Greek World 1A: GOBBET PRACTICE
In this lecture, we will discuss how to write answers to gobbets (i.e. passages or images on which you are expected to comment in detail in an exam). The process will also be helpful in completing the short exercise, due in week 5.
What is a gobbet answer?
It is a short commentary relating to a piece of primary evidence: a passage of literature, an inscription, an ancient image, an archaeological artefact etc. It is written in continuous prose, not in note form or using bullet points (note form/bullet points may be permissible in some courses but not in this one).
What is the purpose of writing gobbet answers?
Studying history and culture of Greece is not just about learning facts: it is about acquiring the skills of a historian and classicist. You must critically analyse source material in order to arrive at information that is as accurate as possible.
The idea of a gobbet is for you to show that you know something about a piece of source material, its context, its importance, where it comes from, when it dates, what it says etc.
It is a chance for you to show the examiner of your work that you can work critically with that source material by using your knowledge to evaluate a source's usefulness: that you know how historical and cultural information is acquired from sources, what types of sources there are and how historians and classicists use background information relating to those sources in order to assess the value of what they tell us. No source will be without some kind of slant or bias, and none will give a complete picture, so it is the job of the historian or classicist to identify that slant or bias, establish the limits of...