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Paper 1 - Values and limitations of sources

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Speeches may often be limited by propagandistic aims, newspaper articles by censorship (if published in single-party states), etc.

What are some common values and limitations to typical sources, e.g. photos, etc. What should you think about?

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but as you use photos as an example, I'd say you know the values and limitations as they can(!) be influenced in the same ways as a speech. A good example I know of is a picture from Soviet Russia. It is a picture showing Lenin giving a speech in front of a crowd with Trotsky and a couple others standing behind him. When Stalin came into power, the photograph was changed and Trotsky and Kamenev and the others were taken away. This clearly shows that you shouldnt fully trust a picture to give you the truth. However, it can still give you an idea of how things were at the time, and if you know of changes as the one I mentioned it can explain events very well. Not sure if this makes any sense as I dont know if this is the kind of answer you wanted :D

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well you need to look at the specific "thing" you are looking at and see why it is valuabel and why it is limited.

you used a photogrpah as an example.

so it can be valuable because
-you can see exactly what is going at at that time period in that particular area
-it isn't interperated by someone else, so the "viewer" can make thier own inferance to the situation
-it is a primary source

it can be limiting because
-you can only see what is going on oat one point, you don't get an overall view of the situation

those are all i can think of right now, it has been awhile since i did paper one, but do you understand what you are suppoed to do?

you want to list all the reeasos that the sourse is limited or valuable. you have to do it w=in referance to purpose and orirgin. so the easiest way to write an answer to this type of question is

Souce A is a (insert what it is i.e. a book) from (insert year) by (insert author name if applicable) from (where is form). The purpose of Source A is (insert the purpose of the source, so if it is a book that informs the audioence of what happened with the cuban missile crisis you would say that that is what the purpose is). the values of Source A are (list the values). the limataions are (list all limiatiaons).

usaully they will asjk you to do two source that they had given you and so you would do that all over again for the second source.

you DO NOT have to compar or contrast them, so don't unless they ask you too, and i don't think that they ever do for that question. don't waste time on it.

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[quote name='IBStuck' post='29674' date='Dec 4 2008, 11:38 PM']it can be limiting because
-you can only see what is going on oat one point, you don't get an overall view of the situation[/quote]


It can also be limited because certain facts or statistics may purposely be altered to prevent the public from acting in a certain way, etc.

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[quote name='ivy12003' post='29681' date='Dec 4 2008, 05:41 PM']It can also be limited because certain facts or statistics may purposely be altered to prevent the public from acting in a certain way, etc.[/quote]

i was talking about a photo therefopre there are no statistics or facts.

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But a photo still doesn't have to tell the truth; there are really, really many arranged photos that were used as propaganda. For example, we have seen one where Russian peasants were supposedly having a demonstration, and one where China's crops during the Great Leap Forward were displayed as ... quite extreme. So don't go ahead and say that a picture can't lie: the value is often that we see what the leaders want others to know and think, while the limitation is that there is no way of knowing if this is a complete lie or an exaggeration or if it was actually something spontaneous.

Facts and statistics aren't the only things that can be meddled with for propagandistic purposes!

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[quote name='Hyperbole' post='29719' date='Dec 5 2008, 10:38 AM']But a photo still doesn't have to tell the truth; there are really, really many arranged photos that were used as propaganda. For example, we have seen one where Russian peasants were supposedly having a demonstration, and one where China's crops during the Great Leap Forward were displayed as ... quite extreme. So don't go ahead and say that a picture can't lie: the value is often that we see what the leaders want others to know and think, while the limitation is that there is no way of knowing if this is a complete lie or an exaggeration or if it was actually something spontaneous.

Facts and statistics aren't the only things that can be meddled with for propagandistic purposes![/quote]

A picture doesn't always have to be what leaders want others to know and think either. There are some times (ie. Alexandra the Great of Russia) where leaders are completely ignorant of the situation and think that they're contributing when they really aren't.

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ephika, you should always consider values and limitations as regards the source's origin and purpose. In the case of a speech, you could argue that the value in relation to its origin is due to the fact that it is a primary source (a speech by Stalin for instance) and its comtemporary to facts. On the contrary, it only shows a partial and biased viewpoint of the historical period studied. As regards its purpose, you could say that Stalin's objective is to acquaint people with his ideology or explain his actions (a speech explaining how the Five Year Plans would be). The value here is mainly that you get to know what were Stalin's aims and the way in which he would proceed to carry out such Plan. The limitation is that you cannot tell from the speech whether the policy was effective or whether if he accomplished his objectives.

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You mentioned 'typical sources', so I'm assuming thats not just photos but also speeches etc. If so, you should think about the fact that documents are often translated and therefore don't always mirror exactly what was being meant, so that's a limitation. If it's a document from Russia, China, Germany, France etc. it is particularly likely to be translated because English isn't their official language.

Also, like the others have said, look at where it's from. If it's an official source, it's likely to be pro-government. If it's from a rebel force, it's likely to be anti-government. Take into consideration proximity of the writer to the event. A source written by a historian who wasn't at the event being discussed is going to miss some of the nuances because he wasn't there, but at the same time has objectivity as a value. Look at the time period the source was written. If there's a long gap between the event and the writing, memories could have faded and so recollection won't be as sharp. But if the events and writing were very close together, there is the possibility of a lack of objectivity too.

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