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Contrasting IA topic ideas

I have been hesitating to post this on the internet, but I feel that I really need the help to just decide my IA topic! My teacher told us to choose the question by the last week of March, and most of my classmates already have a set topic, but me being the indecisive type, I could not settle on just one topic.. I was interested in aspects about Japan and WW2, and wanted to focus on a topic there, but I am not sure if my question is too specific? I have always been very interested in the Asian region for my IA, because my grandparents have personally been through the war. I have researched a fair amount, but most of the research done was on wikipedia, and I have no clue as to how to find actual sources that the IB would approve of?

Topic idea 1:

To what extent was Japan successful in colonizing Taiwan between 1895 and 1945, and what impression did they leave on modern day Taiwanese today?

The other question I formulated while following the advice of my teacher, which was to look for a historical movie, and analyze the accuracy/ sucessfulness of the movie. The only historical movie that struck me as interesting was Lawrence of Arabia. The problem is that I have no knowledge about T.E. Lawrence, and anything he had did, and I have no idea how to find sources? I feel that this is a very promising topic, and if done well, I could score very high. My goal is to score a 7, and it is going to take a lot of work!

Topic idea 2:

To what extent was the film 'Lawrence of Arabia' accurate in depicting T. E. Lawrence's experiences in Arabia during WWI? (The problem I have with this that it might be to broad?)

Please do give some input! I know that by posting my questions online, I risk having others copy it, but seeing that many others have interesting opinions and ideas they might be able to contribute online, I really need help.. If I am breaking any IB rules, please do tell me immediately so that I delete this post!

Thank you!

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They both sound like they could be fully explored more in an EE than in an IA, especially the first one as it stands. If I had to choose one of those as they stand for the IA, I'd go with the second. The first one covers too much. You have half a century, and then modern day. That's way too big a scope for the word count you have for the history IA.

Movie IAs are interesting, but can be looked down upon. Just throwing that out there. If done well, they're creative, show personal interest, and are excellent pieces. If done poorly, you don't look like a student of history, but simply a kid who watched a movie. If you choose the second one, make sure you still follow all of the history IA guidelines. Have primary sources and historiography and everything. :)

P.S. You chose a 4 hour movie, in case you weren't aware. So you'll have to sit through that probably more than once if you do an IA for it. Again, you're getting into EE territory. Remember: The IA is simply showing you can write a history research paper. Choose an easy topic with a narrow scope and answer the question you set forth with good evidence and analysis and you'll get your 7. If you make your question impossible in the word count, you won't get the score you want.

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thank you so much for your insight! I am getting to the point where I just want a topic already... most of my classmates have chosen topics that are already provided by the teacher, but I did not want to do that as I thought that I could come up with one myself. For the first topic, if I removed the second part (and what impression did they leave on modern day Taiwanese today?), will it make the topic less broad?


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