Summary of IA format

A. Plan of Investigation
Your Plan of Investigation should not include statements like “I chose this topic because I didn’t want to write about anything
else.” Instead this section is supposed to be a general overview of what you researched. When this section asks you for your
methods it is not asking you where you got your information geographically. It is asking where you got your info as in
 What primary source investigation was used? Government documents? Personal accounts? Oral Histories?
 What two sources will be evaluated for OPVL?
 It also wants you to essentially put your outline of investigated topics into sentences: what did you investigate
generally then more specifically inside that topic?
B. Summary of Evidence
This section is where the majority of your citations will be. I recommend Chicago Style Footnotes because they are (in my
opinion) easier and more complete citations than MLA internal citations. This section should, theoretically, be pretty easy
because you are essentially writing a narrative. This section does not require a lot of thought. You are parroting what your
sources say (but you are rewording them!). You should put a lot of thought into what information you take from what
sources and how that information with contribute to your analysis in Section D.
 This section should be done in paragraph form
C. Evaluation of Sources
This is NOT a summary of these sources! You choose TWO (2) and no more than TWO (2) sources on which to complete an
OPVL. You evaluate the two sources you use most often, not the two most impressive sounding sources!
 Your ORIGINS will obviously include the Title, Author, Type of Source, Date written/spoken/compiled (depending
on the type of source), Where this source was produced.
 Your PURPOSE might include a quote by the author of why they wrote the book if using a secondary source.
Purposes for primary sources will vary with the type and content of each source.
 Your VALUE tells the reader how this source was valuable to your investigation
 Your LIMITATIONS are whatever stops you from fully interpreting the true intention and meaning behind the
D. Analysis
This section needs to focus entirely on the analysis of your evidence. Like in a court case, you are not allowed to present any
new evidence here. If you find you are tempted to add new information add it, but in Section B. This section is reserved
solely for picking apart your evidence in terms of what it means for your thesis. This is not a place to evaluate your sources,
you already have. This section is a good place to take competing historians arguments and put them in juxtaposition using
evidence (that you have already presented) to support one side or to create your own argument. This is the section where you
will prove your thesis because you are tearing apart your evidence to show how it supports your thesis.
 Break down evidence from Section B into key issues or points.
 Include consideration of historical context of your argument. Adding this in will substantially strengthen your
argument. What’s a history essay without considering how the event fits in history?
 Include citations of the evidence to which you are referring and any opinions of historians presented here.
E. Conclusion
This is a continuation of Section D. You take the evidence presented in B along with the analysis in D and provide an answer
to your research question.
This should include works cited and works consulted showing a wide range of sources. This should be in alphabetical order
and according to a widely accepted citation format. The format should match the format of your internal citations. If you
used Chicago internally you will use Chicago in your bibliography