IB History Extended Essay Topics

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IB History Extended Essay Topics

When it comes to writing an International Baccalaureate History Extended Essay, selecting an appropriate topic is the first and arguably most important step. The chosen topic should reflect the student’s interests, knowledge, and exploration of the subject in order to excel at their task. It is essential for students to select topics that will not only provide a successful outcome but also be rewarding and well-researched.

The IB extended essay topics for history can range from a wide variety of fields, including politics, economics, culture, geography, and more. Furthermore, the student should make sure to conduct research from various sources in order to gain an informed understanding of the topic and make sure that the argument is properly supported by evidence. This means researching primary and secondary sources, interviews, books, articles, and any other related materials.

Not only is it important to pick an appropriate topic, but students must also ensure that their extended essay is organized, structured, and cohesive. As such, when considering a particular topic, the student should take into consideration what type of approach they would like to take in their writing. Additionally, they should consider how they will support any arguments or claims they make with sufficient evidence and accurate facts.

Finally, it is important to remember that an IB History extended essay should not merely regurgitate existing research. Rather, it should be an original work which pushes the boundaries of knowledge through thoughtful inquiry, critical analysis, and synthesis of ideas. In this way, the student can ensure that the topic they select will result in a successful and rewarding outcome.

Defining Key Terms and Concepts Related to IB History Extended Essay Topics

In order to write a successful IB history extended essay, it is important to understand the various terms and concepts related to the topic. This section will provide a brief overview of key words and concepts that will help you to write an effective essay.

The most important concept to consider when writing an IB history extended essay is the historical context. It is important to understand the time period and geographical location in which the topic takes place, as well as the overall historical narrative. This helps to provide perspective and grounding for your essay.

In addition to the historical context, it is also important to consider other key terms in order to produce an effective essay. Primary sources are documents written during the actual event or period being discussed. Secondary sources include materials written about the event or period by historians. Both primary and secondary sources are important for providing evidence to support the essay.

Other key terms to consider include cause and effect, as well as argument and counter-argument. When discussing a topic, it is necessary to consider both sides of the issue and discuss how each side has shaped the understanding of the event or period. Additionally, it is important to be able to recognize the difference between opinion and fact, and to be able to support your arguments with evidence-based research.

By understanding key terms and concepts related to your IB history extended essay topic, you can ensure that your essay is organized, well-researched and coherently written. Taking the time to learn these key words and concepts will help you in your quest to create a successful essay.

Introduction to Various Types of IB History Extended Essay Topics

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program offers students a unique opportunity to explore a range of topics related to history. An extended essay (EE) focused on a particular aspect of history, such as a particular event, person, or period of time, is an important part of the IB curriculum. It allows students to increase their understanding of the historical process, develop knowledge related to their chosen topic and demonstrate their research, writing and critical thinking skills. When considering an IB history extended essay topic, you should aim for something that interests and challenges you. This makes it easier to stay motivated and focused during the research and writing process. Here are some of the different types of topics you may consider:
  • Events: You can examine a particular event which has had a significant impact on history. For example, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Soviet Union or the Vietnam War.
  • People: You can explore an influential figure in history, such as Gandhi, Lenin, or Churchill.
  • Periods of Time: You can explore a particular era of history, such as the French Revolution, the European Renaissance, or Ancient Greek civilization.
  • Ideas: You can focus on a particular idea that has had an impact on the course of history. This could be a political ideology, such as Marxism or Fascism, or a philosophical concept, such as freedom or justice.
  • Trends: You can examine a particular trend that has shaped history, such as the rise of nationalism or the industrial revolution.
It’s important to choose an interesting and manageable topic that will give you the opportunity to show off your research, writing, and critical thinking skills. With careful planning and research, you can ensure that you have chosen the right topic for your IB history extended essay.

Guidelines for Researching and Developing a Good Essay Topic

Researching and developing a good essay topic is an important part of writing a successful IB history extended essay. It involves researching the essay topic thoroughly, developing an understanding of the topic, and then coming up with a well thought-out essay topic.

When researching a topic, it is essential to use a variety of sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic. The resources used should include both printed materials such as books, magazines, journals and newspapers as well as online sources such as websites, blogs and discussion forums.

It is also necessary to explore the different angles and perspectives of the topic in order to ensure that the essay presents a balanced view. This can be done by researching different opinions on the topic and exploring the arguments for and against each opinion.

Once the research has been completed and the essay topic fully understood, it is time to come up with a suitable essay topic that is specific, original and relevant. Start by making a list of potential topics and then narrow them down to the most suitable one. Consider asking questions such as ‘What is the main issue?’, ‘How can this issue affect society?’ and ‘What would happen if the issue were solved?’ to help generate ideas for the essay topic.

It is also important to consider if there is enough information available to write a comprehensive essay. Additionally, make sure the topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. Additionally, look out for any existing literature or theories related to the topic and formulate your ideas based on those.

Finally, to ensure that the essay topic is interesting and engaging, it is important to think outside the box. Try to avoid topics that are overly common, as these are often more difficult to write an engaging essay about.

