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Phrasing/length of a history IA question (re: Boer War)

I'm afraid that this is one more of those topics that are of the sentiment 'I need help with my IA', but I would really appreciate some more advice/opinions on phrasing a good IA question.

Right now, my current question is:

To what extent was the internment and treatment of Boer women and children in concentration camps justified in the Second Boer War (1899-1902)?

Firstly, if I use the term 'justify', do I need to specify which groups it was justified for? Because really, if I'm honest, it appears as though the internment camps ('concentration camps') were justified for the British, but not from a Boer perspective. So, is there an other word to use apart from 'justify' - I struggled to find an alternative.

Is this length of question too detailed or not detailed enough? I've looked through some samples, and some are really detailed, and some seem not to have too much detail (though not much comment was made on length in the mark schemes). Does it really matter if I don't specify the exact time frame and groups I am dealing with - can I do that later in my Plan of Investigation?

Also, are pictures necessary to use as historical sources, and should they go in the appendix if used?

I've started looking at the Summary of Evidence, and I know it is over 1000 words now, but I am hopeful that I can cut it down. My topic may be a bit broad though so perhaps I do need more specification (!) - I am looking at whether the awful health outcomes and lack of freedoms in the camp were justified by the need to place women and children away from action/help pressure the Boer guerrillas into British victory. I think that is probably a clearer exp

ression of what I actually want to look at, but it doesn't seem like an eloquent question for the investigation at all.

This is another somewhat related question to the IA - if you are using an electronic copy of your source (but a transcription and not a scan of the published/source original) how do you reference page numbers? My kindle edition didn't state an edition, so I didn't know how to reference page numbers. To get around this, I tried to find a scanned version of the original, but I couldn't, so I have settled for ordering an actual hardcopy of books online.

Ah. I got out all the little questions I had for the IA. I'd be grateful for any more opinions, because to be honest my communication with my history teacher is somewhat impeded by the fact that she will be absent until February next year


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I don't think you have to specify for who it was justified in your title. You might want to do that later in the IA, though. Otherwise, it is kind of implied that it cannot be justified from the side put into the camps (unless you're discussing a very brainwashed country not very unlike North Korea).

The title itself looks fine for me. As long as it covers your IA well, there's no need to alter it. Regarding your other question about the title, I'm not sure if it matters. However, keeping it detailed is a good thing, as it describes to the reader what your IA is about from the very beginning. I would include exact time frame (in years/months depending on specificity of my IA - exact date for events or specific documents) and mention the groups if it was feasible to do so. Of course, if you don't mention them in your title, and they are relevant, always mention them in your introduction/Plan of Investigation.

There's no need to use pictures as sources, in the same way there's no need to use a memorandum from a meeting. If you choose to use pictures, they should be put in the appendix section of your IA.

Maybe you could specify one single concentration camp or two? That would keep it more narrow and focused.

I'm not really sure how you'd reference to an electronic source. What kind of referencing style are you using? What information do you know about the electronic source?

That should be the answers for all your questions, I believe. If you should have any more, just ask, eh?

And good luck with your IA!

Edit: I suppose 'electric' and 'electronic' isn't exactly the same..

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