Note to IB Americas students:
This site is designed as a tool for study guide and test preparation.



Brief Information about Paper Exams:


For Higher Level Students:

Paper One -- students have one hour to write on four questions based on documents and their own knowledge for a total of 25 marks. Students will be answering the questions from the Prescribed Subject entitled "The Move to Global War (Germany and Japan from 1931 to 1941)." This prescribed subject focuses on military expansion from 1931 to 1941. Two case studies are prescribed, from different regions of the world, and both of these case studies must be studied, as these are possible subjects for Paper One. The first case study explores Japanese expansionism from 1931 to 1941, and the second case study explores German and Italian expansionism from 1933 to 1940. The focus of this prescribed subject is on the causes of expansion, key events, and international responses to that expansion. Discussion of domestic and ideological issues should therefore be considered in terms of the extent to which they contributed to this expansion, for example, economic issues, such as the long-term impact of the Great Depression, should be assessed in terms of their role in shaping more aggressive foreign policy. (20% of total IB History score) [More information about the Prescribed Subject can be viewed on my ASD webpage.]

Paper Two -- students will see 24 essay questions, two from each of the twelve world history topics. Students must answer two questions, each selected from a different topic. Some comparative questions on this paper require that examples be drawn from more than one region. When the word “region” is used in a paper 2 question, it refers to one of the four regional options defined by the IBO world map: the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Russia, Asia and the Pacific. This class will be focusing on Causes and Effects of War in the 20th Century and Authoritarian States in the 20th Century. (25 % of total IB History score)

Paper Three -- students will see 36 essay questions and they have 2½ hours to answer three questions. This class will cover 20th century events related to the Americas section of Paper Three. (35% of total IB History score)

Internal Assessment -- a historical investigation 1500 - 2200 words. The topic is chosen by the student, preferably on a focused topic that will be helpful to him/her on the paper exams. Information on the format to be handed out in class (maybe posted on to this site). (20% of total IB History score)

For Standard Level Students:

Paper One -- students have one hour to write on four questions based on documents and their own knowledge for a total of 25 marks. Students will be answering the questions from the Prescribed Subject entitled "The Move to Global War (Germany and Japan from 1931 to 1941)." This prescribed subject focuses on military expansion from 1931 to 1941. Two case studies are prescribed, from different regions of the world, and both of these case studies must be studied, as these are possible subjects for Paper One. The first case study explores Japanese expansionism from 1931 to 1941, and the second case study explores German and Italian expansionism from 1933 to 1940. The focus of this prescribed subject is on the causes of expansion, key events, and international responses to that expansion. Discussion of domestic and ideological issues should therefore be considered in terms of the extent to which they contributed to this expansion, for example, economic issues, such as the long-term impact of the Great Depression, should be assessed in terms of their role in shaping more aggressive foreign policy. (30% of total IB History score) [More information about the Prescribed Subject can be viewed on my ASD webpage.]

Paper Two -- students will see 24 essay questions, two from each of the twelve world history topics. Students must answer two questions, each selected from a different topic. Some comparative questions on this paper require that examples be drawn from more than one region. When the word “region” is used in a paper 2 question, it refers to one of the four regional options defined by the IBO world map: the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and Russia, Asia and the Pacific. This class will be focusing on Causes and Effects of War in the 20th Century and Authoritarian States in the 20th Century. (45 % of total IB History score)

Internal Assessment -- a historical investigation 1500 - 2200 words. The topic is chosen by the student, preferably on a focused topic that will be helpful to him/her on the paper exams. Information on the format to be handed out in class (maybe posted on to this site). (25% of total IB History score)



Paper One Topics:



German and Italian Expansion from 1933 - 1940





German Expansion (from 1938 to 1940)

International Response to German Expansion (from 1933 to 1940)



Note: The 1st pdf is devoted to the topic Causes, Practices, and Effects of War in the 20th century. The useful pages for German and Italian Expansion and the failure of collective security are on pp. 87-127, especially the section on Hitler's War starting on p. 111. And the Rise of Mussolini Project is a very thorough pdf on the rise of Mussolini and Italian Expansion.



