These are the finishing touches of the IA.  They are usually left for last, and while that is just fine, they still need to be done properly so that the IA is not only consistent, it is well done and presentable.

Very simply, the conclusion should answer the question asked in the Plan of Investigation and that answer should be consistent with the evidence and analysis presented.  A history paper is not a mystery novel – you don’t to save the answer until the final page – and the conclusion should not come as a surprise to the reader.

The source list should follow a recognized form.  For all forms, sources should be in alphabetical order by surname; if you fail to do this, you will automatically be off form and lose 2 points here.  Websites need to have more than simply an html.  Giving the html is analogous to telling the reader that you got a book out of the library.  You need to have an author, title, and date accessed at the very least.

The word count should be clearly stated on the cover page.  To cover yourself, it’s also a good idea to include it at the end of the IA, either before or after the source list.  The IA should not go over 2000 words; that does not include the source list, cover page or references.

It is important to include a cover page even if there is no marking criteria that pertains to it.  This is good form and when you go to university your professors will expect this.  It does not have to be fancy but it should include a title (the research question);   your name and candidate number; the date submitted; and the number of words.

After you have done all of this, put the IA away for a few days.  Take it out, re-read and make any last edits.  Then, turn it in to your teacher confidently.  You are that much closer to a successful conclusion to your IB career!