help for assessment

  • Essay Writing
  • Extended Essays
  • IB Internal Assessment
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • Research Writing
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertations
  • Assignment Help
  • Capstone Projects
  • College Application
  • Online Class

IB History Extended Essay Topics: 20+ Ideas to Get You Started

antony w

by  Antony W

September 3, 2022

history extended essay topics

Have you searched the web for the best History Extended Essay topics only to come out empty?

Or maybe you some topic ideas in mind but you’re not sure if you can explore the research issue within the scope of an Extended Essay ?  

You’ve come to the right place.

Writing an EE is quite involving. Combine this with class sessions and other assignments that require your attention, and you’re more than likely to find the work overwhelming.

Hire our Extended Essay Writers   today, and benefit from the flexibility of professional writing help on the web.

If all you want is to learn how to choose a topic because you have the time to write the essay yourself, continue reading this guide to learn more.

How to Choose A Good IB History Extended Essay Topic

History EE topic ideas

History falls into the third group of the six IB subject groups which covers Individuals and Societies, including humanities and social science courses.

Choosing is a big part of the IBDP coursework, although by now we assume that you have already settled on doing a history essay. 

You can have a lot of fun when choosing your subjects. However, unlike other topics, history extended essay topics must follow certain guidelines. 

What Makes a Good History Extended Essay Topic?

A good History Extended Essay topic should meet the following requirements:

History EE topic Guidelines

1. The Topic Should Focus on History Dating Back 10 Years or More

In IB, an issue that’s not older than 10 years is a current event and therefore unsuitable for the History Extended Essay . 

The topic you choose must focus on human’s past, going back far enough to be actual history.

To score high grades for topic selection, your idea for the EE should be at least 10 years older.

2. The Topic Should Be Relevant and Acceptable

You don’t have to choose your topic from the IB history subject. You’re free to choose any topic you want.

However, the topic you choose should be relevant and acceptable.

Your supervisor will review your proposed topic and determine whether you can analyze its historical significance to humanity.

According to IB, the topic must be “worth of study”.

3. Pick a Topic You Can Explore in 4,000 Words

The scope of your chose topic shouldn’t be too wide or too specific.

It should be right enough to allow an in-depth analysis without overshooting the maximum word count or being too shallow.

4. Your Topic Should Allow Critical Analysis and Commentary

Develop an open-ended research issue that allows you to develop an analytical approach rather than a descriptive or a narrative one.

Your research question should start with words like “to what extent” or “how significant”, not words such as “what” or “how”.

5. The Topic Should Be Disciplinary and Academic

Hinge the topic on one of the academic disciplines and treat it academically.

For example, if you choose to write about the Great Depression in the United States of America, you can approach it from an economic perspective.

If you write about the launch of steam technology and its impact on population growth, you may approach the topic from a sociological perspective.

To be clear, academic treatment means the topic allows you to explore primary and secondary sources in your research work, with the main focus being on primary sources because they add more credibility.

You cannot choose Sports or Music topics in this subject except in the case where you can approach them from a historical perspective. When in doubt, consult with your supervisor.

How to Choose a Good History IB Extended Essay

how to choose history EE topics

With the guidelines set out, it becomes easier to go through the process of selecting suitable topics.

1. Brainstorming

With such a wide range of possible topic ideas, you shouldn't have trouble with this part. You can literally choose any idea and give it a historical twist.

For example, if you are a techno buff, how about the influence of the steam engine in industry in Europe? If you love archaeology, there is no shortage of historical subjects.

All you have to do at this stage is to write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how unlikely it seems. You can get inspiration from your coursework, friends, popular media, or books you have read from the library.

We recommend that you think about topics you are thoroughly interested in - these will give you the motivation to push through the whole assignment.

2. Narrowing Down

Narrow down the preliminary list by first eliminating any unsuitable topics.

This includes any that are too complex, non-academic (fictional works, for example), and those that don’t seem particularly appealing to you. 

