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Extended Essay for Dummies - READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!

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#1
Survival Robot

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Extended Essay for Dummies
How to Start Your Extended Essay, How to Avoid Last Minute Panics, How to Effectively Get Help with your Extended Essay and More


:blink: About to start your EE? Have you read the IBO Extended Essay Guide yet? If not, read it before continuing!

 

Also please note - start a new thread if you want help with your EE! People do not regularly read this thread and you may not get a response.

If you can't be bothered to read any further, these 5 Cardinal Rules of the EE may help you

5 Cardinal rules of the EE (assuming your intention is to do well)

1. NEVER start an EE without first reading the EE Guide (you can download this from the Files section)
2. ALWAYS start an EE by deciding on your subject area (e.g. History, English, Biology etc.) FIRST
3. NEVER start an EE by deciding on your topic first and then trying to fit it into a subject area - THIS WILL NOT WORK
4. If you are doing a science-based EE, ALWAYS do your own experiment, research EEs will not do well
5. If you do not take the subject you want to do your EE in ALWAYS exercise extreme caution. You are extremely likely not to understand what is required. Especially IB Philosophy and IB Psychology, these are not the same as the colloquial ideas of Philosophy and Psychology.

Having followed these cardinal rules, you are unlikely to make any massive essay-destroying errors.


1. So what exactly IS the Extended Essay?

This is actually an extremely important post for many people to read, because many people fail to understand the significance of exactly what makes the Extended Essay unique, and go off in completely the wrong direction!
It is not simply a very long version of a normal essay. The key point to understand is that the Extended Essay is specifically a research based essay. So this implies a few things. Firstly that your RQ (research question) should indeed be a question and not any kind of statement or prompt. Secondly that the essay must be investigating something -- it is NOT a narrative essay. If you try and write a narrative essay, you will find yourself with a very bad mark indeed. Unlike a normal essay the Extended Essay requires an element of research (look at external sources) and also a much more formal structure than any other type of essay you write in the IB. For instance it's probably the only thing you'll write for the IB which contains a Contents Page, and the only thing you'll write an Abstract for! It's actually excellent practice for writing proper essays at University.
So, the Extended Essay is a 3,600-4,000 word research essay. Once you have understood this you've probably avoided the worst mistake you can make with the EE (bar one, which I'll come onto later) so congratulations!


2. How to ask people to help you with your EE on the IBS forums...

Point number one - we are here to help you with your work, but not to do it for you. So think about your EE before you ask for help. Posts like "Help, my EE first draft is due in 2 days, I have no topic, please help me choose a topic" are likely to be ignored. AT LEAST have a subject and a vague/general area within that subject you're interested in. We will comment on all your ideas and make guiding comments, but we don't come up with the title for you. You are, after all, marked on your choice of essay title! To get a good response I suggest you do the following:

A) Make your post title descriptive -- more "History EE - Stalin's rise to power" than "EE help needed!". Naming the subject area and the general area you're interested in in your title will help the people who have expertise in that subject find your post.

B) Be specific! "Hi I am doing an EE in X, but I don't know where to start" is useless. If you're stuck on something SAY what it is you're stuck on! If you're not stuck on something then I suggest you put a bit more thought into it and spend an hour or two working out your ideas before asking for help.

C) Make sure you've read the IBO Extended Essay Guide. Don't ask questions about format etc. until you have done because it tells you in there! Questions like, "what doesn't count as words" and "should i do an experiment" are 99% of the time answered in that guide.

These are the kind of questions/issues we'd be more than happy to help with (not limited to just this though):

My question is X:
- Do you think it's narrow enough?
- How can I make it more narrow?
- Do you think it's appropriate for EE?

My argument is X for topic Y:
- Do you think it's reasonable?

I'm having trouble with writing part X of topic/title Y, can you give some tips? (But give us some idea of what you've written in other parts!)

We're very willing to help you if you can show us you've at least put some work into your EE. If you expect us to put in the work to help you, we need to know that you're putting in the work too.

