History Essay Ks3

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.

Analysing sources

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.

Planning essays

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.

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This blog post is featured in the November history newsletter from TES Resources.

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Introduction to 20 mark essay writing

Essay writing in Higher History is very important. Overall, 70% of your grade will be ascertained from the essays you write, 30% from your extended essay and 40% from your 2 essays in Paper 1 of the final examination.

As you have advanced through the school in Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 you will have learned how to write short essays worth 8 marks. You will remember how daunting these essays seemed to be when you first started writing them. You will also remember how writing these essays became easier with practice.

Essay writing is a skill, something that has to be learned. You had to learn how to introduce your essay, develop the points and then conclude your argument when writing 8 mark answers.

Essay writing at higher takes you a stage further in your development as rational, discursive and deliberating beings and again you will have to learn how to write Higher Essays skilfully.

However, some words of warning! Your development of these “higher” skills will not come naturally, neither will they come from listening attentively to your teacher or copying your friends essays (it does happen and these people are invariably caught). Your development of these essay writing skills will be down to hard work, reading and practice. Simple.

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