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Thread: The Modern History Guide

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    Moderator Kujah's Avatar
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    The Modern History Guide

    Modern History Guide:

    I’ve basically culminated a lot of information and links gathered from other threads in this forum, and added a bit of my own to create this guide.

    Remember:
    - There is a search function that you can use to look for a specific thread regarding your area of interest. Try searching in the FAQ, the resources section and the forums in general before you’re posting your own topic.
    - Try Google. You’d be surprised with the amount of threads that are posted by people who want information when a simple Google search gives you a huge variety of data.
    - You can PM certain people if you want help.

    Asylum’s posts in the Ancient History forums are very useful and relevant, and apply to the Modern History forums as well. I’ve paraphrased and changed some of his posts for you guys:

    What to write in your question/thread/post:
    Include the following things in your post if you want a proper answer from us. This helps save time, and allows us to know exactly what you’re asking.

    1. A Proper Title
    The more you add to the title and description, the better your chances of gaining attention from the people of Bored to help you. Don’t put something like

    2. Module:
    Add the Module that you’re referring to e.g. World War One or Germany etc. You can also post your topic in the specific forums are responsible for the modules.

    3. Focus Question and Description:
    Tell us exactly what you want. We can’t help write essays for you, but we can certainly help with advice, tips, information and any queries.

    4. Current Material:
    Include you already know. You must include some sort of evidence that shows us that you’ve done your own work and that you are not being lazy.

    5. Contact Details (optional):
    If you wish for this help to be done by a certain date, then please put contact details and/or a timeframe for those helping to try and help you by.

    If you follow these simple rules, we will endeavour to provide help faster and you will gain with the speed and accuracy of information. Rather than having us re-teach you the course, this will help you develop your own study skills and use these resources as they were intended for.
    Remember,
    WE WILL NOT DO YOUR ESSAYS/STUDY/NOTES FOR YOU. THIS IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THIS SITE OR FORUM, AND THREADS ASKING FOR THIS WILL NOT GET ANSWERS.

    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:53 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    Resources (thanks to hopeles5ly):

    The Modern History Stage 6 Syllabus
    HSC Past Papers and Markers’ Notes
    HSC Assessment Policies
    HSC CSU Online Modern History
    History Teacher’s Association of NSW
    HSC Standard Packages (Sample Answers for the 2001, 2002 and 2006 Modern Papers):
    SMH Modern History Tips
    Bored of Studies Modern History Notes, Past Papers and Essays
    Bored of Studies Biki
    Historiography

    Main Textbooks (Covers Everything):
    - Key Features of Modern History. By Bruce Dennett and Stephen Dixon
    - HTA Modern History Study Guide. Edited by Paul Kiem. (The term “study guide” might make the book sound like a bunch of summaries, but it’s pretty thorough)
    - Excel or Macquarie (Excel vs Macquarie Revision Guides)
    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:20 PM.

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    Moderator Kujah's Avatar
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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    How to study for Modern History (special thanks to the advice given by AsyLum and PwarYuex for the Ancient History foums):

    Different people study in different ways so its best to find a way that suits you.

    Some tips:

    1. Don't rely on notes alone

    If you want to get better than borderline marks, you need to actually learn the course itself. So that means you actually need to familiarise yourself with the content FIRST HAND. The syllabus is your BIBLE! Not through notes found from here or your textbook. Keep on practicing with essays because essentially, most of the Modern History Paper asks you to write them.

    2. Remember your historians

    Keep on reading a wide variety of primary and secondary sources. This will allow you to come across historians who are engaged in debates in your modules, and especially applies to your National Study, Personality Study and International Study.

    3. Summarise your notes

    Reading is only half of the study, another important aspect is to organise and summarise all the information you have so that you can readily access it. Either by doing it electronically or by writing it out, collecting information, sources, quotes, etc, will ensure you have a good knowledge and database for assignments, essays and exams. Try and use a format which works for you.

    It's also a great way to find out what exactly you are lacking in terms of information.

    4. Write, write, WRITE!!!

    As it was mentioned before, another key aspect in Modern History is the writing of essays. The only way you will improve is to continually write essays, get someone (a teacher or friend ) to mark it or mark it yourself, and find the mistakes. There is no magical cure to being able to write great essays, it is a combination of hard work, knowledge and time. Also, if you can, try and set a time limit on these practice essays. Not only is it a great way for finding out how much you can write and what you can and can't leave out in an essay, it also places you within a similar HSC exam environment. Typing out notes is great and can look really good and convenient, but most of us won't be using computers or keyboards, so keep writing and writing.

