The Internal Assessment The Topic • You are allowed to choose any topic you wish, so long as: 1) It does not involve events that have occurred in the last 10 years. 2) You have some interest in it 3) It is recommended that IB candidates choose a topic that will help them to develop adequate knowledge base for the Paper 1, 2, and 3 exams. The Topic • Some suggested topics are: – – – – – – To what extent was FDR and interventionist / isolationist before US entry into WWII Was Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler a mistake? Was Hitler a typical German statesman? Why did the Japanese decide to bomb Pearl Harbor? What was the impact of strategic bombing on the outcome of the World War II in either Europe or in the Pacific? How did Gaius Marius’ military reforms contribute to the collapse of the Roman Republic? The Topic • Some suggested topics are: – – – – – What was the consequence of FDR’s declaration at Casablanca that the war would be fought to unconditional surrender? Was the conference at Yalta a success or a failure? Why did the United States drop atom bombs on Japan? To what degree was Germany the cause of the Cold War? To what degree was Stalin responsible for the beginning of the Cold War? The Topic • Some suggested topics are: – – – – – What motivated the US to adopt a policy of containment towards communism at the start of the Cold War? What issues motivated the drafting of NSC-68? Why did North Korea invade South Korea in June of 1950? Why did the Chinese intervene in the Korean War? Evaluate the Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower. The Topic • Some suggested topics are: – – – – – Why did Khrushchev send nuclear weapons to Cuba? Why did the Cuban Missile Crisis not escalate into war? Why did the United States escalate its involvement and the conflict in Vietnam? An examination of British policies in the Palestinian Mandate towards Jewish immigration prior to WWII or during WWII. To what extent did British intervention cause the Arab-Israeli conflict? Structure The IA should be put together in the following manner, using these section headings. Your project MUST have a cover page with the research question, your name, and if you’re taking the exams your IB number. You MUST have a table of contents as well. Cover Page Table of Contents A. Plan of Investigation B. Summary of Evidence C. Evaluation of Sources D. Analysis E. Conclusion Word Count (1500-2000) F. Sources (3 Marks) (6 Marks) (5 Marks) (6 Marks) (2 Marks) (3 Marks) TOTAL: 25 Marks A. Plan of Investigation (3 Marks ) • State the question that you will explore and attempt to answer in the paper • Describe how you will find the answer – What kind of evidence will you use – Where will you have to go in order to find this evidence. – What are some potential problems that you may face in answering your question. • Keep it SHORT ** You may also discuss how you did your research; though, the first way is preferable. Suggested word count: 100–150 B. Summary of Evidence (6 Marks) • No general statements that are unsubstantiated • Just the facts, Jack – A narrative of the relevant events – Important conflicts that have arisen in the historiography of the event – not commentary, merely state their existence. – All sources that are used must be cited in this section • Best done in paragraphs, though a bullet point approach may work or a strict summary of each source used. B. Summary of Evidence (6 Marks) • Cite your sources – Obvious info that could come from multiple places does not need to be cited – That which is specific to a source, such as an idea, opinion, or very specific piece of data, must be cited. • Use a consistent method of citing sources – MLA is a standard. Suggested word count: 500-600 C. Evaluation of Sources (5 Marks) • Evaluate TWO sources only – It is preferred that you evaluate one primary and one secondary source, but this is not a requirement. – Evaluation needs to address the following: • Origin and Purpose • Value and Limitations NOTE: This is what will be done for Paper 1 Exams – The focus of the evaluation is on how the source contributes to the investigation C. Evaluation of Sources (5 Marks) • You may easily organize your evaluation by using the former criteria: – – – – – Origin Purpose Value Limitations Relevance to research C. Evaluation of Sources (5 Marks) • Stay away from web sites – it may be done but there is still a faintly bad odor around them • If you state something is biased, state WHY it is biased, what the bias may arise from, how it may influence the use of the source, etc. – Not everything is biased! Suggested word count: 250-400 D. Analysis (6 Marks) • BEGIN: Why does your research even matter – what makes it important? – Why is it important to understand the event or issue in terms of what was happening at the time of the event itself – historical context? • Keep a list of questions that arise during your research about the events – Analysis is an attempt to answer these questions, or at least address that such questions exist and need an answer • What is the quality of the available evidence and how does it contribute to an understanding of the event being investigated? • What are the other interpretations of the event Suggested word count: 500-650 E. Conclusion (2 Marks) • This is essentially the end of the last section • It is your answer, based on the evidence found and used, to the original research question. – It is acceptable to state that a conclusion could not be reached so long as this is justified. – A single paragraph is adequate • DO NOT bring up evidence or information not previously discussed • DO NOT ramble – by concise. Suggested word count: 150-200 Word Count • Include this immediately after section E. • The investigation MUST be between 1500 – 2000 words F. Sources/Word Limit(3 Marks) • This is a standard bibliography. • 5 sources is recommended as a minimum. – 3 is too few – 10 may be too many – though it is better to have too many than to have too few. • Web sites will always be suspect – make sure they are either from schools or from reputable places – .org or .edu good - .com bad Assistance • You will produce a rough draft that will go through two edits: 1) Student edit 2) Teacher edit I will do a quick read and comment on your rough draft. If you wish, I will have a meeting with you to discuss your IA and possible changes – this is highly recommended for those who are IB candidates. Final Thoughts • The IA will be worth a ¼ of your grade for both semesters – do not put it off! • It is not a difficult project, but instead labor intensive. Topics Work together at your table to come up with four research questions. At least one will be presented to the class for critique. Your research questions need to be narrow enough so that they can be reasonably dealt with in the space allowed (1,500 – 2,000 words) Planning your historical investigation 1. Start by identifying a general area of interest. 2. Narrow it down to a specific question or area of investigation. 3. Choose a working title that may be changed or refined at a later stage. 4. Make sure sufficient resources can be obtained for the planned investigation. 5. Complete section A, the plan, and evaluate the suitability of the research area. 6. Read widely around the area of study and note down resources used. 7. Review the research question and refine it if necessary. 8. Take notes from resources, gathering evidence and diverse opinions. 9. Ensure accurate use of referencing. 10. Sort evidence thematically or chronologically. 11. Choose two suitable sources to evaluate in section C. 12. Review your analysis. Check for differing viewpoints where appropriate. 13. Write the investigation, according to IB guidelines.