3. How to find a topic and start writing your EE!

1. Choose a subject. Make sure it's a subject you enjoy. No point doing a literature EE when you hate the subject. Also at this point it's worth considering who is going to supervise your EE. If they are your favourite teacher it's great, but if they already have a reputation for being unhelpful/evil/not willing to put time into things, it's realistic to take into account the fact you probably want to avoid them. I know I avoided doing a science EE because my school's science department was so bad and went for humanities instead! If you're after top grades, it is easier to get them with good supervision and advice.

2. Choose a topic area in the subject you are interested in. Read the subject-specific guidelines published in the IB's Official EE Guide (free for all members to download in the Files section), these are invaluable and will help you confirm that your topic area fits well within the subject. If the topic almost identical to the example that is provided by the IB in the EE guide booklet, don't do it. Originality is something they really do look for. Even if you fall in love with a topic that's listed in the EE guide, avoid it.

3. Research the area. Read around. The internet is a nice place to start even though internet sources are not always the most reliable. If you are interested in Theory of Relativity (I'm not saying you should go out and do an EE on the Theory of Relativity, but for example), then go online, read about the topic - anything from wikipedia articles (though for the love of god, please don't use wikipedia as a source in your EE) to forum discussion, to fan sites etc. Don't rule out books either but I'm not saying you go and borrow 1000 books on the subject before you even have a topic. Just skim around. I think the term is 'look for inspiration' :blum: .

You cannot just come up with a topic by sitting there and going, 'ZOMG, what should I do?????'. Instead of wondering what to do, actually go and do something! Talk to supervisor, look around, see what past IB students have done. Believe it or not, the EE will not be the last essay where you'll have to think of your own topic! Many university essays are also designed in a way where you are given a general area but have to focus the topic yourself! The EE is practice for this - not only practice in writing but also practice in research, analysing research, forming thesis - which is exactly what you do when you choose an EE topic.

4. You do not have to have a perfect title right away. Once you've identified an area you're interested in, you can start with a very broad question that can be narrowed down later. Go from something like: History >> European history >> Hitler >> The rise of Hitler >> Three most important factors leading to the rise of Hitler. Sometimes you may find that even the last topic is too broad and/or not appropriate for the EE, so you narrow it even further: To what extent was X more important than Y as a factor leading to Hitler's rise to power?

Once you've got to about the 'Rise of Hitler' part, we can start to help you define and narrow your question. We probably can help you get from European history to Hitler but don't expect us to just take you from History to Hitler. (See part III for more details).

5. Once you've got your topic, think about a general theme or thesis you want to analyse or prove. Then start planning. Outline your main points and try to put them in some sort of logical order.

6. Then write. Don't worry about word count, don't worry about introduction, just write the 'meat' of the essay first. You can have different main points in separate documents and piece them together later. Most like you should end up with at least 1000 words over the limit and that's fine. Actually I'd rather you have more than less. Once you have all your main points, you can start piecing them together, refine your title/thesis, take out fluff and unnecessary things and polishing it. You may find, while doing this, you need to narrow your title down even further and that's perfectly fine, make the title suit the essay you've written if you need to.

Of course, to do all this, you cannot write it 12 hours before the deadline, so plan your work accordingly!!

(Contributed by Ruan Chun Xian, Vvi and biochem)


4. How do I avoid last minute panic??

All schools approach the EE differently, but here is how to avoid 'Oh **** my EE draft is due in 12 hours'. You may still opt to have a blind panic whilst doing your EE - this is for those who don't want to! Some tips...

1. Ideally, you should start brainstorming about your EE during your first year. Also your topic should be narrowed down and research question chosen before you finish IB1. If possible start gathering info during IB1 so that during the summer you only need to refine your research to suit your topic. Finish all research and start writing your first draft during the summer and pray that your EE adviser will take a look at it before school starts again (pick the best EE adviser you can, if they have no idea what they're doing it's not much comfort to the student and you're better off choosing a different subject, unfortunately).

