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How should I approach source questions in the exam?

That depends an awful lot on the question itself. Source questions can seem really scary, especially if you haven’t seen the source before, but there are a few little tricks which make it a lot more manageable.

First of all, there are some key ‘buzz words’ that it is really important to look out for.

For example, words and phrases that often crop up included ‘what does this teach us/ suggest about…’, ‘are you surprised by this source….’, ‘how useful is the source...’.

For now, let’s discuss the ‘shortcut’ for remembering how to structure your answers to questions including the phrase ‘what does this teach us/ suggest about…’. Remember: MASK. ‘M’ stands for MESSAGE- what did the author/ creator of this source aim to transmit to the reader/ consumer? ‘A’ stands for AUDIENCE- who is the intended audience for the source? ‘S’ stands for SOURCE- use some evidence from the source. ‘K’ stands for KNOWLEDGE- bring in some of your own knowledge, perhaps to explain why the information in the source is important to our understanding of the topic (without this you will not have fully answered the question).

Hannah N. A Level History tutor, GCSE History tutor, GCSE English and...

2 years ago

Answered by Hannah, a GCSE History tutor with MyTutor


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“About Myself: My name is Alexander Hawkins and I am 3rd year History student at the London School of Economics (LSE). I have 2 years experience tutoring IB, MYP, and GCSE students. My specific love is 20th century world history, but I ...”

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Hannah N.

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Degree: History (Bachelors) - St. Andrews Unversity University

Subjects offered: History, Psychology+ 2 more

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“Friendly and passionate tutor studying History at the world-renowned University of St Andrews. Ready and more than happy to help those who want an extra boost in History, Psychology or Literature.”

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