IB History Extended Essay Topics

The Extended Essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. It’s an important component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and allows students to engage in an in-depth study of a topic that interests them. Aspiring IB History students must complete their EE to gain the full diploma.

When working on an EE, students need to follow very specific guidelines and formatting expectations. The essay should look professional, be free of errors, have a clear layout, and have a unique and interesting thesis statement. For IB History specifically, topics should relate to some historical event or time period.

Most EE topics require a large amount of research. Students are expected to use reliable and high-quality sources for information. Additionally, topics should not be too broad but also not too narrow—there needs to be enough material available to create a comprehensive essay.

It’s also important to keep in mind the weight of the essay in a student’s final grade. An EE typically includes a title page, table of contents, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, list of works cited, and any additional appendices. Getting started can seem daunting, but with clear goals and guidance, you can break the process into manageable parts.

IB History Extended Essay Topics

IB History Extended Essay Topics

  1. The Impact of World War I on the Russian Revolution: A Comparative Analysis of Pre- and Post-War Societal Changes
  2. The Rise and Fall of Apartheid in South Africa: Analyzing the Political and Economic Factors
  3. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Assessing the Role of Cold War Diplomacy in Averting Nuclear War
  4. The Spanish Inquisition: Exploring the Socio-Cultural and Religious Dynamics of Persecution
  5. The Fall of the Berlin Wall: The Interplay of Political and Cultural Factors in East and West Germany
  6. The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Assessing the Legacy of Mao Zedong’s Policies on Modern China
  7. The Influence of Ancient Greek Democracy on the Formation of the United States Constitution
  8. The Role of Women in the French Revolution: Analyzing the Contributions and Limitations of Female Activism
  9. The Armenian Genocide: Investigating the Origins, Perpetrators, and International Response
  10. The Impact of the Printing Press on the Protestant Reformation: A Study of the Spread of Ideas in 16th Century Europe
  11. The League of Nations: Evaluating the Successes and Failures in Preserving Global Peace and Security
  12. The Indian Independence Movement: A Comparative Study of the Strategies Employed by Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose
  13. The Influence of the Enlightenment on the American and French Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis
  14. The Iranian Revolution of 1979: Examining the Role of Religion and Nationalism in Shaping Political Change
  15. The Rwandan Genocide: Analyzing the International Community’s Response and its Implications for Future Conflict Resolution
  16. The Consequences of the Treaty of Versailles on Post-World War I European Stability
  17. The Great Depression: Investigating the Effects of Economic Policies on the Global Recovery
  18. The Role of Propaganda in Shaping Public Opinion During World War II: A Comparative Study of Nazi Germany and Allied Nations
  19. The Impact of European Colonialism on the Formation of Modern African Nation-States
  20. The Vietnam War: Analyzing the Domino Theory and its Influence on American Foreign Policy

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Brainstorming IB History Topics

When it comes to choosing an IB History Extended Essay topic, the sky is the limit. IB History offers a wide range of topics that span from ancient history to the contemporary world and beyond. To choose the best topic for your essay, it’s important to brainstorm several ideas and then narrow them down until you find your final topic. Here are some tips for brainstorming IB History topics for your essay.

1. Pick an Interesting Area

When selecting an area for your IB History topic, pick something that interests you. You will be researching this subject in depth, so it helps to pick something that catches your eye. Think about the topics that most pique your curiosity and consider these when narrowing down your choices.

2. Select a Time Period

Before you start brainstorming specific topics, it’s important to select a time period. This will help you to focus on topics within the scope of your essay. The IB History syllabus includes comprehensive studies of events, people, and societies from prehistory to the present day. Consider which time period you would like to focus on and use this to guide your research.

3. Brainstorm Ideas

Now that you have identified a broad area of research and a specific time period, it’s time to brainstorm some potential topics. Start by making a list of ideas and then narrow it down by considering which ones you think would make for compelling research. Consider topics related to events, people, or societies within the chosen time period. You can also look for potential connections between topics for added interest.

4. Research Specific Topics

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential topics, start researching each one. Try to find out as much information as you can about each topic, including background information and any relevant primary sources. This will help you decide which topic you would like to develop further and ultimately write your essay on.

5. Review the IB Assessment Criteria

Finally, before you make your final decision, take some time to review the IB Assessment Criteria. Understand what the components of the assessment are and make sure that your chosen topic is suitable. This will help ensure that you are on the right track early on and can dedicate more time to researching and writing the essay itself.

