Thursday, 10 February 2011
A2 Students may find this official definition of Synopticity from AQA of interest:
Synopticity is 'Approaching History in the way a professional historian would' by drawing together knowledge, ideas and arguments to show overall historical understanding.
Essentially, we are looking for breadth of understanding (an ability to see beyond the obvious and to see the deeper implications of questions), together with a relevant linking of ideas and arguments across the topic / period of the question.
It mixes breadth of understanding (an ability to see the key underlying themes of the Unit 3 period the 'drivers' bringing change; the degree of continuity; the relationship between state and people), with depth of example and understanding of the importance of precise supporting detail.
At A2, essays are likely to have more than one focus; more than one issue to discuss and more than one viewpoint to analyse. The question itself invites a 'synoptic response' so a good conventional essay answer will do all these things.
For further details, check the AQA website here or find a member of the History Department...