Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

IA Historical Investigation Analysis Help

Recommended Posts

My history teacher became sick leaving my class with a sub for 3 months. The substitute we got only knows how to receive work and is a master at dodging questions leaving me pretty lost when it comes to what to write for my Historical Investigation Analysis. My question is "To what extent is the movie Alexander an accurate reflection of Alexander the Great?" and I've completed my Summary of Evidence + evaluation of sources with some information on two of the battles depicted in the film. I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to what to write and how to write it/format it and can't seem to find any solid examples to get an understanding of what my work should look like.

 

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

 

EDIT: I'm in Grade 10 Pre-IB if that helps.

Edited by alex1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alex 1, I can't really tell you what to do for your IA, but I can tell you why your proposal will not score you many marks if you pursue it: you need to present an argument and make your investigation "worthwhile" (quoting IBO). Your proposal is neither because you're only *tracing* whether something is close to the facts (as far as we know them) or not. That's pretty basic and amounts to a matching exercise.

 

You may be thinking "investigation"  in terms of "looking into" or "checking up" --but that is not the definition of the term in History. 

 

Maybe this negative answer helps you to go back to the History guide and see what they want.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Blackcurrant on the question ^_^ Also, the Analysis part is actually the easiest part to write - this would be your standard essay-piece, writing an essay to answer your RQ. Pretty straightforward :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with the above responses. I did a similar style of question and got 7 from my teacher that got moderated to a 6. I chose a question like that because I found many examples on the internet that received 7s that had questions that were comparing a 'fictional' portrayal of something with the actual thing. However, you really need to narrow your topic. For example, focus on just one aspect of Alexander the Great such as one battle or how he was as a leader etc. 

 

Write your analysis just like you're writing a paper 2 or 3 essay i.e. a normal history essay with introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. For example if you decided that you were just going to focus on one battle you could split your paragraphs into topics such as technology, strategy etc. Aim for 3 or 4 paragraphs depending on how much you write for each paragraph and have only a sentence or two for your 'introduction' and 'conclusion' of your analysis. Aim for around 600-800 words for this section, you might be able to write a bit more depending on how big your other sections are.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to hear different opinions.  More chance to think things through and hit on a viable topic/approach    ;)

 

I'll just add a few more thoughts to what has come before:

 

 

1) What can happen with the film-match-reality type question is that it easily falls into mere recitation and matching-making -- which will not score high.

 

2) Keep in mind the following criteria, if you are planning to pursue this film-to-reality topic and ask how well you'd be able to achieve each :

 

****

 

D Analysis 
 
The analysis should include: 
 
• the importance of the investigation in its historical context 
• analysis of the evidence 
• if appropriate, different interpretations. 
 
 
E Conclusion 
 
The conclusion must be clearly stated and consistent with the evidence presented. 
This section is a follow-up to section D. It requires an answer or conclusion, based on the evidence 
presented, which either partially or fully addresses the question stated or implied in the investigation. 
 
****
 
3) Then, perhaps most crucially,what special access to "reality" do you have?  You're dealing only in interpretations (mostly one-sided) and plenty of propaganda the closer you get to Alexander's era.   Matching film-to-reality for an event so far back will be too simplistic.
 
4) Having said that,  keep your main topic of interest (Alexander or representations of Alex) and use the film. But I recommend shifting the focus of your investigation. Keeping a narrow scope (as Kimberleigh suggests) is very good too. You don't want to bite off more than you can chew.
Edited by Blackcurrant
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare phrasings between yours and this one (which I found here). 

 

 

 

An investigation comparing a film and a written account of a historical event 
 
"How and why did the accounts of the storming of the Winter Palace in October 1917 differ in the film, October, and in the book, A People’s Tragedy,The Russian Revolution 1891–1924? "
 
 
The phrasing (and subsequent focus) will make the difference.
 
:dizzy:
Edited by Blackcurrant
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with the above responses. I did a similar style of question and got 7 from my teacher that got moderated to a 6. I chose a question like that because I found many examples on the internet that received 7s that had questions that were comparing a 'fictional' portrayal of something with the actual thing. However, you really need to narrow your topic. For example, focus on just one aspect of Alexander the Great such as one battle or how he was as a leader etc. 

 

Write your analysis just like you're writing a paper 2 or 3 essay i.e. a normal history essay with introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. For example if you decided that you were just going to focus on one battle you could split your paragraphs into topics such as technology, strategy etc. Aim for 3 or 4 paragraphs depending on how much you write for each paragraph and have only a sentence or two for your 'introduction' and 'conclusion' of your analysis. Aim for around 600-800 words for this section, you might be able to write a bit more depending on how big your other sections are.

My plan was to focus on the portrayal of the Battle of Gaugamela and the Battle of the Hydaspes. Would that be too broad/too much to take on? Should I narrow it further to just one battle (I've got more information on the Battle of Gaugamela). Sorry for asking so many questions I've never done a project of this type and I don't want to mess it up.

 

Also: What's paper 2 or 3? I've never heard of this term :P

 

 

Compare phrasings between yours and this one (which I found here). 

