Plan of investigation – part II: scope and method of the investigation

This is one of the most difficult parts of the Internal Assessment to unpack because they are integrated.  In other subjects, the scope and method are very separate; in history less so.  One colleague likes to tell her students that the scope is the what and the method is the how.  I agree to a certain extent, but feel that can cause some confusion.

The scope of an investigation would be the parameters.  If you choose to write your IA on which Doctor was most important to the global appeal of Dr. Who, then this would include the doctors you choose to examine.

The methods are the approach that will be used to answer the RQ.   Here you would have the issues you are going to explore to determine global appeal of Dr. Who: personality, story line, quality of writers, etc.

You may want to tell the reader about how you are going to conduct the research and, strictly speaking, you  are correct.  However, that is not what the IB is asking for.  It is assumed that you will be conducting research either online, at school or at a library, and then will develop a plan.  You do not have to include the sources you will use in section C, but if you are doing historiography and if those are the main sources, it might be appropriate – if not exhaustive.

All in all, the Plan of Investigation is short – most teachers recommend 150-200 words – so choose your words well!

1 Comment
  • Joel Robotham
    March 21, 2014

    Hi Alexis, I was in your on line Hist IB training class recently. I decided to set my year 10’s an essay that is basically a preview of what is expected for the HIst IA. At he moment I am getting them to submit one part at a time for feedback. The students have a lot of questions about scope and method and I must admit that I am finding it difficult to give them really solid answers. Would you mind commenting on the following thoughts. I have set the question “To what extent did the treaty of Versailles lead to the outbreak of WW2?” Would it be fair to say that the scope would involve an investigation of the Treaty itself and 2-3 other factors. The method would then be to evaluate the impact of the treaty on the outbreak of the war compared to the impact of the other 2-3 identified factors. Is this sounding correct?

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