You can also weed out any that are not ‘worthy of study.’ Basically, any that don't meet the guidelines above should be removed at this point.

3. Selection

Now with a list of 3-5 remaining possibilities, you can afford to give each some serious thought. Ask your librarian about the wealth of literature available for each of the possible topics.

Gauge how common they are from the response. Ideally, you want to approach old topics with fresh ideas, or else choose completely new ones so that your essay will be unique and intriguing.

Remember that you can always have a plan B just in case things don’t work out with the first one.

4. Research

Conduct general research into your chosen topic. Online and library sources are the first stop for research.

The idea here is to know what you are dealing with, formulate your approach, understand the concepts, and perhaps identify any gaps. This stage will allow you to get to the most important one of all.

5. Formulate the Research Question

Formulating your research question is the ultimate in extended essay preparation.

This is what will guide your research, align your thoughts, and drive your inspiration.

Most IB scholars say that a good research question is 25% of the work, and we agree.

Sample History Extended Essay Topics 

As promised, here is a list of topic ideas for the IB extended essay in history.

These are meant to be just ideas, a sort of springing board from which you can launch your own investigations into a topic that interests you.

You will also have to formulate your research questions depending on your individual approach.

To be clear, these topics are mainly ideas meant to inspire. You can easily focus them and craft a good research question for your purposes. Here is an example to show you how.

Author Image

About the author 

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.

110 Original History Essay Questions: Examples and Topics

extended essay history questions

When looking for history essay topics, people often think about the world-famous military and political events. However, there is so much more to history than battles and international affairs. Plenty of small but engaging incidents are hiding in plain sight, and yet, people usually miss them.

What are those intriguing aspects?

In this article, our team has prepared a list of interesting history essay questions with examples. They are all about unusual events and historical viewpoints. To help with your academic writing, we divided the article into subheadings. Here, you’ll find topics according to your essay type.

🤩 Top 15 History Essay Topics

💁 Topics for Various Essay Types

There are many types of essays for an academic assignment. It may be a simple short essay or a long structured essay. Each one has its format and rules. Here, we are going to talk about essays that you might have questions about.

🔎 History Extended Essay Topics

An extended essay (EE) is an obligatory part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). For an IB diploma, a student should do extensive research. It should be finished with a 4000-word paper.

The extended essay provides practice for undergraduate research. Besides, it gives a chance to explore a topic of personal interest. You may check out some examples in a free essays database to get a reference of how they actually look like. Here, we dive into history EE topics.

The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

📝 Historiographical Essay Topics

Now, let’s look into another type of essay—a historiographical essay. It analyzes and evaluates how scholars interpret a historical topic. Usually, the essay is problem-centered. So, compare the viewpoints of two or more historians on the same event.

Here you will find good topics for historiographical essays:

📌 History Persuasive Essay Topics

A persuasive essay is a piece of academic writing where you list two or more points of view on a subject. In such a paper, you use facts and logic to support your perspective.

The US maintained neutrality in WWI until 1917.

Bipolar disorder causes shifts in a person's mood.

⚙ History of Technology Essay Topics

Technology has been the cornerstone of powerful civilizations that moved the world forward. Advancement of technology is a curious phenomenon. It moved at a faster pace with every century of the last millennium.

Here, we will take a look at thought-provoking topics on the history of technology. Besides, you’ll see a few history essay questions on technology.

Avicenna memorized the entire Qur'an by age 10.

🎶 Music History Essay Topics

Music is one of the most effective examples of human genius. People have made music to express their emotions to each other. Thus, the history of music is extensive and rich in detail. Exploring it can be just as fascinating as listening to music.

Below, you’ll find the best ideas on the history of music to talk about:

The Lyra is one of the most ancient stringed musical instruments.

👍 Good History Essay Questions

Writing an essay about countries should be divided into European and American theaters. Each region has a history rich in events and personalities.

