Writing for the Revolutions Exam Michael Bucklow Loreto Mandeville Hall 20th July, 2008
REVOLUTIONS EXAM • Thursday 13th November, 3.00 – 5.15 • Two hours, plus 15 minutes reading, thinking, choosing and planning time • 50% of study score • SAC marks 50% study score, moderated by examination and GAT
2 hours of writing…not typing! • Legibility • Clarity • Size • Speed • Practice • Practise
Understanding the Challenge • No place to hide! Need clear, precise, accurate, specific knowledge of revolutionary events, leaders, ideas, movements • Four different and distinct tasks to do in 2 hours plus 15 minutes • Assessors (examiners) reward clarity and conciseness
Know what the exam looks like! • 2006, 2007 Examinations the best guide • VCAA website: past exams, assessors’ reports • Layout: structure, sequence, space provided • Types, and wording of, questions in each section • Types of documents, images, essay questions
Avoiding disaster • ONE revolution for ALL of Section A Parts 1 and 2 • A DIFFERENT revolution for ALL of Section B, Parts 1 & 2 • Keeping to time limits. 30 minutes for each of the 4 sections • Never go more than a few minutes over 30 in any section • Do not write in pencil. Learn the correct spelling of key terms, events and people
Part 1: Revolutionary Ideas, Leaders, Movements & Events • Two questions 12-14 lines of writing (120-140 words) • 25% of marks; spend maximum of 30 minutes (15 x 2) • ‘Why did revolution occur?’ (What ideas, leaders, groups and events were most important and how did they contribute to the outbreak of revolution?)
Dates • America 1763-1776 • France 1781 – 4th August 1789 • Russia 1905 – October 1917 • China 1898 -1949
Section A: Part 1 Questions Choose one of the following. a. America [1763–1776] Using three or four points, explain how the Coercive Acts of 1774 (also known as the Intolerable Acts) contributed to the revolutionary situation by 1776. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR b. France [1781–4 August 1789] Using three or four points, explain how Necker’s Compte Rendu in 1781 contributed to a revolutionary situation by May 1789. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR c. Russia [1905–October 1917] Using three or four points, explain how the Tsarist regime’s response to Bloody Sunday in 1905 contributed to the development of a revolutionary situation between 1905 and February 1917. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR d. China [1898–1949] Using three or four points, explain how the Qing Reforms of 1901–1911 contributed to a revolutionary situation by 1911. Provide evidence to support your answer.
Section A Part 1 Questions Choose one of the following. Write on the same revolution as you did in Question 1. a. America [1763–1776] Using three or four points, explain how the Sons of Liberty contributed to the development of the American Revolution by 1776. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR b. France [1781–4 August 1789] Using three or four points, explain how political responses made by Louis XVI from May 1789 until August 1789 contributed to the development of the French Revolution. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR c. Russia [1905–October 1917] Using three or four points, explain how the political decisions of the Provisional Government contributed to the Russian Revolution of October 1917. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR d. China [1898–1949] Using three or four points, explain how the Long March contributed to the Chinese Communist Party’s victory of October 1949. Provide evidence to support your answer.
Tips/Advice • Read question carefully: highlight, underline key words, terms, dates Do not write beyond the dates. • Plan your answer, in date sequence, (incl. summing up) in 4-5 dot points • Write concisely; answer in space provided, avoid large writing Answer question immediately in first sentence • Include 4-5 relevant points, with specific events, dates, people, places, documents, short quotes • Include your opinion on the relative significance of event, person, group, idea, tension, conflict in contributing to a revolutionary situation • Use words that highlight causal role of event, person etc: ‘catalyst’, ‘highlighted’, ‘intensified dissatisfaction’, ‘polarised’, ‘popularised’, ‘articulated’, ‘stimulated,‘led to’, ‘contributed to’, ‘crucial factor in’
Part B, AOS 2 ‘Creating a New Society’ DATES • America 1776-1789 inauguration of Washington • France 5th August 1789 – 1795 Dissolution of the Convention (not July 1794 death of Robespierre) • Russia November 1917 – 1924 death of Lenin • China 1949 – 1976 death of Mao
Section A Part 2: Evidence Analysis • ‘Identify from the extract two …’ Demonstrate understanding of source (evidence) Identify features that support your interpretation (2 + 2 = 4 marks) • ‘Using your own knowledge and extract explain …’ Place the evidence in context and link it to other events, ideas, leaders. Show precise knowledge of what was happening, before, during, and after, the creation of the source. (6 marks) • ‘Explain the strengths and limitations of this extract to explain …’ Evaluate the source as a piece of evidence in terms of accuracy, completeness, compared evidence contemporary opinion and ‘modern’ historians
Evidence to be Analysed • America: Constitution 1789 • France: Declaration of War April 1792 • Russia: Demands of Kronstadt sailors February 1921 • China: Mao’s interpretation of Cultural Revolution, August 1967 • Note: all primary sources (2006), but could be historians’ interpretations of events (2005)
Tips/Advice (1) Knowledge Required • Key focus question for this Area of Study is: ‘What was the new society like, and how was it formed?’ • Remember that ‘new society’ refers to all aspects of the revolutionary regime, including political, economic and social aspects. • You also need to know about and formed a viewpoint on the role of the revolutionaries who influenced the new society, the challenges they faced, how they responded to these challenges, and the extent of changes and continuities.
