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.It is useful to begin by considering why essay-writing has long been the method of choice for assessment in history.
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.
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.
It needs to be stressed that none of these types of question calls for a narrative approach.
You will never be asked to produce a narrative of what happened.One method of tackling such an essay would be to distinguish five or six areas of similarity and contrast, and to devote a section of the essay to each area - a section in which you would assess the degree of similarity and reach a sub-conclusion.The conclusion would then require a summation of the various 'sub-conclusions'.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: that is, a way of organising an answer which follows naturally from the format of the question and which will put the fewest obstacles in the way of the reader: 'Explain' and 'why' questions demand a list of reasons or one big reason; each reason will have to be explained - that is, clarified, expounded, and illustrated.It follows from all of this that — 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.Essential steps: select a question; identify the subject of the question; what are you being asked to do - that is, what kind of information will you need to answer the question, and how will you have to treat it?Some people may prefer to write their thesis first as we have done here, or some may choose to begin writing their introduction paragraph and then figure out the thesis as they get there. The following outline is intended as to provide one example of how to write an essay.That is, the question requires a discussion of the system as a whole and the consideration of alternative explanations of how 'X' worked within it.'To-what-extent' questions involve a judgement of measure.