Gcse History Example Essays Of Compare

Question and extracts

You will be presented with two non-fiction texts in your exam. They could come from the 19th, 20th or 21st centuries. The language used will reflect the time and society in which the piece was written.

The extracts in your exam questions will be longer than the examples here. You will be asked questions about each text individually and you will also be asked to make a close comparison of the two pieces.

Read each text carefully before you begin to write your answers. Note any similarities or differences in the attitudes and ideas conveyed as well as the language and structure used.

When you write your answer, remember to link each point to a quotation.

Here are a series of sample responses. You might try to improve or expand on each one as part of your revision and preparation.

Question

Compare how the two writers convey their attitudes towards food and the people they are visiting.

In your answer you should:

  • compare their different attitudes
  • compare the methods they use to convey their attitudes
  • support your ideas with references to both texts

Extract A

Here is an extract from a cookery book published in 1855, Soyer’s Shilling Cookery for the People. The writer, Alexis Soyer describes a visit to a house in St Giles, a poor area of London.

Having but little confidence in what they would provide, I bought a quarter of a pound of ground coffee, intending giving them a lesson in how to make coffee. On my arrival, I was received like a princess in a fairy land. The little parlour was not only clean, but ornamented, at a cost of a few pence, with wall flowers from the neighbouring garden (the best in the world, Covent Garden), generously dispensing their perfume over pyramids of muffins and crumpets. Having cordially shaken hands with my host, I set cheerfully to work, and got hold of an old pitcher, but clean; in it I put the coffee and placed it close before the fire, begging the old lady to keep turning it round, and stirring it til the powder was hot. I then poured three quarts of boiling water, allowed it to stand for ten minutes, and then poured it out into the cups, with the best milk that could be got, and sugar.

Soyer’s Shilling Cookery for the People, Alexis Soyer

Extract B

Here is an extract from a restaurant review written in 2016.

I reserved our table three months ago. This might seem extreme. But if you’re going to eat at a restaurant where the food is hand-picked from its very own walled-garden, I’ve discovered that a window seat is essential. I like to see precisely where my food has come from. And I’m convinced it makes the flavours more intense.

Besides, (restaurant name) has developed such a reputation for quality that if you don’t get your booking in quick, you won’t get a table at all.

It’s the first time my dining companion has been here. She is suitably wowed by the winding lanes we walk down to reach the restaurant. (It seems too ironic to drive to an establishment where the food miles are practically zero.) And she’s impressed by the view of the Mendips that greets us at the gate.

Before we go indoors, we wander through the walled-garden, admiring rows of velvety Cavolo Nero, feathered plumes of carrots, earthy globes of beets. This really is food at its freshest.

At the door we are welcomed by the most cheerful waiter I’ve ever met. His broad smile and enthusiastic discussion of the menu suggest that this is someone entirely suited to his work. I trust him immediately. In fact he makes me want to throw caution to the wind and I find myself forgoing choice completely and entrusting him to recommend a starter and a main.

‘Are you feeling OK?’ asks my companion.

‘Don’t worry,’ I say. ‘I’ll choose my own dessert.’

Restaurant review, 2016

 
  1. I am really struggling in writing and structuring my source based history essays. I am doing Unit 2 Edexcel AS, E5 British Political History, 1945–90: Consensus and Conflict.

    I've been getting C's in my source based essays and I just do not know how to structure them.

    For example, I am working on this essay:

    How far do the sources suggest that Winston Churchill was responsible for the Conservative Party's defeat in the 1945 election?
    Explain your answer, using evidence of sources 1, 2 and 3.

    I have read and analyzed the sources in my head but I just don't know how to structure the source-based essays.

    Could anyone help me step-by-step on how structure the source based essays? At least bring my answer to a Level 4?

    Thanks and I really appreciate the help

    I just need the exam technique to get my grade from a C to an A.

  2. Hey

    I'm also currently studying Edexcel AS History (Medieval and Tudor), so I'll give you the advice and structures I was given. It's helped push my mock grades up from a C to a strong A, so hopefully you'll find it helpful

    First off, strip as much information out of the sources as physically possible. It sounds really simple, but you'll be surprised how basic information that can give you the extra marks can be lost. Best method I've found is OPVL:

    Origin - What is it? When was it produced? Who produced it? Who was it produced for? (i.e. for letters, who was the letter written to?)

    Purpose - What is the purpose of the source? Why was it produced? What information does it give us? Does it give us personal information, political information, social information, financial information etc etc?

    Value - What can we learn from the source? How does it help us as historians? What valuable information does it give us?

    Limitations - What do we not learn from the source? How does it hinder us as historians? How is it limited? (i.e. Is it biased? Does it only show one version of events? Is it only a small extract from a larger piece of writing?)

    Do this to all 3 of the sources in turn, even something as simple as writing down all of this information on paper can really add some significant marks. Once this is down, start to compare and contrast in the following paragraphs:

    Is there a common link between the sources that you can pick out? (For example, do they all talk about similar things? Do they talk about aspects of Churchill's character? Do they focus on the defeat? etc etc)

    From this common link, can you spot any contrasts? (For example, does source 1 say he was fully responsible whereas source 2 say he was only partially responsible?)

    Spend a couple of paragraphs or so comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between the three sources. If this question allows you to bring in your own knowledge, this would be the place to use it. Make a general statement of your point, reference information from the source (actually explicitly say "source a says...," this really drives home the point and makes it easier to follow, as well as showing where the source evidence is in your answer), then use your own knowledge of the situation to provide some deeper analysis.

    If the question relies on sources ONLY, then you make a more specific statement and reference the sources a lot more explicitly and a lot more frequently, continuously showing where you get your information from. On the pure source answer, it will probably look like all you've done is copy and paste everything, but as long as you intersperse everything with what it is saying, what the meaning is, what the purpose is etc etc, then you're still along the right sort of lines.

    At the end of the answer, do a conclusion that answers the question of how far you think Churchill was responsible in your own opinion. Bring in the basic ideas of some of the sources as a way to back up your opinion.

    I find that this method has been absolutely invaluable when it comes to structuring essays, because where beforehand I just used to write everything that came into my head without any sort of flow, this not only forces me to structure what I'm writing, but also allows me to go over everything so that I'm picking up every mark possible.

    I really hope this helps you out! If you want any questions answered, just give me a shout!
    (Original post by Desertanium)
    I am really struggling in writing and structuring my source based history essays. I am doing Unit 2 Edexcel AS, E5 British Political History, 1945–90: Consensus and Conflict.

    I've been getting C's in my source based essays and I just do not know how to structure them.

    For example, I am working on this essay:

    How far do the sources suggest that Winston Churchill was responsible for the Conservative Party's defeat in the 1945 election?
    Explain your answer, using evidence of sources 1, 2 and 3.

    I have read and analyzed the sources in my head but I just don't know how to structure the source-based essays.

    Could anyone help me step-by-step on how structure the source based essays? At least bring my answer to a Level 4?

    Thanks and I really appreciate the help

    I just need the exam technique to get my grade from a C to an A.


0 thoughts on “Gcse History Example Essays Of Compare”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *