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Six Mark Question


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#1 Laerwen

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:13 PM

Hi, could anyone tell me how to structure the six mark question in the AQA GCSE History B Unit 1 paper? Thanks.

#2 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 12:24 AM

In Paper One you will be given a Source, and then asked whether you agree with its interpretation of events, for example:

A Soviet view of the Marshall Plan, written in 1988 by Dimitri Sukhanov.
Sukhano had been a senior Soviet politician when the Marshall Plan begin in 1947.

The Marshall Plan was seen as the American wanting to impose their influence over the countries to which they gave Marshall Aid.

Do you agree with the interpretation in the Source that the Marshall Plan was an American attempt to take over Europe?


How to do the question

To answer this question you need to address TWO issues:
1. The provenance (this is about who wrote the source, and whether he is therefore a reliable source).
• To get a D-G mark, you would want to point out that Sukhanov had been a leading Soviet at the time – and that this might make his testimony unreliable (he is not an unbiased observer).
• To get an A-C mark, you would need to EXPLAIN HOW this might make his testimony either MORE reliable (he would have ‘inside information’ on how Stalin was thinking), or LESS reliable (he might be trying to justify Stalin’s actions in refusing to allow Communist countries to get Marshall Aid).
2. The context
This is about using your knowledge of the times to see if the statements in the Source might be true. In this case:
• To get a D-G mark, you would want to mention that it is possibly true, because Marshall Aid was to try to stop the countries of Europe turning Communist.
• To get an A-C mark, you would need to use greater factual depth to EXPLAIN WHETHER you agree with the opinion, for example, that there may be truth in it because the Truman Doctrine that the USA was indeed to ‘contain communism’, or because you know that a large proportion of the Marshall Aid was spent buying weapons and goods from America.


Exam Tip!
Watch out for DATES!
The date is usually good for an idea about provenance. In this case, 1988 long after the events, and still during the Cold War – Sukharov may well have been trying to make himself and Stalin look good, or to blame the USA – or he may be looking back with ‘rose-tinted’ spectacles.

#3 Laerwen

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:18 AM

Ok, thank you very much for the help.




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