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    May 2015
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  1. So I have a history IA topic in mind that I'm interested in, but I'm not sure if it works or not. I want to do it on the culture of Al Andalus (Islamic Spain 700-1500), and how it was a culture of tolerance and diversity. I was also thinking about relating it to architecture. So some of my idea for a research question were: How significant was the contribution of the multiculture of Islamic Spain to the architecture monuments of that era? What were the philosophical traditions resulting from coexistence in a multicultural Islamic Spain and what effect did this have on the architecture of that era? or simply, What were the philosophical traditions resulting from coexistence in a multicultural Islamic Spain? To what extent does the architecture in Al Andalus reflect ethnic pluralism, religious tolerance, cultural secularism? or simply: to what extend was ethnic pluralism, religious tolerance and cultural secularism present in Al Andalus? I'm not sure however if this is good enough, because it doesn't have much of a back and forth argument, or is that okay? Also is it too broad? I was thinking maybe i can narrow it down to focusing on one monument of that era, like: to what extent does Alcazar reflect the multiculture of Al Andalus?
  2. The math involved would be applying the rules of symmetry and translation (reflection, rotation) and find geometric patterns present in Alhambra that meet all 17 groups, here's is an image of the different classification groups: http://www.cienciateca.com/17spgps.gif http://black.mitplw....teen_groups.png
  3. The math involved would be applying the rules of symmetry and translation (reflection, rotation) and find geometric patterns present in Alhambra that meet all 17 groups, here's is an image of the different classification groups: http://www.cienciateca.com/17spgps.gif http://black.mitplw....teen_groups.png
  4. My IA topic is 'Exploring the 17 plane crystallographic groups in Alhambra Palace' I visited AlHambra Palace, that is located in Granada Spain last summer, and was really impressed by the complexity of its architectures and wall patterns. And the influence of math in art really struck me. I also really want to major in Architecture so that added to my interest, and Islamic Architecture is a big interest of mine. Alhambra palace has been said to contain all 17 crystallographic groups (wallpaper patterns): which is the classification of two-dimensional patterns, based on the symmetries in the patterns. My aim is to investigate and prove the presence of the 17 crystallographic groups from the pictures I took last summer of wall patterns and mosaics found in Alhambra Palace. I am really interested in this exploration, especially that I think I'd be able to show a lot of personal engagement, given its connection to what I'll major in, my personal interest and the fact that I'll be using pictures I took my self (for the most part). However my concern is were it falls under, which is most likely geometry. And I was wondering if this will not cut the HL standard, does it seem too easy, since it doesn't touch on an HL topic from the syllabus?
  5. Thank you very much. That was great help. I get what your saying, and yeah that is what I feared. I will tell you my approach to narrow it down, and it would mean a lot to here your feedback. Taking what you said in consideration. I was thinking on focusing on the Granada War, which was the final stand for this Muslim state, and which will only cover a period of ten years. Through this I will touch on 2-3 main internal factors of failure, and mention how how these have been repetitive throughout the history of the fall (200 years). and I would still argue that these where the main causes of the fall, rather than external factor, which I wouldn't need to analyse in depth because they are obvious, like the Christian invading Granada. However in my intro, or my first body paragraph, can I go briefly through the history of these 200 years, pointing relevant things out, and touching on main events? Also you said for me to acknowledge and say that only a certain event (Granada war) was picked specifically because the word count would not suffice for a proper study of the full 200 years. I just wanted to make sure, is it okay for me to talk about my decisions in the essay, say why I left things out and that the word count isn't sufficient? I didn't know that. Also I asked this in my first post, and if you can't help me with it, that's okay. But I wanted to know, exactly how am I supposed to go about the source analysis? should it be part of the text and should i refer to the sources constantly, or can it be just a footnote? because I really feel like analyising the sources while building up my essay, would kind of disrupt the flow Thank you
