September 10, 2021

IB History Extended Essay

History is a fascinating subject, and most students taking it enjoy digging up juicy bits here and there.

However, when it comes to in-depth research culminating in a 4000-word essay, all the fun seems to come to a premature end.

As with other IB subjects, the extended essay in history can cause students many sleepless nights.

Now that you're here, though, you can say goodbye to all the stress and pressure you feel.

Help for Assessment  has a team of IB experts who are here to get you that A in the essay not only in history but in all the other IB subjects. This detailed guide is going to help you do just that.

We will also write your history extended essay if you prefer to hand over that task to the experts. We guarantee 100% original, well-researched, and error-free extended essays so that you get top-grades, no stress involved. 

If you prefer to go through this guide first, let's get to it.

We will explore the what and how of exceptional history EEs together with a sample outline.

We have a more detailed guide on how to choose history extended essay topics. Check it out to learn more. 

What is IB History Extended Essay? 

For most students, the History Internal Assessment and the extended essay can have some confusing similarities, yet they are completely different.

For one, the history EE is 4000 words long while the IA is 1500 words in length.

Second, the EE is a more in-depth exploration with an emphasis on primary sources while the IA can get away with a slightly more cursory approach. Grading and structure are also quite different.

The extended essay in history is a 4000-word essay written after thorough, independent research on a chosen topic.

It is designed to prepare students for the undergraduate research they will be expected to do in university. Apart from this, it is also designed to develop and sharpen the student's research, analytical, and communication skills.

In the process, students are supposed to develop the capacity to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize knowledge, according to the IBO website.

The first step to dealing with the History EE is coming up with the right topic, which we have already dealt with exhaustively.

However, you should remember that the extended essay topic needs to be different to the one you used in the IA for increased diversity.

History Extended Essay Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria and guidelines provided by IBO will guide us on how to write an outstanding history extended essay.

We want an A-grade essay, so it pays to know what the IBO deems an "A" grade essay.

Focus And Method (6 Points)

This criterion is mainly about the research question that you choose to handle. The topic must be historical. In other words, it took place not less than 10 years past.

It must also be very specific and straightforward to allow a deep analysis while being sufficiently wide for the word count. Ideally, you should confine the research question to a specific period, country, people, or events.

Your instructor will have to vet the topic chosen, but the research question is mainly up to you.

For an A, the topic must be accurate, effective, properly focused, and clearly stated. Focus also covers the research methodology used, which must be exhaustive, effective, and credible.

Knowledge And Understanding (5-6 Points)

You need to show that you understand the place of the RQ chosen in the wider historical context.

You also have to show proper use of the relevant historical terms and concepts, again adhering to the ten-year rule.

To get top marks for this, your essay should demonstrate an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the chosen topic, then explore that topic effectively using methods learned in the coursework and textbooks.

Critical Thinking (12 Points)

You need to display a "critical engagement with the past", which means that instead of just quoting what other sources say, you need to show personal initiative to explore and analyze them to come up with compelling arguments.

Such arguments must be supported by an analysis of the research material followed by consistent conclusions.

In other words, examiners are looking for an analytical rather than a descriptive essay

For example, having identified your position relative to what your sources state, you should be able to draw convincing, well-supported arguments for or against it.

After doing that, go ahead and offer an analysis of the evidence and how reliable and/or accurate you think it is.

To get the full 12 marks, your essay must have:

  • A focused and well-reasoned argument or arguments developed from the research.
  • A conclusion that is consistent with and reflective of the analysis and material.
  • Well-structured and coherent arguments. Minor inconsistencies, while allowable, do not hinder the major argument or invalidate the conclusions.
  • Critical evaluation of the research.

Presentation (4 Points)

As with other extended essays, this criterion evaluates how well the entire essay is presented in relation to accepted academic standards.

To begin with, the essay should have a section/subsection structure arranged logically and formatted acceptably.

Second, any charts, tables, graphs, and other figures should only be used where you feel they illustrate a certain point more clearly. They should have proper naming and explanation.

Any text, figures, calculations, or anything else you use directly from a source must also be clearly and carefully acknowledged, including a corresponding entry in the bibliography.

To get the full marks for presentation, you should have a clear layout that supports and simplifies the reading and evaluation of the essay.

Engagement (6 Points)

This criterion evaluates how well you interact with the research process.

You are supposed to show personal engagement with clear insights into your thought process and decision-making. You show this by giving clear evidence of your conclusions, with no assumptions made.

One of the best ways to show personal engagement is to be critical of your own methods and conclusions, showing where you thought you should have done better. Describe any challenges you faced and the solutions you adopted.

Getting the full marks for engagement will entail reflections in your decision-making and evaluations and mentions of any challenges experienced or questions raised.

The said reflections should communicate "a high degree of intellectual and personal engagement" with the research question.

In short, you should demonstrate authenticity, intellectual initiative, and a creative approach using your own unique voice.

History Extended Essay Format/Outline

What remains now is to write your essay.

But first, since organization counts towards the total points for presentation, we need to outline the essay in an acceptable extended essay format.

Here’s one example.

You should note that the title page, table of contents, bibliography, appendix, and the various figures do not count towards the word count.

However, figures with a lot of words will be added. Also, anything past 4000 words will not be read or graded.

We already have a full article on how to choose a history EE essay which you can check out here on our blog's article section. You will also find lots of sample topics to help you get started.

Get Help for the History Extended Essay

Help for Assessment is dedicated to getting you that coveted top grade in the history extended essay.

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About the author 

Antony W

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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