There are many essay writing frameworks out there. I am sure you know the old hamburger image and the TEEL structure, but I find that these models do not convey the sophistication and analytical depth that is needed for a good paragraph / essay for IB History. So I came up with my own. I am calling it TEAC (Click on the poster):
- Topic sentence, Theme, Thesis
- Evidence and Explanation
- Analysis and Assessment
Some further explanation:
- A clear first sentence should convey what the key point (thesis) is of this paragraph. Also, a thematic approach is far stronger than a simple narrative account. Categorising events in themes like political, military, economic, social, long term, short term, strengths, weaknesses, causes, effects, ideology etc etc will produce a much more sophisticated and analytic essay than just telling the story.
- Evidence and explanation should contain stats, quotes, years, events, people. Great sentence starters are: An example of this is, it can be seen that, this is illustrated by, as shown by, for example, as historian XYZ stated etc. This is where you show you know your stuff.
- Analysis and assessment. Every IB History essay will require you to make a judgement. Just spitting out everything you know is not enough (avoid simple narratives), you have to place your knowledge into context and analyse why it was significant, what was more or less important, assess its effect or reasons why. Go to the Google doc for good sentence starters and conjunctions.
- Conclusion: Always stay on track in addressing the essay statement. Conclude each paragraph with something that links to either your topic sentence or the essay statement itself. You can reuse some of the key words from the essay statement (but not verbatim, that is too simplistic). Also, take note of the command term of the question; do what you are "commanded" to do.
Some good links:
- Signpost, signpost, signpost your argument. Great list here. Print it off.
- Go to the Google Drive for a "How to write a history essay" handout. This document also contains an extensive list of sign post words.
- General essay writing resources here
- Monash University has a very clear and informative website about academic writing. This page is about how to analyse an historical argument: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/general/academic/5.xml
- Here is a page about how to structure a paragraph etc: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/general/academic/4.1.xml
- Info from Monash on a printable document here
Here's a good question for you: Why can't I just use Google for my research? The pros and cons can be found here.