Ludwig S

EE Topic

It's time for me to decide my EE topic at my school now!!

I am strongly interested in science and math, but everyone else is saying it would be really hard to write a good EE on that.... And my teachers suggested me to write an EE about history... I don't know if it's a good idea to go for something easy but I have no interest in. What do you think? Which topic you think I should chose for my EE?

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I don't think History EE is necessarily easier. You should do something interesting to you in which you will have motivation to overcome any obstacles that can occur. I consider a math EE can allow very good control over the direction of the essay compared to a Group 4 EE. 

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I agree with @kw0573. History is definitely not an easy subject at all to write an EE in. The amount of research needed can easily exceed Group 4 and Group 5 EE's. In order to do well, you should choose a subject you're interested in (the) most. Doing something "easy" will not give you an A straight away - hard work, dedication (and luck, to an extent :P) will. If you like sciences and maths, do your EE in one of those. kw0573 has a point with maths being more controllable, but if you like doing experiments then go ahead with group 4. I personally chose chemistry and find the research and work much easier since I have genuine interest in the subject! 

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Your school is starting you off with EEs already? From what I can see, you are doing your exams in Nov. 2018, I only started mine a good 10-11 months into the IB. Regardless, I could say what I know from my experiences.

My school has a weird culture around EEs. In general, Natural Science EEs are quite rare, and Mathematics EEs are once a cohort (if that). For some reason, they are viewed as high effort-low reward exercises. Though, this might just be because we have so little students who elect to do EEs in these areas.  In contrast, English Literature, History and Psychology EEs are VERY common - because they are viewed as easier.  I have chosen English Literature for my EE because, on top of it being my favourite subject, I viewed it as an "easy A." Unfortunately, I'm already in a scenario where I can't back out of it, despite my strong desire to instead do Global Politics [which is a genuine passion of mine].

It could be perhaps understood that an average student is more likely to score A/B with a Humanities EE than a Natural Science/Maths EE.
However, do not let this stop you from choosing something you are actually passionate about. It sounds clichéd, but you are likely to invest time into something that's actually interesting to YOU. That is important when you have your IB1-IB2 summer break to write a lot of your EE, and motivation is scarce. 
 

NB: Despite what has been said previously, I would say that whilst History may require more research and time earlier on in the process, it becomes more difficult to produce a high quality 4000 words in Group 4/5 towards the end [from what I've heard].

Edited by aTeddy

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12 hours ago, aTeddy said:

NB: Despite what has been said previously, I would say that whilst History may require more research and time earlier on in the process, it becomes more difficult to produce a high quality 4000 words in Group 4/5 towards the end [from what I've heard].

Just a side note, math EEs do not have necessarily a lower word limit. You see many math EEs with 2000 words scoring quite well. I am going to explain why Group 4/5 EEs may be more difficult, in a bit.

A new EE guide is available for EEs to be graded in 2018 and later: 

Now I'm by no means good at literature. But in one assignment (a take-home key passage analysis), I knew what passage I was going to choose and exactly what I can do with it, and it was the only time I felt I could clearly articulate my point. That remains one of the highest marks I have gotten that class with a paper I spent only 3 hours on.

@Ludwig S So now the question is, is there a project you can almost see the end? My math EE topic was changed 3 months before it was due, to the practice math IA i wrote the previous year. Now it was a decent paper then but I was missing a core explanation. I did manage to find the piece of math, in a 1930's textbook with some effort. 

The primary reason which I think Group 4/5 EEs are difficult is that the background research you find may be critical, yet much higher than the level taught in class that it is incomprehensible. To some extent, it's more plausible that if you read another literature or history student's paper from undergraduate or even early graduate years, you can still understand much of the content. That is not true for Group 4/5. Thankfully the piece of math I was looking for was just some algebraic manipulation from a result known to me, but had that been some complex explanation arising out of group theory or number theory, I might not have been able to understand it or to even finish my EE cohesively. 

Edited by kw0573
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