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Improving analysis in P3 essays

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I'm doing History HL and after my first 5 or so months in the IB, as well as my first mocks, I've started wondering how my scores in essays, especially in the paper 3 ones, could be improved. I tend to get 13-15/20 points, which is quite good but I would like to increase my odds of getting a 7 from history (as it is also what I would like to do in university). According to my teacher my evidence is fine but in my analysis I need to "go a bit deeper". However, I'm unsure of how this could actually be done - any potentially helpful tips?

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Be critical about the statement or question that you choose. You need to present both sides of the argument - even quote historians if possible. You need to put counter-claims etc. For example in Weimar Germany, you can conclude, "There are certainly many factors that contributed to the downfall of the Weimar Republic such as the, however it must be remembered that the WR also had a number of successes etc..." Challenge the question whenever possible.

Edited by kimmiii
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Make sure you include critical commentary where possible (i.e. comparisons, judgments as to whether something was more effective than the other, etc), and synthesize "your own" thesis instead of stating a commonplace thesis.

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13-15/20 is a very good mark for the essays. I'm sure you're already doing something analytical to get those in the first place. In fact, assuming that you do reasonably well on your History IA and Paper 1 by getting 7s in both, then those kinds of essay marks on Papers 2 and 3 are probably the bare minimum of landing that 7 in History anyways.

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True - you only need to get an average of about 13/20 on each essay on the exams to get a 7 overall. However, keep in mind that the exam setting will be much more stressful and time-limited than the average classroom setting. Plus, you need to know all the history you've learned over two years!

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Our teacher always tells us to include historians in there, and yea challenge the question whenever possible. It should be like general argument, then historians that support it and why, then historians that are against it and why then your own view...for each point. Good luck!

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I got a 6 in History HL even though I had a 4 throughout most of IB. I slowly improved my analysis by learning some simple techniques like PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation) which basically says that you should first make a point (e.g. The Depression radicalized the German people and led to the rise of extremist parties like the NSDAP), then give evidence for it (e.g. Mass unemployment made people open to radical solutions and membership in the NSDAP rose between 1930 and 1932), and finally explain how the evidence supports your point (e.g. This shows that the Depression was a crucial factor in the rise of the NSDAP). Then continue with another point and so on. Eventually you won't be thinking about it that much and your analysis will just flow naturally. I also think it's important to write clearly when you analyze. I studied Obama's speeches to improve the clarity of my writing because his speeches are usually written in a very clear way, even though they deal with complex problems, and I think that definitely contributed to the improvement of my essay-writing skills.

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