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A Learning Object designed to help students plan, prepare and write an Historical essay


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A Learning Object designed to assist students and to complement classroom teaching and learning in Stage 4 History.

A Learning Object designed to assist students and to complement classroom teaching and learning in Stage 4 History.

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  • 1. EssayWritingHow to write an Historical Essay
  • 2. PURPOSEHow to write an Historical Essay
  • 3. PURPOSEHow to write an Historical EssayPurpose: Who you arewriting your essay for andwhy is very important.
  • 4. PURPOSEHow to write an Historical EssayConsidering purpose will helpyou to determine the overallstyle of your essay, its tone andlanguage use and its finalformat.
  • 5. PURPOSEHow to write an Historical EssayHistorical Essay: You must useTechnical Language and HistoricalTerms specific to your studythroughout your essay.
  • 6. HistoricalTerms andTechnicalLanguageHow to write an Historical EssayChronology uses historical terms to describetime, periodisation and dating systems.Chronology sequences events in time. ThroughChronology students can make links betweenevents and understand and apply concepts suchas continuity and change or cause and effect.
  • 7. HistoricalTerms andTechnicalLanguageHow to write an Historical EssayHistory has a vocabulary for naming objects from thepast (eg artefact, monument), for describing time andhistorical periods (eg decade, century, Medieval,Renaissance), for terms associated with historicalprocesses (eg oral history, source analysis,archaeology) and for historical concepts, such ascolonialism, imperialism, invasion, and revolution.
  • 8. HistoricalTerms andTechnical Language 1. What is the time period you are studying? 2. Brainstorm a list of Historical concepts and SpecialisedTerminology/Language that could be used in your essay to showour teacher how much you know and understand. 3. What Historical Terms/Skills have you used to gather andcollate information that could be referred to in your essay?
  • 9. ASSESSMENTHow to write an Historical Essay
  • 10. AssessmentWhat is your teacher looking for?KnowledgeSkillsUnderstandingYour Teacher has asked you to write this essay so that theycan assess your:
  • 11. Common DirectionalTermsWhat is your teacher looking for?• explain the causes of something or some event• “Account for the large-scale immigration to Australia after 1945.”Account for• divide the topic into parts and describe and evaluate each part.• “Analyse the changes in Australia’s attitude towards China during the 1970’s”Analyse• decide how important something is and give your reasons.• “Assess the role of the electronic media in changes to Australia society since 1950.”Assess• describe the similarities between two or more things.• “Compare the crisis of the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s with that of Russia today.”Compare• describe the differences between two of or things.• “Contrast cellulose and lignin decomposition in soil.”Contrast• give the exact meaning of the word, phrase or idea.• “Define the Australian culture.”Define• give a detailed account.• “Describe the process of independence in East Timor.”Describe
  • 12. Common DirectionalTermsWhat is your teacher looking for?•give all sides of an argument and then give your own opinion.•“Our ability to reach the stars is limited only by our imagination.”Discuss•explain how important something is.•“Evaluate the contribution of cars to the depletion of the ozone layer.”Evaluate•the facts or circumstances that contribute to a result.•“What factors have led to the current growth in the Australian economy?”Factors•point out and describe, name.•“Identify the rules associated with playing Aussie Rules Football.”Identify•make a list•“List the major component parts on the internal combustion engine.”List•give the main features and ideas of a subject. Do not go into details.•“Outline the developments in IVF technology in the last 10 years.”Outline•the consequence and importance of something.•“What is the significance of passion in George Orwell’s novels?”Significance•explain in what ways something is true and in what ways it isn’t.•“To what extent does Lady Macbeth influence her husband?”To what extent
  • 13. Assessment CriteriaUnderstanding the Assessment CriteriaIt is really important that you readthe assessment criteria. If youunderstand how the essay will bemarked, you will be able to writean essay that meets this criteriaand achieve the highest mark!
  • 14. Knowing what your teacher is looking for 1. Read your Question. Highlight the main points and the‘process’ words. 2. Read your Assessment Criteria 3. After reading your Assessment Criteria, highlight the mainthings you need to cover (you may even like to highlight the‘process’ terms in another colour so that they stand out.
  • 15. ANALYSINGTHE QUESTIONHow to write an Historical Essay
  • 16. ANALYSINGTHE QUESTIONWhat is your teacher looking for?KnowledgeSkillsUnderstandingYour Teacher has asked you to write this essay so that theycan assess your:
  • 17. STRUCTUREHow to write an Historical Essay
  • 18. How to write an EssayBasic Structure of an EssayIntroduction Define any key terms.Respond to yourguiding question andstate how to proposeto answer thequestion/statement.Your Introduction isthe most importantpart of you essay.Main Body These are your mainpoints/arguments.Ensure that you have atopic sentence and aclosing statement foreachparagraph/argument.Include supportingevidence and exampleswherever possible.ConclusionThis is a summary ofwhat you haveargued/discovered.Refer back to yourguiding question andensure that you haveanswered it.This is the last thingyour audience is read,make sure its succinctand worthremembering.
  • 19. INTRODUCTIONHow to write an Introduction
  • 20. IntroductionMake your Position clear‘Preview’ your ArgumentsWrite Succinctly
