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history coursework question 5 the blitz

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5. Study all the sources, and use your own knowledge. The impression that the British faced the Blitz with courage and unity is a myth. Use the sources, and your own knowledge, to explain whether you agree with this statement. (14) I disagree to an extent with the statement that Britain faced the Blitz without courage and unity because Britain did remain generally strong and unified as Britain managed to survive the Blitz and continue working even after the Blitz. However, a large amount of the media shown during the Blitz was propaganda which raises a question about how did the public really feel during the Blitz and whether they actually felt unified. The statement can also be compared to Angus Calder's theory where he believed that the unification of Britain during the Blitz was a myth. During World War II, the government set up the Ministry of Information to firstly, censor all newspapers and radios and secondly, to produce propaganda to help 'boost public morale'. ...read more.


It is a very positive image and the people are seen to be having "blitz spirit", this purpose of the image would've been to help keep Britain unified during the Blitz. This image proves how the government influenced on what was shown; we don't actually know whether or not the people photographed felt positive or whether they had been asked to smile therefore it was a propaganda picture and because it was published, many people would've seen it. This would have influenced the way people felt about the Blitz as it would have left a positive impact on the reader. Source C also could suggest whether "Blitz Spirit" even exist due to the propaganda and therefore supports the statement. Another source which agrees with the statement is Source E. It shows how some people would run "madly" to the shelters and it was written in autumn 1940 which was during the height of the Blitz. ...read more.


However, we know that most people came back the next day for work which shows how the Blitz did not affect the industry as people still believed they had to turn up for work, there was still good attendance and production during the Blitz. Source G was written in 1988 which shows there was a good historical overview and also talks about "trekking", it proves to us how the government managed to successfully sustain the morale, even if it was at times low, and avoid lack of workers in the factories which the government believed to be a problem. The source therefore disagrees with the statement as Britain managed to continue the industrial production up. To conclude, I agree with Calder in the sense that our understanding of the Blitz is largely based on propaganda. However, I disagree with Calder and the statement as Britain managed to survive the Blitz and go on to rebuild the damage, also during the Blitz Britain managed to continue working in factories which proves there had to be some element of unification during the Blitz. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

The student has a clear line of argument and argues their line well throughout the essay. However, the student has a very strong siding towards rejecting the title therefore the 'for argument' in the essay is relatively weak in comparison ...

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Response to the question

The student has a clear line of argument and argues their line well throughout the essay. However, the student has a very strong siding towards rejecting the title therefore the 'for argument' in the essay is relatively weak in comparison to the 'against argument'. By this, I mean that the 'for' is less well developed in terms of supporting it with evidence. Whilst this is not always possible to achieve, certainly for such source coursework, they always give sources which strongly agree, disagree and some which can be used on both sides. The structure is very clear and the introduction opens the essay well. However, the introduction seemed to also do the work of the conclusion as by the conclusion, there were no points left to say and so it was repeating almost exactly what had been said before. The idea of the conclusion is to wrap up the essay and tie up any loose ends - I felt this was all done throughout the essay therefore the conclusion seemed slightly pointless.

Level of analysis

The student shows a strong analytical approach to the sources and writes well. As mentioned above, the student lacks some depth in some areas where they could have been more specific and precise in detail bringing in their 'own knowledge'. The sources were closely looked at and the student obviously has a very good understanding of each source in relation to the question. The student uses the sources to their advantage and uses it to guide the essay which is good, but this also endangers the 'own knowledge' part as it can be too heavily source based (which this was tending towards). The conclusion was a strong and apparent one from the start. However, I would avoid the words "I" and "we" in an essay. Especially with the word "I" as it is always obvious that the essay is your opinion so ultimately whatever your conclusion, it is always your argument. In regards to the word "we", it is not as professional to use. The student could try other phrasing such as 'It is evident from E that....' rather than 'We can see from E that...'.

Quality of writing

The spelling, grammar and punctuation had a few questionable places. Though nothing major, one should make sure that they always check through their work as such 'silly mistakes' do not leave a good impression to the examiner and spoils a high standard essay. The technical terms used in the essay were appropriate and the student follows typical conventions in regards to the structure of the essay. The student has also mentioned each source at least once which is good as marks can be deducted if this is omitted. I should add that it is not necessary to write the word Source every time. It is ok to write 'E is an account ....' rather than 'Source E is an account'. This again helps the word count.

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Reviewed by crystalclearmagic 24/04/2012

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