Edexcel History Essays

Introduction to 20 mark essay writing

Essay writing in Higher History is very important. Overall, 70% of your grade will be ascertained from the essays you write, 30% from your extended essay and 40% from your 2 essays in Paper 1 of the final examination.

As you have advanced through the school in Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 you will have learned how to write short essays worth 8 marks. You will remember how daunting these essays seemed to be when you first started writing them. You will also remember how writing these essays became easier with practice.

Essay writing is a skill, something that has to be learned. You had to learn how to introduce your essay, develop the points and then conclude your argument when writing 8 mark answers.

Essay writing at higher takes you a stage further in your development as rational, discursive and deliberating beings and again you will have to learn how to write Higher Essays skilfully.

However, some words of warning! Your development of these “higher” skills will not come naturally, neither will they come from listening attentively to your teacher or copying your friends essays (it does happen and these people are invariably caught). Your development of these essay writing skills will be down to hard work, reading and practice. Simple.

This section includes recent A-Level History past papers from Edexcel. You can download each of the Edexcel A-Level History past papers and marking schemes by clicking the links below.

Edexcel A-Level History Past Papers June 2016

Unit 1 - 8H101

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1A: The Crusades, c1095 – 1204  Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1B: England 1509– 1603: authority, nation and religion  Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1C: Britain, 1625 – 1705: Conflict, revolution and settlement Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1D: Britain, c1785 – c1870: democracy, protest and reform Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1E: Russia, 1917 – 1991 from Lenin to Yeltsin Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1F: In search of the American Dream: The USA c1917 – 1996 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1G: Germany and West Germany, 1918 - 1989 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations:
Option 1H: Britain transformed, 1918 – 1997 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Unit 2 - 8H101

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2A.1: Anglo Saxon England and the Anglo- Norman Kingdoms
Option 2A.2: England and the Angevin Empire in the reign of Henry 11, 1154 -89
Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2B.1: Luther and The German Reformation, c1515 -55
Option 2B.2: The Dutch Revolt, 1563 -1609  Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2C.1: France in Revolution, 1774 -79
Option 2C.2: Russia in Revolution, 1894 -1924 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2D.1: The Unification of Italy, c1830-1870
Option 2D.2: The Unification of Germany c1840- 1871 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2E.1: Mao’s China, 1949 -1976
Option 2E.2: The German Democratic Republic, 1949 -1990 Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2F.1: India, c1914 -48: the road to independence
Option 2F.2: South Africa, 1948 -94: from apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation’ Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2G.1: The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911 -46
Option 2G.2: Spain, 1930 -78: republicanism, Francoism and the re-establishment of democracy
Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

AS Paper 2: Depth Study:
Option 2H.1: The USA, c1920 -1955: boom, bust and the recovery
Option 2H.2: The USA 1955 -92: conformity and challenge  Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Edexcel A-Level History June 2015

Unit 1 - 6H101

Option A: England in the Middle Ages and the Transition to the Early Modern World - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: Power, Belief and Conflict in Early Modern Europe - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: The British Empire: Colonisation and Decolonisation - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: A World Divided: Communism and Democracy in the Twentieth Century - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option F: The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Unit 2 - 6H102

Option A: Early Modern British History: Crown & Authority - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: British Political History in the 19th Century - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: Conflict and Change in 19th & 20th Century Britain - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: The British Empire Challenged - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: Britain in the Later 20th Century: Responding to Change - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Unit 3 - 6H103

Option A: Revolution and Conflict in England - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: Politics, Protest and Revolution - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: The United States: Challenged and Transformed - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: The Challenge of Fascism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: War and Peace: Twentieth Century International Relations - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Edexcel A-Level History June 2014

Unit 1

Option A: England in the Middle Ages and the Transition to the Early Modern World - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: Power, Belief and Conflict in Early Modern Europe - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: The British Empire: Colonisation and Decolonisation - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: A World Divided: Communism and Democracy in the Twentieth Century - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option F: The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Unit 2

Option A: Early Modern British History: Crown & Authority - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: British Political History in the 19th Century - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: Conflict and Change in 19th & 20th Century Britain - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: The British Empire Challenged - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: Britain in the Later 20th Century: Responding to Change - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Unit 3

Option A: Revolution and Conflict in England - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option B: Politics, Protest and Revolution - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option C: The United States: Challenged and Transformed - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option D: The Challenge of Fascism - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

Option E: War and Peace: Twentieth Century International Relations - Download Past Paper - Download Mark Scheme

For more A-Level History past papers from other exam boards click here.

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