2. Lay the groundwork for your essay in advance. I did all of this and my EE was practically done before IB2 started. I had already read the book I chose and gathered quotes along the way in IB1. I wrote mini essays analysing key characters that I used as my foundation for the essay which made writing my first draft incredibly easy. If you are doing a Group 4 (Science) EE, do the experiment before the summer so you can analyse and prepare the data over the holidays.

3. Do an outline. A proper one.

4. Ask tonnes of different people to read it and MAKE TIME for this to happen. Classmates too. The examiner it gets sent to might not know the topic at all, so it has to be explained in a way that is understandable by everyone.

5. Proof read it many times, and ask classmates/teachers/parents to do that too. Especially if English isn't your first language. I read a friend's EE that got a C , and his grammar was horrible. Maybe that contributed to his grade (at least indirectly), since the overall impression was shoddy.

6. Stick to the criteria. Make sure your essay is going in the right direction, and isn't on the line with another subject's criteria. This will result in either a bad grade or a lot of your precious time wasted re-writing it.

(Contributions by Vvi and blindpet)


Menu
I. On How to Effectively Get Help on the Extended Essay on IBSurvival, Or Read this before making a thread!
II. On How to Start Your Extended Essay
III. On How to Avoid Last Minute Panic
IV. How should the essay be presented?
V. Where do I find examples?

Subject-specific advice
History
Mathematics
Group 4
Business

First and golden rule: Do not leave it to the last minute!!

I. On How to Effectively Get Help on the Extended Essay on IBSurvival, Or Read this before making a thread!

For examples, see this thread.

From Ruan Chun Xian:

The EE forum is probably one of our busiest forum but I have a feeling many people may not find they get as much help as they would like when seeking help here. It's not that we don't want to help you, it's that often the ways you ask for help makes it extremely hard and/or off-putting for us to really help you. So here are some tips on how to effectively ask for help on your EE.

Think about your EE before you ask for help: The threads that get ignored the most are those going along the lines of: 'Help, my EE first draft is due in 2 days, I have no topic, please help me choose a topic.'

Erm...how exactly do you propose we choose a topic for you when we've never met you, never spoken to you before, don't know anything about you? I say this too many times but we are here to help you, but that does not mean we do work for you. We can help comment on your ideas, titles but we will not come up with titles for you. At least know what subject and general area of the subject you want to write about before asking for our opinions on it. If you absolutely have no idea, go and ask someone around you - teachers, friends, supervisor - first before coming to us because we can't conjure a topic out of thin air for you.

Make your thread titles descriptive: Look, you would think this was obvious, but please don't just name your threads something like 'Biology EE' or "I need help' - there are so many, I can't stress this enough, threads with these kind of names and it's not motivating people to go in and find out what the thread is about. When there are about 3 threads called 'Biology EE', people would just go into one and miss the other. If you know your EE is about Stalin's rise to power, then for everyone's sake, put that in the title. I don't know why people can't grasp this concept that thread titles are supposed to say what the thread is about. When you're in the EE forum, a thread titled 'I need help on my EE' or even if you specify it as a Biology EE, it wouldn't say much.

Do not type in CAPSLOCK: This is one of the forum rules but it appears people forget the moment they're panicking about the first draft that is due in 2 days. Seriously, typing the caps, bold and size 6 font is NOT going help you get an answer faster. In most cases, it annoys people and they don't answer you.

From cereja:

Don't ask about format unless you have already read the IBO guide and you don't understand something: Questions like, "what doesn't count as words" and "should i do an experiment" are 99% of the time answered in that guide.

Be specific: "I don't know how to start" won't get you an answer. Ruan Chun Xian adds: Threads/posts that say things like "Help, I am writing an EE on topic X and I need help" or "My topic is X and I don't know what to do, help!" makes me want to just slap the person on the head and say, "What the **** do you need help WITH?" We are not mind readers. So SAY what you're having trouble with if you want help. The fact that you have a topic means you have something to work on, so if you don't know how to start, read around, do research, don't expect us to just tell you what to write!