Tips and Advice (2) • Plan your answer. Make dot point notes on spare paper, especially for longer answers. • Show your understanding of the source. Extract evidence and ideas from it. Avoid using any (none?) but the shortest quotes from the document. • Show additional relevant knowledge to that included in the source. Place it in context. • Critically evaluate/challenge the interpretation presented: strengths? Limitations? accuracy? completeness?
Section B: Second Half of Exam • The ‘Other Revolution’ • Revolution 2 • Section B Part 1: Analysis of an image, or document (primary source or historian’s interpretation), or commentary • Section B Part 2: Write a short essay (extended response) on the ‘new society’ created by the revolution
Section B Pt 1: Analysis, (probably) of Representation/Graphic (Image) • Same dates as Section A Pt 1 • Similar questions as for Section A: a. ‘Identify two features in the representation … & (‘features’ = ‘what you can see in the graphic b. and what does that symbolise?’) c. ‘Using your knowledge, explain …’ (Placing the image in context) d. ‘Explain to what extent this representation presents a reliable view of …’ AND ‘Refer to different views of …’
‘Historians’ views’ • Knowledge of historians’ views required • Comparing and assessing the viewpoint in the image with other named historians’ viewpoints • High standard example: ‘Writing Samples’, pages 2 (bottom) – 3 (top). • ‘Reliable view’? Image is only ONE source and it IS a viewpoint/interpretation
Conflicting Evidence & Interpretation • ‘No historical judgement is beyond dispute’ (Doyle) • Historians differ about MANY significant aspects of the Revolution: • Stages, features, significance, who benefited, role of leaders groups and ideas, key changes and continuities, nature of Revolution, statistics, key crises, etc! • Study the evidence and arguments presented by historians and reach your own conclusions
Short Essay: ‘Creating a New Society’ (1) • Present an argument; don’t tell the story • Do not refer to the ‘old regime’; focus only on the ‘new society’ (America 1776-89, France August 1789-October 1795, Russia Nov.1917-1924 death of Lenin, China 1949-1976 death of Mao) • Expect to write about 2 – 3 pages in exam booklet
Short Essay (2) • Do not use prepared essays. DO prepare by locating and learning a range of evidence; including key dates, significant statistics, and historians’ views • ‘Use of evidence’ is the key skill required. • Choose your topic in reading time; later write its number in box provided • Underline key words and terms in question; consistently reuse these in your response • Produce a brief skeleton plan, at least; with the with key areas/focus of each paragraph listed • Avoid an introduction. State your main argument immediately • Structure essays chronologically or thematically; though the highest scoring essays tend to be thematic • About 500-700 words – 2-3 pages in exam booklet
Short Essay (3) • Produce well structured logically organized sequence of paragraphs (2-3 pages in exam booklet). Always leave time for a clear, thoughtful and relevant conclusion • Begin each paragraph with clear topic sentences • Include specific, well selected, accurate relevant EVIDENCE (‘memorised!’). Relevant facts, statistics, dates, short quotes, names, examples. • Correctly spell terms, events, leaders etc • Include reference to historians’ interpretations and their evidence • 9/10 Essay: clear strong argument, sophisticated, with complexities of the questions fully addressed
Types of Questions • Key focus of this time period is ‘What was the new society like, and how was it formed?’ • So questions will test knowledge and depth of understanding of: the revolutionaries and their ideas, the challenges and obstacles they faced, how they responded to these, and the outcomes of the revolution (extent and nature of change)
Examples of Essay Questions (1) Choose one of the following and write an extended response in the space provided. Write on the same revolution you used to answer Question 4. a. Discuss the extent to which the new society was rigid and authoritarian. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR b. Discuss the extent to which people really benefited in the new society. Provide evidence to support your answer. OR c. Discuss the extent to which the new order was distracted from its original aims by economic crisis. Provide evidence to support your answer.
Examples of Essay Questions (2) • Discuss the extent to which the direction and success of the revolution was determined by the popular movement. Provide evidence to support your answer. • ‘Violence and force were as much a part of the new society as in the old regime. Discuss providing evidence to support your answer. • Discuss the extent to which the social structure was changed by the revolution. Provide evidence to support your answer. • Discuss the extent to which changes to the structure and organisation of government improved the conditions of everyday life. Provide evidence to support your answer. • ‘The crises experienced by the revolutionaries ensured that their aims would not be achieved.’ Provide evidence to support your answer.