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I need help with my EE topic.

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Hey. This is my first time posting, so hopefully someone can help me out here. I've just got my Extended Essay proposal back from my supervisor, and she flat out rejected it and said that I need to get something else to write about. The topic of my essay is "To what extent did aviation affect the outcome of WW2?". I would like to write about something regarding aviation and/or the second world war, but there is a lot of pre-existing research on the topic, so it's difficult to find something original to do and I also need to find something that presents an argument, which is a bit difficult because history is pretty straight-forward (to me at least). Can someone help me find something interesting to write about and make suggestions as to how to narrow down my research question and make it argumentative? 

Thanks in advance,

--A Drooling Failure

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Hi, welcome to IB Survival. First, don't worry and you certainly aren't a failure. Or at least I also failed my first proposal for the EE, and I don't consider myself a failure. I even ended up writing a pretty good History EE (I'm biased).

I agree with your teacher and trust me, she is helping you by rejecting this.

The one thing I disagree with her on is her complaint about originality–I don't really care about originality in terms of historical topics given that you can score very well on a history EE regardless of whether your topic is well-known or obscure.

Nobody can help you with choosing a research question, but I can offer some tips. WWII was a massive conflict and its corpus is mind-numbingly large. There is no way you could write a 4,000 essay on such a huge topic as aviation in the war. I think it would be difficult to fit in an 800 page book. 

When people tell you the scope of your question is too grand, then try to cut down. Focus on one country, one battle, one facet of this battle, etc.

The other issue with your question is that it is not argumentative enough. IB just doesn't like reading about facts and occurrences, IB wants opinions and to arrive at those you have to start with a question which your comfortable making a judgement on. To be fair, it's a bit ridiculous: Yeah, right, like some 17 year old kid is going to produce some magnificent scholarly research and blow this case wide open.

Just try to deliver a thesis and back it up with some good info and analysis. If you don't already see, your question would really hinder this as it has one, obvious conclusion: "Yeah, turns out aviation was pretty important". If you are unsure as to how to form a more argumentative thesis without wading into bad historiography or conspiracy theories, look at some exemplary history EE's. They're really good for understanding the art of argumentation that IB wants to see. Good luck.

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I don't know if you have experience with this sort of thing, but I've come up with a few more potential topics for my EE. (hopefully these are sufficiently "narrowed down" for my supervisor).

1. Was the Allied bombing of the city of Dresden justified? (similar to all the essays about justification of the atomic bomb, but this time its Germany!)

2. What allowed the British RAF to win the Battle of Britain? (I want to rephrase this so that it sounds a bit less basic, but don't know what to do about it)

3. The Battle of Dunkirk: A military humiliation or national success? (or Was the Battle of Dunkirk a Success or Failure?)

Could anyone possibly offer their expertise on making one of these into a do-able research question? I'm most interested in the second RQ but I need a way to make it argumentative, because my EE supervisor only likes papers that create "controversy".

Edited by I.B. A Failure
Additional Info.

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All are viable. Surest way to manufacture controversy is to cite two secondary sources (historiography) that disagree. Source A says the RAF won it because of x, Source B says they won it because of y. Then, I'm simplifying this, but analyze and pick a side based on primary sources.

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Aviation didn't have an immense effect on the outcome of the ground battles of World War 2 because it was still in its developmental stages. It finally occurred to the Military leaders from both sides and they studied and planned to take advantage of the Airplanes features. We've got the pros and the expertise you can trust, so don’t go anywhere else for a professional personal statement writers!

Edited by marchudson

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