From Ruan Chun Xian:

Ok all this sounds like we won't help you, but I'll tell you this. This is the kind of questions/issues we'd be more than happy to help with (not limited to just this though):

My question is X:
- Do you think it's narrow enough?
- How can I make it more narrow?
- Do you think it's appropriate for EE?

My argument is X for topic Y:
- Do you think it's reasonable?

I'm having trouble with writing part X of topic/title Y, can you give some tips? [But give us some idea of what you've written in other parts]

We're very willing to help you if you can show us you've at least put some work into your EE. If you expect us to put in the work to help you, we need to know that our help/time is going somewhere that is worth it.

II. On How to Start Your Extended Essay

From Vvi and biochem on choosing the topic:

If the topic almost identical to the example that is provided by the IB in the EE guide booklet, don't do it. I was about to do my EE on the significance of balls (as in dances) in Jane Austen's literature, and then my EE supervisor told me that the same question was in the EE booklet. I was made to change it. If it's there, it's not original.

Originality is something they really do look for. I fell in love with the topic they had in the Bio booklet for EE - something along the lines of analyzing the evolution of a symbiotic relationship of a fungi and bacteria. It sounds amazing, but I knew I had to do something else.

From Ruan Chun Xian:

1. Choose a subject. Make sure it's a subject you enjoy. No point doing a literature EE when you hate the subject.

2. Choose a topic area in the subject you are interested in. Read the subject-specific guidelines published in the IB's Official EE Guide (free for all members to download in the Files section), these are invaluable and will help you confirm that your topic area fits well within the subject.

3. Research the area. Read around. The internet is a nice place to start even though internet sources are not always the most reliable. If you are interested in Theory of Relativity (I'm not saying you should go out and do an EE on the Theory of Relativity, but for example), then go online, read about the topic - anything from wikipedia articles (though for the love of god, please don't use wikipedia as a source in your EE) to forum discussion, to fan sites etc. Don't rule out books either but I'm not saying you go and borrow 1000 books on the subject before you even have a topic. Just skim around. I think the term is 'look for inspiration' :blum: .

You cannot just come up with a topic by sitting there and going, 'ZOMG, what should I do?????'. Instead of wondering what to do, actually go and do something! Talk to supervisor, look around, see what past IB students have done. Believe it or not, the EE will not be the last essay where you'll have to think of your own topic! Many university essays are also designed in a way where you are given a general area but have to focus the topic yourself! The EE is practice for this - not only practice in writing but also practice in research, analysing research, forming thesis - which is exactly what you do when you choose an EE topic.

4. You do not have to have a perfect title right away. Once you've identified an area you're interested in, you can start with a very broad question that can be narrowed down later. Go from something like: History >> European history >> Hitler >> The rise of Hitler >> Three most important factors leading to the rise of Hitler. Sometimes you may find that even the last topic is too broad and/or not appropriate for the EE, so you narrow it even further: To what extent was X more important than Y as a factor leading to Hitler's rise to power?

Once you've got to about the 'Rise of Hitler' part, we can start to help you define and narrow your question. We probably can help you get from European history to Hitler but don't expect us to just take you from History to Hitler. (See part III for more details).

5. Once you've got your topic, think about a general theme or thesis you want to analyse or prove. Then start planning. Outline your main points and try to put them in some sort of logical order.

6. Then write. Don't worry about word count, don't worry about introduction, just write the 'meat' of the essay first. You can have different main points in separate documents and piece them together later. Most like you should end up with at least 1000 words over the limit and that's fine. Actually I'd rather you have more than less. Once you have all your main points, you can start piecing them together, refine your title/thesis, take out fluff and unnecessary things and polishing it. You may find, while doing this, you need to narrow your title down even further and that's perfectly fine, make the title suit the essay you've written if you need to.

Of course, to do all this, you cannot write it 12 hours before the deadline, so plan your work accordingly!! See Section III.

III. On How to Avoid Last Minute Panic

From blindpet:

I don't know how most schools approach the EE but here is how to avoid 'Oh **** my EE draft is due in 12 hours'.