Suggested Research Techniques to Help Write an IB History Extended Essay (500 Words)

If you’re writing an IB history extended essay, then it’s important to make sure that your research is as thorough and comprehensive as possible. Here are some of the techniques that you can use to help you come up with a great topic and write a successful extended essay:
  • Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a great way to come up with lots of ideas quickly. Start by writing down any and all ideas you have, then narrow them down until you find the right topic.
  • Primary Sources: Primary sources are considered to be the best way to get accurate information on a specific event or person in history. Use newspapers, books, letters, diaries and other primary sources to form the basis of your research.
  • Secondary Sources: Secondary sources are a great way to gain additional information on a topic. They include books, articles, websites, and interviews with experts.
  • Interviewing Experts: In addition to consulting secondary sources, interviewing experts can provide valuable insight into a particular topic. Reach out to professors, historians, and other knowledgeable people to build a fuller understanding of your subject matter.
  • Research Outlines: Once you’ve chosen your topic, create an outline of your sources and the points you want to make in the essay. This will make it easier to organize your research, focus your thoughts, and write a successful extended essay.
  • Library Resources: Libraries are an amazing resource for students researching an IB history extended essay. You can find books and other materials on the area you’re researching, plus databases and reference materials that can provide additional details.
Remember, the more research you do, the better your essay will be. Take the time to thoroughly research your topic and explore different angles in order to make your extended essay as informative and interesting as possible.

Common Pitfalls of Writing an IB History Extended Essay

When it comes to writing an IB history extended essay, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you want to make sure that your essay topic is well researched and that you are able to support your argument with evidence. Secondly, you want to be sure to avoid some of the common pitfalls that can lead to an unsuccessful essay. Let’s look at some of the mistakes you should avoid when writing an IB history extended essay.

Straying From the Topic

One of the most prominent mistakes students make when writing an IB history extended essay is straying from the main topic. It’s easy to become distracted by different ideas or tangents, but staying focused on the main discussion is essential for success. To ensure that you stay on track, it can be helpful to create an outline or create bullet points of all the key points you want to cover.


Another common pitfall of writing an IB history extended essay is making it overly complicated. While it’s important to include relevant facts and evidence in your essay, overly complex language or theories can often be confusing for the reader. Try to stick to simple language and focus on the primary arguments rather than intricate details.

Including Incorrect Information

When writing an IB history extended essay, it’s essential that you include accurate and up-to-date information. Be sure to thoroughly research your topic and double check any claims you make with reliable sources. Remember that essays are assessed not only on the content, but also on how accurately it’s presented.

Inadequate Word Count

Many students struggle to reach the necessary word count when writing an extended essay. Short essays often lack the depth and evidence required to have a successful essay. To ensure that your essay is long enough, spend time planning before you start writing. Make sure you’re covering all key points and analyzing the topic in detail. By following these tips and avoiding the common pitfalls of writing an IB history extended essay, you will be well on your way to writing a successful essay.

Checklist of Essential Points to Remember When Researching and Writing an IB History Extended Essay

Writing an IB history extended essay can be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have the right information and guidelines. To make it easier, it’s important to have a checklist of essential points to remember when researching and writing your IB history extended essay.

Here is a basic checklist of important points to keep in mind:

  • Determine what type of topic would most suit your essay.
  • Find reliable sources suitable for your topic.
  • Organize your essay structure and create a timeline.
  • Determine the scope of your research.
  • Conduct background research to understand the context of your topic.
  • Use evidence from your research to build an argument and support your claims.
  • Cite all sources used within your essay.
  • Proofread your essay to check for accuracy, grammar, and spelling.

Following these steps will help ensure that your IB history extended essay meets the required standards and topics. Additionally, make sure to consult with your teacher or supervisor to discuss any questions or doubts you may have.

It is important to note that the IB history extended essay will require a significant amount of research and analysis. Allowing adequate time for research, writing, and proofreading will help ensure that your essay will be accurate and well-written.

Exploring Different Approaches to Writing an IB History Extended Essay

The International Baccalaureate (IB) history extended essay is a challenging task that requires careful research and planning. To write a successful essay, it is essential to consider different approaches to researching and writing. In this section, we will explore various approaches to writing an IB history extended essay.

Analyzing Primary Sources

The use of primary sources is an invaluable part of any history essay. Primary sources can include visual images, diaries, letters and newspapers from the time period you are studying. Analyzing these sources can give you insights into the events that you are exploring. When looking for primary sources, it is important to look for sources that are relevant to your research topic.

Using Secondary Sources

Secondary sources can also play an important role in writing an IB history extended essay. Secondary sources are books, articles, and other sources written after the time period you are exploring. These sources can provide insight into the perspectives of scholars who have studied the same topics, as well as provide an in-depth analysis of the events, people and ideas discussed in your essay.

Interpreting Evidence

No matter what type of sources you include in your essay, it is essential to interpret the evidence carefully. It is important to be as critical as possible when reading sources and not to make assumptions about people or events. Be sure to examine the evidence closely and to assess the credibility and reliability of each source.

Referencing Sources

When writing an IB history extended essay, it is important to properly reference all of your sources. This means giving credit to the authors that you have used, as well as providing citations for any quotes, data, or information you have included in your essay. This will help ensure that your essay is credible and demonstrates that you have consulted a range of sources.

