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IB HISTORY The Internal Assessment

The purpose of this document is to explain what you are required to do in the IA. Please read it very carefully and ask me if you have any questions at all. The IA is a very important part of your IB. For HL students it is 20% of the total grade and for SL students it is 25% of the total grade. This is what the IBO say about the History IA: Requirements of the historical investigation The historical investigation is a problem-solving activity that enables students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge to a historical topic that interests them and that need not be related to the syllabus. The internal assessment allows for flexibility and should encourage students to use their own initiative. The emphasis must be on a specific historical inquiry that enables the student to develop and apply the skills of a historian by selecting and analysing a good range of source material and managing diverse interpretations. The activity demands that students search for, select, evaluate and use evidence to reach a relevant conclusion. So the IA is like a mini EE in History! (Of course, you may not do the IA on the same topic as your EE) DEADLINES Choice of IA topic Outline of structure, to include main sources Completion of Sections A-C Completion of Sections D-F Project Week Final Deadline 9 January 16 January 31 January 13 February 26 February-4 March 5 March

CHOOSING A QUESTION You have a free choice of topic it can be within the IB syllabus or outside it. However, as we have limited time to cover the material in class, I strongly recommend that you choose a topic within the exam syllabus. In fact, I recommend that you choose a topic related to the Communism in Crisis Prescribed Subject, preferably the European part of this. Once you have chosen a topic you need to decide on a specific question. This needs to be a question around which you can develop an argument but it must also be a question that you can address in 1,500-2,000 words. Some examples of questions done by Pearson students were:

How far did the Catholic Church destabilise communism in Poland during the period from 1978-1983? To what extent and in what ways did the Hundred Flowers Campaign weaken Maos leadership? In what ways did the Soviet-Afghan war hasten the collapse of the USSR?

I strongly recommend questions in the forms to what extent or how far.




The structure of the IA is very strict. Some of you may find this restrictive, but the benefit is that you can gain good marks just by following the procedures closely. The structure is as follows: Section IB guidance Word s* 100150 Mar ks 3

Students should: Plan of the state the topic of the investigation, which investigatio should be formulated as a question n define the scope of the investigation explain the method of the investigation. This section should consist of factual material that is: Summary drawn from sources that are appropriate for of evidence the investigation correctly and consistently referenced organized thematically or chronologically. This section should consist of: a critical evaluation of two important sources Evaluation appropriate to the investigation of sources explicit reference to the origin, purpose, value and limitation of the selected sources. This section should consist of: an analysis that breaks down complex issues in order to bring out the essential elements, any underlying assumptions and any interrelationships involved an understanding of the issue in its historical context Analysis a critical examination of the factual material presented in section B an awareness of the significance of the sources used, especially those evaluated in section C a consideration of different interpretations of evidence, where appropriate. The conclusion must be clearly stated, Conclusion consistent with the evidence presented and relevant to the research question. A bibliography or list of sources and all citations, using one standard method, must be included; Sources any illustrations, documents, or other supporting and word evidence should be included in an appendix. limit None of these will form part of the word count. The word count for the investigation must be clearly and accurately stated on the title page.





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* Note: the word counts for each section are recommendations, but your IA MUST total between 1500 and 2000 words.

Please pay close attention to the following more detailed advice on each section: A PLAN OF THE INVESTIGATION According to the IBO, the plan is where you begin to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a specific historical topic. In a good plan: The research question is clearly stated. [it must be explicitly written as a question, with a ?, within section A.] The method and scope of the investigation are fully developed and closely focused on the research question. Your 100-150 words should therefore answer the following questions: Why is the question worth investigating? How will the question be approached? What kind of sources will be used? e.g. documents, memoirs, propaganda. What are the boundaries of the investigation? What topics or issues will you use to answer the question fully? NB: there is no need to explain what you wont cover. Scope was identified by the IB as an area of general weakness last year: a clear identification of the task/Research Question should be accompanied by a clear identification of areas/themes which will be addressed in order to allow the candidate to reach an effective judgement.

B SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE Your aim here should be to present a summary of evidence, and to demonstrate evidence of research skills, organization and referencing. In a good summary: The factual material is all relevant to the investigation and it has been well researched, organized and correctly referenced. In your 500-600-word summary, you should therefore aim for: A descriptive survey of the evidence this means facts with no analysis or interpretation A clear, simple, logical structure organised either thematically or chronologically Every fact to be footnoted, with a range of sources. A good summary will have a footnote for almost every sentence. You can write this section in bullet points or continuous prose; I recommend bullet points to save words. You must not answer the question at this point. Any argument should be saved for section D.