You should start brainstorming about your EE during your first year. Also your topic should be narrowed down and research question chosen before you finish IB1. If possible start gathering info during IB1 so that during the summer you only need to refine your research to suit your topic. Finish all research and start writing your first draft during the summer and pray that your EE adviser will take a look at it before school starts again (pick the best EE adviser you can, if they have no idea what they're doing it's not much comfort to the student and you're better off choosing a different subject, unfortunately).

I did all of this and my EE was practically done before IB2 started. I had already read the book I chose and gathered quotes along the way in IB1. I wrote mini essays analysing key characters that I used as my foundation for the essay which made writing my first draft incredibly easy. If you are doing a G4 EE, do the experiment before the summer so you can analyse and prepare the data over the holidays.

I cannot stress how important proper planning is if you want to do well on your EE. Almost everyone in my class who struggled with it and were nowhere near done at the beginning of IB1 got C's or worse.

From Vvi:

-Do an outline. A proper one.
-Ask tons of different people to read it. Classmates too. The examiner it gets sent to might not know the topic at all, so it has to be explained in a way that is understandable by everyone.
-Proof read it many times, and ask classmates/teachers/parents to do that too. Especially if English isn;t your first language. I read a friend's EE that got a C , and his grammar was horrible. Maybe that contributed to his grade (at least indirectly), since the overall impression was shoddy.
-Stick to the criteria. Make sure your essay is going in the right direction, and isn't on the line with another subject's criteria.

IV. How should the essay be presented?

This is a suggestion only. On the whole, your essay should look neat, professional, and easy to read.

Attached File  Sample_presentation_of_a_document.pdf   64.79KB   1624 downloads

V. Where do I find examples?

It can be useful to look at Extended Essays other people have done to get a feel for the approach you should take and the depth of your analysis and thinking. If you are a VIP member or have purchased a paid subscription to IBSurvival you can use the Files system and download EEs uploaded by members. You can also find examples for some subjects by Googling "50 Excellent Extended Essays" and finding the IB's official exemplar essays posted online. These are EEs the IB considers top quality, so are an excellent way of judging the standard your own EE should attain.

If you have good tips on anything about the EE, please feel free to post them and we will add them to the main post. Please keep this thread constructive, so if you have nothing better to say than just 'This is awesome!' then don't post at all.

#2
Survival Robot

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Some very useful advice on approaching a History EE

From Vvi:

The thing is, in History EE's you have to evaluate evidence and consider historians' different viewpoints of the subejct and come to a conclusion. I'm not sure how well that topic fits in with the criteria for the History EE, which you can find here http://tedibextended...essay 2009.pdf.

[Two main points to remember when coming up with a topic for a History EE, quoted from IB EE Guide]

Firstly "The topic chosen must focus on the human past, be worthy of study, and lend itself to systematic investigation in line with the published assessment criteria. Essays that focus on events of the last 10 years are not acceptable, as these are regarded as current affairs, not history."

Secondly, "Students must choose a research question that is not of a trivial nature. Research questions that do not lead to systematic investigation, critical analysis and detailed understanding are unlikely to be suitable. Social history does include areas such as music and sport, but these are only acceptable for a history extended essay if they are tackled from a historical perspective."

From flsweetheart422:

Note: __inthemaking from what I can gather was an individual that worked hard and achieved an A on her EE in a subject area she never took the class for. Hopefully she will be able to enlighten all of us about how she did it.

With that said, I'm a M09er, and I am quite determined to get an A on my history ee. To ensure this, I picked my sources selectively. Basically, get real books and don't use wikipedia. Also, if you want to achieve a high grade on your history essay, you need to examine and identify the problems inherent to primary sources. From all I can gather from my mentor, IBC, and the IB subject guide analysis is the key to a successful essay. To avoid having an essay that is too narrative, I recommend examining the events from multiple perspectives. Occasionally, you will be lucky and find an event which is explained differently which yields different conclusions. During my research I was fascinated by the Kornilov Affair (an important pre-cursor to the Bolshevik seizure of power). I found sources that were heavily biased from the left and the right, and I was able to compare and contrast how the events were portrayed to lead the reader to a certain conclusion. This may sound stupid, but follow your evidence and construct your conclusion in a manner that is in accordance with the tone of your essay. Also, make sure that you do not make any stupid mistakes that result in automatic mark deductions ie: not formatting your essay correctly (title page, table of contents, abstract, body of essay, works cited, and appendix if necessary)

Good Luck.

flysweetheart422, i too found two sources that were heavily biased on both sides, but how do you juxtapose it in a way as to prevent a narrative style? do you account the resources in a separate subsection?


