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Making a History EE Sound Interesting?

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So, my History EE topic is: How did the strategy and mobile armored divisions of Nazi Germany affect the outcome of the Battle of the Bulge?

Yeah, yeah, I've already read that you shouldn't do a World War II Extended Essay, but it's a little late for that.

I'm getting ready to turn in my first draft, and I'm worried it won't sound interesting when my advisor reads it. It's a lot of technical specs on the Panzer tanks and discussion on battle strategy, wrapping up with an explanation of how even though the tanks were good, the strategy wasn't, and how that affected the outcome. I think it's interesting, but I love watching documentaries on history, I'm a fourth-year member of our school's History Club, and I just love history in general, especially World War II.

So, if you've done a History EE, were you ever worried about sounding boring? If so, what did you do?

I mean, I figure since my mentor is a World History teacher and one of two History Club sponsors, he surely can't be too bored by it, right? I mean, if history bored him, he would have to be really bad at picking careers.

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You should ask him (your teacher), but as far as I can tell your title is not boring. However, your essay title presumes a ready answer (and foregone conclusion), which can be a problem if you are presenting genuine research. The technical aspects of the tanks/armour should not dominate or exclude other factors, but it seems you have equal emphasis on strategy, right? Make frequent references/ links to the question (I.e. reminding the reader how all these details answer the question) to ensure your reader does not drown in what ight seem arcane details. Good luck!

Edited by Blackcurrant

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Yeah, if anything, the technical specs are much shorter than the strategy section, since that was what really led to the final result of the battle. And I pretty much assumed that reading specs wouldn't really give even your average history teacher a clear picture of how that relates to anything, so I tried to pair specs with, "And this is what that number would mean (i.e. Why a certain size gun is important for this particular tank doing this particular job, rather than just the size.)"

However, your essay title presumes a ready answer (and foregone conclusion), which can be a problem if you are presenting genuine research.

Perhaps I'm just slow on the uptake, but can you explain this?

@Ayedott Gee

Well, that wasn't really available here.

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The question presumes that 1) armour affected the outcome of the battle 2) strategy (I hope you mean "strategic use of armour") had something to do with the final outcome too. Provided the first part of your essay acknowledges other possible factors for the outcome, and justifies your limited focus on these two, then you should be ok. But all this must be made explicit. It is the necessary defining groundwork of that researchers do before launching into details of an argument.

You might want to be more explicit about "final outcome" too. Do you mean defeat (in that battle) for the Germans? Or victory for the allies? I expect the first - in which case you write from the perspective of German plans and expectations. It does make a difference.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Blackcurrant

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That's perfect, thank you!

In my introduction, my thesis was that "While there were other factors that led to the German defeat at the Battle of the Bulge, the mobile armored divisions acted as the key military force for the Germans, and would have been their saving grace, had they been utilized to their full potential," since my whole argument in the paper is that they had the superior armor to win, but their armor was not deployed effectively and at the right time (lack of supplies and whatnot, which probably would have changed the outcome), so they lost.

(Also note: I'm not sure whether or not I should put in what factors those are, because I worry that'll distract from the rest of the paper if I suddenly start listing off irrelevant factors.)

And I really mean strategy in the general sense, since the armor was deployed along with the infantry in smaller "Armies", so I couldn't really separate the armored divisions from the rest.

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