  • 21. MAIN BODYHow to write your Main Body
  • 22. Topic SentencesSupporting Evidence/QuotesClosing StatementParagraphs/Arguments
  • 23. A Topic Sentence introducesthe paragraph and the pointyou are about to make.Topic Sentences
  • 24. Personal Experience/Observation,Expert Opinion, Quotes, Statistics,Graphical Data, Refer toDocuments, Anecdotes.Types of Evidence
  • 25. Evidence Must be: Accurate,Supportive/not contradictory,Relevant, Specific, Detailed, Precise,Interesting, Clear and easilyUnderstood, Cited and Referenced.Using Evidence
  • 26. Always lead into your quotationcorrectly and explain/interpretyour quotation. You need to showthe reader why it is important.Using Quotes
  • 27. When you paraphrase you take on somebodyelse’s words and put them in your own.Example: On writing an essay, Merritt, 2013says its also important to cite sources whenparaphrasing from them.Paraphrasing
  • 28. Transitions combine ideasthroughout your essay and linksentences and supportingevidence within paragraphs.Transitions
  • 29. Transitions that show …Agreement / Addition / SimilarityThe transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise, addinformation, reinforce ideas, and express agreement withpreceding the first place, not only ... but also, as a matter of fact, in likemanner, in addition, coupled with, in the same fashion / way,first, second, third, in the light of, not to mention, to say nothingof, equally important, by the same token, Again, to, And, also,Then, Equally, identically, uniquely, like, as, too, moreover, aswell as, together with, of course, likewise, comparatively,correspondingly, similarly, furthermore, additionally
  • 30. Transitions that show …Opposition / Limitation / ContradictionTransition phrases like but, rather and or, express that there isevidence to the contrary or point out alternatives, and thusintroduce a change the line of reasoning (contrast).Although this may be true, in contrast, different from, of, course..., but, on the other hand, on the contrary, at the same time, inspite of, even so / though, be that as it may, then again, aboveall, in reality, after all, but, (and) still, unlike, or, (and) yet, while,albeit, besides, although, instead, whereas, despite, conversely,otherwise, however, rather, nevertheless, regardless,notwithstanding
  • 31. Transitions that show …Cause / Condition / PurposeThese transitional phrases present specific conditions orintentions.In the event that, granted (that), as / so long as, on (the)condition (that), for the purpose of, with this intention, with thisin mind, in the hope that, to the end that, for fear that, in orderto, seeing / being that, in view of, if ..., then, unless, when,whenever, since, while, because of, as, since, while, lest, in case,provided that, given that, only / even if, so that, so as to, owingto, inasmuch as, due to
  • 32. Transitions that show …Examples / Support / EmphasisThese transitional devices (like especially) are used to introduceexamples as support, to indicate importance or as an illustrationso that an idea is cued to the other words, to put it differently, for one thing, as an illustration,in this case, for this reason, to put it another way, that is to say,with, attention to, by all means, important to realize, another keypoint, first thing to remember, most compelling, evidence, must beremembered, point often overlooked, to point out, on the positive/ negative side, with this in mind, Notably, Including, Like, to besure, Namely, Indeed, Certainly, Markedly, Specifically, Expressively,Surprisingly, Frequently, Significantly, in fact, in general, inparticular, for example, for instance, to demonstrate, to emphasize,to repeat, to clarify, to explain, to enumerate, such as
  • 33. Transitions that show …Effect / Consequence / ResultSome of these transition words (thus, then, accordingly,consequently, therefore, henceforth) are time words that areused to show that after a particular time there was aconsequence or an effect.Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason.The other devices are placed before the consequences or a result, under those circumstances, in that case, for thisreasonFor, thus, because the, then, hence, consequently, therefore,thereupon, forthwith, accordingly, henceforth
  • 34. A Closing statement is the sentence atthe end of each paragraph the sumsup the message/main idea of thatparagraph. This usually links back toyour guiding question.Closing Statements
  • 35. CONCLUSIONHow to write your Conclusion
  • 36. Sum up your main pointsRestate your positionConclusion
  • 37. Transitions that show …Conclusion / Summary / RestatementThese transition words and phrases conclude, summarize and /or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement. Also somewords (like therefore) from the Effect / Consequence categorycan be used to summarize.As can be seen, generally speaking, in the final analysis, allthings considered, as shown above, in the long run, given thesepoints, as has been noted, in a word, for the most part, after all,in factIn summary, in conclusion, in short, in brief, in essence, tosummarize, on balance, altogether, overall, ordinarily, usually,by and large, to sum up, on the whole, in any event, in eithercase, all in all
  • 38. REFERENCE LISTHow to write your Reference List
  • 39. A book with one author: Reynolds, H 2000, Black pioneer, Penguin, Victoria.A book with two or more authors: Stanley, R, Reynolds, S, Joyce D & Holloway, R 2002, Discovering Chemistry 2, Enterprise Press,South Australia.World Wide Web, author identified: Kotow, J 2001, ‘New Aussie Kid on the Murray’, The Australian, 23 February 2002, viewed onThe Australian website, Saving the Murray River, <,5744,1956890%255E12812,00.html>.World Wide Web, no author identified: ‘Graffiti’, Behind the News 2002, viewed 5 September 2002,>.Film: Now voyager 1942, motion picture, Warner, New York, Directed by Irving Rapper.Reference List: examples