To juxtapose the two sources I just explained the relationship between the two main people the event was involved around was complicated and that the true nature of their relationship and a definite series of events was unclear and interpreted differently from varying sources. Then I just explained the different viewpoints and I also included some source evaluations at this juncture.

I evaluated my two most important sources at the end of my essay. When it comes to the source evaluation and "What IB Wants" there are many conflicting interpretations. I have seen people get A's when they put the source evaluation in footnotes, at the end of the essay in a slightly detached section, and I have seen people successfully evaluate a source in their paper after the area of strength of the source was covered in their essay. So to answer your question of whether or not you need to account your resources in a separate subsection, its up to you. I did, but I also did a bit of a mini-source evaluation when talking about the Kornilov Affair (the event whose interpretations contrasted greatly) simply because that was an excellent way to show IB that you are paying attention to where you get your information and that you are critically analyzing your sources.

From __inthemaking:

It seems like forever ago that I wrote my EE but I'll try to describe my process as best as I can and hopefully it'll help some of you. Flsweetheart422 is correct, I wrote my EE in history and it was not one of my IB subjects, so I was pretty pleased with my mark because it was scary being one of the only candidates in my class to write my EE in a subject I wasn't taking.

Allow yourself LOTS of time for research. The actual writing of the EE doesn't take as long as you would think (3 days for me) but finding good sources and having a variety of primary and secondary sources that have different opinions may take awhile. My EE was due internally in early February 2008 and I had started researching in October 2007. I pretty much went to the huge library downtown every free weekend I had from October-December and collected a lot of resources, I just photocopied relevant sections and never actually read through the sources yet. Also, I used the library databases to look up scholarly journals online, which were also a huge help.

Over winter break, I started actually reading through all the material and deciding which sources would be useful and which wouldn't. I bookmarked pages of books that were highly relevant and as I went through each source, I started taking down quotations I could use and formatting my arguments in my head. After that, I wrote an outline with my arguments, subpoints and quotes I could potentially use for each point. Don't eliminate quotes at this point because you may end up changing your mind later, just put down every quote that could be used to support a point. My outline ended up being 6-7 pages long written (back and front) because of how many quotes I had.

I started writing in early January 2008 for 3 days straight and I finished my first draft of my EE. To make it not so narrative, I made sure that even though I didn't use any personal pronouns, my own perspective was clearly stated instead of just regurgitating what historians said (eg. "The American government, at this point of time, should have...." - my own opinion is stated here clearly, because I'm saying what I believe the US gov't should've done). I also made sure to include lots of sources (primary and secondary), and to evaluate the sources that I quote heavily from. I never made headings/subheadings in my essay, it was just a continuous and fluid essay, and my evaluation of the sources was incorporated into it. For example: "Dr. Robert Butow, notable historian on Japanese military history, remarks blah blah blah blah. Butow’s reference to the policy is valuable in that few historians provide tangible evidence such as the Main Principles document as a means of supporting the claim that a strike on American soil was brewing long before 1941; however, it is limited by Butow’s own bias." So I basically evaluated the value and limitation of that source in a couple sentences..no need for a long paragraph for OPVL. I didn't talk about origin or purpose for most of the sources, I thought it was best just to recognize value and limitation.

After that I was done! :P I ended up showing it to my mentor and he gave me a few tips here and there..my original EE was closer to 3900 and ended up being 3749 words because I cut out some weak arguments. 3 drafts later, I submitted my final EE. This was very long but I hope it helps someone haha.

