Here's what a star student thought of this essay
Quality of writing
The spelling, grammar and punctuation is relatively good, although the student makes a repeated apostrophe error with the word "American's", such as "...they provided many American's with...". The essay would benefit from the use of more technical vocabulary such as "causal factor", which demonstrates a strong understanding of key historical concepts that would be appropriate for A level standard work. Although this student shows a clear understanding, more specialised technical vocabulary would have shown the examiner that the student is in no doubt about what they know. The presence of marker words such as "although" in the essay allows the student to demonstrate their understanding of alternative interpretations.
Level of analysis
The student responds excellently to sources by ranging across them and integrating quotes from them into their sentences. Most students have little trouble with this, but this student is also adept at using their own statistical knowledge and maintaining this standard throughout the essay, which is an area students often struggle with. Students often struggle with this because it is difficult to remember lots of statistics, dates or people for lots of different historical events. A good way to combat this is to remember evidence that can be used in lots of different discussions: this student has used the 8m unemployed figure, which could be used not just in relation to success of the New Deal but also if the question was on the technicalities of FDR's economic policy, the impact of the Second World War etc. The student is excellent at combining awareness of historical debate with use of the sources, which is important as it shows they are able to understand interpretations but back them up with evidence, which is crucial to access higher mark bands. This leads to a balanced conclusion, which shows the student can understand which of the different interpretations is the better one and why. The conclusion just doesn't summarise what has been said but it explains the main advantages and disadvantages of the interpretations, and this provides the sustained judgement (keeping it up through the whole essay) that examiners look for.
Response to question
Response to question The student has written an answer that uses lots of very specific evidence and responds very well to sources. The question is general but the answer is detailed, explicit and focused for the whole piece. The section that deals with unemployment statistics and begins with a quote from O'Callaghan uses a very precise selection of evidence, which is useful because it displays that the student not only understands what happened but they can prove it to the examiner by using relevant examples.