5. Body of the Essay
The main body of the essay is where your thesis is developed, points made, arguments explained and sources analysed and evaluated to provide evidence to substantiate your arguments. Essentially, and obviously, the main body IS the essay.
It is advisable to divide this into chapters or sections, which will help you structure and develop your arguments.
It is advisable to divide this into chapters or sections, which will help you structure and develop your arguments.
Example: Why did Britain pursue a policy of non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War during 1939?
Below is an example chapter from the EE of the above question. Consider how the chapter meets marking criteria C-G & K.
The Goal of Non-Intervention was to prevent Italian or German Expansion
Rather than merely appeasing the aggressors to prevent the spread of war from Spain, Britain can also be seen as astutely using diplomacy to limit intervention in Spain, thus limiting any upset of the balance of the Mediterranean. The British can be seen as creating a policy of non-intervention, and subsequently the Non-Intervention Committee, to prevent German or Italian aid from escalating to levels with which those countries would be able to gain concessions from Franco. The existence of the committee meant that aid would be limited and partially clandestine. This committee relied on Britain constantly pursuing strict non-intervention.
As stated in Secret British Foreign Office Documents, Britain was concerned with the possibility that the Spanish Civil War would lead to 'Italy taking some action which might upset the existing balance in the Western Mediterranean' (1). Key to British trade were the Straits of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal which 'in a war with a European Power would be essential to (British interests)' (2). The ultimate fear was the because Italy had little control in the Mediterranean it would attempt to aid Spain in the hope of gaining more power which would 'make (British) control of the Straits and use of Gibraltar as a naval and air base extremely difficult' (3). Explicitly it is not an ideological argument as the documents state, 'whether Fascist or Communist emerge from the present struggle the question of the security of our base at Gibraltar will require serious examination' (4). Further suggesting it is Italy that Britain was concerned with, the document states 'Italy is the only enemy in contemplation' (5).
All this information led to statements concluding that a policy of non-intervention would be pursued, as 'if a universal agreement can be reached and enforced there would be no reason fro the winning side in Spain to grant territorial concessions'. Therefore British policy was directed against Italy and non-intervention was a way of limiting Italian aid so Italy could gain no concessions in the Mediterranean that would interfere with British power.
At the beginning of the crisis Britain saw the need to prevent the Axis from intervening at all, but as the crisis played out the British had to prevent large-scale German and Italian aid entering which could turn the tide of war and grant the Axis concessions in the Mediterranean. By early August 1936, Germany and Italy had begun to pursue a more non-interventionist policy even though light tanks and aircraft continued to flow into Spain until October 1936 (6). After British diplomats had convinced French leaders that intervention in Spain, even sending supplies, was dangerous, the French proposed that the policy of non-intervention be legitimated through some form of committee on the 2nd of August (7). To the British preventing further intervention would localize the conflict. Eden therefore put an embargo on Spain in August 1936 hoping it would 'induce... Germany and Italy to follow suit...' in effect limiting their aid (8).
However, this matter was complicated by Soviet intervention in October 1936 as the Soviets began to supply the Republic with arms and light tanks (9). By November 1936 the infamous German Condor Legion had been sent to Spain and Italy had sent in over 100 aircraft (10). This looked like the build-up for a possible ideological conflict erupting in Spain and now made it imperative that the war be limited. Therefore the Non-Intervention Committee 'debarred states and private enterprises from providing aid to either side in the Spanish Civil War' (11). Britain continued to pursue its policy of non-intervention in direct reaction to increased German and Italian intervention.
While overtly the goal of the Non-Intervention Committee was for all the powers that signed it (including the USSR, Germany and Italy) to have no intervention, there was tacit acknowledgement it could not adhere to this. Eden stated that it was 'tattered and full of holes no doubt, but better than total war in Spain, a European war out of that' (12). The shift from merely a policy of non-intervention to attempting to bring other nations into a policy of non-intervention suggests the goal was to prevent the Axis from intervening to a large extent. As the committee had no international laws behind it, it allowed German or Italian aid to be sent there covertly and therefore at low levels. Germany and Italy could break the rules only to the extent to which the British were content their interests would not be impacted. This policy was directly focused at preventing the Axis from intervening as the committee came about not long after the escalation by the Axis, as both the timing and rhetoric of that time suggest.
Eden's memoirs, Facing the Dictators, have been frequently cited in arguments about the different factors of appeasement which influenced British policy within this essay; thus determining the value and limitations of this source will have implications for the strength of this evidence.
Eden was the British foreign minister from 1935 to 1938 as well as serving in the Foreign Office before this period, making his memoirs a valuable source (13). As foreign minister he was responsible for meeting with foreign leaders and a key advisor in cabinet meetings of the British government to decide foreign policies. Therefore, his views of the Spanish conflict as well as his reasoning are valuable in examining the reasons for British foreign policy. His view of Spain as anachronistic and that war must be averted at any cost are clear from his memoirs and this view would have been passed to the British cabinet. It is therefore Eden as the origin of the source that makes it valuable for my question.
