IB IA History Topics

Internal assessment is a form of assessment used by the International Baccalaureate to assess student’s knowledge, skills and capabilities in certain subject areas. It typically takes the form of written tasks such as essays, reports or research projects. The purpose of IA is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic, as well as their ability to use the knowledge they have acquired in practical ways.

It is important for IB students to have a clear understanding of how to approach IA tasks. This guide will provide an overview of topics covered in an IA, advice on selecting and structuring topics, source types and analyzing evidence, as well as practical tips on writing the IA. By following the advice in this guide, students will gain the confidence necessary to excel in their IA and succeed in their studies.

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IB IA History Topics

The Historical Context of Internal Assessment in the IB

Internal assessment is an important part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and is used to assess the students’ understanding of the material they learn. It was first introduced in the 1970s as a way to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a more individualized, meaningful way.

The purpose of the internal assessment was to take into account the student’s individual knowledge, skills, and understanding of the course material, rather than relying solely on tests and exams. This allowed for a more holistic evaluation of a student’s achievements.

Today, internal assessment is used to evaluate a student’s understanding of different topics within the IB curriculum and to assess the student’s ability to develop and sustain an argument, to use evidence effectively, and to format their work correctly. This demonstrates that a student has a strong understanding of the subject matter and can apply their knowledge in an academic setting.

It is important to remember that the internal assessment is not just about tests and exams, it is also an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of the course material in a creative and meaningful way. This allows the student to develop the skills necessary to succeed not only in the IB program but in college and beyond.

Overview of History Topics Covered in the IA

When it comes to writing an Internal Assessment for your International Baccalaureate (IB) history classes, you’ll likely be asked to research, analyze, and write on topics from the past. To do this successfully, it’s important to have a good understanding of the range of topics covered in your internal assessment – and why they are important.

Some of the topics generally covered in an IB IA include political events (such as war), social movements (such as civil rights), economic changes, technological developments, and cultural trends. Each topic should be chosen carefully and with an appreciation of its significance in the wider historical framework.

For example, when looking at political history, you might study the background that led to a particular war; or, when looking at social movements, you might look at the different aspects of a campaign and how it changed public policy.

Understanding the context of such topics is key to approaching your internal assessment effectively. It also helps you to appreciate the challenge of interpreting evidence and making well-argued statements about the past.

Choosing a History Topic for Internal Assessment

When selecting an Internal Assessment (IA) topic in History, it is important to put thought and consideration into the decision. IA topics must be selected with understanding of the broader implications each choice has.

The IA task is an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in greater detail than usual and to demonstrate independence in research. For this reason, candidates should choose thoughtful and challenging topics that allow them to explore multiple facets of the subject and draw on their skills and knowledge to develop an informed argument.

In addition to being specific, the topics of IA must be relevant to the course objectives of the particular subject. Students should research any possible topic thoroughly, considering its background, sourcing, and analysis potential to determine whether it can yield sufficient evidence to support the argument and garner a satisfactory grade from the examiners.

While the IA task offers plenty of opportunities for exploration, it is also important to weigh up the amount of time and effort required for the task. This is particularly true when researching topics with sources that may be hard to access or difficult to analyze. Candidates must make sure that the scope of the project is manageable so that they can deliver the work within the given timeframe.

When choosing a History topic for IA, students must remember to be both mindful and curious. Take into account the relevance, availability of sources, and the amount of time necessary to create a compelling project. Ultimately, by carefully selecting a topic, students can ensure they are able to produce a high-quality IA task that meets the requirements of their IB course.

  1. The impact of colonialism on a specific country’s political and economic development.
  2. An investigation into the causes and effects of a specific revolution in world history.
  3. The role of women in a specific war or conflict.
  4. A comparative study of two different colonial regimes in the same region.
  5. An analysis of the impact of a particular technological innovation on society and culture.
  6. The role of nationalism in the lead-up to a specific conflict or war.
  7. The social and economic impacts of industrialization in a specific country or region.
  8. A comparative study of two different anti-colonial movements in the same region.
  9. An investigation into the social and political causes of a particular genocide or mass atrocity.
  10. The role of propaganda in shaping public opinion during a specific conflict or war.
  11. The impact of globalization on a specific country’s economy and society.
  12. An analysis of the causes and effects of a specific treaty or peace agreement.
  13. The role of religion in shaping political and social movements in a specific country or region.
  14. The impact of a particular world leader or political movement on society and culture.
  15. A comparative study of two different labor movements in the same region.
  16. The social and political impacts of a specific technological innovation on a country or region.
  17. An investigation into the social and political causes of a particular civil war.
  18. The role of international organizations in shaping global politics and diplomacy.
  19. An analysis of the causes and effects of a specific economic crisis or recession.
  20. The impact of a specific social or cultural movement on society and politics.

Structuring an IA

Creating a well-structured International Baccalaureate (IB) internal assessment (IA) is essential for establishing credibility with the reviewers. As such, it’s important to take the time to consider how best to organize the writing in order to present an effective argument and reach relevant conclusions. The first step when structuring an IA is to create a powerful thesis statement. This will provide the main focus of the essay and govern the evidence and ideas that are presented. When crafting a thesis statement, it is important to think about how each part of the statement relates to the central theme or idea of the essay. Once the thesis statement has been created, the IA candidate can begin to arrange and structure the evidence. This is where the candidate should begin to give attention to the type of sources being used, as well as considering the quantity and quality of evidence they should include in order to make their argument convincing. During this stage of IA preparation, the candidate should also be thinking about how to best analyze the information presented. This involves looking at the sources from critical perspectives, looking for patterns and evaluating individual interpretations. Additionally, the candidate should be examining sources to interpret meanings, contexts and explanations. When all of the above steps have been completed, the candidate can start to reach relevant conclusions for the assessment. These conclusions must be in line with the thesis statement and be supported by evidence collected through analysis. The candidate should evaluate and synthesize the information they have gathered, allowing them to draw new insights and sharpen their understanding of the topic. In conclusion, structuring an IA is a crucial step, as it sets the tone and direction of the whole essay. It is important to spend time considering how best to organize the IA and make sure that the thesis statement, evidence and analysis support each other to reach relevant conclusions. This will ensure that the candidate is able to effectively demonstrate their understanding of the topic and develop a well-structured piece of work.

Source Types in IA Spreadings

When planning for an Internal Assessment (IA) task, it is important to have a good understanding of the different types of sources that can help you get the best results. Sources come in two main forms: primary and secondary sources.

Primary sources are firsthand accounts of an event or situation, such as interviews, manuscripts, letters, and so on. They provide an insider’s point of view, allowing you to see things from the perspective of someone who was there during the event.

Secondary sources, on the other hand, are interpretations of primary sources. They include published works such as books, articles, and essays that analyze and interpret primary sources. They offer an outsider’s perspective, giving insight into how somebody distant from the original experience views the subject matter.

When choosing sources for your IA task, you should take into account both quantity and quality. Having too few sources will limit the scope of your IA, while having too many can overwhelm you and make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Choosing quality sources is also important – reliable sources are essential in providing an accurate and valid representation of the topic you are writing about. Look for sources that have been published by respected authors and organizations.

By considering the quantity and quality of sources you use for your IA task, you can ensure that you are able to choose the best documents for your argument and get the highest marks possible.

How to Analyze Sources

When writing an International Baccalaureate (IB) Internal Assessment (IA) in history, it’s important to be able to analyze sources effectively. This means understanding the meaning of each source and how it fits into the wider context surrounding the IA task.

There are a few ways to approach analyzing sources:

  • Primary Sources: These are sources created during the time period being studied and should be given careful consideration. They offer perspectives unavailable in other sources and can provide insight into the past.
  • Secondary Sources: These are sources that were created after the time period being studied, often by historians. While they are useful for providing broader context, they are not as reliable as primary sources.
  • Interpretation: Once you have identified the type of source you are working with, it is important to interpret and understand its meaning. To do this, examine the source closely and ask yourself what it is trying to tell you.
  • Context: When analyzing a source, it is vital to place it into its appropriate context. Consider the historical events that may have caused the source to be created and how it relates to the topic at hand.

