Example history essay questions

Example history essay questions

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Extended Essay: Example Research Questions

EE Research Questions — Class of 2018

Subject: History
Question: How are the depictions of Marie Antoinette in politics and portraiture significant to the French revolution and the fall of the French Monarchy?

Subject: History
Question: To what extent was film able to further pro-Nazi sentiment in Germany during the early 1930s to mid 1940s?

Subject: History
Question: To what extent were the Vietnam War and cultural shifts occurring in the 1960s and early 1970s vital factors in the development of the student activism on college campuses in the United States and abroad?

Subject: History
Question: To what extent was Matthew Perry’s 1853 arrival in Edo Bay the leading motivator for Japan’s rapid modernization during the Meiji Restoration?

Subject: Music
Question: How does Rachmaninoff apply thematic development in his composition, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini?

Subject: History
Question: What made the Federal Theatre Project such a success when after only four years of operation it was disbanded by the House of un-American Activities Committee?

Subject: History
Question: To what extent were Kepler’s scientific discoveries revolutionary and how did they impact the development of science in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries?

Subject: History
Question: In what ways did the Hitler Youth organization impact the youth of Nazi Germany?

Subject: World Studies
Theme: Ecological Sustainability
IB Subjects: Biology and Geography
Question: How have climate change and forestry practices contributed to the spread of the mountain pine beetle in the Pacific Northwest in recent decades, and what does the outbreak show us about the ecological intricacies of climate change?

EE Research Questions — Class of 2019 (proposed)

Subject: Theatre
Question: How did the casting of the leading lady in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes affect each production on Broadway?

Subject: Literature and Performance
Question: How do the final movies of the Harry Potter series compare to the final book? What has been changed or depicted differently in terms of characterization and storylines?

Subject: Biology
Question: How does the DNA sequence of a transthyretin (TTR) gene affect whether Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy (FAP), Familial Amyloidotic Cardiomyopathy (FAC) or Senile Systemic Amyloidosis (SSA) form?

Subject: Visual Arts
Question: How do the Peanuts comics, written by Charles Schultz, show visual language?

Subject: World Studies
Theme: Ecological Sustainability
IB Subjects: Biology and Geography
Question: What are the impacts of melting ice in the North and South Poles on the coastlines of the continental United States?

Subject: Biology
Question: What evidence is there to support the theory of life on Mars?

Subject: History
Question: In what way did the Catholic Church affect politics in the Kingdom of Spain during the Dark Ages?

Subject: World Studies
Theme: Economic Sustainability
IB Subjects: Biology and Economics
Question: To what extent has deforestation influenced Indonesia’s economic and environmental growth?

Subject: History
Question: How did the works of classical Greek philosophers influence the domestic policy of Thomas Jefferson?

Subject: History
Question: How did the Bushido Code influence the meaning of tattoos in Asian culture?

Subject: Studies in Language and Literature, Category 1
Question: How did Eugene Gladstone O’Neill express the themes of family relationship and sadness in his work Long Day’s Journey Into Night?

Subject: Studies in Language and Literature, Category 2
Question: How does the writing of Japanese horror artist and novelist Junji Ito contrast with the writing of American horror novelist Stephen King?

Subject: History
Question: What impact does public healthcare have on low income households in the United States compared to those in Canada?

Subject: Sports, Exercise and Health Science
Question: How does age affect the process of instant muscle reaction?

Subject: Design Technology
Question: What are the most ethical and efficient methods—through current technologies—private organizations can use to make Mars habitable for Human life?

Essay-based exams: how to answer ‘To what extent…’ essay questions

Many students struggle to produce a sophisticated essay format under exam conditions. Instead of writing to their usual standard, they panic and just scribble down all the information they know on the subject. Sound like you?

You can earn a lot of extra marks in these exams, if you know how to answer the question specifically and producing a well-structured essay. So it’s Oxbridge Essays to the rescue, with A series of custom essay formats that you can use to answer any one of these common exam question types: ‘Compare and Contrast’, ‘To What Extent’, ‘How does the Writer’, ‘For and Against’ and ‘Close Reference’.

To What Extent?

Why are they so popular? Well, this type of question allows the student to show a variety of skills. Firstly, the depth of their knowledge on the given subject. Secondly, students can display independent judgement by analysing the importance of different pieces of information.

What your custom essay should include

The first is Detailed source evidence and extra material, to support your argument. Let’s use an example essay question here to demonstrate. In a history exam, the essay might ask: “ To what extent was the character of Charles II responsible for his problems with parliament? «.

The student is being asked to do two things here: to Show an in-depth knowledge of Charles II’s character, and to Analyse which specific aspects of his character may have affected his political relationships.

Incorporating detailed evidence will always demonstrate how much you know of the subject matter, and will help to support the angle and strength of your argument.

The second element is Linking to wider issues, topics or arguments that support your point of view. For example, in this particular history essay, a student could refer to other historical events that were responsible for problems between Charles II and parliament, but which were not related to his character.

Drawing on other factors in this way helps to increase the significance of your argument, and will round out your essay fully.

These two elements of analysis – including detailed evidence and linking to wider ideas – can be used to answer any ‘To what extent. ‘ question. In other words, when answering this type of essay question, keep the general structure the same and change the the appropriate information in the right places.

Remember also to analyse your evidence as you weave your argument. Do this by answering questions like, ‘how significant is your evidence in supporting your argument?’ and, ‘what are the potential weaknesses that this evidence carries?’.

How your custom essay should be structured


For example, going back to our history essay question above, the introduction would need to acknowledge that to some extent, the character of Charles II Was responsible for his problems with parliament.

An introduction should then go on to highlight the importance of taking into account other aspects which also impact the topic of the essay.

Paragraph 1 and 2

Linking sentence

Paragraph 3 and 4

This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, by showing flaws in its logic (in this case, by suggesting that there were actually some aspects of Charles’s character that in fact improved his political relationships). Secondly, by offering alternatives (in this case, other elements unconnected to his personality that may have soured the parliamentary relationship independently).


To do this, simply recap:

• The points that suggest the question’s claims are true
• The points against
• Then conclude whether you agree the statement is true ‘to a certain extent’, ‘to a great extent’ or ‘to a very small extent’. This must be backed up by a summary of the argument on both sides to prove why you feel it to be weighted one way or the other.

Once you have finished your essay, the little touches matter. You don’t want to risk being penalised for not sticking to the formatting guidelines set for your submission. Many students seek the assistance of a good proofreader to check for any errors or omissions in your work and will ensure that you have every opportunity to present your points in the best possible light, with the perfect structure, formatting and presentation to match. After your thorough research and work put into completing this essay, you deserve the best possible grade.

Read other articles in the Custom Essay series

Some close reference questions are specifically focussed on the piece itself, whilst others use it as a springboard to discuss a wider issue with aspects of the text used to illustrate your argument. > read more

This is exactly the kind of essay that can cause students to panic under exam pressure, as a clear, structured essay format is required to tackle it correctly. > read more

This question offers an invitation for the student to showcase as much knowledge as possible about the craft and techniques of writing. Luckily for you, you’ll be going in armed with your own super writing technique. > read more

Somewhere, in every exam room, is one student who calmly looks at the question and confidently begins to write – as if they had a custom essay already prepared no matter what the requirements. That student knows the secret of custom essays… > read more