I am just posting a reply to a student’s question on the School History Help Forum (an excellent idea on Andy Field’s website, which is staffed by volunteers, and could always do with some help).
I reminded myself of this resource which I created to help students to work on the difference between analysis and narrative in their topic sentences. Which of these sentences are Analytical Sentences. I adapted this from the excellent, but not en-vogue Cowie and Wolfson (or in print) textbook.
I’m not denigrating narrative history here, really. Exam boards expect essays to be packed with analysis, and students who write a narrative starting sentence often find it hard to turn this into analysis. The most successful essays start each paragraph with a topic sentence that it analytical, and the most analytical are often sentences which compare, contrast, or link with other topics in the argument.
Students often find this hard, and I find that examples are really helpful in learning how to see / deconstruct and then re-construct analysis at this level.