(‘Start with an earthquake and work up to a climax,’ counselled the film-maker Cecil B.
De Mille.) More important is that you demonstrate your understanding of the question set.
Or if you are asked to explain the successes of a particular individual, again avoid writing the first thing that comes into your head. In so doing, you will automatically be presented with the problem of defining ‘success’. Do we have to consider short-term and long-term successes?
If the person benefits from extraordinary good luck, is that still a success?
You have to think and think hard – and then you should think again, trying to find loopholes in your reasoning.
Eventually you will almost certainly become confused.
First of all we ought to ask, What constitutes a good history essay?
Probably no two people will completely agree, if only for the very good reason that quality is in the eye – and reflects the intellectual state – of the reader.
But unfortunately there’s no substitute if you want to get the top grade.
So think as hard as you can about the meaning of the question, about the issues it raises and the ways you can answer it.