How do I plan a history essay under exam conditions?

Look carefully at the question you’ve been given. Are you being asked a “to what extent” or “how far” question, or perhaps to “discuss” a topical argument. All these phrases indicate there are two or more ways of answering the question. Then look at key words or dates and the general theme of the question. Your essay structure will start to appear from this process of unpicking the question. Firstly, your plan can outline an introduction, stating how far the essay will agree with the question. Then, briefly jot down the arguments and examples for and against this position. You may also want to make a quick note to remember the conclusion. Once you’ve started writing the actual essay, having a plan can help in recalling your key points and making sure you don’t stray off topic.

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