Having written Section 2 of your History IA, you should then go back and write Section 1, in which you are required to identify and evaluate two of the most relevant sources used in your investigation. In this blog, Anna will walk you through the necessary steps to help you gain full marks for this section.
Clearly state the exact question you have chosen to investigate, e.g. “This study will investigate the question…” or “This investigation will explore the question…”
Next, give a clear explanation of the relevance of the source to the investigation. Why are these sources important in helping you answer your question?
This investigation will explore the question “To what extent was Pieter Willem Botha an influence to the peaceful end of Apartheid?” The two key sources I will look at come from a history professor and from a speech from Botha himself, which will give me two important different perspectives for my investigation.
Origin – who produced the source and when?
Value of the Origin
The origin of the source helps give it value because …
Source 1: Eades, Lindsay Michie. The End of Apartheid in South Africa. Westport: Greenwood, 1999
The origin of the source helps give it value because Eades is an expert in the field of history, lecturing at the University of Transkei in South Africa from 1989 to 1991 and being a history professor at Chowan College, East Carolina University and Greensboro College in North Carolina. As well as this, by being published in 1999, the author has been able to look at the subject more in depth and analyze the effects of such incident. Furthermore, the fact that Eades is not South African makes the analysis of the book more objective.”
Limitation of the origin
However, the origin of this source also limits its value…
However, the origin of this source also limits its value because, since it was not written during the apartheid era, some of the information might not be completely accurate. Likewise, the date of publication also limits its value because more information concerning the end of apartheid might have come to light since it was published.
Analyse the value and limitations of the two sources in relation to the investigation, with reference to their purpose and content – one paragraph
Purpose – why was the source produced?
Content – what does the source say?
Value of the Purpose
The purpose of the source is to ……. [Explain why it was produced in the first]. This is of value because…
The purpose of Eades’ book is to go over the changes made to transform the government and the challenges that this new government faced concerning the end of apartheid as well as going through the divisions of the South African society. This is of value because a variety of primary documents, including F.W. deKlerk’s policies as well as Freedom Charters from politicians with knowledge on the topic, are of great use when exploring the causes to the end of apartheid.
Limitation of the Purpose
However, the purpose and content has limitations because ….
However, by focusing [the content] mainly on the changes made to transform the government, the author does not make much reference to Botha himself; instead he focuses more on F.W. deKlerk’s policies. As well as this, her basis of her analysis is based on official documents, not taking into account the possibility that these political documents are biased since politicians looked for positive publicity.
Don’t forget to repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the second source.
The IA examples used are from an exemplar published by the IBO – to read the full IA please click here.