By following these steps and closely examining each source, you will be able to make sure your analysis is informed, accurate and well-structured.

Evaluating Evidence

When you decide to write about a certain topic for your IB Internal Assessment, it’s important to make sure that the evidence you present is of high quality. Evidence for an IA paper should be carefully selected and analyzed, and conclusions should be based on strong evidence. This means that it is essential to be able to evaluate sources and identify what makes them good or bad.

One way to evaluate the evidence you have is by determining whether it was produced by a reliable source. The best sources are those that are written by experts in the field you are studying, so it is important to check the author’s credentials. Also look out for sources that are based on actual research – books, journals, documents, and articles written for scholarly purposes.

It is also important to consider when a source was created. Evidence from earlier in time may be more reliable than evidence from more recent times, as it is likely to have been written with fewer biases and more accurate research. Sources that are more recent can be used to compare how societies, events and ideas have changed over time.

Finally, it is crucial to look at how the source supports your argument. Does the evidence provide facts and figures, or merely opinions? Is the evidence reliable and impartial, or biased? It is important to think critically about the source before using it in your IA paper, to ensure that your arguments are well-supported and well-argued.

In conclusion, it is essential to learn how to evaluate sources when writing an IB Internal Assessment. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the criteria for judging quality evidence, and use this knowledge to select the most relevant and reliable sources for your paper. You will be able to craft a better argument if you ensure that your evidence is solid and unbiased.

Practical Advice on Writing an Internal Assessment

Writing an Internal Assessment (IA) for your History course can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and dedication, you can craft a well-structured IA that meets all of the requirements of the International Baccalaureate. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Understand the Basic Requirements

The first step to writing an IA is to familiarise yourself with the basic requirements. These include the format (font size, margins, etc.), deadlines, content, and word count. Make sure to read the guidance carefully and understand what is expected of you. You should also check if there are any specific topics or questions you must answer as part of your IA.

Plan Ahead

Planning is key when it comes to writing an IA. Before you begin, make sure you know when everything needs to be finished by. Once you have done this, create a timeline of when each stage of the writing process should be completed. This will help keep track of your progress and ensure that nothing is forgotten.

Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the main argument of your IA. It should be clear, concise and clearly defined. Consider why you chose the topic and what you hope to achieve by writing about it. Once you know what your thesis statement is, you can develop this further throughout the IA.

Organise Your Evidence

When gathering evidence for your IA, it’s important to think about how you will organise it. Make sure to correctly cite any sources you use, and provide detailed descriptions of any visuals such as photographs or diagrams. Don’t forget to indicate which sources support or contradict your main argument.

Proofread and Edit

Before submitting your IA, it is important to proofread and edit your work. This will help ensure that typos and grammatical errors do not affect your assessment. You can also take advantage of online editing tools or ask other people to review your work.


If you are feeling overwhelmed by writing an IA, don’t worry! With the right approach and a little bit of dedication, you can write an effective IA. Start by understanding the basic requirements, then plan ahead and develop a strong thesis statement. Organise your evidence and make sure to proofread and edit your work before submitting it. The conclusion is a key element of your IA guide. It’s important to restate the main points of the post and highlight what can be taken away from it. Internal Assessment tasks are an important part of the International Baccalaureate curriculum, so it is absolutely essential to understand how to approach these assignments. By now, you should be aware of the origins, purpose and topics associated with the IA. You should also know how to select the right topic, structure your IA correctly and evaluate evidence properly. To summarise, here are the steps you need to take in order to effectively prepare for the IA:
  • Understand the origin, purpose and topics of IA.
  • Choose the right topic that has wider implications.
  • Structure the IA effectively with a strong thesis statement.
  • Identify Primary and Secondary sources and select the best ones.
  • Analyze the sources critically.
  • Evaluate the evidence carefully.
  • Use efficient writing techniques and research methods.
We hope this guide has provided you with valuable tips and information that will help you prepare for your IA tasks. 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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