Answering Question A's

Specific advice for Question A.

Question A focuses on your ability to analyse, cross-reference and evaluate a range of contemporary sources.

1. Read and analyse the sources very carefully, making brief notes by the side to save you time later on. Relate what you have read back to the question. Focus on what the source has to say and also what it suggests.

2. Analyse the provenance (Nature, Origin, Purpose). Evaluate the significance of the source and its reliabilty, if appropriate.

3. Cross reference individual points, rather than the sources as a whole. Consider the extent to which the points support and contradict each other.

4. Dont generalise the sources. Judge each source on its own merits, eg, not all private letters are reliable.

5. Evaluate the question, weigh up the evidence and reach a conclusion - how far...?

6. You do not need to use your own knowledge for this question but it is important that you can understand the context for the source, eg the significance of when it was written or who wrote it.

General advice

1. Plan your answers before you start writing.

2. The number of marks is proportional to the time you have (20 marks = 20 minutes)

3. Use the sources as the basis of your answer. This will help keep you focussed. Remember to give examples from the sources to support your argument.

4. Develop inferences (what does the source suggest to you?) and support these with evidence.

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