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Extended Essay for Dummies - READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!

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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://tedibextendedessay.wikispaces.com/file/view/Extended+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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 :)

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Could you give me a brief outline on A French SL B extended essay? My research question is:

To what extent did the introduction Bohemian Culture posters affect the culture of Le Marais in France?


I will be writing it in french as well, and visiting the area needed to be researched. Please guide me through. How do I make an appendix?

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An appendix is really easy to do. Basically you can write any additional information you wish, such as definitions or any in-depth additional research that you carried out but must leave out because of the word limit. You put it after the bibliography. There should be a generic title "Appendices" and then small titles, one for each appendix with a small caption saying what the appendix is about (i.e. "Appendix 1 - The Internet". Then, in the middle of your essay you can simply place in brackets (See appendix 1), generally in italics and the examiner should check the back if they wish to obtain any more information.

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Hopefully this post can help me narrow done my topic ideas, and help me come up with a question. Which I desperately need at this time.

I am currently aiming to do my Extended Essay with a literature theme, and am currently between two novels. The Great Gatsby and 1984.

For these two novels, I have come up with some vague starting topics things, and I just would really appreciate some help with how to turn them into actual research questions.

First novel, The Great Gatsby:

-How did the novel The Great Gatsby, influence future generations?

-What role has The Great Gatsby played in society, since its publication?

Second novel, 1984

-Was the novel 1984, an accurate account for the possible outcomes of the future?

-What role has the novel 1984 played in politics today?

This is right now where I stand, and any little bits of help or advice would be very helpful.

~Thank You.

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Hopefully this post can help me narrow done my topic ideas, and help me come up with a question. Which I desperately need at this time.

I am currently aiming to do my Extended Essay with a literature theme, and am currently between two novels. The Great Gatsby and 1984.

For these two novels, I have come up with some vague starting topics things, and I just would really appreciate some help with how to turn them into actual research questions.

First novel, The Great Gatsby:

-How did the novel The Great Gatsby, influence future generations?

-What role has The Great Gatsby played in society, since its publication?

Second novel, 1984

-Was the novel 1984, an accurate account for the possible outcomes of the future?

-What role has the novel 1984 played in politics today?

This is right now where I stand, and any little bits of help or advice would be very helpful.

~Thank You.

All of these are bad, to be quite honest. With a literature EE, you're supposed to be exploring literary aspects of a novel or novels and showing what effects they have on a particular aspect of that novel. Talking about society, etc instead of literary elements as the main focus is a really easy way to not do well. You can still bring in a little bit about society if it's relevant to your argument, but you can't just ignore all the literary analysis you're required to do and say "1984 is like modern America today because of this this and this the end." You can still use these books if you'd like, but you need to explore something literary. Is there a particular aspect of the novels that you like? A theme you'd like to explore? If you find something in common between the two, you can even compare and contrast the two novels (although having read both of them, I'm not exactly sure what that'd be :P)

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Hopefully this post can help me narrow done my topic ideas, and help me come up with a question. Which I desperately need at this time.

I am currently aiming to do my Extended Essay with a literature theme, and am currently between two novels. The Great Gatsby and 1984.

For these two novels, I have come up with some vague starting topics things, and I just would really appreciate some help with how to turn them into actual research questions.

First novel, The Great Gatsby:

-How did the novel The Great Gatsby, influence future generations?

-What role has The Great Gatsby played in society, since its publication?

Second novel, 1984

-Was the novel 1984, an accurate account for the possible outcomes of the future?

-What role has the novel 1984 played in politics today?

This is right now where I stand, and any little bits of help or advice would be very helpful.

~Thank You.

All of these are bad, to be quite honest. With a literature EE, you're supposed to be exploring literary aspects of a novel or novels and showing what effects they have on a particular aspect of that novel. Talking about society, etc instead of literary elements as the main focus is a really easy way to not do well. You can still bring in a little bit about society if it's relevant to your argument, but you can't just ignore all the literary analysis you're required to do and say "1984 is like modern America today because of this this and this the end." You can still use these books if you'd like, but you need to explore something literary. Is there a particular aspect of the novels that you like? A theme you'd like to explore? If you find something in common between the two, you can even compare and contrast the two novels (although having read both of them, I'm not exactly sure what that'd be :P)

Thank you...I'll try to come up with a theme to focus on, and try that. I'll look into both.

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