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History HL

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No one in my class is getting 7s right now, and my teacher is new the IB so I want to check on some things.

1) When we write those 45min essays, how much are we supposed to write? I write about 3 pages, but this is having already known the essay topic before our practise exams so I have already prepared. I guess in the real thing, I'll need to plan for longer.

2) Do you give a balanced argument, or do we argue for one side and give evidence as to why we believe in that side? Again, my class is not sure. Our teacher has said that up until level 6, they want you to argue balanced, but for level 7 you need to have an argument. But if you write with an argument and miss the level 7, you are likely to score low because you haven't written a balanced essay.

Thanks!

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1. I used to write about 4 pages (8 sides) of the IB exam paper in the class 45 minute exams. There is no upper or lower limit per say. You just have to write enough and 'enough' is defined by you and varies from topic to topic. We were never told what the essay topic would be, or at least not the exact words of it. We would have a general idea of the topic area being covered because we would have the 45 minute essay style tests once every two weeks. The planning stage doesn't really take more than 5-7 minutes and it shouldn't take more than that. The reason being that in the final IB exam, when you sit for Paper 2, you have 1.5 hours to get through that exam and write two outstanding essays, which means 45 minutes per essay is ideal. For Paper 3, it's a 2.5 hour exam, i.e. roughly 50 minutes per essay. One way to really cut down on time in the exams (especially paper 3 where you have to write three essays at one go), is to choose the essays you plan on writing at the very beginning when you read the paper. And then you should write the Outlines for both or all three essays (depending on which paper) one after another. The reason I suggest that is because (and this applies more to paper 3), by the time you finish two essays and get to the third, your mind is just so screwed and tired from writing and writing endlessly, having the Outline already done just relieves some of the burden and calms you down to an extent. It's also easier on you coz now, in your tired mental state, you don't need to wrap your head around another different topic and start writing about that.

2. You should have an argument that presents your thesis in the essay no matter what. Then you should make sure you have all the different perspectives and main events written down pat. So if I was doing an essay on the cold war in paper 2, I would definitely mention the American perspective (via some American historians' views), some Russian perspectives, the British view, the view of one satellite of the USSR, and then one NAM historian for like an outsider's perspective. I would then balance out all the different ideas on all the different main events that occurred and then show how my thesis stands true through it all.

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basically to get a high mark you dont need to make a personal argueement but you need to analyse an existing historical one EG:

how did hitler establish dictatorship?

intentionalist- orthadox historian and can be challenged all over the place

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Actually, to get a 7 you do need to have a personal argument, which is the thesis on your essay. All the historical information and arguments either support your thesis, go against it, or are ancillary in some other fathomable way. At the end of the day you have to prove your thesis, not some random historic idea or perspective on an event thought up by some dude who is long dead.

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1. I used to write about 4 pages (8 sides) of the IB exam paper in the class 45 minute exams.

Seriously! I write 3 sides! About 3 paragraphs a side, that's about 5 mins per paragraph. Surely, that's about right. :S

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Do you use normal lined paper or the IB exam paper? There's a reason I specified IB exam paper, the space between their lines is much wider and the dimensions of the page are smaller within the borders. So you end up writing more than you would on normal paper.

I guess I just had a lot to say...and I always got 7s...so whatever I did was right.

Cheers,

Arrowhead.

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