Below, there are great European and US history essay questions for your paper:

🌄 American History Essay Questions

The Civil Rights Act became law over a president's veto.

🏘 European History Essay Questions

🔥 5 Tips for Writing an Essay in Class

For whatever reason, you need to write an in-class essay. It could be an exam or an ordinary assignment. It doesn’t matter as the goal remains the same. You have to compose a coherent paper in a short amount of time under supervision.

What is the best way to handle working under such pressure? By following our tips:

1. Practice beforehand

Any sort of training makes a person comfortable with the upcoming task. Practice writing an essay so that you memorize the format. Keep in mind how to outline the paper and some useful words for transitions. Even when you’re unfamiliar with the topic, you’ll still know where to begin without thinking.

2. Forget to panic

Students can lose time by bracing themselves. By staring on the blank page with the essay question can help no one. The sooner you start the task, the better. Don’t let your brain panic!

3. Plan before you write

Starting the essay right away may be tempting and promising, but that’s how you make mistakes. Reread and analyze the given question, notice the keywords. Make sure you’re answering what’s asked, not more or less. Come up with a thesis statement and make an outline.

Clear your thoughts to focus on your task.

Properly organizing your paper saves your time and reduces stress. It ensures that you addressed every issue. Plus, it shows whether you connected every argument to the thesis statement. Besides, putting topic sentences and transitions in the outline makes them less repetitive in the essay.

4. Keep in mind your writing speed

Remember the first tip? This one comes naturally from practicing. The more you write, the better you understand your pace. Learn how much time you need to complete each part of the essay writing. Try not to exceed the estimated time for an outline, an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

5. Proofread

Writing in a rush, you may forget about your spelling and punctuation. Save some time for rereading your paper thoroughly. Pay attention to logical reasoning and grammar errors. Add sentences if necessary. Your paper may look messy as long as you do so to improve your writing and ensure the perfect flow.

Proofread. Always.

Thank you for taking some time to read this article. We hope that it will help you in your academic studies. If this article proved to be informative to you, leave a comment below. Share it with others who might need some guidance in their studies.

🔗 References

You might also like

20 Ways Handwriting Is Good for You and Your Studying

20 Ways Handwriting Is Good for You and Your Studying

12 Major English Tenses [with Examples, Schemes & Building Formulas]

12 Major English Tenses [with Examples, Schemes & Building Formulas]

How to Prevent Unintentional Plagiarism (And What Happens If You Don’t)

How to Prevent Unintentional Plagiarism (And What Happens If You Don’t)


IB Extended Essay: EE Home

extended essay history questions

Reading to Generate Questions

Thank you to UWC Libraries for generating this list. 

What IS the Extended Essay?

IB EE Guide

extended essay history questions

Subject Specific Standards

Additional EE resources

extended essay history questions

IB Extended Essay (EE)

Find a password

Excellent extended essays - history, find example excellent essays, click on the subjects to browse the list of excellent extended essays..

IBDP History

InThinking Subject Sites for teachers & their classes

Website by Jo Thomas & Keely Rogers

Updated 28 February 2023

If you are a student, stop now!

Only teachers can take out free trials or subscriptions to our subject sites at

In line with the IB Learner Profile, "Act with integrity and honesty".

If you are a student and wish to access these resources, ask your school to subscribe.

Alternatively, sign up to our sites at which are specifically designed for self study and revision.

extended essay history questions

The EE: Choosing topics and questionsOne of the key roles for you as a supervisor is to guide students in their choice of topic and question. Here are some tips on this process.Points to consider when advising the students:Choosing a research question:Once the student has found a topic, they will need to work out a question which allows them to approach the topic in an analytical way. The research question must be posed...

To access the entire contents of this site, you need to log in or subscribe to it.

You can also request a Free trial or check the blog (which is also free)


Extended Essay: Step 5. Draft a Research Question

RQ Resources

On this page you can find help with developing your preliminary research question.  See: 

Steps to Developing a Research Question

Sample research questions.

