Jump to content

HIV (Strictly Research-Based) Biology Extended Essay

Recommended Posts

Hi IBSurvival Forum! 

As I am approaching my analysis portion of my research-based extended essay, I would be delighted to get some feeback on analysis I have planned and subsequent conclusion. Before I go into the main point of this post, my stubborn foolishness led me to stick to a Bio EE, and I would just like to say it is immensely difficult to write a biology extended essay that meets the IB requirement to a high standard. 

My supervisor happened to be the EE coordinator as well as my biology teacher and the essays she had supervised previously were all research-based essays. Out of the 13 she supervised, 5 got As and 4 got Bs. Hence, in her experiences, if a student had an above average aptitude in the biological sciences and were genuinely interested in the topic they were writing about, a research-based essay can succeed contrary to the popular belief. 

So my current topic is on the gene regulation in HIV proviral latencies, in specifics the epigenetic control of HIV genes. I am planning to compare two different epigenetic mechanisms (histone modification and DNA methylation) that have been hypothesized and shown to happen by different virologists and researchers, and, evaluate the effectiveness of each in gene silencing and activation using content from the Biology curriculum + additional knowledge. Finally, I would relate this back to HIV and whether one is indeed more effective than the other in the context of HIV latencies.

Could I get any general feedback on this idea? 

Thank you in advance for any replies. ^.^ 

P.S. If you feel this is too brief, I would gladly PM or email the rest of what I have planned out.

Edited by connect2049

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there!

I think it is a good topic.

You already seem to know that it is said that a research-based science essay tends to get lower grades - I want to clarify though, this is not just an unjustified popular belief, it is expicitely mentioned in the IB EE Guide that Biology is an experimental science and hence it is strongly recommended to do an experiment. 

However, you can definitely get an A doing a science EE just based on research. You only have to make sure you analyze, make links and get your own conclusions, they hate ´copy and paste´kind of paragraphs or people just reading and typing information (even if it's been collected from different sources and synthesized). You can research about the different methods for controlling the HIV genes but then YOU have to be the one deciding which one is best and give reasons for it and be able to really really analyze everything you are saying. 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/5/2016 at 12:31 PM, connect2049 said:

Hi IBSurvival Forum! 

As I am approaching my analysis portion of my research-based extended essay, I would be delighted to get some feeback on analysis I have planned and subsequent conclusion. Before I go into the main point of this post, my stubborn foolishness led me to stick to a Bio EE, and I would just like to say it is immensely difficult to write a biology extended essay that meets the IB requirement to a high standard. 

My supervisor happened to be the EE coordinator as well as my biology teacher and the essays she had supervised previously were all research-based essays. Out of the 13 she supervised, 5 got As and 4 got Bs. Hence, in her experiences, if a student had an above average aptitude in the biological sciences and were genuinely interested in the topic they were writing about, a research-based essay can succeed contrary to the popular belief. 

So my current topic is on the gene regulation in HIV proviral latencies, in specifics the epigenetic control of HIV genes. I am planning to compare two different epigenetic mechanisms (histone modification and DNA methylation) that have been hypothesized and shown to happen by different virologists and researchers, and, evaluate the effectiveness of each in gene silencing and activation using content from the Biology curriculum + additional knowledge. Finally, I would relate this back to HIV and whether one is indeed more effective than the other in the context of HIV latencies.

Could I get any general feedback on this idea? 

Thank you in advance for any replies. ^.^ 

P.S. If you feel this is too brief, I would gladly PM or email the rest of what I have planned out.

Hi! I'd be interested to know how you got on, because, I too, am planning on doing a research based essay.