    5. Discuss the information with other people

    The power of discussion cannot be underestimated and can help greatly in seeing different perspectives on the same topic. Try and be more active in identifying historiographical issues or questions you might have in class and get the class to discuss it. If you're a bit more shy, try privately messaging some of the people on the forum.
    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:53 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    Writing Essays in History (special thanks to AsyLum and PwarYuex):
    Even though this was posted in the Ancient History forums, it is still bloody useful for Modern History Essays:

    What Markers look for

    Three requirements of good research essays:

    When you write essays, it will help to know what we are looking for as we assess your work. In writing essays, you are trying to solve problems. This involves three distinct tasks:

    • posing the question clearly and exploring its implications
    • answering the question persuasively; and
    • presenting your answers clearly and convincingly
    1. Like a juror in a law court, you must first figure out exactly what the problem is. If you do not understand the question clearly, and if you are not aware of all its implications, you will find it very hard to solve it. Often, it is a good idea to explain the question clearly in the introduction to your essay.

    2. Second, you must figure out what happened and why. You must do this despite the lies, the evasions, and the sheer randomness of the evidence available to us. Doing this is tricky, so it is not enough just to repeat what the experts say about the past. Your job, like a good juror, is to listen to what the experts say, and then check it by asking what evidence they give, and whether it adds up. Doing this will help you develop your own sense of historical truth and enable you to start building your own vision of the past.

    3. Once you have constructed your answers, you must present them as convincingly as possible. Markers are looking for answers that are as clear, as carefully argued, and as convincing as possible given the time and evidence available to you. In presenting your argument, use the skills of a debater.

    The Questions Markers will ask:

    1. Has the Problem been posed clearly?

    2. Grasp of the problem: Has the question been understood? Too many people skip this stage. Yet you cannot answer a question effectively unless you understand it. So, we will ask:

    • Have the terms been defined? (Use a dictionary; or, even better, an encyclopedia or a book such as Raymond Williams' Keywords
    • Have the hidden assumptions of the question been winkled out?
    • Has the significance of the question been understood? And its implications?
    3. Has the question been answered persuasively?

    4. Scholarship and Research: Is the argument convincing and based on serious research?
    • Is the argument based on a wide range of supporting evidence? Is there any original research? Does the evidence support the conclusions? Have alternative answers been considered?
    • Has the evidence been assessed critically or merely accepted at face value?
    • Has the evidence been cited properly? (i.e. do the footnotes let the reader check sources? Note that essays with no footnotes at all are likely to be marked down.)
    5. Has the answer been presented clearly and logically?

    • Has language been used with precision? (i.e. use a dictionary and a style guide.)
    • Is the writing marred by cliché, vagueness, verbosity? Are there too many passive verbs?
    • Has care been taken with punctuation and spelling?
    • Is the writing clear and concise?
    Have a look at the Markers' Notes for further information.

    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:20 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    On Writing (Thanks to AsyLum):

    Write, write and write ...

    • Write as much as possible. Good writing, like any other skill, is largely a matter of practice. So the more you write the better you will write.
    • Avoid quoting others because that encourages the lazy habit of letting others formulate your ideas for you. Only when you take the trouble to describe something in your own words can you be sure you have begun to understand it. So, unless you have a very particular reason for quoting, write entirely in your own words.
    • Don't write in note form, even when taking notes. Instead, try always to write in properly formed sentences. This will give you useful practice in writing and punctuation. But it will also force you to think more clearly about your subject matter. This is because a properly formed sentence, with its connectives, its 'buts' and 'ifs' and 'perhapses', forces you to clarify the relationship between different bits of information and different ideas.
    • Write multiple drafts and start early. Write something as soon as you start thinking about your essay topic. Then keep revising. Revising something you've already written is much easier than starting from scratch. And if you submit a third or fourth draft of your work, it is bound to be better than your first attempts. Yet if you don't write until the day before you submit you will have no choice but to submit a first draft.
    • Compost your ideas. Another reason for starting to write early is that if you do so, your mind will start working on any information or ideas you already have. Once you give it some material to compost, it will keep on working, even when you are thinking of other things. If you give it plenty of time, you will find good ideas start forming in your mind when you don't expect it. So feed the compost heap in your brain with some ideas and information as early as you can!

    Some basic rules of Good Writing
    • Choose words carefully. Use a dictionary, a thesaurus or a style guide to help you choose the right word and the most precise word. In time, the care you take over word choice will broaden your vocabularly, and give your writing more colour and precision.
    • Punctuate carefully. Good punctuation can do much to clarify what you are saying; bad punctuation can obscure your message. So learn how to use commas, full stops, semi-colons, apostrophes and other punctuation marks.
    • Spell correctly. This may sound elementary, but it is important all the same. Bad spelling will irritate and probably confuse your reader, and will obscure your argument.
    • Explain technical terms. Don't assume the reader understands them. If they don't, they won't understand what you are trying to say.
    • Get the grammar right. For example, make sure you know what a correctly formed sentence is. (All proper sentences must include a main verb.) If in doubt, use a good style guide.
    • Proof read. Before you submit your final version, proof read it carefully to make sure that errors have not crept in which may sabotage your writing. Don't make your reader do this job for you!
    • Use a consistent style for headings and footnotes. Consistency of presentation makes it easier for the reader to follow your argument. Inconsistency can make the reader's task much harder.
    Some Tips on Good Style:
    • Use active not passive verbs. Active verbs make for a more energetic style. They also force you to be more precise as they make you specify who or what is doing something.
    • Prefer simple to complex words. Simple, direct, concise language helps the reader grasp what you are saying. Avoid jargon, or language that is long-winded or exotic.
    • Use short sentences wherever possible. Short sentences are usually clearer and easier to grasp.
    • Avoid excessive use of adverbs or adjectives. As much as possible write with verbs and nouns. Though qualifiers (adverbs and adjectives) are sometimes necessary, excessive use of them dilutes and weakens your message.
    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:06 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    The Modern History HSC Exam (28th October 2008):