Japanese Expansion in East Asia 1931-1941







Note: The 1st pdf only covers the years 1853-1930s, regarding the impact of nationalism and militarism on Japan's foreign policy. Also, at the end of the pdf you will find advice on how to approach the questions and documents in Paper One. The 2nd pdf is devoted to the topic Causes, Practices, and Effects of War in the 20th century. The useful pages for Japanese Expansion are on pp. 129-142 in a section titled "The Causes of WWII in the Pacific" and on pp. 156-160, which details how the war in the Pacific was fought.


Paper Two Topics:




Note: This class will be focusing on Causes and Effects of War in the 20th Century and Authoritarian States in the 20th Century. There is, however, an additional topic I have added to this section -- the Cold War. To streamline your preparation for paper two, I would definitely read the following pdfs:






World War One



A Detailed Reference Link for WWI
World World One


World War I Sites



Art of the First World War
PBS: The Great War
WWI Docs

Previous Paper Two Questions Related to WWI:

From Topic 1: Causes, Practices, and Effects of War
  • Examine the part played by each of the following in the outbreak of the First World War: alliances, mobilization, Balkan nationalism. (2006)
  • How valid is the claim that in 1914 states went to war due to fear rather than for motives of gain? (2004)
  • Assess critically three causes of the First World War. (2003)
  • To what extent can it be said that the First World War was caused by the alliance system? (1999)
  • “Germany must bear the ultimate responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War.” How far do you agree with this judgment? (1995)
  • How valid is it to claim that Europe “stumbled into” a world war in 1914? (1992)

Previous Paper Three Questions Related to WWI
  • “It was the U-Boat campaign of 1917 which brought the United States into the First World War.” To what extent would you agree with this statement? (2007)



World War Two


World War Two

Great Site on Twentieth Century Topics



World War II Sites




HyperText History WWII
BBC: WWII

Previous Paper Two Questions Related to WWII


From Topic 1: Causes, Practices, and Effects of War
  • Discuss briefly the immediate effects that the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 had on the progress of the Second World War. Comment on how the existence of the “bomb” has subsequently affected the practices of war in terms of global conflict. (1992)
  • Analyze the results of either the First World War or the Second World War.
  • In what ways did the causes of the Second World War differ from the causes of the First World War? (2004)



Comparison of Single Party Leaders















Hitler Sites





BBC: The Rise of Hitler and the Nazis

Nazi Propaganda: 1933 - 1945



Stalin sites






BBC Site on Stalin
Stalin's Russia







Mao Zedong




China under Mao



Cold War Sites




Basic Cold War Timeline
Cold War Timeline: City University of New York
Cold War International History Project
Revelations from Russian Archives about the Cuban Missile Crisis
U.S. Involvement in Vietnam 1954 - 1965
The Cold War -- An Outline
Non-alignment Movement



Communism in Crisis 1976 - 1989





Communism in Crisis: Eastern Europe

1989: Eastern Europe

Notes on Collapse of the Soviet Union



Paper Three Topics



The Mexican Revolution



Wiki Project Mexican Revolution

Economic Grievances of Mexican Revolution and its Resolution

Early Stages of the Mexican Revolution

Zapata's Influence in the Mexican Revolution







The Cuban Revolution



THE CUBAN REVOLUTION

Voices From the Sierra Maestra -- Essay on Castro's Use of Revolutionary Propaganda by Major R.J Hampsey


Cuba Sites



Casahistoria: Cuba and Castro Revolution
Human Rights Watch: Cuba
Cuban Revolution (1952-1958)



Sites from Other IB Teachers



A Study Guide for IB Americas Paper 3


Another Study Guide for IB Americas Paper 3
Study Guide for Paper 3

The Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revoution

The American Revolution
The American Revolution

The United States Civil War
The United States Civil War

The Emergence of the Americas in Global Affairs (1880-1929)
The Emergence of the Americas in Global Affairs


Tips on Writing for the DBQ: Paper 1




IB Examination Technique: Paper 1
Paper 1 (1 hour)

(i) Timing – use your time well. Do not waste time on the first question, and make sure that you leave enough time to answer the last question fully.

(ii) Technique
Question 1

3 marks for part (a) and 2 marks for part (b). All you have to do is make three distinct points for (a). For (b) you must explain the point being made in the source. Say what the point is and demonstrate how the source makes this point. [You just need to go beyond simply stating the point for a second mark].

