Although they are divided into two separate sections (and separated by part C) the Summary of Evidence (B) and Analysis (D) are inextricably linked – or should be.  Although the sections are assessed as discrete entities, they both must relate to the research question and the analysis should be only of the evidence presented in B.

This can sometimes be frustrating ; you have spent a large part of your career as a history student trying to integrate these two elements effectively and now the IB wants you to separate them out.  If you have a clear understanding of what is evidence and what is analysis you will have no problem with these tasks.  If you have been struggling to understand which is which, the IA will teach you the differences and by the end of the IA process you will be a better writer in your timed essays because you will understand the mechanics of writing in the subject of history.

If you think about it, these two parts teach you two very different skills.  In the Summary of Evidence you learn how to select the right information to answer the question.  This section should be the longest section of the assignments and heavily referenced.  It is not uncommon to have 20 references in 600 words.  After all this section is just factual information, and if your topic is sufficiently narrow almost every sentence will require a reference.  In an assignment this brief you probably only have space for three or four main topics; be sure to explain your parameters in the Plan of Investigation.  It is perfectly acceptable to write this part in bullet form and some teachers encourage this to keep the material factual, but it is not necessary.

The Analysis is usually the second largest part of the project, and while there do not need to be many references, there must be some to receive more than 2 points.  Ideally this section will follow the same format as B so that the reader can draw parallels between the evidence and analysis of all core points.  You should also explain the importance of the sources you evaluated in C (which we’ll cover next week).  This is not a lengthy explanation, but it might be here where you compare the two sources with one another or explain further the utility of the source to your study.  In most cases, it is appropriate to include different historical perspectives, weighing them against one another and determining which school of thought makes the most sense given the information available.  You come close to your conclusion, but do not state it – yet.

These two sections are the bulk of the paper and once they are done, you should feel a real sense of accomplishment.