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    okay...i'm studying edexcel history and i have a GCSE this tuesday. The topics i will be focusing on is Nazi Germany and Hitler. For the past two years my teacher told me that the best way to answer source questions is to revise both topics by heart. And i did that. The problem is whenever i use that method i would get C or a D and usuallly in history i'm a B or an A grade student.


    I was wondering WHAT is the best way to answer source questions. Obviously the question is asking us to describe the source more rather than use our own knowledge. Whenever i ask someone the same question they would say mention origin, nature, purpose...so on. I do that and STILL dont get that mark. My english is okay, so what am i missing out?

    Can those doing History and get good grades in their source questions please tell me the technique they use. It will be much appreciated becuase i really need to do good in this exam to boost up my grade.

    Thankyou
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    english exams and history exams are not written in the same way - it took me ages to develop different styles of writing for different subjects ; this begins at GCSE - but my teacher always gave us this to help us :

    Source : where does it come from?
    Objective : why was it written / produced?
    Usefulness : Does it help you to answer the question?
    Reliability : can it be trusted?
    Context : How does your background knowledge help?
    Examples : Always use examples to back up what you are saying

    hope this helps! ( i got a B at GCSE history - but i've never been one for source based papers...it sucks...)
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    Which of the type of source questions in particular?

    There are four questions contained within the source paper on Edexcel history.

    1. What can you learn from source A about x (4)
    2. Does source C support the evidence of sources A and B about x (6)
    3. How useful are sources D and E as evidence of x (8)
    4. "Statement" - Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain whether you agree with this view. (12)


    This is not really the way I did the source paper at GCSE back when i was young and naive about history (must've done something right as I still got an A*) but mainly focussed on what I have learnt from source based questions at AS level (not just for history).

    For question 1 you really just need to find some key points that source A (or whatever) gives you about an event. For four marks you probably want to find four decent points about the situation or the effects of whatever it is they question you on.

    For the second type of question you should probably divide it up into different key issues relating to the question. E.g. when I sat the paper I had a question about the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam in the early 1960s so you would take this and divide it into several issues such as the failure of the French and the rising threat of communism and then deal with how source C agrees with each on this point (if it does) and then go on to look at how source C disagrees with A and B on issues. NOTE: It can agree with one and not the other a lot of the time. You probably want a conclusion relating to what extent source C supports A and B.

    For the third question you really need to look at things like the content, origin and purpose. E.g. is the source biased - is it a scathing condemnation of US intervention in Vietnam meant the turn people against the war (PURPOSE). Where the source comes from because that grants it bias and so whether it is useful (ORIGIN) - e.g. if it is a piece of propaganda. This is also useful if you are given a question relating to the attitudes of someone towards something as if it is a piece of their own writing it is useful in demonstrating directly their opinion, but limited as only portrays what they want people to think. You also have to look at what exactly the source contains as if the question is about something which the source doesn't pay much attention too then it is highly limited (CONTENT). A SOURCE IS ALWAYS USEFUL. They don't give you sources that have no use whatsoever, while they may be limited in their utility, there is always some use in them.

    4. This is simply look at the factors to support the statement and then look at those against using the sources to back up whatever argument they support. So for example I had a question regarding the main reason for US armed intervention in Vietnam being to protect the people at South Vietnam, I make points relating to that and use the sources to back up points and then look at other reasons, e.g. to prevent the spread of communism and use any sources that support that to back it up. Try not to use the same source for both sides of the argument as it is a way of undermining your argument. Make sure you use all the sources for this exam.

    Hope this has been helpful, good luck.
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    (Original post by Milli)
    okay...i'm studying edexcel history and i have a GCSE this tuesday. The topics i will be focusing on is Nazi Germany and Hitler. For the past two years my teacher told me that the best way to answer source questions is to revise both topics by heart. And i did that. The problem is whenever i use that method i would get C or a D and usuallly in history i'm a B or an A grade student.


    I was wondering WHAT is the best way to answer source questions. Obviously the question is asking us to describe the source more rather than use our own knowledge. Whenever i ask someone the same question they would say mention origin, nature, purpose...so on. I do that and STILL dont get that mark. My english is okay, so what am i missing out?

    Can those doing History and get good grades in their source questions please tell me the technique they use. It will be much appreciated becuase i really need to do good in this exam to boost up my grade.

    Thankyou
    Well, there is certainly no substitute for knowledge. This is the approach I used for source questions at GCSE (I got an A*)...

    Firstly, and I must emphasise this, DO NOT TRAWL THE SOURCE! It's the worst possible thing you can do. Don't state the blatant meaning, but look for subtle inferences. Remember it's source analysis not comprehension. By all means say what you find in the source, but don't go overboard with "he says this, then this, then this..."

    Once you've done the content of the source in fairly simple terms, next look at the attribution. Who wrote it? When? What for (book, speech etc.)? What motive could they have (things like political motivations)?

    Next, why is the source valid? Perhaps it's a contemporary, who has lived, felt, seen and smelt the events described. Maybe it's a respected historian. Have the views since been discredited, however?

    After you've done this, consider the content again. What do you know that backs up the information in the source? (this is where knowledge, and lots of it, is incredibly important!)

    Finally, what does the source NOT tell you? For example, other significant events which are relevant to the outcome may have been left out. Perhaps the role of one group in bringing about circumstances has been emphasised, at the expense of others.

    Remember, keep it relevant to the question, and don't trawl
 
 
 
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