Practice Exercise:  Formulating Well-Focused Research Questions

IB Command Terms and Glossaries

You've chosen a subject and topic that interests you, and carried out some preliminary reading.  What are the next steps ?

Question mark sign - Britannica ImageQuest

Evaluate the question.   Once you have posed possible research questions you should evaluate them.  This evaluation should be based on whether the question is clear , focused , and arguable .

Consider research outcomes.   Once you have decided on a provisional research question you should start thinking about the direction your research might take.  You could do this by:

The table below gives some examples showing the difference between unclear and unfocused research questions and those that are appropriately clear and focused, lending themselves to in-depth research.  

Practice exercise: Formulating well-focused research questions

Twelve-step plan for researching the extended essay - step 5.

5.  Formulate a preliminary research question.  Try to incorporate an IB command term in the research question if possible.

extended essay history questions

IB Command Terms & Glossaries

Command terms are the key terms and phrases used in examination questions for IB classes.  The lists below give the terms, and definitions, for specific IB subjects.

extended essay history questions

  These lists are glossaries of terms used in film and dance.

Students writing History Extended Essays can use these formats to help write research questions on their topics.

extended essay history questions

Guidance and example studies for the IBDP History Extended Essay.

It gives you a chance to study in real depth a topic that you have an interest in. It can relate to any period and any topic outside of the past ten years. It gives you the chance to work closely with your History teacher to 'fast-track' your historical skills with one-to-one tutoring. As such it is a great opportunity to produce a mature academic study on something that you might never again have the chance to research.

Similarities: Both the IA and the EE in History award students who choose an interesting question which they research thoroughly and answer coherently through critical evaluation of evidence.

Differences: The IA is only 1500 words long; the EE is 4,000 words. The EE requires a much heavier emphasis on the use of primary source material than the IA. The IA is structured into specific sections; the EE is structured more flexibly. The IA markscheme grades each section separately; the EE markscheme grades each criteria across the essay as a whole.

You will select which of your IB subjects will form the basis of your EE in the Spring Term of the first year of IB. This will usually (although not always) be one of your Higher Level subjects. The supervisor will set a series of internal deadlines and meetings for each student to ensure the completion of the study in a timely fashion.

Start by considering if there is a period / place / person / issue in history that would like to investigate further. Maybe this is something you have read a little about, watched a film about or are interested in from your other studies / hobbies. The only strict rule is that anything that happened in the past 10 years is not allowed.

The three main focuses of study tend to be focused on

The following resources may help you in your quest for a topic:

Online archives:

Other resources:

Once you have settled upon a topic, you have to then turn this into a question - a problem that your study will solve, in other words.

The following table could help you get started

The following list of past extended essay questions from the ist will also be helpful:.

You will initially be required to identify at least THREE articles/books and TWO websites that will form the basis of your study. To help you find the books/articles, use these

Google Books Search

Google Scholar Search

Amazon Search

BBC History Magazine Search

History Today Magazine Search (password required to access articles after search - see your teacher)

In addition, for the Extended Essay you will be expected to make especially heavy use of primary sources.

I have also produced useful video: " Google Books for Student Research: 3 minute guide ":

You are now ready to complete the Initial Proposal Sheet and hand it to your teacher.

Make sure that this is a detailed, considered proposal. Your supervisor will schedule a meeting with you to talk about how you plan to structure your essay in particular.

You are now ready to start work on the study itself. To help you structure your study effectively, make use of the following resources:

Six Steps for Writing your Extended Essay in IB History A one-sided sheet provided step-by-step guidance for students on how to go about producing their Extended Essay.

Style Guide: Formatting your Extended Essay A simple summary sheet providing a useful checklist to help students format their final study appropriately.

Completing the "Reflections on Planning and Progress" Form A suggested timetable for students to help them complete this important part of the study in a timely fashion.

Marksheet and Guidance A student-friendly version of the IB mark scheme, combining the generic guidance from the IB as well as its subject-specific criteria for History.