C EVALUATION OF SOURCES Here you are displaying your ability to evaluate historical sources as evidence. In an effective evaluation: There is evaluation of the sources and explicit reference to their origin, purpose, value and limitation. You should write 250-400 words analysing two sources. In your choice of sources, be aware that: They should be two sources that are important to your investigation They can be primary or secondary sources but primary are best because the purpose is usually easier to identify. If you choose a secondary source, try to pick one which is in a particular historiographical tradition (e.g. Marxist, revisionist) which you can critique. You must be able to evaluate them critically in other words, they must have both value and limitations. There is no need to compare the sources they can be kept separate from each other. However, it is best to choose two sources that disagree in some way It is acceptable to use other sources to highlight the value and limitations of the two you have chosen. For example, you could use book reviews (from journals, not Amazon!) to establish the credibility of your secondary source(s). When you name the sources for the first time, include a footnote reference for each source so that the author name, full title, and date and place of publication are clear. D ANALYSIS This is the most important section: you are required to demonstrate high-level skills of synthesis and evaluation to present an analysis of a summary of evidence. Ideally, in this section: There is critical analysis of the evidence presented in section B, accurate referencing, and an awareness of the significance to the investigation of the sources evaluated in section C. Where appropriate, different interpretations are analysed. This 500-600-word section is the most like a conventional essay, but it is not exactly the same: You do not need as much supporting evidence, because you should already have mentioned it in section B. The factual material in B should be examined critically, in a way that shows a nuanced approach to the sources you used in C. You should show that you understand the historical debate around the topic There should be a strong thread of argument This section should be very firmly structured: complex issues should be explicitly broken down and analysed. Try to structure it using sub-questions, which together add up to your overall question.

Dont give the answer at the beginning work through step by step, so your conclusion follows naturally from section D. You will find connecting words helpful, for example: o Therefore, thus, hence o Furthermore, moreover o However, yet, nevertheless, on the other hand The IB remind you that Section D should not include new material. Analysis must be based on what has been mentioned in Sections B and C. Although you should not introduce new evidence, you should have references in this section, for example to evidence that you have already cited, or to historians whose views you are assessing.

E CONCLUSION Once again, you are showing skills of synthesis and evaluation. Here: The conclusion is clearly stated and consistent with the evidence presented. In 150-200 words, you are stating the result of your investigation. The style is not important. If the question is unresolved, thats OK, but you must state that clearly. You should not present any new evidence. F SOURCES AND WORD LIMIT This is not a separate section, but you are marked out of 3 for your ability to demonstrate evidence of research skills, organization and referencing. You will get 3 marks if: An appropriate list of sources, using one standard method, is included. The investigation is within the word limit. Some guidelines for this: As with your EE, you must have both footnotes and a bibliography. The cover page should include your name and number, the colleges name, the title and the word count A table of contents is desirable but not required. Pages must be numbered, and each section must be correctly titled. Your bibliography (in alphabetical order by last name of author) should only list sources you have cited o The IB wrote that last year attention needed paying to the setting out of the bibliography. Candidates were often rather sloppy in the organization of the sources used and did not arrange them in a standard fashion. Citations of web pages should include the date when the site was accessed You must choose an appropriate referencing method and apply it consistently. I recommend you use Chicago (or its near-relative Turabian). However, if you already know how to use Harvard or MLA, these are also fine. Other styles may not be acceptable check with me before using them. I recommend using footnotes, not in-text parenthetical citations or endnotes. This means that every source which is paraphrased or quoted, or used as the main source of a piece of information in section B, should be numbered in the text, and (in the case of a published book) the author, title, publisher, publication place and date, and page number of the source should be written at the bottom of the page. A footnote can easily be added in Microsoft Word using the command Insert > Reference > Footnote; you should play close attention to the formatting of the example in the next paragraph. The footnote should be placed at the end of the phrase or sentence, after all punctuation. If you wish to cite two or more sources in one footnote, simply use a semi-colon between them. As an example, consider whether you agree with Mao that the Long March proclaimed to the world that the Red Army is an army of heroes,1 or

Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, vol. 1 (Peking, 1975), 160, quoted in Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: Norton, 1990), 409.

whether it was a disastrous retreat following a devastating defeat, as Gray put it.2 (An alternative to the above example would be to cite both sources at the end of the sentence.) Instructions for Chicago can be found at Use the dropdown list to access specific instructions for each different kind of source. Just ask if you have any questions.

Jack Gray, Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to 2000, 2nd ed. (Oxford: OUP, 2002), 268.

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