Developing Your Topic

Finding the right topic for your IB history extended essay is an important step. After brainstorming relevant and engaging topics, you’ll need to narrow your choices down to one final topic. This process can take some time and effort, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few tips for selecting the perfect topic:

  • Think carefully about your passion and interests. Consider what topics you find the most interesting and engaging, and then research those topics more deeply. By selecting a topic that you have a real connection to, you are more likely to stay motivated and enjoy the writing process.
  • Conduct a thorough research. Explore each of your suggested topics in greater depth. Gather as much information as possible and narrow your focus to a single topic.
  • Identify an original angle. While it can be tempting to choose a broad or popular topic, try to choose something unique and specific that sets you apart from other students. Create a thesis statement that will ensure that your essay provides insight into the subject matter.

By using these guidelines and following the step-by-step process, you can select a topic for your IB history extended essay that you find interesting and engaging. When you have settled on a topic, you can begin conducting research and writing your essay.

Researching the Topic

Research is an essential part of writing your IB History Extended Essay. Gathering reliable sources that are relevant to your topic is the first step towards writing a successful essay.

There are a variety of sources you can use when researching your topic. Some good places to start include online databases, libraries, textbooks, and journals. It is important to use sources that are reliable and accurate, so be sure to double-check who the authors are and any associated credentials.

When researching, make sure to keep track of where you are gathering your information from. This will help you later when you are citing your sources in the essay. You should also take notes as you go along, as this will help you to remember which sources you used for each particular piece of information.

In addition to traditional sources, there are a number of other methods you can use to research your topic. Interviews, surveys, and field observations are just a few ways you can gather additional information. As always, make sure to record your sources and check for reliability.

As you do your research, be sure to pay attention to any opposing views or counterarguments. Understanding different perspectives can help you develop a more balanced and nuanced argument in your essay.

Finally, you should aim to draw connections between all your sources. Identifying patterns and themes can help you find evidence to support your thesis and provide an overall structure for your essay.

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Writing the Essay

Writing your extended essay on IB History is an exciting challenge, but it can be daunting. However, with some careful preparation and organization, you can craft a powerful, persuasive argument that will get you the grade you’re looking for.

Formulating an Argument

When writing an extended essay, it’s important to make sure that you’re arguing for a clear point of view. Start by doing research into your topic area and brainstorming ideas about what you want to say. Once you have done this, you can begin to form a thesis statement and outline the structure of your essay. Remember to keep it focused, so that you can make your point in a concise and compelling way.

Organizing Your Thoughts

Organizing your thoughts in advance is key when writing an extended essay. When you have multiple sources to consult and various points to consider, it can be easy to get sidetracked. To keep yourself on track, start by creating a timeline and a plan. Break the task down into manageable steps and set deadlines for each one. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

Creating a Powerful Introduction, Body Sections and Conclusion

Now you’re ready to start writing. The introduction should set the stage for the rest of your essay, giving background and context and introducing the main points you will be discussing. The body sections should each make a compelling case for your argument, supported by facts and examples from your research. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the main points of your essay in a concise and effective manner.

Overall, if you take the time to plan and organize your essay before you begin writing, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. By taking this approach, you will be able to create a coherent and persuasive essay that will impress your reader.

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Editing and Revising Your Essay

Writing an extended essay for IB History can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the editing and revising process. Fortunately, with some careful planning and organization, you can make this step of the process much easier.

The first step in the editing and revising process is proofreading. This involves making sure that your essay is free from any errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It’s important to take your time when doing this, as even the smallest mistake can detract from your overall grade. Once you’ve finished proofreading, the next step is to check for coherence. This involves ensuring that the ideas in your essay are logically connected and flow together. If your essay jumps around too much, it can be difficult for readers to follow your ideas.

Another useful tip is to consult with experts or mentors who may have experience writing essays in the same field. They can often provide valuable feedback and advice that can help you improve your essay. Additionally, it’s helpful to read your essay aloud, or have someone else read it out loud, as this can help you identify any awkward phrasing or unclear sentences.

Overall, editing and revising your extended essay for IB History can be daunting, but with some careful planning and organization, it doesn’t have to be! So take your time, proofread thoroughly, and don’t forget to consult with experts or mentors if you need feedback.


Writing an IB History Extended Essay doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right amount of preparation and research, you can craft an essay that will be well-received by your teachers and peers.

This guide has offered a comprehensive overview on how to go about writing a successful extended essay, from brainstorming topics to researching, writing and editing. Additionally, resources such as examples of excellent essays, common mistakes to avoid, and FAQs were provided to give readers a further understanding of the expectations of a successful Extended Essay.

Take the time to read through this guide and make sure you are inline with all the guidelines, as they are there to help you produce a high quality essay. Good luck!

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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