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NS97

Extended Essay in English or Biology?

Im trying to decide what to do my ee on but im stuck between English or Bio. I really like both subjects equally but I dont have any seriously specactular ideas for either but i really need to decide the subject first.

I need advice and some ideas

What's better to do?

Edited by NS97

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Chose what subject you enjoy most. You're going to be putting a lot of work into your EE, so you don't want to end up writing it in a subject/on a topic you don't enjoy! I love English, so I wrote my EE in that subject and I definitely found the process more enjoyable than if I had written it in another subject, especially since I wrote it on my favourite novel, Fall On Your Knees. (It also allowed me to make some connections within that novel I hadn't noticed the other thousand times I had read it. :) )

There is also the amount of work involved in an EE in each subject. The EE in general is a ton of work if you want a good one, however as far as I know any EE in the sciences is TON of work. Most students in my school are actually discouraged from writing an EE in a science or math simply because of the amount of work it involves. One girl did manage to worm her way into a biology EE, however that was after persuading the coordinator to allow her and a teacher to be her supervisor. :giggle: Another poster on a different thread said her friend had ended up with 50 trials or something.

Honestly, an English EE is easier, but it ultimately comes down to what you'll enjoy more. If you don't like English, the chances are you won't enjoy an English EE, and the process will be utterly torturous for you.

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Avoid the headache of a science EE (mine was in chemistry and over 30 pages), just do an English EE - you'll get it over and done with much quicker than a science one

Edited by sameera95

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Avoid the headache of a science EE (mine was in chemistry and over 30 pages), just do an English EE - you'll get it over and done with much quicker than a science one

Avoid the headache? woot? All one needs to do is to have the proper lab setup and then use tables/diagrams to explain it... My internal assessment had 3400 word (lab report in chemistry).

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I'd recommend english unless you find a topic in bio that you are very passionate about. Bio EEs score on average one whole grade less than any other subject. You might want to consider things like available resources, the quality of your potential supervisors and how much time you can dedicate to it.

Mikhael, 3400 words for a lab? that's not necessary at all what was it on?

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Avoid the headache of a science EE (mine was in chemistry and over 30 pages), just do an English EE - you'll get it over and done with much quicker than a science one

Avoid the headache? woot? All one needs to do is to have the proper lab setup and then use tables/diagrams to explain it... My internal assessment had 3400 word (lab report in chemistry).

3400 words for an IA?! what on earth did you do :o my EE only made it to 3300, despite being 30 odd pages. And yes, my EE took an extremely long time to complete, I only finished it on Friday and my school's deadline was ages ago. The research process took ages, and although I took a non-conventional route to obtain data (I didn't exactly conduct a physical experiment with equipment and stuff) it didn't speed up the process and it hurt my head having to sort through it all.

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Avoid the headache of a science EE (mine was in chemistry and over 30 pages), just do an English EE - you'll get it over and done with much quicker than a science one

Avoid the headache? woot? All one needs to do is to have the proper lab setup and then use tables/diagrams to explain it... My internal assessment had 3400 word (lab report in chemistry).

3400 words for an IA?! what on earth did you do :o my EE only made it to 3300, despite being 30 odd pages. And yes, my EE took an extremely long time to complete, I only finished it on Friday and my school's deadline was ages ago. The research process took ages, and although I took a non-conventional route to obtain data (I didn't exactly conduct a physical experiment with equipment and stuff) it didn't speed up the process and it hurt my head having to sort through it all.

The design part was a 5, but the teacher was REALLY strict! I failed in calculation but still got a 4 due to presentation and recordings.. Wow, I had my EE in Langauge B which is again EASY! Like I said, one just needs the correct lab setup. I did mine in Enthalpy change. Nailed it completly haha! My physics one was 2000 words <-- got the highest mark ;)

I'd recommend english unless you find a topic in bio that you are very passionate about. Bio EEs score on average one whole grade less than any other subject. You might want to consider things like available resources, the quality of your potential supervisors and how much time you can dedicate to it.

Mikhael, 3400 words for a lab? that's not necessary at all what was it on?

Enthalpy change, Yes it was necessary. People in my class wrote on average 3000 words... Everyone got average or above.

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Funnily enough, many of my Bio IA's were around 3000-3300 characters (probably a bit less text wise), so I don't think a Biology EE would be too crazy. Science EE's can be a pain if you have a very creative, abstract and difficult lab experiment to do.. the worst case scenario is the experiment failing altogether and I don't think you can do a pure literature based review of other experiments in a science EE - you have to conduct an experiment yourself.

If you intend on pursuing a Bio EE, I would recommend completing the entire experiment during the summer, so when IB2 starts all you have to do is write and edit. Especially if your experiment is interesting and difficult.

I can't imagine not doing my EE in English though, and I really recommend it. You must be slightly stronger in one subject over the other, choose the subject you are stronger in. My English EE came very naturally, it was beautiful haha!

Maybe you should talk to the Bio supervisor and the English supervisor, see what they say? Does your English teacher think you would write a good English EE and vice versa in Biology?

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I had IAs which were in excess of 7000 words. My EE was more than 4000 words long (just make a body of 4000 words and add stuff in an Appendix :shifty: ). Got a B though :D

On a side note, an English EE will be less time consuming, and probably easier to manage. However, you should really pick what you enjoy the most!

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I would like to point out that as someone doing an EE in English, it's not a piece of cake; it might be easier in comparison to doing something in chemistry but inevitably, you are going to have to work VERY VERY HARD on your EE and even if it's in English, be prepared to do a ton of work ;;

From seeing what some friends of mine as doing (they're doing science EEs) I think it vastly depends on time-management. I have one friend who's breezing through hers because she set the whole thing up and planned it out extremely well. I know a couple of other people who are complaining about it because they're behind schedule. It's not entirely their faults obviously, the IB is quite time-consuming.

I don't think it's so much as writing an essay in biology or English that determines which is harder but the research. One of the harder aspects of conducting research for a science-based EE is the experiment and having to do it multiple times until you're sure you have data you can use. It's pretty important to minimise errors in whatever way possible which is why you could end up doing a lot of work if your experiment isn't planned well enough. Another thing about it is that you need to be quite specific about what you want to look into, obviously so you can conduct your experiment. It'd be quite hard to change topics in between or after you've done your experiment and if you want to, you'd have to do it again and you might not even have time for that or your school might not have enough supplies to let you conduct another experiment.

With English you're given the freedom to choose a topic after you've done your research. For me, I just picked texts I wanted to read and after reading them, I decided on what I wanted to look into and I had a lot of freedom with that o: This can be a downfall or an advantage depending on the sort of person you are, but if you have no spectacular ideas then English might be a better idea because you'd have more time to pick a topic? As others have said though, the deciding factor should be which subject you like more : )

Edited by Wicquor

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I know that choosing between two subjects you love can be very difficult, so I would come up with an idea or two for each subject and consider the following:

– Would your Biology mentor or your English mentor be more helpful to you?

– Can you find enough information on the ideas for each subject?

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