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At A level it is best to keep the essay structure simple and clear for the examiner even though your analysis and thought processes should be more complex than GCSE level. Although each question will be slightly different, as a general rule I would recommend this structure:
You should start with an introductory sentence about the topic that should make clear to the examiner what the question is. Outline your argument/structure for the essay by saying something along the lines of: 'There are conflicting arguments regarding [insert topic] which fall under the main categories of [insert factors you will discuss in main body]. However the most influential factor was [insert the factor you will argue is the most important.]
Remember the introduction should be short, sweet and concise!
There is no set number of paragraphs but I would reccommend a minimum of 4 paragraphs but aim for 5! Write 2 paragraphs first regarding your chosen important factor, and then 1 paragraph for each of the other paragraphs. In terms of sentence structure it is a good idea to follow a PEAL (point, explain, analyse, link) structure to make sure you hit all of the marking criteria. The link is what most people forget in the essay structure but it is essential to a professional and focussed essay - examiners really go for it! Basically it means you link the point you have made directly back to the question and your overall argument (i.e. most important factor) before moving on to the next point. It is good to this at the end of each paragraph too.
Conclusions should (as the name suggests) conclude your essay so make sure you are not introducing new ideas or evidence. Instead, it should be further explanatory analysis of what you have already said in your essay! Make sure you are not repeating yourself, but try to justify your argument and how the evidence has supported this overall. Make sure your judgement is really clearly signposted to the marker and try not to 'sit on the fence' by not choosing one factor overall. It does however show a deep understanding to suggest that factors had a cummulative effect (as long as you maintain that one was the most influential!) or contributed to the impact of other factors etc. so the key is to show a relationship between factors rather than analysing them separately like you will have done in the main body of the essay.
There you go - a whistle stop guide to A level history essays! This is obviously just a guideline and is very brief so for further help structuring essays and arguments (or if you have any questions about this post) please do not hesitate to contact me for a tutorial.see more
The easiest way to split this question is by factor: economic/material gain, religious devotion, legal reasons, social reasons. In terms of historians, the more outdated view was that economic reasons were more important but the modern viewpoint is that people joined for religious reasons. You can choose which ever factor you want as the most important as your essay though.
This is obviously a very cut down and brief summary so your actual essay should include more detail and analysis as well as understanding of the topic. I would recommend organising a tutorial to go over this essay so I can explain points in more detail for better understanding!
Summary of key points to include:
(Modern view – Asbridge)
. Riley-Smith and Bull à evidence from the Charters – people sold everything.
. Raymond sold everything and took his whole family
. Appeal of Jerusalem e.g. Jesus and Holy Sepulchre
. Godfrey of Bouillon took monks with him
. Bertrand of Moncontour gave up monastic lands he illegally owned so his soul was pure
. Feudal system à chain reaction after nobility joined e.g. Count Raymond of Toulouse was the first Prince to join at Clermont.
. Violence of knights à was permitted on crusade, desirable.
. Family history of pilgrimageà Count Robert II of Flanders’ dad had developed links with Alexios I on pilgrimage in 1089 and Rob felt he should carry that on
To escape legal proceedings in the West e.g. interest on debts was cancelled.
. Count Hugh of Vermandois was the King of France’s (Philip I) brother who had fallen out with the Pope (committed adultery) so Hugh went to show the Kings willing
. Duke Robert of Normandy was the brother of William II of England who wanted to see him go and so raised a special tax in England to allow this.
. Personal advancement à Bohemond of Taranto was a second son and had failed to gain lands in the Balkan invasion with his father in the 1080s. He left crusade at Antioch. “Stand fast all together, trusting in Christ and the victory of the cross because today, please God, you will all gain much booty.”
. Soldiers received a wage à could collect booty “But not to excess” (Pope)
. Drought and poor harvest (1090s) à nothing to lose. Pope: “land of milk and honey.”
Evidence it was not actually material gain:
Raymond of Toulouse was one of the richest secular Lords in France and a first born son
. Philips: Cost 4 x a knights annual income to go on crusade
. Plunder belonged to Lords of which there where 200 out of 50-100 thousand crusaderssee more