Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Methods of Assessment

Option 2

Seminar contribution (10%) 24 March

1500 word review (10%): 3 Feb

3000 word essay (40%): 3 March

Source based essay (40%): 28 April

Review examples, here and here and here.

The second assignment, based on Alexandra Garbarini's award-winning syllabus, is a 3000 word essay which will be a first person account by a fictional person who has experienced the Holocaust. This can be a victim (Jew, gay man, Roma, etc), bystander, or a perpetrator. In your essay, you offer a short memoir on your life as it was impacted by the Third Reich/occupation. Your protagonist can survive, but may also perish. The essay does not need to have footnotes, but please include a bibliography (which does not count towards the word count). The bibliography will help you position your protagonist in historical context and make their experience authentic and probable. The bibliography should draw on both scholarly literature and (published or unpublished) sources. The aim here is to offer as authentic biography as possible that is positioned in the contents of the syllabus. The essay does not need to be analytical, and if it suits the person's narrative and your inclination, can be written in formal or informal tone. If your narrator does not survive, you end at that point. (you can offer a short post script about what happens to the others - or not).

The essay will not be marked for literary quality. I look for:

- authenticity: your narrative needs to be probable; avoid wildly improbable turns of events (miracles, partisans operating in 1942 Saxony, etc)

- detail: do not be vague, tell where you are, what happens these, give (approximate) dates, mention, if appropriate, important historical factors you may have probably met (say Adam Czerniakow, if you are a Jewish functionary in Warsaw ghetto, or Gisi Fleischmann, if you are in Slovak Jewish resistance)

- contextualization into primary and secondary literature (by means of bibliography). For instance, if your narrator is imprisoned in a concentration camp or a ghetto (these need to be real), offer some specifics. A useful source, uncluding further references, is the USHMM encyclopedia of camps and ghettos

The third, source-based essay of 3000 words should offer a close analysis of a single or small set of directly related primary sources. You can pick these yourselves, or if you cannot, pick one from our readings seminars. The essay should showcase your skill to read the source, point out its layers and possible interpretations, put it into context and relevant historiography.

UPDATE: due to the pandemic, I will not be marking the use of primary and secondary sources. You are also encouraged to get in touch with me for literature advice.

For details of examination and assessment, please see:

Contact Hours

Student contact hours for this final-year Special Subject module will be comprised as follows:

Lectures: None
Seminars: Eighteen two-hour seminars
Tutorials: Two hours of feedback and long essay preparation
Revision: Four hours of revision seminar
Total: Forty-four hours