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10 most interesting history extended essay topics

An extended essay is one which you will not finish overnight. It is up to 4000 words in length and will need to be discussed in detail with your teacher or supervisor. The choice of topic is all-important when it comes to writing an extended essay and certainly in the subject of history.

One of the first things you need to understand in making your topic choice is that there is a difference between history and current affairs. One of the traps some young players fall into is that they look in today's newspaper and see an event happening somewhere in the world and choose to write about that for the history extended essay. That won't work.

The student thinks that because there is a great deal of research material in newspapers on websites and in blogs, that it will be an easy topic to research and thus to write about. Again, that might work. Your teacher or supervisor will point out to you the difference between current affairs or current events and something which can be labelled as history.

10 interesting history extended essay topics

  • 1. What were the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union?
  • 2. What were the opinions or interpretations of the witch trials held in Salem?
  • 3. What were some of the consequences of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919?
  • 4. What are the different explanations which have evolved after the Cuban missile crisis in the early 1960s?
  • 5. What were the consequences of the pact between Hitler and Stalin?
  • 6. How did the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor change the course of World War II?
  • 7. How has the growth of growing opium changed over the decades?
  • 8. How important was politics in the plays of William Shakespeare?
  • 9. Is there any justification for dropping atomic bombs on Japan in World War II?
  • 10. How did the Roman invasion of Britain change the island nation?

Because the extended essay contains far more words than an ordinary essay, the choice of topic needs to be such that a solid argument can be developed and resolved. Talking over your chosen topic with your supervisor should hopefully avoid choosing a bad topic.

Unless there is depth in the subject, you will be unable to produce a well-rounded argument about the pros and cons of your topic. Get the history topic right and then your extended essay can proceed.

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