Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

insaaf

Help with Research Question?

Hello, everyone!

My tentative ee RQ is

To what extent is the monitoring of electronic devices by the government an infringement of basic human rights?

I just wanted opinions on it, specifically
  • what topic group it would fit into (human rights or politics? maybe even history?)
  • can it be argued and analyzed?
  • is it even good???

thanks!

~insaaf, IB1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there!

  • what topic group it would fit into (human rights or politics? maybe even history?)

I would say human rights. Please note, though, that I am not that familiar with the politics course and syllabus. However, the inclusion of and focus on human rights tell me that it would fit perfectly within the human rights syllabus (I'm not too familiar with this course either, but I read the EE guide for this course some time ago). It is definitely not history, as you would not discuss an event (or aspect) with a historical significance in a historical manner. If you want to be even more certain on this point, I would advise you to read the EE guide yourself (your supervisor, or at least your IB coordinator, should have this readily available), and you could also ask your supervisor for that person's thoughts (the supervisor is, after all, supposed to know most things about EEs in the IB subjects).

  • is it even good???

It is adequate, no better, no worse. You could easily improve your question by narrowing it down to a certain (or some certain) instance where the monitoring of electronic devices are happening. I would also either be very clear in your introduction what you mean with 'basic human rights' or just write 'human rights.' In the modern world, 'human rights' refer to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and its additions, and by writing 'basic' you would either imply that you're looking at only a few articles of the UDHR, or that the UDHR does not include all the human rights that are universally agreed upon. To avoid this completely, you could refer to a certain article in the UDHR. For instance, a better RQ would be: 'To what extent was the monitoring of Person X's e-mails in the criminal investigation A an infringement of the UDHR article 12?'

Two other thoughts that immediately crossed my mind were censorship and the Arab Spring (which has been ongoing since 2011).

An essay on the Arab Spring would be easy, as there are already a lot of literature on the topic (there was actually another IB student who wanted to write an EE on that who enquired this forum for advise some time ago). The use of social media was (and still is) widely used with regards to the revolutions in Middle East and North Africa, and some governments tried to remove the access to internet in order to impede the opposition's progress. This is something you could do some research on, and, since it still very recent, it is also possible for you to end up with a new perspective on the topic. However, the topic should not be a general question on the technology restrictions in MENA and if it violates the UDHR.

Censorship is on the other side not that recent, and it is thus much easier to find quality literature on, which will in turn facilitate your research. The Chinese censorship is perhaps the most renowned of them all, but also one of the most studied. As a consequence, an essay on the Chinese censorship, unless you approach it from a completely new angle, will not be seen upon as innovative and original. A possibility would be on the US censorship on Wikileaks with regards to human rights, or the South Korean censorship regarding North Korea (in all forms, not just internet censorship). The latter could perhaps be with more ease be connected to an article in the UDHR, more specifically articles 18 and 19 (dealing with freedom of thought and freedom of speech).

I suggest you read thoroughly through the UDHR, and also the EE guide section regarding the subject Human Rights, as they will both give you a clearer idea of what you can and cannot write about. The UDHR can be found here (the link does not include the addenda).

  • can it be argued and analyzed?

Seeing that you should amend the question to some extent, I won't answer this question in too much detail. However, all the possible amendments I have proposed are viable to be analysed in great depth, and they will also lead to some thorough research, both key to be awarded good grades on the EE.

Good luck!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites