IB History Coursework - The
Internal Assessment Gallery
This page is host to History Internal assessments completed at the
IST from the first examination year of 2002 through to 2006. This section will hopefully inspire your own ideas
and model the standards you should aim to achieve. They may not
be perfect, but all cover interesting topics and a range of
periods in history. All
assignments achieved at least a Level 7 and a few achieved full marks.
Plotnikova - 2006
Lies My Teacher Told Me
Objectivity in School History Textbooks
Scully - 2006
A turning point in the Vietnam War?
use of personal pronouns “we” and “our”, American
textbooks “indoctrinate blind patriotism: “Take a look in
your history book, and you'll see why we should be proud”.
Textbooks’ aim to sanitise history as “reliable, practical
knowledge [enhancing] moral standards that…accelerate the
acquisition of knowledge”, deprives students of objectivity
all for developing universal moral attitudes.'
'Kent State became symbolic of “the deep political
and social divisions that … divided the country during the
Vietnam War era”, highlighting at home the horrors of war. The
shootings made war blatantly public and incited massive student
strikes. Although strikes may not have forced Washington to change
its policies, they had an influence on the American people. '
Newton - 2006
What were the causes of the Boston Massacre 1776?
Thompson - 2006
How imaginative should historians be?
A case study of “The Return of Martin Guerre”
to be forever branded a “massacre”, the events of the fifth
of March were, in truth, somewhat less dramatic. In the end,
whether the “massacre” was planned or not (by either side),
the confusion, the fear, the danger of the night make it hard to
place blame unequivocally. In reality, we cannot say who was “guilty”
because, when a mob clashes with armed men, there will be
casualties, regardless of intent.'
'If Davis had not applied knowledge of
sixteenth-century French peasant women to the evidence about
Bertrande’s behaviour, it would be fairly useless. Creative
empathy helps us acquire a good approximation of what Bertrande
may have been thinking... This ‘approximation’ of her feelings
is better than nothing: the conclusion that the simple facts would
Wilcock - 2006
The role of women living in post-war Britain.
Kirby - 2006
Orwell's Road to Wigan Pier
The use of literature to the historian
after the war, women’s lives and roles within society and
especially the perception that society had of women, changed.
But this perception was easily reverted back to what it had
always been: women at home and men earning. The 60’s brought a
liberation for women, through contraception, divorce acts, music
and fashion but whether this can be said to be directly linked
with the war is a question...'
'The use of facts and the use of stylistic writing
are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In writing convincing
history, a gift for language and story-telling is usually required
– art and history are intertwined and always have been. The
influence of the author is inescapable in any account being told:
indeed, if we follow the thrust of post-modern analysis then there
is very little difference between history and literature'
Brodie - 2006
Miners’ Strike of 1984:
How did the Tories defeat the miners?
Ritchie - 2006
How useful are documentaries to historians. Marcel Ophuls’ ‘Le
Chagrin Et La Pitié’.
of the admirable unity and solidarity of the miners they were
defeated by the Conservatives. How Thatcher managed to emerge
victorious following the eleven-month bitter struggle can be
looked upon as the result of four key factors; the aims of the
government under her leadership, the unruly tactics of Scargill,
the Tory preparation preceding the strike and the climate of
political opinion in 1980’s Britain.
In recent years documentary films such as ‘Fahrenheit
911’ and ‘The Fog Of War’ have cultured thousands of people...
by using the case study of Marcel Ophuls’ iconoclastic
documentary film The Sorrow and The Pity, which depicts how the
people of France really conducted themselves under the
extraordinary circumstances of Nazi rule, can we assess whether
documentary films are valuable to historians.
Tejedor - 2006
Spanish Civil War refugee children in the USSR
A case study of Manuel Arce
Coleman - 2006
Sergei Eisenstein’s account of 1905 Russian revolution
Spanish children that lived in those homes were the first people
to be evacuated in Russia1most of them were evacuated to Siberia
where, during the 38 days the train journey lasted, many died of
hunger and cold. When they reached Sanmarkanda, they started to
work in cotton fields or tank factories and they ate the cats in
the area due to their hunger... Most of them are very thankful
During the 1920’s Great Russian filmmakers worked
under the context of socialist realism and strived to create films
that told the truth, or a truth. Filmmakers like Vertov used a
technique called ‘cinema truth’, employing a hidden camera to
capture the ‘truth’... Eisenstein used a technique called ‘montage’,
making a third image ‘in the minds of the audiences’
Vance - 2006
Why did the Special Operations Executive send aid to Tito’s
is possible to come to the conclusion that without the aid of
the SOE, the partisans may not have survived the war. With the
Germans becoming closer to destroying them as a fighting force,
the bounty upon Tito’s head and the betrayal of the Chetniks,
the partisans could have been broken anytime between 1942-45.
The SOE managed to switch allegiances just in time...
Webb - 2005 The German Occupation
of the Channel Islands: July
1940 – May 1945
Greer - 2005 How far were Republican divisions responsible for
their loss in the Spanish Civil War?
Televisionaired the program “Island at War” in July 2004,
depicting the Channel Islanders as “[laying] on their backs
and [making] moaning noises" as the Germans invaded. From
this emerged my question – to what extent did the Islanders
collaborate with the Germans? My investigation was also
personal, as my father is from the Island of Jersey...
'...are the historical filmmaker and the
traditional, academic historian really very dissimilar? Both
impose structure and meaning on ‘the past,’ in such a way that
their views of it can be understood by others...the wish to show
the past ‘as it happened,’ is a naïve form of history: since
‘the past’ is not a narrative, but a vast ‘foreign
country’, it would be impossible to ‘accurately’ recreate,
‘as it happened'.
King - 2005 Literature and History:
Doris Lessing, a case
study in the usefulness of literature to historians.
Gay - 2005
The B-59 Submarine Incident: A
case study of the importance of declassified documentation
White argues that "an historical text is in essence nothing
more than a literary text, a poetical creation as deeply
involved in the imagination as the novel"....Literature enables
historians to get inside the characters and understand and feel
what it was like living through that time –it brings history to life.
worldwide-web access provided by the Internet means that archives
from most countries around the world can be accessed from anywhere
by anyone. An amateur historian such as myself could not have
undertaken research on this scale ten years ago...This research is
possible solely due to declassification of documents by all the
governments involved in this incident. '
Bell - 2005
Was the Resistance French?
A case study of Toulouse 1940-1944
much one wants to argue over reasons of blood, nationality or
motivation, whoever, is ready to run the risk of a hideous death
to fight for a country that is not their own should be honored.
Thus, I will conclude this essay by saying that it does not
matter whether they were French or not, all that mattered was
that they fought for a righteous cause.'
a flowing narration requires the acceptance and proliferation of
certain events and thoughts that would never on their own be
accepted as fact... film, as a visual and empathic version of
events, can be much closer to the truth of the past than pure
“history”. To see figures of the past... to smell, hear,
breathe India alongside him, is something beyond the creative
capacity of the greatest academic historian.'
Chiara Carnevale - 2005 Nostalgia:A
case study exploring nostalgia in Italy and the portrayal
of Benito Mussolini
Behrens - 2005
Was Hitler's 'euthanasia' policy distinctively Nazi?
is a feeling of longing for something, whether concrete or
abstract, that reminds us of a time in our lives when we were
happiest. Although the reality of the circumstances of those
days may not be as blissful as we may recall, nostalgia gives us
the power to eliminate the negative...as
for people like my grandmother, it is almost impossible for them
to escape nostalgia.'
was first brought up in the 1850’s, the German government had
already thought about killing those that were mentally and
physically ill, but they never put this into action.It later came up in 1920 when Professor of psychiatry
Alfred Hoch M.D. at the university of Freiburg and Karl Binding
a Professor of law in the university of Leipzig wrote the
book Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebenunwerten Lebens.'
Ledger - 2004 Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of oral
history: Evelyn Haddrell (Grandmother)
interviewing Evelyn Haddrell, I was able to open up the past and
join her in her youth. To be in the presence of the past, the
value is direct, one relives the past with the interviewee and
shares their experiences. This value is perhaps
non-quantifiable, as the value is human and based on personal
feelings and a connection between human beings, which cannot be
substituted or replicated...'
'A central difference between history and
heritage is that history seeks to explore and explain whereas
heritage clarifies from a present perspective...This research
grew from my awareness of local heritage. I had seen ‘brown
road signs’ promoting the “Cathar Country” and had visited
Montségur on several occasions but before research, I was
unable to fully appreciate historical fact and Cathar Heritage.'
Helen Coleman - 2004 Who were the
Greenham Common Peace Protesters?
Rademaker - 2004
The historical utility of photography: A case study of Vietnam
'By researching and comparing descriptions of the women who
in 1981, made ‘world history’ by continuing their local
tradition of peaceful protest against the Greenham USAF base, I
aim to discover whom the Peace Protesters outside Greenham
Common near Newbury, Berkshire, England, really were.'
Still images have a far greater
impact on people because they can study one moment in time for
length of time... The look on the Viet Cong prisoner’s
face and the smoky background create an atmosphere of fear.
Although moving images and photography serve as significant
historical sources, photography has a more powerful effect.
Andrew Lipscombe -
Did David Low's cartoons reflect public opinion in Britain in
the interwar period?
of the Will consists of many powerful and lasting images
created from selection and editing and these scenes created an emotional
response from the audience. Due to the distortion of reality by
these shots and their role in the formation of opinion the film
can be interpreted to be one of propaganda.'
'This investigation began with a visit to the
David Low exhibition at Westminster Hall, London, on the 22nd
of August 2002. Viewing this exhibition gave me a good
understanding of many of David Low’s cartoons... Ultimately, I
was led to the question, did David Low’s cartoons represent
British public opinion at the time.'
2002 marked the last year of the old system of IB internal assessment.
This system allowed students to work together in groups and to produce
their work in any format. Click here
for the official full guidelines (opens in new window). Students at the IST were asked to produce a
website so as to make their work accessible to a wider audience.