#3
Survival Robot

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Some very useful advice on approaching an EE in Group 4 subjects

General Group 4

You must do an experiment-based essay, not a pure research essay. You must have your own data. A simple secondary research essay will not get more than a D. You must do your own experiment.

Biology

- Choosing a topic

From Irene:

Testing on animals is generally not allowed.

Evolution is a tough topic to handle because of the time periods involved. You only have a few months to plan, conduct, and write everything up, so something that will only take a few weeks to investigate is optimum

Go outside and look at your surroundings! Something simple and interesting might pop into your head. If you do a quick google search and the answer is not immediately obvious, voila, you've found your topic. Otherwise, you could always do something using plants/bacteria/fungi.

From LinuxBeta:

For a Bio EE, remember that there are restrictions on your experiments. In fact, out EEs were mailed out on Friday, and one of my classmates realized only a week beforehand that her EE was on a restricted topic. She was investigating something to do with bacteria in the human mouth (she wants to be a dentist), and she didn't see the phrase stating that you cannot grow bacteria at or near human body temperature. Make sure you check the EE guide, and don't make similar mistakes.

#4
Survival Robot

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Some very useful advice on approaching an EE in Mathematics

If you do an EE in Maths, there must be a significant amount of actual mathematical working/equations/solving involved in your EE. You CANNOT do a pure research Maths EE based on secondary data. You must have a problem that you will be solving. An EE with no actual maths working will not get higher than a D.

#5
Ruan Chun Xian

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Some very useful advice on approaching an EE in Business and Management

How to come up with a research question

You can't pull RQs out of thin air. You have to think about the business and problem at hand.

What you are planning to do is essentially at market research paper (roughly). This is coming right out of my Market Research lecture notes.

The process of coming up with a market RQ includes

Define the decision problem.
Define research objectives.
Define research questions.

Companies often have problems that they need to make decisions about. For example (again, this comes out of my MR tutorial), facebook has been inrreasing in number of users in the last 5 years but they are still continually making losses. >> This is the problem.

The preliminary data the company now has is that trends show an increase of mature age (24 years +) users of facebook. But facebook started out to target college aged (19-24)

The decision they need to make is: should they change facebook features to target the new age group (24+)?

Before coming up with a research question you have to know what your objective is. Your research objective should have the following:
- what you're trying to find out
- of who or what
- when (time frame)
- for what purpose.

For example: Determine the causes for the increase of facebook members aged 24 and above in the last five years to determine whether facebook should change its marketing strategies to target this demographic.

From here, you can pull out a variety of research questions. Keep in mind the decision is whether they should target this 24+ demographic. For example:
- To what extent is a rise in socioeconomic status a significant reason for the increase in facebook users aged 24+ in the last 5 years? / How significant is a rise in socioeconomic status a factor in increasing number of facebook users aged 24+ in the last 5 years?
- To what extent is the increase of facebook users aged 24+ in the last 5 years considered a change in demographic (i.e. people of other age groups are no longer using facebook as much) rather than a shifting demographic (i.e. facebook had exhausted the number of college-aged people, people aged over time)?

So you can't just sit there and 'search' for a RQ. You have to look at the business you're doing, see what their problem is, what decision they're trying to make. Then consider, to make that decision, what information do they need to know and how would this information help them make their decision? Then from there, come up with a meaningful question that covers the scope of your study (socioeconomic status, changing vs shifting demographic), the population/sample/object you're going to study (the number of facebook users aged 24+) and the time frame (last 5 years).

My marketing research project this semester at university is doing a report for a real business, and the best reports in the class will be given to the real business as real marketing advice, so count yourself lucky that your EE will only be read by the IBO who doesn't care jack about the business you're writing about. Hey, at least by writing this I did my studying for this week's lecture. ;)

PS: DO NOT take the facebook example I just gave you to do your EE on, you will NOT be able to get the necessary information just from secondary research to write it properly.

#6
Anchuquchu123

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Is it recommended to evaluate the worthiness of the sources in the main body paragraphs meaning among the argumentation/analysis or should I devote a special paragraph to the evaluation of all the sources?

#7
Drdimples407

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Thanks so much for this!

