (shut down in ), .