IA Section 1 - Plan of the Investigation (3 marks)
Markbands and student examples

 A suggested number of words for this section is 100–150.

 Students should:

• state the topic of the investigation, which will be formulated as a question; it could be useful to provide a rationale for the choice of the selected topic for investigation.

• define the scope of the investigation; identify themes or areas of investigation to be undertaken in order to reach an effective and successful conclusion to the investigation.

• explain the method of the investigation by stating the ways in which themes or areas will be analyzed.

This is a relatively brief but important section. A sharply focused question and a clearly structured plan will be more likely to produce a successful investigation.

 


Tips to writing a great (3 of 3 marks) Section A

Avoid first person. Do not use personal pronouns.
Tip: A way to avoid this is to think of the investigation in third person.

Step 1: Start the section with your question:

This investigation will answer the question, [insert question here].


Step 2: [Then state why you believe the question/investigation is important]

This question is important because...

Step 3: Next, specifically state the time frame & specific area of research]
Tip: Be sure to use the word scope.


The scope of the investigation is...

Example: The scope of this investigation focuses on Nixon's years as U.S. president and his relationship toward Native Americans.

Step 4: Finally, state your methods of research. How are you using two of your major sources? 
Tip: Be sure to use the word method.

Tip: Be sure to describe how you are using TWO of your sources. (There isn't a need to list the author(s) unless they are extremely important to your question.)
Tip: Considering using the I.B. Command Terms listed below.

One method to be used in this investigation is an examination of [insert the name of one of your better sources]. [Describe specifically how you are utilizing the source.]

Another method employed is to analyze [an event] that is detailed in [insert the name of one of your better sources]. [Describe specifically how you are utilizing the source.]

I.B. History Command Terms

Analyze Break down in order to bring out the essential elements or
structure.

Compare Give an account of the similarities between two (or more)
items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.

Compare and contrast Give an account of similarities and
differences between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both
(all) of them throughout.

Contrast Give an account of the differences between two (or more)
items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Define Give the precise meaning of a word, phrase, concept or physical
quantity.

Describe Give a detailed account.

Discuss Offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of
arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be
presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence.

Distinguish Make clear the differences between two or more concepts
or items.

Evaluate Make an appraisal by weighing up the strengths and
limitations.

Examine Consider an argument or concept in a way that uncovers the
assumptions and interrelationships of the issue.

Explain Give a detailed account including reasons or causes.

Identify Provide an answer from a number of possibilities.

Justify Give valid reasons or evidence to support an answer or
conclusion.



I.B. Grading Criteria

 Marks     Level Descriptor

0         The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1-2      The question for investigation has been stated. The student has identified and             selected appropriate sources, but there is little or no explanation of 
            the relevance of the sources to the investigation.

            The response describes, but does not analyse or evaluate, two of the sources.

3-4       An appropriate question for investigation has been stated. The student has identified and selected appropriate sources, and there is some explanation of the relevance of the sources to the investigation.

There is some analysis and evaluation of two sources, but reference to their
value and limitations is limited.

5-6     An appropriate question for investigation has been clearly stated. The
student has identified and selected appropriate and relevant sources, and there is a clear explanation of the relevance of the sources to the investigation.

There is a detailed analysis and evaluation of two sources with explicit discussion of the value and limitations of two of the sources for the investigation, with reference to the origins, purpose and content of the two sources.
         



Examiner Notes:

  • Scope = Parameters i.e. What time period / specific event are you researching. 
  • Method / Plan = How are you using your sources in your investigation.
  • Many candidates scored well in this section. As usual some lost marks because of the methodology or scope were not clearly explained or developed. The formulation of the research topic as a question certainly improves the focus of the investigation.


See a Complete IA that Earned a 24/25, including Section A, which earned a 2/3