    The Modern History Paper consists of four sections: World War One (the Core Study), the National Study, the Personality Study and the International Study in Peace and Conflict. You are given 3 hours for the exam and 5 minutes reading time, so make use of every minute. Have a browse through each section through the reading time, and a make visual plan for your essays. Once the exam time starts, jot them down. The instructions recommend that you spend 45 minutes with each section, so have a good time management plan.

    From SMH:

    Section I: World War I and its aftermath, 1914-1921 (25 marks)

    You are required to answer all three questions. The number of lines provided for each part of question 1 and the allocation of marks gives a clear indication of the expectation of length of the responses. For both questions 2 and 3, two pages are provided, so be prepared to write detailed and sustained responses. Your answers for this section will be based on a variety of sources provided in a Source Booklet.

    You also need to revise your understanding of the nature, reliability and usefulness of sources. The Modern History node at NSW HSC Online has an excellent selection of sources to help you revise and gain a greater understanding of the topic. It includes primary sources such as photographs, diaries, poetry and posters.

    Section II: National Study (25 marks)

    In this section you must attempt one question from an option of two in your National Study. It is essential that you plan your response carefully and that you understand what is being asked by the question. Key words such as "account for", "explain", "outline" and "assess" have been used consistently across all subjects. There are explanations of the assessment terms in the Glossary on the Modern History node at NSW HSC Online.

    As part of your revision, develop study notes covering all areas of the topic, including the key events, groups and concepts. You also need to develop a clear understanding of how these are related. For example, explain how the power struggle between Trotsky and Stalin impacted upon the Soviet Union economically, socially and politically.

    It is essential that you cover all dot points in the syllabus. The National Study question requires you to demonstrate a depth of knowledge within the set dates. When studying Germany 1918-1939, consider how the collapse of the Weimar Republic contributed to the rise of Hitler. NSW HSC Online provides a thorough coverage of the key concepts and terms for Germany 1918-1939 option.

    Section III: Personality Study (25 marks)

    The question in this section refers to the key individual you have studied. Ensure that you spend equal time on both parts of the question. It is essential that you organise your time effectively, and answer each question to the best of your ability.

    As part of your revision, reflect on the different views presented by historians on the key individual. Consider also whether the views have changed over time and why this may have occurred. NSW HSC Online provides students with extensive links to internet resources. It is essential that you access a variety of sources, because this will help you develop a clear and in-depth understanding of the individual in the context of their times.

    Section IV: International Studies in Peace and Conflict (25 marks)

    You must attempt one question. You are required to demonstrate a clear understanding of the key concepts, groups and events in this topic. It is also essential that you have accessed the most recent historical material. Candidates are required to demonstrate the ability to analyse effectively the key issues in this section. You should prepare your study notes under the headings from the syllabus.

    If you are studying Conflict in Indochina 1954-1979, your study notes should include the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu and your analysis of the reasons for it. You should also read the papers of different historians for their views on this issue. NSW HSC Online provides an excellent annotated bibliography for students.

    For questions in Sections III and IV, be familiar with the general assessment criteria (rubric) printed at the front of each section, they relate to all options.

    You need to present a sustained, logical, well-structured answer, support your argument with relevant, detailed and accurate historical knowledge and use historical terms and concepts appropriately.

    Ensure that you access a variety of historians and internet resources to enhance your understanding and knowledge of all topics.


    Last edited by Kujah; 11 May 2008 at 3:58 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    Feel free to correct or add any posts/comments. Good luck everyone

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    Last edited by -WaxingLyrical-; 11 May 2008 at 4:08 PM.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    thank you...i really needed this cause i am struggling in modern history

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    Thumbs up Re: The Modern History Guide

    Kujah your a freekin LEGEND , so are all the others that helped contribute. im like struggling in modern but this will really help me study & prepare for my exam.
    thanks heaps

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    does anyone know where I can get the modern history syllabus ?

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    Thanks, you guys rock - truly! Will be using all these in not so long!!

    Cheers

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    thanks

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    Executive Member jellybelly59's Avatar
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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    thanks kujah... great help as always.

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    Junior Member tku336's Avatar
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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    thanks also.
    pro.

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    Re: The Modern History Guide

    One of the most helpful and greatest post in Bored of studies, thank man appreicate your work.
    HSC 2014!

    Advanced English | 3U Maths | Physics | Chemistry | Modern History

    Aim: 95+ UNSW COMMERCE

    Don't Doubt the NEW South

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