Most of the memoirs were written based on personal letters, official letters and official documents that he either possessed or requested, which suggests Eden has information from all offices of the British foreign service and therefore would be able to provide exhaustive details for all British agencies (14). He would also have the many documents that the foreign office wrote at the time which means he has information from the key intelligence and Spanish specialists. This makes the source valuable in helping us understand what the British foreign office thought of the crisis as well as the justification for its policy decisions.
However, the source was .written in 1962, decades after the conflict when there was a whole new world order. The source may stress more ideological struggles because of the Cold War context or it may attempt to paint the author in a better light. Eden had retired from an unsuccessful time as prime minister and might have used these memoirs to point out previous successes. His failure during the Suez Crisis could have led to him trying to paint himself as an astute diplomat. Therefore, the origin of the source being so close to his failure at Suez and there being a possible ulterior purpose suggest the source could be limited in understanding Eden's role in the Spanish crisis. This limits evidence garnered from the source for understanding Britain's role in the Spanish conflict.
1. Cabinet Office Paper 'Western Med: Situation arising from the Spanish Civil War', Eden. A., Foreign Office, London. 31 August 1936. Accessed 5 September 2009.
6. Forrest, op. cit., pg. 71.
7. Preston, op. cit., pg. 141.
8. Manchester, W., 1988, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, alone 1932-1940, London: Little, Brown and Company, pg. 201.
9. Forrest, op. cit., pg. 71.
10. Forrest, op. cit., pg. 71.
11. Graham, H., 2005, The Spanish Civil War: A very short introduction, New York: Oxford University Press, pg. 38.
12. Eden, op. cit., pg. 466.
13. Eden, A. 1962, Facing the Dictators, London: Cassell, pg. 1.
14. Eden, op. cit. pg. 1.
- Example taken from: Rogers, K., & Thomas, J. (2012). Oxford IB Skills and Practice: History for the IB Diploma. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The following criterion (C-G & K) will be used to mark the main body of your essay:
Criterion C: Investigation
This criterion assesses your collection and use of sources. You need to use a variety of primary and secondary sources in your essay and to use historiography where appropriate to support your arguments.
0 - Little or no evidence that sources have been consulted or data gathered, and little or no evidence of planning of the investigation.
1 - A range of inappropriate sources has been consulted, or inappropriate data has been gathered, and there is little evidence that the investigation has been planned.
2 - A limited range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and some relevant material has been selected. There is evidence of some planning in the investigation.
3 - A sufficient range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been selected. The investigation has been satisfactorily planned.
4 - An imaginative range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been carefully selected. The investigation has been well planned.
Criterion D: Knowledge and Understanding of the Topic Studied
This criterion is testing your in-depth knowledge - your essay should indicate that you have a genuine understanding of the issues that you cover, including any historical debate.
0 - The essay demonstrates no real knowledge or understanding of the topic studied.
1 - The essay demonstrates some knowledge but little understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows little awareness of an academic context for the investigation.
2 - The essay demonstrates an adequate knowledge and some understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows some awareness of an academic context for the investigation.
3 - The essay demonstrates a good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay successfully outlines an academic context for the investigation.
4 - The essay demonstrates a very good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay clearly and precisely locates the investigation in an academic context.
Criterion E: Reasoned Argument
This is where the essay-writing skills that you have been developing for Paper 2 and 3 come in to good use. You need to ensure that you have structured your answer so that it clearly develops an argument which addresses the question that you have set. All your arguments need to be supported with precise evidence.
0 - There is no attempt to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.
1 - There is a limited or superficial attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.
2 - There is some attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question, but this is only partially successful.
3 - Ideas are presented in a logical and coherent manner, and a reasoned argument is developed in relation to the research question, but with some weaknesses.
4 - Ideas are presented clearly and in a logical and coherent manner. The essay succeeds in developing a reasoned and convincing argument in relation to the research question.
Criterion F: Application of Analytical and Evaluative Skills appropriate to the Subject
As already stated, you need to ensure that you remain analytical rather than descriptive in your approach to answering the question. You also need to use your analytical skills to comment on the evidence that you have used. As with the IA, you need to be aware of the value and limitations of the sources that you are using. However, unlike in the IA, you should not have a separate section in your essay addressing this. Rather, you should incorporate comments on the sources that you have used into the main body of the essay.
0 - The essay shows no application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.
1 - The essay shows little application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.
2 - The essay shows some application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills, which may be only partially effective.
3 - The essay shows sound application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.
4 - The essay shows effective and sophisticated application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.
Criterion G: Use of Language Appropriate to the Subject
As with any good essay writing in history, you need to ensure that you use the historical terminology appropriate to your topic. Also avoid generalisations, vague unsupported assertions or colloquial language.
0 - The language used is inaccurate and unclear. There is no effective use of terminology appropriate to the subject.
1 - The language used sometimes communicates clearly but does not do so consistently. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is only partly accurate.
2 - The language used for the most part communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is usually accurate.
3 - The language used communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is accurate, although there may be occasional lapses.
4 - The language used communicates clearly and precisely. Terminology appropriate to the subject is used accurately, with skill and understanding.