historyhl
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Joined: Feb 3,2018

Tue Feb 6,2018 01:41 AM

I've posted this on a comment regarding someone's enquiry in another thread on how to write a paper 1. I think it would be useful to create it as a new thread. Big thanks to the admins of this site for making such communication between IB students possible! :)

First of all, check out this website to know how to structure/write out your answers https://rudbeck-ib-history-revision.wikispaces.com/Paper+1+Exam+Technique

Firstly, with regards to question 1, your answer should like this:

A. According to Souce ___, (who, what, where, when, why, how) _______?
a. Take points straight from source
b. Make sure to have at least 3 points
c. No need to interpret or analyze
B. What is the message of this source?
a. Discuss what is being shown in the picture AND what it stands for
b. You can refer to the origin, but it is not necessary
i. You should look at the origin to have a better understanding of the possible messages
c. Look at any text, clothes, facial expressions, body language
i. explain what those represent
d. Basically, you’re answering the question “What does the author want me to know”


Secondly, know the generic answers to some of the questions. For example, in a question 2, a primary source's values will always be that it is inside information or close to the event or person being discussed. A secondary source's values will always have more well-rounded information or benefit of hindsight. With regards to limitations, a primary source would always be biased or only shows one side of the story. Meanwhile, a secondary source limitations will offer selective bias or history may be skewed over time.

Thirdly, question 3 is compare/contrast. Just say what both sources agree upon and what they both disagree upon *in relation to the question*. You can structure your answers like this: "Both sources agree that the Nazi Germans had expansionist ambitions. (Source A: "Hitler had desires to expand eastwards", "Source B: "Hitler stated in Mein Kampf the necessity of creating living space for the German people").

Fourth, Question 4 is a mini essay (9 marks) that wants you to refer to your own knowledge. But if you find yourself in the situation that you know nothing about the topic don't panic - just mention the sources and maybe try to infer your "own" knowledge using the sources. I'd recommend a mini essay around 1 side with a short introduction, an argument (the main body of text) and a short conclusion in the same format as any paper 2 or 3 essay.

Finally, timings are important and the probably the easiest thing to catch you out in this paper if you've learnt the technique.

You should spend the 5 minutes reading time on how to answer question one and then write it down in the space of around 2-3 minutes. Don't read over all the sources in the reading time, you'll just end up reading over them again when you go to answer each question. Also I would recommend to not start with question 4 because the same issue will arise (reading through sources too many times).

With question 1 out of the way you can spend (around) 5-10 minutes on question 2, 15-20 minutes on question 3 and leave yourself with 25-30 minutes for the last question.

I hope this helps :) Also, it would be suggested if you had brief knowledge on your subjects and you can find some paper 1 notes on the r/ibresources subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/ibresources/comments/7q56to/notes_for_all_ib_subjects/

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