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The 6 concepts of IB History

Did you know that there are 6 concepts of IB History?


It's often something that teachers fail to emphasise, but knowing these 6 concepts and applying them to your essays can really help you to boost your marks!


Concept No. 1:

Change

The first concept is change. How does change come about? Does it come about because of the actions of individuals or as a result of other factors like economic conditions?


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


Let's say you're writing about Hitler's rise to power. Consider: did his rise largely come about because of himself or because of the conditions in which he found himself? It's hard to say, but if you can address this issue, you are addressing the concept of change and the reasons behind it.


Concept No. 2:

Continuity

The opposite of change is continuity. It's often thought that history is all about the changes that have occurred in the past, but it's also about what has remained essentially unchanged.


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


This time, let's say you're writing about the origins of the Cold War, which is generally said to have begun in 1947. Consider: to what extent is it valid to say that the Cold War began with the Russian Revolution in 1917 as from then on tensions between communism and capitalism existed continuously throughout the rest of the century until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.


Concept No. 3:

Causation

This concept focuses on what caused changes to occur.


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


You could apply this concept to both of the examples mentioned above. For Hitler's rise to power, you could consider what led to his rise to power; the chances are there were a number of different causes. Similarly, for the origins of the Cold War, you can consider what caused it. Again, you will find a multitude of contributing factors. You should consider both long- and short-term causes.


Concept No. 4:

Consequence

This concept focuses on the results of events.


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


Let's say you're writing about the effects of World War II; there will be a number of consequences to consider. What were the demographic impacts of the war? What were its social, political and economic consequences? Did it alter the lives of women? Similar to causation, you will find many different consequences. Remember to consider both long- and short-term consequences.


Concept No. 5:

Significance

Why are some things recorded for the history books while others are excluded? Of all of the factors causing an event or resulting from an event, which is the most significant and why?


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


If you're writing an essay on the causes or consequences of an event, let's say World War I, consider which factor causing the outbreak of war was the most significant and why, or which consequence of the war was the most significant and why. You can also consider the relative importance of people, events, and evidence. For example, Hitler was undoubtedly the most significant individual in his rise to power, but what of Hindenburg or von Papen? These individuals were also important.


Concept No. 6:

Perspectives

Although it may come as a surprise to you, there is not one version of history agreed upon by everyone. Rather, history is made up of multiple perspectives. One historian may argue that Hitler's charisma was the main reason for his rise to power, while another may posit that the economic conditions were the most significant factor in Hitler's rise to power. Indeed, there is evidence to support both arguments.


How can you apply this concept in your essays?


Challenge and critique multiple perspectives of the past. If one historian argues that economic conditions were the most significant factor in Hitler's rise to power, and you disagree, by all means disagree, but make sure that you back up your point with evidence. For example, it could be argued that economic conditions were not the most significant factor in Hitler's rise to power as the unemployed Germans tended not to vote for the Nazi party as evidenced by the results of the 1932 elections when only 13% of unemployed voted for the National Socialists.


There you have it. The 6 concepts of IB History. Make sure that you consider these concepts every time you come to write an essay and try to incorporate a few of them. Best of luck!



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