- Slides: 10
“Evaluate the usefulness of…” questions • These question types are worth 5 marks. • They also have a specific process you need to go through, to gain the marks. • You must… – Read the rubric (short introduction) and the source carefully. – Make a judgement on “how useful” the source is overall. – Go through different elements of the source and evaluate the usefulness of each element. AUT – authorship (who wrote the source). TYP – identify the source as a Primary or a Secondary one. PUR – explain why the source was produced (sometimes a bit of a guess). TIM – outline and evaluate the origin of the source. CON – make an evaluative comment on what the source tells us. You can do this twice. • SOM – identify relevant facts the source has missed out. You can also do this twice. • • •
Opening statement… • You should begin by reading over the source, including the rubric (short introduction). • A typical opening statement would look something like this… – “Source A is fairly useful evidence of…” – OR, if you think the source is very useful, say so; – “Source A is very useful as evidence of…”
Evaluating authorship (AUT) • Look carefully at the rubric (short introduction). • Think carefully about who produced the source. Every source will have either strengths or limitations. Here a few examples… • People from the era being studied may exhibit bias, or have a limited view of events, but they give us a useful insight into what was happening. • Historians (at National 5 level) are generally useful experts on the topic we are looking at, but may not have access to all available sources (some may have been lost).
Evaluating different types of source… (TYP) • For our purposes, there are TWO different types of sources; • PRIMARY sources are written from the time of the events. – They are useful insights into what was happening from one particular point of view. – They may be limited, or biased towards one particular view. • SECONDARY sources are written long after events, usually (but not always) by historians. – They are usually produced by experts, who have looked at the period in history in great detail. – They may not have access to information that has perhaps been lost.
Evaluating the purpose of a source (PUR) • You need to state WHY the source was produced. • Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes it can be a bit of a guess. • You need to then make an evaluative comment on thisask yourself about the motivation of the person writing/speaking; – is the person making a speech that is telling us the whole truth? – Is the person trying to convince us their view is the correct one? – Is the source a historian, who is trying to explain an event as a part of a history book?
Evaluating the timing of a source (TIM) • Evaluating the timing, or origin of the source, is quite similar to evaluating the type of source. • You need to comment on the usefulness of the source in terms of when it was produced. • A source produced at the time of events gives us a useful insight into them, but may be limited in the information it provides. • A source produced long after the events may be less reliable as memories fade. • A source produced by a historian is produced by an expert who has studied the topic in depth.
Evaluating the content of the source… (CON) • This involves making a comment on the usefulness of information provided in the source (inside the box). • A good idea is to take a short quote from the source, then comment on its usefulness. • E. g. Source A tells us “………………” which is useful information because……… • You can do this twice, and gain marks.
Lastly, explain what the source has left out (SOM) • You can gain up to 2 marks for doing this. • You need to think of any RELEVANT information that the source has failed to mention. • Take a new line and begin by writing, e. g. “source A fails to mention…”
An example question… Source A was written by a modern historian, in 2009. Source A The most effective weapon in the Great War was the machine gun. The machine gun could fire up to 200 rounds a minute and was by far the biggest killer on the Western Front. Soldiers firing this weapon did not have to aim it, but could fire a deadly spray of bullets into the massed ranks of the enemy attacking a trench. Evaluate Source A as evidence of the effectiveness of the machine gun on the western front. (5) (You may want to comment on what type of source it is, who wrote it, when they wrote it, what they say and what has been missed out)
An example answer • • • Source A is quite useful as evidence of the effectiveness of the machine gun, but has some limitations. Source A was produced by a modern historian, making it more useful as he/she may be an expert on the subject. The source is a secondary source, produced by a historian who is an expert, but who may not have access to all available sources, making it limited. The source was produced as a part of a history book explaining why the machine gun was the most effective weapon of the Great War, making it a useful source on the subject. The source was produced in 2009, so may be less useful as some records and facts may have been lost. The source tells us “The machine gun could fire up to 200 rounds a minute” which is useful information showing how powerful it was. The source also tells us it “could fire a deadly spray of bullets into the massed ranks of the enemy” showing it was a deadly weapon – more useful information the machine gun. The source fails to mention that the machine gun was a heavy weapon in the Great War, so it was less useful to attack the enemy. The source also fails to mention that there were drawbacks to the machine gun – it could overheat or jam, making it ineffective.