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History IA question (help)

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I am going to start writing my IA for History, but I am stuck with making a proper question. I know that my topic will be the Indian Partition. I have a few potential questions, but they don't exactly sound right to me. Please let me know how I can fix them/ if they are too broad. Thank you very much. 


1.) To what extent was the Partition of India caused by British authority?

2.) To what extent was the Partition of India inevitable?

3.) To what extent was the Indian Partition caused by Hindu-Muslim conflict?


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They do all sound quite broad to me - BUT - I confess I am not at all an expert on this topic. I can give you some advice about an exercise in how to narrow it down though.

For each question, go through and bullet point the main facts of discussion for each of the titles you've picked. As in all of the points you'd want to cover for each of them, bearing in mind 'to what extent' means each point would have to be weighed. Then imagine cramming all of that into an essay and adequately addressing each point.

Doing this, you should be able to see for yourself if the topic is way too large for an IA length essay or not. It'll also be useful to draw together all these points, because not only will it help you pick, but you can also look at them and see what you *could* put together instead which would be an appropriately sized topic for the essay. Ideally you want a topic which is just big enough to be explored in an essay, so that when you go through it, you do so absolutely thoroughly and score all the points available, having completely answered your own question - without leaving things out, or skimming over them. 

For instance you might find that even though Q number 1 might turn out to be too big a topic, when you go through it, there's a particular aspect of British Authority that actually would lend itself nicely to being explored within the bounds of an IA essay and you can do a more narrowed down & comprehensive version of the same title.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi! I am not familiar with the topic, but I am taking history. What I advise you is to focus your research question as much as possible because of the word count. 2200 words may sound as a lot, but once you start writing, you may exceed the word count. So it is way easier if you have a focused RQ. Good luck! 

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