Question 2

This usually asks you to compare the extent to which two of the sources support a statement, or a third source.
e.g. November 2003: In what ways are the views in Source A supported by Sources C and E?

Question 3
This question has to be approached in the correct way, otherwise you will lose marks unnecessarily. It asks you to assess four things: origin, purpose … [Use all four words in your answer!] … value and limitation.


Question 4

This is the most challenging question, and also carries the highest number of marks. You must leave plenty of time as you have a lot to do:
It asks you to use the sources and your own knowledge. You have to synthesize the two when producing your answer.

(i) Using the sources

• Refer to all of the sources if possible (although you may wish to concentrate on those that help you to answer the question the most).

• Quote directly and cross-refer (i.e. comparing the meaning and significance of the quotations).

• Highlight the specific ways and the extent to which the source supports the statement.


(ii) Using your Own Knowledge


• Use your own knowledge to synthesise an answer together with information from the sources.

• You can also use your knowledge to comment on material that you have quoted or referred to in answering the question.


Example: November 2003:

“Using the sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree that Vietnam was “Johnson’s war.”

The description of Vietnam’s as “Johnson’s War” is graphically supported by the newspaper cartoon in Source D which shows Johnson on an upwards escalator, while explaining to an ordinary American that “Our position has not changed at all.” This makes a pun on “escalation” – the rapid increase in US forces in Vietnam - and also highlights the perception in parts of the media that Johnson was being inaccurate or untruthful.

Or, for the other side of the argument

Historian Richard Schwartz states in Source D that “the Vietnam war must be viewed within its Cold War context”, which challenges the simple reduction to “Johnson’s War”. Although Johnson was clearly responsible for the escalation of American involvement, this was partly a reflection of the widespread contemporary perception that Vietnam was another example of Communist expansionism. As Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defence during the war) noted in source C, this exaggerated perception was not confined just to the President.



How To Write The Free Response Question: Paper 2 and 3



Step One—Read the Question
􀁸 What is the topic?
􀁸 What are the parameters?
o Dates/era/time period
o People
o Categorical terms: political, social, economic,
military
o Regions/different wars, etc.
Examples—What is the question telling you to do?
􀁸 Why did the United States erupt into Civil War in 1861?
􀁸 To what extent did economic and social differences cause the United States’
Civil War?
􀁸 Compare and contrast the domestic policies of any two United States Presidents
in the period 1970-1990.
􀁸 “One reason the Prohibition laws were introduced in America was the effect
drunkenness was having on the family.” To what extent is this true?
􀁸 Assess the role of technology in the conquest of the Incas.

Step Two—Determine what the question is asking or telling you to do!!!

Step Three: Pre-writing
􀁸 Brainstorm ideas (create a t-chart or a Venn diagram). Think: How am I going to
answer the question? Write down any ideas you have.

Step Four: Develop a Thesis:
Why Should Your Essay Contain A Thesis Statement?
􀁸 to specifically answer the question
􀁸 to better organize and develop your argument
􀁸 to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

Step Five: Outline the Basics

Step Six: Use your outline to write your essay.
􀁸 Write in Point, Evidence, Explanation (PEE) format throughout the essay.
􀁸 There should be a balance between narrative (telling a story) & analysis. (How
do the facts impact on a given event? How do the facts determine the course of
that event? Outcome of the event?)
􀁸 Ideally students will incorporate historiography throughout the paper.
Realistically if you can include this in the conclusion it is acceptable.
􀁸 Thesis needs to be 1-3 sentences somewhere in your introductory paragraph,
usually at the end.
􀁸 Make sure you use the appropriate grammar and mechanics. (See the mechanics
section, including the issues with in-class writing)

􀁸 Tips for writing a conclusion
A. Should begin with something such as “As a result….”
B. Concludes logically, extends and ties together argument without summarizing
body of paper
C. What impact did this event have on subsequent connected events or on event
itself?
D. Long term effects?
E. Short term effects?
F. What connections can you not conclude based on research?
G. Are there areas within the paper that could be further explored?
H. Was the original argument fully answered within the constraints of scope and
time?

From IB Writing Handbook