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How to write history IA:

Choosing a question:

The history internal assessment is a 2,200-word investigation into a topic of your choice - this gives you the opportunity to explore a historical event you are interested in that may be outside the scope of your syllabus. It is important to choose something that you are interested in, to ensure that you stay engaged with your research. You should take your time and really think about what you would want your question to be, you don’t want something too broad, but you also don’t want something too narrow. A few examples of good IA questions are:

1. During the Third Reich, how effective was Hitler's promotion of the family's optimal outcome?

2. How did tabloid accounts of Kennedy's assassination differ, as well as how trustworthy were they?

3. How did British World War II soldiers who served in Europe contrast to those who served in the Pacific?

Different components of the History IA

1. Identification and Analysis of Sources

The first section of your internal assessment expects you to analyse two sources, whether they be primary or secondary. While writing this first section there are a few things that you should think about:

- You need to explain the relevance of your sources to your research. What makes the sources that you have chosen important for your work? Do these sources perhaps offer a fresh perspective on the topic of your research?

- You also have to discuss the value and the limitations of these sources in relation to their origin, their content as well as their purpose.

- This section of your essay should ideally only be 500 words, it is also worth 6 marks out of the 25 total marks available for the internal assessment.

2. Investigation

Section 2 of your internal assessment is when you answer your question. This section should be around 1300 words, it is also worth 15 marks out of the total 25 marks that are available. This section of your internal assessment should have a similar structure to any other history essay. It should comprise of:

- introduction

- In which you give a brief overview of the topic you are going to be discussing, as well as explain why the question you chose is important.

- Critical analysis of the topic

- The evidence that you presented in your identification and analysis of sources should be brought up and discussed. This is also where you should bring up diverse perspectives regarding the topic from different historical schools of thought. If needed you should also present a counterargument for the argument you are presenting.

- Conclusion

- This is the final paragraph in which you sum up your argument, as well as answer your question. The conclusion should be kept short, and you should not present any new arguments within this paragraph.

3. Reflection

The final piece of your assessment is your reflection. In this section, you need to reflect on two main themes. The first is, what you have learned while researching your history IA, and the second is the challenges and limitations that historians face. For reflecting on what you have learned you may want to discuss the methods that you used while researching which were similar to that of a historian and discuss their advantages as well as their drawbacks. For the second point you want to discuss the limitations that historians face, for example, can a historian distort history, 'history is written by the victors.

This section should be around 400 words and is worth 4 marks out of the 25 total marks available.

Best of luck with your IA’s everyone and I hope you found this guide useful!

More IB Tips and Tricks will be coming this week! Stay tuned 😃


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