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EE Film - RQ

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Hi:) I wanted to write an EE about whether acting can be considered as a form of art, using a person who is both actor and director as an example (I've chosen Woody Allen). But I have problem with formulating correct research question :/. I was hoping maybe someone from here would be able to help me.


Edited by nikkie

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Hey there!

First of all, please understand that we cannot give you a RQ, as it has to come from you only. Otherwise, that would be considered collusion, which is penalised quite heavily by the IBO. It is considered as academic malpractice, and could result in the loss of the IB Diploma.

There are a few steps you should follow in order to form a good research question.

1. You need to choose the subject in which you want to write your EE.

2. Figure out what kind of topic and general approach you want to adopt in your final essay. Apparently, you have come this far already.

3. Do some general research on the topic to make sure that you have a basic understanding of the topic. Do this even if you're sure you know the topic already, as there might be things you've missed or misunderstood, as well as other perspectives that you might not be aware of.

4. Make a hypothesis. For instance, let's say that you think that chocolate will cause brain tumours. That would be your hypothesis: 'Chocolate causes brain tumours.' Without finding and reading any sources for now, find some justification for your beliefs. Why do you believe that chocolate causes brain tumours? Include those justifications in your hypothesis. For instance, a (badly phrased) hypothesis can sound like this: 'My hypothesis is that chocolate causes brain tumours due to the increased levels of substance XYZ in the blood.'

5. Turn that hypothesis into a question. 'Does substance XYZ increase the risk of brain tumours if consumed?' This is merely a preliminary question that will allow you to do the first research, so it does not necessarily have to be a good EE research question just yet.

6. You need to do some extensive research on the topic, make sure that you understand the key aspects of the topic and its complexities. Make sure that your research is balanced, and not heavily biased towards one side (for instance by choosing to read only sources that think that acting is art or vice versa). At this point, you should also check whether or not the topic is allowed in the particular subject you've chosen. If it is not allowed, go back to step one and start anew. If you can't find enough sources, re-evaluate whether or not you want to, and, more importantly, can continue. If you decide there's too few sources for a 4000 words essay, first go back to step three and try to find a new hypothesis or another approach. If that fails, go back to step one and start anew.

7. As you've done a huge part of the research, re-evaluate your research question. Make it more analytical by, for instance, using words such as 'how' and 'to what extent.' Do you need to refocus your RQ, because you found some interesting information in the sources that you want to pursue? Feel free to do so, but make sure you're allowed to write on that topic and that you do some more research specifically dealing with the new topic.Basing yourself on the literature you've read, can you limit yourself to 4000 words? If others have written books on the topic already, consider narrow it down by focusing on a smaller part of the topic. For instance, if you've hypothetically decided to write your essay in history, and particularly on Stalin's role in Korean history, you would soon realise that this is too wide of a topic. To narrow it down, you could then choose a particular part of Korean history you find interesting, for instance the Korean War. 'What was Stalin's role in the Korean War?' This is still way too broad a topic, though, so you decide to focus only on a part of the Korean War, namely the Chinese intervention in October 1950. 'To what extent did Stalin force Mao into the Korean War?' Although you're not doing a history EE, I'm sure you see my point - focus on a smaller part of the topic. The narrower the RQ is, the more specific it is, and the better the essay is (though, of course, you need to be able to write 4000 relevant words on the topic).

8. You have now, hopefully, made a good RQ for your EE. Now's the time to do more research and start writing. Refocus your RQ in the process if necessary.

Good luck!

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Thank you so much! :) Finally I know how to start doing it, since my supervisor is not very helpful.

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