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How to Pick a Good IA Topic?

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Part A for my History SL IA topic is coming up, and I have various interests, but I'm not sure how you go about formulating the perfect topic. Can anyone give me an example of their thinking path while they were forming theirs? My teacher says it's best to do a topic related to areas we are studying. Some of the examples given in the guide were interesting, such as "How did the geisha's way of life change during the Meiji period?", but of course I cannot re-do this topic. I've been looking at a couple of things; the Dunkirk evacuation in World War 2, the Chinese Civil War, and the Hundred Flowers Campaign that also took place in China. I don't think we're focusing on the Chinese Civil War, however. The topics my teacher has chosen are WWI, WWII, Cold War, and Europe and Middle East(Iran-Iraq War).

I'm most interested in the "Miracle of Dunkirk" when Churchill issued the request that all people, civilians included, that owned a boat to help rescue the British soldiers. Also another interesting topic is why Hitler decided not to use land forces and used instead Luftwaffe.

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Part A for my History SL IA topic is coming up, and I have various interests, but I'm not sure how you go about formulating the perfect topic. Can anyone give me an example of their thinking path while they were forming theirs? My teacher says it's best to do a topic related to areas we are studying. Some of the examples given in the guide were interesting, such as "How did the geisha's way of life change during the Meiji period?", but of course I cannot re-do this topic. I've been looking at a couple of things; the Dunkirk evacuation in World War 2, the Chinese Civil War, and the Hundred Flowers Campaign that also took place in China. I don't think we're focusing on the Chinese Civil War, however. The topics my teacher has chosen are WWI, WWII, Cold War, and Europe and Middle East(Iran-Iraq War).

I'm most interested in the "Miracle of Dunkirk" when Churchill issued the request that all people, civilians included, that owned a boat to help rescue the British soldiers. Also another interesting topic is why Hitler decided not to use land forces and used instead Luftwaffe.

Dunkirk is a good idea for a topic, just make sure you look up resources and other resources prior to picking any topic, i learned the hard way, and i was scrambling in order to complete the task on time

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I agree with soccerman93 in that Dunkirk does sound like a good topic. I'm a hypocrite for saying this, but while Hitler-related things haven't been fully exhausted, I think it's better if you stay away from Hitler or Mao =)

I don't really know how I chose my topic. [about American intervention or lack thereof in Holocaust. yeah, I know. Not exactly the most original.] I wanted to do something really out there which I can't remember at the moment, but it was very theoretical and not historical enough. Then I wanted to do something about the Monroe Doctrine, which I researched, but nothing really struck me as interesting once spent hours of research on it haha. I don't know how I came about the topic I actually wrote on. But I know that I found the perfect sources which made me really happy and motivated to write the paper. Sorry.

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I agree with soccerman93 in that Dunkirk does sound like a good topic. I'm a hypocrite for saying this, but while Hitler-related things haven't been fully exhausted, I think it's better if you stay away from Hitler or Mao =)

I would disagree. I did my IA on Hitler's relationship with Franco and got a very good predicted grade (hopefully IB graders have similar opinions). I think topics that involve very popular historical events/concepts tend to be better because of the abundance of research materials. Don't be discouraged from doing a Hitler or WWII essay, just give it a slightly original twist and they'll eat it up.

Btw, if you're doing the Dunkirk one try to include Charles Herbert Lightoller. He's kind of like the Chuck Norris of the first half of the 20th century.

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I agree with the original twist part, but I had to warn because without it, you can get your marks in the criteria--it's just you have a harder time showing a personal interest in the topic. Also, I think it's better to pick something that doesn't have tons of material specifically about it without picking a topic that has like 2 sources available to you. You want to find something in the middle because if you have too many resources then it's possible your topic is just skimming the surface. I'm not saying you should read everything you find about your topic, but it's good to know what you're talking about from many facets. It's harder to analyze something yourself if everything you wanted to say has already been said and cited.

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