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This essay will examine five spheres which cast light on the extent of Jewish influence in high medieval France: namely, their role in the commercial life of the towns, the role of Jewish banking in the agrarian economy, their influence on Christian intellectual life, .. 'Quote-and-discuss' questions require you to identify the issue at stake and to produce a reasoned response.You may respond, for example, by agreeing with the quotation in which case you will need to explain why agreement is the best response, why it would be wrong to disagree.
'To-what-extent' questions involve a judgement of measure.
One way of answering the question would be set up a series of 'tests', as it were, that can be investigated in turn.
We want you to show us that not only have you acquired a knowledge of the topic but also that you fully understand the topic and the issues raised by it.
Essays test understanding by asking you to select and re-organise relevant material in order to produce your own answer to the set question.
You should consider the merits of a variety of responses.
If possible you should always examine the book or article from which the quotation has been taken in order to discover what its author meant by it, to discover how the author has understood the issues.
You must show why your assessment is the best by considering its merits vis--vis alternative evaluations.
It might be useful to define and defend the criteria on which your judgement depends.
An undergraduate essay need not be particularly innovative in its approach and insights, but it must be the product of the student's own dialogue with the subject.
Essays which do not answer the question can only be regarded as demonstrating some knowledge of the topic, they cannot be said to show understanding of the topic.