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ib_girl

Challenging the assumption

Sorry, I feel like I ask questions all the time on here for history, but we have a long-term sub right now who is not IB trained and so I don't have a ton of resources for help at school. Anyway, with a question like "Analyze the reasons for Germany's defeat in World War I," is it appropriate to challenge the assumption of the question? One of my friends feels that Germany was not defeated, but rather forced to surrender, and isn't sure if it would be appropriate to challenge in an Analyze question. Thanks -_-

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In an analysis, you can always give counter-arguments and multiple perspectives. It helps your paper not to be overly one sided.

Just remember not to destroy the whole foundation of your response, and make sure that you keep your argument clear.

Try best to follow what the question asks you to do, unless it asks otherwise. Still try to give multiple perspectives though. -_-

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Sorry, I feel like I ask questions all the time on here for history, but we have a long-term sub right now who is not IB trained and so I don't have a ton of resources for help at school. Anyway, with a question like "Analyze the reasons for Germany's defeat in World War I," is it appropriate to challenge the assumption of the question? One of my friends feels that Germany was not defeated, but rather forced to surrender, and isn't sure if it would be appropriate to challenge in an Analyze question. Thanks -_-

Well, it's ok to challenge it, but think of it this way: if Germany was forced to surrender, than they were defeated. How else do you define defeat besides one army crushing the other?

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For this specific question, there's really not a lot of things to challenge. However, for a lot of Paper 3 (HL only) style questions, you could.

For example, this question from my paper 3 practice: "How and for what reasons did the Mandate System become responsible for the rise of independence movements in the Middle East from 1920 to 1939?" has a lot you can challenge, like the very meaning of the word independence or that the question implies that the Middle Eastern sates we know today gained independence due to European intervention.

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Yeah, it is definitely ok to challenge the assumptions of the question, however it can be very tricky. I assume the challenge would come from the direction of the 'stab-in-the-back' argument advanced by certain historians, and by the more extreme right-wing forces of that time in Germany. However, the argument for this case is not that strong, as there were many spontaneous surrenders, etc. on the field not organized by those who overthrew the kaiser and negotiated the peace.

Perhaps it would be easier if the argument was incorporated as one of the reasons for defeat, looking at the internal as well as external factors for Germany's defeat.

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