Organizing Essay Answers

Here are two examples of brief answers to the following essay question: What were the important results of the (English) revolution of 1688?

Answer #1

I will summarize the most important results of the revolution under three headings:

1. Parliament's victory.

The most direct result of the revolution of 1688 was the final victory of Parliament in the conflict between it and the king that had gone on all during the 17th century. Parliament, by declaring the throne vacant because of James II's desertion to France, finally established that the king ruled by choice of the people and Parliament and not by divine right. Parliament established a Bill of Rights, which said that the king was not above the law but was himself subject to the law. In the early years of the reign of William and Mary, many additional acts were passed which curtailed the powers of the crown.

2. The end of religious conflict.

The revolution itself did not entirely end the religious troubles of the 17th century, but Parliament passed a Toleration Act which brought an end to many of the difficulties of the Dissenters. The Catholics, however, were still subject to many infringements of civil liberties.

3. A new political class.

The important general result of the revolution and the victory of Parliament was the beginning of a long era during which political power in England was divided between the landed gentry and the merchant class.

Answer #2

The revolution of 1688 was very important. It was so important that is sometimes called the "glorious revolution." Parliament won, and it passed a lot of acts which were against the king, and it invited William and Mary to rule jointly in England. William and Mary still had to fight though, especially in Ireland where James II was finally defeated. William and Mary cooperated with Parliament so there wasn't so much trouble between the King and Parliament. James II was very unpopular because he was a Catholic, and Parliament made it so no Catholic could ever become king again, although parliament made things easier for the Dissenters. This was the end of the Divine Right of Kings in England, though at first the country was ruled mostly by the aristocracy and the rich merchants. Real democracy didn't come until much later, so the revolution of 1688 wasn't a completely democratic revolution.

Comparing Answer #1 and Answer #2

These two answers differ more in organization than they do in content. The first answer is not perfect, but it is clear, concise, and factual. The second is not as effective because it is vague, rambling, and contains irrelevancies and loose statements.