#8
heeger

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this guide helped me a lot :)

#9
Maya Tamer

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Wow! this is actually really helpful thank you :)

#10
BMW13

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How is the outline that has to be turned in supposed to be?? :dontgetit:

#11
Sandwich

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How is the outline that has to be turned in supposed to be?? :dontgetit:


The outline isn't something that the IB require/that everybody around the world has to do, it's something that your school has decided to ask you to do. So you should ask your teachers what they expected from you when they set you an outline to do. I suspect it's mostly to see that you've got a decent plan, so I would imagine that you'd need a title and then some ideas of the main points you intend to cover/argue in your essay/how you'd conduct the experiment if it's a science essay and so on. Basically just a plan of action. It's not a formal IB assignment, just by your teachers for your teachers, so I wouldn't worry about a special format or anything.

#12
BJD

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I'm doing my extended essay in film, I'm looking at faux-documentaries, do any of you think it is okay to refer to other horrors not in my question to compare? Because I'm looking at how faux documentaries create horror without relying on conventional filmic elements and I'm worried that by mentioning other horror films I may have digress too much

#13
niccolotrivelli

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i would like to know what you think about my title :How the systems of payment are evolving :throughout the smartphones.
and if you could give me some advises .

thanks

#14
molly1995

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Hi, I'm doing an extended essay in history. I'm looking at a local regiment/ british army and comparing two battles they were in during World War 1 (one they were defeated in and one they succeeded in.) I have made a detailed outline on what to include. Yet i'm finding it difficult to actually start writing it... Could anyone please tell me a good place to begin?

Thanks :)

#15
Arrowhead

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Hi, I'm doing an extended essay in history. I'm looking at a local regiment/ british army and comparing two battles they were in during World War 1 (one they were defeated in and one they succeeded in.) I have made a detailed outline on what to include. Yet i'm finding it difficult to actually start writing it... Could anyone please tell me a good place to begin?

Thanks :)


Figure out what you're doing by analysing the two battles. Are you contending that one battle was a success and the other a failure because of X reason?

Significant quote. Poignant connection to your topic and why it interested you (this is optional, purely stylistic, the part below is mandatory)
Then you should start with: The thesis is to argue that X was the reason that British Regiment Y won battle Z, but not battle A. In the course of this discussion, a variety of historical sources will be considered including, but not limited to, commentaries from Historians B and C, and detailed barrack reports D and E during the war.

After that, Topic sentence 1, evidence, analysis, subconclusion. And so on and so forth with the remaining paragraphs.

#16
Nathalia Avila

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Hi. Is this Research Question narrow enough?


¿How is quantum theory involved in the understanding of consciousness?

Im doing my EE in biology because its the only science subscribed to the ib on my school. Should I leave the question as it is, I still think is too short.

#17
kim luffy

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Hey there,
first of all, i don't even think that sounds like a biology topic. It's recommended that if one does an EE in biology, one has to carry out an experiment to test the validity of the RQ. Right now, i doubt your RQ has anything to do with biology in my opinion. Someone correct me if i'm wrong.

#18
Award Winning Boss

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Hi. Is this Research Question narrow enough?


¿How is quantum theory involved in the understanding of consciousness?

Im doing my EE in biology because its the only science subscribed to the ib on my school. Should I leave the question as it is, I still think is too short.


The boss agrees with Kim Luffy here.

This sounds more like a philosophy question that dabbles in physics. I doubt you'd score well using this question. So change it to something that you can conduct an experiment on.

#19
elizahvlediani

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Hi. I am doing my EE  on the topic of the recession in Belarus in 2008-2011 and particulary how did it affect the specific company. I am doing in it in Economis obviously.  Could anyone please tell me what should i start with?


Edited by elizahvlediani, Apr 15, 2013 - 18:02.


#20
The Rainbow Connection

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Hey all,

Just a question - Is a personal response necessary for the extended essay? I can't find it anywhere in the marking criteria, however few of the exemplers that I have read have had a paragraph dedicated to personal response. 

Thanks :)