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Some Fresh Ideas For IB Extended Essay History Topics


To get the IB Diploma, every student has to write the extended essay. When you work on this essay, it will require you to do independent research on a topic of your interest. When choosing a topic, always try to be unique and creative but, at the same time, write about something you're fairly familiar with. The extended essay is not just a very long version of a normal essay, but, specifically, a research based paper. This implies that your topic should be a question instead of a statement or prompt. The essay must be investigating something.

When making your topic choice, keep in mind that current events are not history. The most common mistake history students make is choosing to write their extended essay about an event they saw in a magazine or on the news. They find it interesting and think the subject matter is relevant, but any history professor is bound to have a problem with this approach.

Unless there is a lot of context and depth in the subject, you won't be able to produce a well-rounded argument. It has to be an idea that has pros and cons, so you could analyze it in an extended format. Here is a list of some good history topics for the IB extended essay:

  • How were the witch trials held of Salem interpreted at the time they were held?
  • Why is the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 considered to have been a cause of World War II?
  • How did the Soviet Union justify the development of nuclear weaponry in Cuba in 1960s?
  • What did Hitler and Stalin each hope to gain from the piece act of 1939?
  • How did the imprisonment of Japanese nationals after the attacks on Pearl Harbor change American society?
  • What were the causes of the Cuban missile crisis?
  • How influential was William Shakespeare for European politics in the 1800's?
  • Why was the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan just days after the first in World War II?
  • How did Roosevelt's New Deal Plan lead to the biggest economic growth in U.S. history?
  • How did the early development of football in San Jose influence modern social and political disputes of Costa Rica?
  • What was the role of Emile Zola in the Dreyfus Affair?
  • What were the underlying causes of the Great Depression?
  • How did the Opium Wars influence social and economic problems in Eastern Asia throughout the 1900's


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