  6. So yes Hello. I take History SL, and I am writing my extended essay in the fall of Al Andalus (the Islamic empire in Spain), but more specifically the fall of Granada. I've already written a 5000 word rough draft. So I have a pretty good idea where I want to go with this, and how I'll cut down the word count. But I've got a few concerns i would like help with. I've already emailed my supervisor more than a week ago and he hasn't gotten back to me and I'm starting to worry. First my concern was that the fall of Granada happens over a period of 200 years. So I feel like, to the examiners this might seem like too proud an exploration. But the point of my essay is to explore why it lasted 200 years even though the rest of Al Andalus fell before it. What allowed Granada to survive as the only Muslim state in Spain for two centuries, but most importantly what caused it to fall after holding strong. The period I'm studying is from around 1250-1500. My research question is: To what extent were internal factors, rather than the external ones, the main causes to the fall of Granada I will be focusing on the factors of failure more than why it survived, although I will touch on these as well. more specifically the point I am trying t prove is that Granada fell because of internal factors of failure like: Betrayal, lack of Leadership, power hungry ruler, disunity, lack of tolerance, etc. Rather than internal factors like: the Christian conquest Because I find it quite interesting how throughout history huge empires tend to be the cause of their own destruction, and the story of the fall of Al Andalus portrays that very well. So would it stills seem like a broad topic? or am I going in the right direction? Also what is a good range of sources for me to have? I've got 5 web sources. 2 media sources (documentaries, and a lecture -kind of), and 3 book sources (as well as two more books that I'm still trying to get hold of). My biggest problem is I have no primary sources. Only around three quotes from people of that time, either kings or scholars, which I got from web sources and not the primary source itself (like a letter or a written record or speech). I've been looking for primary sources everywhere and haven't found anything of use to me. I did find important sources, but they all fall under different periods of time,or area's of studies like culture and art and literature, which I only mention briefly to describe how Granada was like, and am not focusing on. So it would be really great if someone can help recommend to me some primary source, or at least where and how to look? My last concern is about analyzing the sources. Should I take the: origin, purpose value, limitation, approach? and should it be integrated in to my research itself or can it be a brief footnote. Because I feel like talking about the source while trying to build on my argument would disrupt the flow. what is more recommended? and do you have tips to how I should go about it? does source analysis have to go in depth? Thank you p.s. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I live in the middle east, Bahrain to be specific. Just in case people would want to recommend to me look for sources in certain libraries in the US or UK, which I obviously have no access to.
  7. Thank you so much for your help. I talked with my English EE supervisor and if I'm gonna do it in english I made sure it will be purely literature based. However we are still looking for books/works of literature to analyse, so if anyone has ideas or read something that is related to any of the topics above, please share. Another topic idea I read about and liked was comparing George Orwell's Animal Farm and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, in the sense of how people allow themselves to be controlled, or submit to control willingly. I would still love to hear more opinions, source suggestions. ANY advice at all is greatly appreciated
  8. Hello. I am a 1st year Ib student, and I'm in the period of deciding my extended essay subjects and topics. I have two subjects on my mind with ideas of topics and I would love to receive some feedback from those who have now become experts or anyone with experience at all. In the sense of whether my ideas seem interesting, specific; am I moving on the right track, etc...

 My first subject choice is History:
 I wanted to pick something related to the Arab history since it is something I didn't study in depth and would love to know about. But the whole Arab history seems too broad, so I narrowed it down to the period of the fall of Al Andalus (spain) since it is a very important and critical period for the Arabs. I have not formed a question but since this period was where things began going down hill for the Arabs it will go along the lines of what where the factors (both western and arab) for the downfall, why, and its lingering effects today and such
My other subject choice is English:
 I will be honest, I wanted psychology first and foremost but since my school doesn't offer Ib psychology and it is a subject I don't take, my hopes where crushed. However I'll admit my topic ideas for english are a bit physiological. • Exploring how people are more subconsciously influenced than consciously influenced and how that effects/controls their lives. • The importance of believing in something, living for a purpose, the reason why religion is so important to many people. Are Humans born to serve? • Are Humans inherently good or evil? • The Placebo effect Of course I would explore these topics from a literature point of view, through works of literature or lives of authors or such figures.
 comparing two books, poems, or something.
 My big delimma is finding those works so my english topics can be valid.
 So I would love your help in suggesting me some sources and your opinion on the choices I have and which seems better, safer, interesting and more reasonable. I do lean closer to the english topics, especially topic number 3, but a lot of thought will go in this before a final decision, which I must take by November 24.
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