 

 

 

An investigation comparing a film and a written account of a historical event 
 
"How and why did the accounts of the storming of the Winter Palace in October 1917 differ in the film, October, and in the book, A People’s Tragedy,The Russian Revolution 1891–1924? "
 
 
The phrasing (and subsequent focus) will make the difference.
 
:dizzy:

 

The question is certainly subject to change as my project develops. Would something like "How and why did the accounts of the Battle of Guagamela differ in the film Alexander (2004) and in the text The Conquests of Alexander the Great?" be more appropriate? Also with "going back to my history guide", all I've been told to do after asking the same initial question is to "do an analysis" from my teacher. No matter how many times people (incl myself) ask for an explanation of the expectations for the project we can not get a valid response.

 

I begun another attempt (below) at writing my analysis but quickly realized I was just restating each fact, as mentioned by Blackcurrant. Tomorrow I will try the approach Kimberleigh suggested and break down my analysis into 3+ portions- Likely something along the lines of Alexander's strategies/formations, Darius' strategies, and a third topic TBD.

"Alexander (2004) places the Battle of Guagamela around 331 BC between the Macedonian and Persian armies, consistent with Waldemar Heckel’s account. In the film, the Persian Army was portrayed as more than double the size of Alexander’s army, with mention of Alexander’s men going against a much larger force. Alexander’s army was shown with a central phalanx battalion that had a longer left flank comprised of light infantry, in order to achieve Alexander’s plan to make his right flank appear weaker than his left"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paper 2 and 3 are written exam papers, which you'll get in your final year. Kimberleigh was referring to these.

 

I know what you mean by not understanding the advice: "analyze." Easy to say, easy to hear (time and again), but really, not easy to grasp -- until you get plenty of examples and compare essays which describe and essays which analyze. THEN, maybe there is a chance to FEEL the difference.

 

"Analyze" is one of those words... Just like that favourite word used by English teachers

 

"you gotta EXPAND your ideas..."

 

uuhh.. ok. Whatever.

 

So. Look at all your formulations thus far (good you went through the effort--nothing wasted!)  and compare them to the kind of work done by these formulations. Then make sure you read each of these IA essays to get the feel of "argument" structure. What you get is not just description (there is plenty of description of course) but argument. All those details (description) serve to advance a claim that you make early on. You have to argue that claim.

 

A claim, to illustrate the point,  is not just a matter of saying who won the battle (repeating facts) but why you think they won the battle contrary to what is popularly believed (by historians). To refine the point: if you lopped off the final part of that last sentence, and just ask "why so and so won the battle" would again invite description.

 

Asking "why they won the battle against such great odds" invites argumentation only if there is some doubt floating around the question (like the battle of Isandlwanda, for which there is a lovely IA essay ... must dig up it from somewhere..ho hum...) but mere description if you are simply repeating the usual, established accounts of the Spartan 300 against the Persians.

 

OK--just found the IA for battle Isandlwana ...and much more. You're gonna love this

Edited by Blackcurrant
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last two essays in the final attachment are about battles (in keeping with your own IA preference). And they are great for comparison. You can compare why the second scored higher than the first. The titles imply the answer (general focus inviting description and then in the second case a closely-knit argument). Great prep for your future TOK, by the way.

Edited by Blackcurrant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paper 2 and 3 are written exam papers, which you'll get in your final year. Kimberleigh was referring to these.

 

I know what you mean by not understanding the advice: "analyze." Easy to say, easy to hear (time and again), but really, not easy to grasp -- until you get plenty of examples and compare essays which describe and essays which analyze. THEN, maybe there is a chance to FEEL the difference.

 

"Analyze" is one of those words... Just like that favourite word used by English teachers

 

"you gotta EXPAND your ideas..."

 

uuhh.. ok. Whatever.

 

So. Look at all your formulations thus far (good you went through the effort--nothing wasted!)  and compare them to the kind of work done by these formulations. Then make sure you read each of these IA essays to get the feel of "argument" structure. What you get is not just description (there is plenty of description of course) but argument. All those details (description) serve to advance a claim that you make early on. You have to argue that claim.

 

A claim, to illustrate the point,  is not just a matter of saying who won the battle (repeating facts) but why you think they won the battle contrary to what is popularly believed (by historians). To refine the point: if you lopped off the final part of that last sentence, and just ask "why so and so won the battle" would again invite description.

 

Asking "why they won the battle against such great odds" invites argumentation only if there is some doubt floating around the question (like the battle of Isandlwanda, for which there is a lovely IA essay ... must dig up it from somewhere..ho hum...) but mere description if you are simply repeating the usual, established accounts of the Spartan 300 against the Persians.

 

OK--just found the IA for battle Isandlwana ...and much more. You're gonna love this

It's really late for me to be changing the whole direction of my IA considering it's due tomorrow. I need to stick to the idea that my teacher suggested of comparing the film and historical accounts but don't mind narrowing the focus. 

 

I understand the idea of an analysis but really don't know how I should begin mine specifically- once I get the ball rolling I can write but I really won't know where to start with this.

Edited by alex1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.