Jump to content


Photo

Coursework Part A


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Footnotes

Footnotes
  • Student
  • 13 posts

Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

Hi,

I'm currently writing my Part A essay for the unit 4 history coursework, but have come across a doubt in reference to the sources I have selected.

Reading through the examiner's report from January 2011, it states that:

Most candidates used, or referred to, secondary sources in their responses to the Part A enquiry. Whilst this is acceptable, it must be emphasised that the evaluation of such material is not required and will not be credited. Secondary sources may be used to challenge or support the judgements reached from an evaluation of contemporary source material, or to drive the explanation forward. However, extracts from secondary sources should never dominate the use of contemporary material.


I find this rather confusing, seeing as Edexcel suggests we use 3-4 Secondary sources and 4-5 primary sources. My teacher suggested that this refers specifically to evaluation, stressing that it should be the primary sources that are challenged and evaluated, whilst being contrasted and compared to the secondary sources. Is this right?

However, it did seem to me like the suggestion is that primary sources should drive the essay, and that secondary sources should be regarded as less important in leading the essay.

I'm writing my essay on the Great Leap Forward in China, and have examined the following consequences: economic, famine, political within China, Sino-Soviet Split and damage to the environment. Whilst for economic and famine both my primary and secondary sources can be balanced out to draw out arguments, I only really have one source (a secondary one) which speaks of environmental consequences. Is this a big problem?

I also have another doubt concerning a source I'm using from a textbook. It consists of two tables, one regarding economic and the other regarding agricultural impacts of the Great Leap Forward - and the statistics refer to the years of the GLF and therefore are contemporary. I assumed, and my teacher agrees, that since these figures come from, and refer to, the period studied, the source would be primary despite the fact it appears in a western text book. Can you confirm this?

Thanks a lot for your help,

Max Long

#2 Mr. D. Bryant

Mr. D. Bryant
  • Moderating Teacher & Admin
  • 1,037 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hertfordshire
  • Interests:History teacher, with special interest in military history.

Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:46 PM

I need to have a think about this, but I will get back to you soon.

#3 Mr. D. Bryant

Mr. D. Bryant
  • Moderating Teacher & Admin
  • 1,037 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hertfordshire
  • Interests:History teacher, with special interest in military history.

Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:33 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying. I think that your teacher is correct in their interpretation. However, I will consult with my colleagues tomorrow to see if we can make things any clearer. I wouldn't argue that the primary sources tend to drive the essay, but the best asnwers will make effective use of the secondary sources, as you have worked out. (Evaluation is a skill that you will have used in Unit 2, part a questions. It can also crop up in high-level part b questions in Unit 2, but is not essential in the same way.)

As for your question specific enquiries, we are very limited as to how much help we can give. However, I don't think either of the issues you mention are a problem. Your teacher seems very well-informed and we would always defer to their judgement.

Hope that this has helped set your mind at rest. You are doing all the right things and seem to have a very thorough knowledge of what is required of you.

#4 Footnotes

Footnotes
  • Student
  • 13 posts

Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:17 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying. I think that your teacher is correct in their interpretation. However, I will consult with my colleagues tomorrow to see if we can make things any clearer. I wouldn't argue that the primary sources tend to drive the essay, but the best asnwers will make effective use of the secondary sources, as you have worked out. (Evaluation is a skill that you will have used in Unit 2, part a questions. It can also crop up in high-level part b questions in Unit 2, but is not essential in the same way.)

As for your question specific enquiries, we are very limited as to how much help we can give. However, I don't think either of the issues you mention are a problem. Your teacher seems very well-informed and we would always defer to their judgement.

Hope that this has helped set your mind at rest. You are doing all the right things and seem to have a very thorough knowledge of what is required of you.


Thank you so much this has made things a lot clearer!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users