FICTION: In ITV’S Victoria, the young queen is seen thinking, from their first meeting, Albert was unattractive, awkward, dull, and even a “stupid boy.”

FACT: Victoria was smitten with Albert the moment she met him. On his first visit in 1836, she wrote

 “Albert, who is just as tall as Ernest but stouter, is extremely handsome ; his hair is about the same colour as mine ; his eyes are large and blue, and he has a beautiful nose and a very sweet mouth with fine teeth ; but the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful.”

After she got to know him, she was enchanted by his lovely charms

Dearest Ernest and dearest Albert are so  grown-up in their manners, so gentle, so kind, so amiable, so agreeable, so very sensible and reasonable,  and so really and truly good and kind-hearted. They have both learnt a good deal, and are very  clever, naturally clever, particularly Albert, who is the most reflecting of the two, and they like very  much talking about serious and instructive things  and yet are so very very merry and gay and happy,
like young people ought to be ; Albert used always to have some fun and some clever witty answer; he used to play and fondle Dash funnily, too.

On the day of Albert’s departure she wrote

Dearest Albert was playing on the piano when I came down. At 11 dear Uncle, my dearest beloved Cousins….left us, accompanied by Count Kolowrat. I embraced both my dearest Cousins most warmly, as also my dear Uncle. I cried bitterly, very bitterly.

How to take an Essay from Good to Great

Hello, all!

I’ve just recently been writing my Extended Essay, and something I’ve noticed during the process is that this one thing can completely change how people read your essay, and consequently, can get you a much higher grade!

Have a Point. (No, really.)

The point you are making in your essay should have very little to do with the subject you’re writing it on. It sounds crazy, but trust me.

Let’s say this is your thesis: 

“Chemistry was the most influential area of science during the Enlightenment because of the drastic changes which allowed it to develop into modern chemical science.”

From here we can break it down into three parts: What, How, and Why.

WHAT are you claiming? (Chemistry was the most influential area of science.)

HOW do you know this? (Because through drastic change it evolved into modern chemical science.)

WHY is this relevant? (Uhhh…)

This is the trap that I see so many people fall into (and I have fallen into it myself a few times) when they try to write major essays. It’s the difference between a B and an A, or eventually in upper-level classes, the difference between a pass and a fail. So how do you fix it?

Figure out why you’re arguing the thesis. Why are you making the point in the first place, other than because the teacher says you have to? 

This would by my answer:

WHY is this relevant? Because the advancement of chemistry during the Enlightenment era shows that critical analysis of systems within the natural sciences is mandatory in order for evolution within the field. Science can’t progress if nobody is willing to question it.

This type of universal point is what will get people interested in your essay even if they can’t relate to something as specific as chemistry or the Enlightenment. And the great thing is, you only have to include it a few times in the essay (conclusion especially) to make it work! You still prove your original thesis just like you would normally… this is just a little sprinkle of greatness on top. This is the best advice I have to give you on essays.

It works. It’s strange, but it works.

-Alyssa (ib-study-and-tea)