Glossary: Historiographical and Subject-Specific Terminology for History Extended Essays Harvard-Author Reference Generator

Here are a selection of studies from the International School of Toulouse that were graded towards the top level by the examiner.

extended essay history questions

Buy the Books!

extended essay history questions

Latest Additions

New resources are added every single week of the year!

Why is Robert McNamara such a controversial historical figure? | How useful are the films of Mitchell and Kenyon to a historian studying Edwardian Britain? | To what extent were facially disfigured soldiers failed by post World War One Britain? | To what extent was Alan Turing personally responsible for the cracking of the Enigma codes during World War II? | To what extent can the White Rose be regarded as a genuine resistance movement? | To what extent did Maos Great Leap Forward achieve its objectives? | What is the historical significance of the Spanish Generation 27? | Model Essay How Successful was the Great Society? | Historiography of the Great Society | LBJ how successful was the Great Society? | LBJ and the Great Society | Silk Roads Simulation | *NEW* Target Diagram Generator | *NEW* Virtual Journey around Tsarist Russia | *NEW* Simulation: Rule of Mussolini |

extended essay history questions

1998-2023 Russel Tarr, Limited (Reg. 6111680)

High Park Lodge, Edstaston Wem, Shropshire, England, SY4 5RD. Telephone/Fax: 01939 233909

Get full access now!


  1. 004 Essay Example History Extended Examples World2blit ~ Thatsnotus

    extended essay history questions

  2. History Essay Assignment Paper Available

    extended essay history questions

  3. 😊 Year 7 history essay questions. KS3 History. 2019-02-10

    extended essay history questions

  4. History Essay/Extended Response Scaffold

    extended essay history questions

  5. 001 History Extended Essay Examples Example Inspirational Is Christian Dior S Bar Suit

    extended essay history questions

  6. Fja Extended Essay English Literature Topics

    extended essay history questions


  1. History Video Essay

  2. What are the 3 core elements of the Diploma Programme?

  3. Extended Essay in Indonesian A: the Holy Trinity

  4. Chladni plate experiment

  5. Start Music Season 2

  6. Extending a Hand with Extended Essay Responses Using My Hand as a Graphic Organizer on Test Day


  1. IB History Extended Essay Topics: 20+ Ideas to Get You Started

    Sample History Extended Essay Topics · The Rwandan genocide. · The cold war. · Salem witch trials. · Pearl Harbour and its significance. · Explore

  2. 110 Original History Essay Questions: Examples & Topics

    History Extended Essay Topics · Oldest human settlements according to archeological sources. · The suffrage movement in the United States of

  3. IB Extended Essay: Research Questions

    World Studies (History & Economics): To what extent did the LGBTQ community contribute to making attractive neighborhoods in the US and why are

  4. What are good extended essay topics for history?

    Oldest human settlements according to archeological sources. · The suffrage movement in the United States of the early XXth century. · How Dior's bar suit

  5. History

    IB Extended Essay (EE) · Find a password · Excellent Extended Essays - History · Find example excellent essays · Click on the subjects to browse the

  6. Extended Essay

    The outcome of the research should be a coherent and structured essay that effectively addresses a particular issue expressed as a research question. The

  7. DP History: 1. Extended Essay: Choosing topics and questions

    The EE: Choosing topics and questionsOne of the key roles for you as a supervisor is to guide students in their choice of topic and question.

  8. Step 5. Draft a Research Question

    Sample Research Questions ; What is the history of Chinese theatre? How does the legacy of Mei Lan Fang contribute to modern Jingju? ; How

  9. IB History Extended Essay

    To what extent was World War Two a catalyst for British Decolonisation? (Predicted 'B'); How decisive was Spanish intervention in World War Two? (Graded 'A')

  10. Extended Essays in History

    Students writing their extended essay in history are strongly advised to use a research question. Choice of topic. The topic chosen must focus on the human past