Organizing Your Essay

Once you have done the research for your essay, it is important to organize it in a logical way. This will help ensure that your essay is clearly structured and easy for readers to follow. Try to formulate a thesis statement early on in the essay, and then use this statement to develop your ideas throughout the essay. You can also use keywords and subheadings to help organize your essay and to highlight the main ideas that you are discussing. By considering various approaches to research and writing, you can ensure that your IB history extended essay is well-researched and effectively argued. By taking the time to thoroughly research your topic and carefully organize your essay, you will be able to create a compelling and successful extended essay.

Examples of Successful IB History Extended Essay Topics

Writing a successful extended essay in history requires that you come up with a suitable topic. It has to be something that interests and challenges you, but also be relevant to the topic at hand. When trying to come up with examples of successful IB history extended essay topics, it is important to think of topics that are manageable and have clear goals. One example of a successful topic for an IB history extended essay could be the Industrial Revolution in Europe. You could look at this from a range of different angles, including the social, political and economic impact it had on Europe. You would need to research each of these areas, finding out how it affected people and nations within Europe, as well as looking at what caused the industrial revolution and how it shaped the continent. Other potentially successful topics could include the Cold War, WWI or WWII. These events have had a profound effect on European and world history, leaving deep scars on many countries. Looking into the causes and effects of these wars could make for an interesting topic. You could also look at historical figures, such as Martin Luther, Napoleon or Julius Caesar. Focusing on one particular event in their life or examining their legacy could be an interesting way to approach the topic. Finally, there are numerous examples of successful IB history extended essay topics that focus on the history of a particular country. Examining the rise of Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall, for example, could be interesting, as it highlights the changes in a single nation over three decades. No matter what topic you choose for your essay, it is important to research in depth and ensure that you have a clear understanding of the subject. Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the material will definitely help when writing your IB history extended essay.

Categorizing Your Topic to Keep It Relevant

When you’re writing an IB history extended essay, it can be difficult to keep your topic focused and relevant to the assignment. To avoid this, it is important to categorize your topic and ensure it is relevant to the task. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
  • Understand The Assignment: Before you start to develop a topic, you should get a clear understanding of the parameters of the assignment. Read the prompt thoroughly and make sure you understand what is expected of you.
  • Do Your Research: Once you have a clear idea of the scope of the project, it’s time to start researching. Make sure you look at a variety of sources to understand different perspectives on the topic.
  • Brainstorm Ideas: After you’ve done some research, it’s time to brainstorm some potential topics for your essay. Make sure you look for topics that are narrow enough to be focused, yet broad enough to be explored in-depth.
  • Break Down Your Topic: Once you have a topic in mind, you should break it down into categories. This will help you organize your ideas and create an outline of the essay.
  • Proofread and Review: Before you submit your essay, make sure you proofread it carefully and review it to make sure the content is relevant to the topic.
Following these steps will help you ensure that your IB history extended essay is focused and relevant to the assignment. If you take the time to understand the assignment, research your topic, brainstorm ideas, and categorize your topic, you will be on your way to creating a successful essay.


Writing an IB History Extended Essay can be a tricky and challenging task, however, with the right preparation and planning it can be easier than you think. In this guide we discussed how to choose a good topic, where to research, as well as techniques and approaches to writing a successful essay. Now that you have finished reading you should be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to craft an excellent IB History Extended Essay.

To ensure a successful essay, remember to:

  • Choose a relevant, interesting, and unique topic
  • Start your research early and make sure it is thorough
  • Develop a clear structure and plan for your essay
  • Create an outline of your essay before you write
  • Proofread and edit your work before submitting

By following these tips and utilizing the techniques mentioned in this guide, you can create an outstanding IB History Extended Essay. Good luck!


When writing an IB History Extended Essay, it is important to make sure you properly cite any sources that you have used. This includes websites, books, articles, interviews, and any other sources that you may have used. Proper citing of your sources will help ensure the accuracy of your essay and also make sure that you are not accused of plagiarism. The first step in writing a good set of references is to make sure you are keeping track of all your sources throughout the writing process. It is a good idea to make a list of all the sources you plan to use when starting your research, and then keep adding to the list as you come across new sources. Once you have completed your essay, you will then need to compile a list of all the sources you have used and create references for them. Each reference should include information such as the title, author, year of publication, and page numbers as appropriate. The format of the reference will depend on which citation style you are using. For example, APA, MLA and Chicago styles all have different formats for references. Use online resources to help you find the correct format for the type of source you are referencing and make sure all of your references are formatted correctly. Additionally, use an online tool such as EasyBib to help ensure that your references are accurate and correctly formatted. Having a well-written set of references is an important part of producing a quality essay. Making sure that you are properly citing your sources will help make sure your essay is accurate and also show the reader that you are being honest about where you got your information from.
Valerie Green

Valerie Green

Valerie Green is a dedicated educator who spends her time helping high school and college students succeed. She writes articles and guides for various online education projects, providing students with the tools they need to excel in their studies. Friendly and approachable, she is committed to making a difference in the lives of students.

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