All the best

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth (and I have no idea how the OP did in his essay), for the sciences, to score maximum marks you ideally need to organise your own experiment and do something practical. It's extremely unlikely you will get a good mark if you have not done your own experiment because of the criteria. If your topic is outside the range of what you can experiment on, I would suggest it is not a good topic. If you're just a school student without access to specialised equipment etc for the purposes you require, I strongly advise not pursing this further and either switching topic to something you CAN experiment on, or switching away from Biology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Sandwich said:

For what it's worth (and I have no idea how the OP did in his essay), for the sciences, to score maximum marks you ideally need to organise your own experiment and do something practical. It's extremely unlikely you will get a good mark if you have not done your own experiment because of the criteria. If your topic is outside the range of what you can experiment on, I would suggest it is not a good topic. If you're just a school student without access to specialised equipment etc for the purposes you require, I strongly advise not pursing this further and either switching topic to something you CAN experiment on, or switching away from Biology.

Hi,

So...the problem I'm in is that schools worldwide have closed down due to the current pandemic, and I was previously planning to undertake a research based essay, but if I can't utilise the school laboratory I'll have to pursue other options. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Epistrophe said:

Hi,

 

 

So...the problem I'm in is that schools worldwide have closed down due to the current pandemic, and I was previously planning to undertake a research based essay, but if I can't utilise the school laboratory I'll have to pursue other options. 

I'm in the same situation basically. I think there is no need to worry really as you can do your experiment at the beginning of the next school year when schools will be probably open again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Epistrophe said:

Hi,

So...the problem I'm in is that schools worldwide have closed down due to the current pandemic, and I was previously planning to undertake a research based essay, but if I can't utilise the school laboratory I'll have to pursue other options. 

I totally understand, it's a difficult (and unprecedented!) situation. However my advice still stands that you're less likely to score well if you're not doing an experiment, because the criteria against which they mark are geared towards rewarding experiments and not review essays - even if it's not your fault at all that you can't do one! All the examples in the 50 Excellent Extended Essays series for Biology include experiments.

I would either delay until you're able to perform an experiment (schools will eventually re-open) - or if you want to use this time wisely and crack on with an EE now, perhaps a subject other than Biology would be better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2020 at 10:57 AM, Epistrophe said:

Hi! I'd be interested to know how you got on, because, I too, am planning on doing a research based essay.

All the best

Oh wow, I just saw the email that notified me on being tagged. Since I was sort of late on replying, the administrator provided a great response regarding the approach towards your EE. Officially, my stance is the same as the administrator's; you should be performing an experiment for a group 4 EE as it is recommended by IB as well. This is something I told my underclassmen as well when they were starting to write their essays as well.

Now, since you also asked me how I did: looking at my final EE grade only, I did fantastic. However, the process was absolutely grueling.
- I found it very difficult to find an original analytical approach to the area I was interested (which was virology --> latency) .  My in-school deadline was the end of May of 2016 and if you look at my post, I only found a topic I truly liked by the start of May. This was because my advisor wanted me to do what I wanted, but we couldn't decide on the actual topic. 
- You also have to make sure there are enough resources in your decided topic/area-of-interest. Then if you find that there is enough, you have to sift through the journals and papers to find the actual information that backs up your topic. This part of the process is also complicated by the fact published papers are for professionals in the field; meaning, it takes time to read and understand the results (although, I assume that this might depend on which area of biology you are interested in; the topic I researched required knowledge of chemistry since it was microbiology). 
- When you start writing, it is incredibly easy for an intended analytical research paper to become a narrative essay. It is hard to stay on topic when the experiment designed specifically for your topic doesn't exist. This was something my advisor was worried about since she felt there wasn't enough analysis and a big reason why she predicted me a high C/low B on my EE.

In the end, it's up to you. However, even without the added difficulties of writing a research-based paper, a group 4 EE in general is very difficult to execute correctly in my opinion. In that case, I tentatively offer the same advice as the administrator's above: pick another subject. If that's not an option for you then here is my final thought on the matter: 
If I were to redo my EE without knowing what grade I was going to get, then I would still pick the same area of interest and write the research-based essay. It was absolutely miserable (mostly a product of my own selfishness) but I still learned a lot from it both academically and personally. However, if the end goal is a high grade on the EE, then I suggest you don't gamble with your grades and choose another subject.

*I attached my results since you were wondering about it

**Oh, and I was a Nov 16 examinee, I just scuffed the year when I first signed up and forgot to change it...

Capture 1.PNG

Edited by connect2049

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...