HSC Modern History exam - Q&A

Questions and answers for the HSC Modern History exam

Historians' quotes and other evidence

How important is it to include historian quotes in extended responses?

It is not necessary to use quotes from historians to obtain a Band 6 – if you look at any of the HSC Modern History marking guidelines, they do not specifically reference historiography.

Do we always have to integrate quotes?

The only time must integrate quotes is when you have been given a stimulus source – you must use that to answer the question. It is your choice whether you choose to underline or highlight it. You should try to make your use of the sources as clear to the marker as possible.

What is the best way to integrate sources in essay responses? Do we need to remember quotes word for word?

You do not need to memorise a whole string of quotes; paraphrasing a historian, or using even a single word can have more impact, as you are showing the marker you are making it part of your own writing. 

Would we lose marks if we mix up our historians when paraphrasing?

You do not “lose” marks for mixing up historians, but you won’t gain marks, either.

Would it be worthwhile to remember quotes by Historians for each topic?

Do NOT just drop in a quote like a shopping list; it is critical that you integrate it. That means you muse weave it into your argument. Look at examples from The Writing Revolution (Hochman & Wexler, 2017) such as their “Because/But/So.”

If not historian quotes, what kind of evidence can we use in our essays and how would we cite that in the essay?

Another way to use historians is the idea of “springboards” and “punching bags”. Use a historian’s idea to launch your own argument (springboard), or take it down with your own argument (punching bag). This shows you integrating their ideas into yours, which is much more powerful than just a quote.


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