Essays are used to assess your understanding of specific ideas and your ability to explain these in your own words.
Essays are usually written in a discursive style, bringing together ideas, evidence and arguments to address a specific problem or question.
They follow a particular structure: you will set out your argument in the introduction, build and present your argument in the main body, and should end with your overall key message or argument in the conclusion.
Essays take time to complete. You will need to set aside time for the following stages of writing:
- Thinking about the question.
- Gathering information and ideas.
- Organising your ideas.
- Getting something on paper.
- Writing a first draft.
- Reviewing in light of feedback or reflection.
- Producing a final draft.
Take a look at our handy quick guide to essay writing (PDF) for useful tips and techniques for you to apply.
You will find a number of great books on essay writing in the Laidlaw Library, Level 1, under Skills E-5.
Support your students' history skills with these source analysis tips and essay plan ideas
Interpreting historical sources and planning essays are two key skills that are essential to a study of any period of history. We’ve selected these templates, prompts and worksheets to help you provide learners with the tools they need to demonstrate their understanding, both at KS3 and for exam classes.
Ensure that your students grasp the essentials of analysis with this basic skills help sheet, which details a list of key question prompts as well as tips for writing about sources.
Alternatively, use this writing frame to help learners focus their evaluation skills and make sure that they remember all the components of source analysis.
When considering the reliability of evidence, it is worth encouraging your class to use this NOP mat* so that they can quickly assess the nature, origin and purpose of different types of sources.
First things first, make sure that your students understand the question they are being asked, and what is expected of them, by checking and decoding common phrases with this guide.
Present the visual aid of the essay burger with this planning lesson, which is ideal for getting your classes to practise structuring their ideas and justifications.
For lower abilities, this detailed writing frame can be used to assist students who struggle with structuring their answers and offers a selection of connectives that can be used to improve their responses.
*This resource is being sold by the author
This blog post is featured in the November history newsletter from TES Resources.
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