Jump to content


Coursework Guidance

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Mr Field

Mr Field


  • Moderating Teacher & Admin
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:45 AM

Please can you make absolutely sure that you are aware of this forum's rules. Most importantly

Do NOT post specific requests for help in completing your coursework. This may be considered cheating. Check with your teacher first.

With AS / A2 coursework the rules are particularly restrictive and we have had quite a few posts recently asking for guidance and support with coursework requests. We do need to be extremely careful with these - if you are given assistance that the exam board does not approve of you could technically be disqualified from your exam for cheating.

Now, we always try to assist on a general level - and you will see many existing posts in this section of the forum that will help you. However, please do not post specific requests for coursework assistance as we will be breaking exam board guidance if we assist you. Please speak to your teacher(s).

I have hidden a number of threads this evening relating to coursework advice.

#2 97SA05

  • Student
  • 1 posts

Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:21 AM

I'm currently doing history A2 and am coming up to my coursework deadline - however i am having a major crisis about my independent investigation coursework. I'm just not sure if i am structuring the question in the right way and what i am meant to do with it (i.e. use primary sources to support the historical arguments...but how far do i evaluate these, do i evaluate every primary source i use, is it ok just to use own evidence and not a primary source to back up an argument?)

Would really appreciate advice!

#3 MrJohnDClare

  • Moderating Teacher & Admin
  • 5,342 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:County Durham

Posted 26 February 2011 - 02:38 PM

Would really appreciate advice!

Don't worry - you;re not alone.
We get an awful lot of these questions - it would be well worth your while searching the archive.
As for help, we have to be very careful, because if we give you too much - and you don't declare it - you can be found guilty of cheating and disqualified.
So we usually restrict ourselves to general advice only.

I'm just not sure if i am structuring the question in the right way and what i am meant to do with it (i.e. use primary sources to support the historical arguments...but how far do i evaluate these, do i evaluate every primary source i use, is it ok just to use own evidence and not a primary source to back up an argument?)

So what 'general advice' would I give.

Firstly, and this is a 'must', go onto your Exam Board's website and track down the relevant markscheme. If you find you're having any trouble with this, get back to us with details of Board, Exam etc. and we'll see if we can do any better.
Some of the Boards have really excellent specimen markschemes available which make it clear, not only where the marks come from, but about the kind of level of factual detail you will need to demonstrate.
The answer to your question about what you do in your essay lies there - you do the things they say you have to do to get the marks.

Secondly, most of these markschemes boil down to the fact that you have to answer the question.
(Now this is where I must go careful)
The correct advice for most markschemes will be to concentrate on the question first.
First, start by selecting the correct essay structure to suit the question (so, for instance, the easiest kind of question is a 'how far' question, for which you will select a three-stage 'On the one hand... On the other... Therefore' structure - again, if you don't know what I am talking about have a browse about the website, or get back to us, and we will direct you to appropriate posts).
Next, begin to organise your facts/ideas/sources to the different parts of the essay. One way to do this is to cut up cards and physically sort them; another easier way is to have a large piece of paper and do spidergrams - whatever suits you best.
And then you do your source evaluation as you go along in the essay.
But - I hear you ask - how much evaluation do I need to do?
And the (glib - sorry) answer is: as much as you need to do to answer the question properly.
If you look at what you have said is needed, it is to 'use primary sources to support the historical arguments'.
Now - of course - how much you evaluate the source will depend on the question, the argument, and the source!
But the key is that in most cases, if you are to meaningfully support the source, some degree of evaluation will come into that:
- if you are using a source which is A1 reliability, provided from a source in an A1 position to comment, and which directly states the idea you are wanting to support, then surely you are going to use (and that is the key word) all that evaluation stuff in your argument because you will want to show that this source REALLY supports your idea.
- by contrast, if you are - for example - citing an confused comment in an unclear source, from a known conspiracy theorist who lived centuries after the event, well again, you will need to add all that evaluation stuff as a caveat to your 'support' for your idea, because it really is a very weak suppotr altogether.
Can you see that you donlt necessarily have to evaluate every source, but what you do have to do is to take the evaluation side of things into your explanation as you argue your point - you have to USE the evaluation as part of your analysis.

Of course details will depend on what Board you are doing, and what your specific question is, and you must be prepared for this advice not to be relevant for your specific situation.
But I usually find that this is more-or-less the answer to your problem

If you want to get back, feel free.

#4 ellie_morley

  • Student
  • 1 posts

Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:34 PM

Hello :) I'm doing a lot of research for my personal study for my A2 coursework at the moment and I'm wondering if you could help me!


I've decided to focus on the Native American genocide, and I have to cover a 100 year span. I was thinking about comparing the Native American Genocide with the Nazi Holocaust, but my teacher is concerned that this won't work with the time restriction.


I thought that perhaps if I stated in my introduction the years (for example, 1845-1945) I'll be working with and used examples within this period then it could work?


I just thought I would get a second opinion, I hope you can help!


Thank you :)

#5 Mr Podesta

Mr Podesta
  • Moderating Teacher & Admin
  • 215 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 November 2013 - 07:05 PM

Hello there,


if I were you I would listen very very carefully to your teachers on this.  They have lots of experience, not only in helping you meet the 'rules' of an examination, but also in guiding you towards coursework that you will be able to do well.


Sorry if that's not the answer you wanted, but I really think that in this case teacher knows best  :)


Mr P.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users