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History EE - Salem Witch Trials

Hi guys,

I'm just starting out on my EE. Yes, history, salem witch trials.

Any good ideas on what I should center my questions around, I'm having a little difficulty framing it!

Thanks! :)

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hey there!

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that we cannot do that for you. As the rules of this forum and the regulations put forward by IBO state, you have to do your own job. Creating a question on which you will base your essay is an integral part of that job, which means that we simply cannot do it. That would be against our ethics, and you could be accused for plagiarism by the IBO (which could then result in the withdrawal of the IB diploma).

For us to help you, you need to give us something to work on that is your own work - for instance a question which you have already formulated. We could then help you frame your question, but our job does not extent much further (not when it comes to helping you with forming questions, at least). If you have a question already, I suggest that you post it here, so that we have something to work with. If you don't, here's a few general tips to help you:

  • Do general research. Whilst doing research, take note of controversial and disputed events. Keep these events very specific, and find first-hand sources if possible. Do some more research regarding these events, and concentrate on one you find the most appealing.
  • Read the EE guide, especially the part about history.
  • Read the pinned threads in this and in the history sub-forum.
  • If you can, read previous EEs. That will help you see what should be focused on, and how. Maybe that will give you some ideas for how to write your own EE as well.

Here's my history of how I narrowed my research question (RQ). Although it might not seem very interesting, it should give you some idea of how you could progress.

When I first started working with the EE, I had very little idea of what specifically I wanted to write about. My guiding line, however, was that I wanted to write something about Korean history, seeing that I am half Korean. I am very interested in old Korean history, but after doing some research, I figured out that most of the important sources are written in hanja (Chinese letters used in Korea a long time ago) or Korean, and I don't understand either.

I then began thinking of writing my EE on a more modern historical event that caused controversy or interest, and where the sources would be available in English. I began reading about the Korean War, as that was the main modern history I could think of back then. I formed a temporary research question in order to guide my research - 'Who started the Korean War?' In hindsight, this was a horrible and unfocused research question, but my initial idea was to compare North Korean and South Korean/American sources on who started the war (a key thing to understand at this point is that North Korea claim that it was the South Koreans who invaded North Korea, whilst the international history points at the North as the aggressor). I knew, however, that my RQ was too wide, so before I began writing my EE, I did a lot of research. Through this research, I found a lot of first-hand sources - telegrams between Kim Il Sung, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong - and I focused more and more on Soviet Union's role in the Korean War. My RQ had by now transformed to 'What was Soviet Union's role in the Korean War?' Being somewhat satisfied with my RQ (though, keep in mind that it was still not finalised in any way), I began writing some on my EE based on what I already knew.

After a while, however, I realised that my text was dealing more and more about the role of China and Soviet Union in the Korean War, and the particular focus was on four different telegrams between Stalin and Mao discussing the Chinese intervention in the Korean War. These telegrams had caused some controversy, and historians were not agreeing on what role these telegrams had. As I had not written much on other aspects yet, I then chose to change my RQ a last time, to: 'To what extent do the telegrams between Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong dated 1 October 1950 to 7 October 1950 reflect on their policies regarding a Chinese intervention in the Korean War?'

In short: Find a topic that interests you personally, do some research, make sure you have sources available, create a temporary RQ which will help you focus your research, do more research, write your EE and alter the RQ on the go.

Always make sure you answer your RQ in the end - if you don't, change it.

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