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Questions on my EE in Chemistry

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I'm really confused as to what exactly should be the purpose, or aim, of my chemistry extended essay, and how to structure it.  My supervisor says that it should be something that's "almost new", i.e. something that hasn't really been done before by a lot of people (or something like that), which makes sense to me, as the EE guide does say something similar.  He also says that it should focus on the learning process, and that it shouldn't really be structured like an IA, with the aim, hypothesis, data analysis and whatnot, and instead be structured like a sort of mini-paper.  However, the exemplar EE I have is structured quite similarly to an IA, with a lot of graphs, data analysis, and discussion.  

It's the first time that anybody at my school has done a science EE, and the last time someone tried an EE in a new subject (math) it didn't really go that well, so I'm kind of worried.  Can anyone just give me some advice on how exactly to structure my EE?  Is it really that different from an IA, or should I structure it similarly?  Should I be attempting to come to a significant conclusion, in that I shouldn't just blame everything on bad equipment and say that results are inconclusive?  

Also, I did do quite a bit of testing before conducting my actual experiment, and I'm wondering if I should mention this.  

Edited by SC2Player

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I'm quite surprised you're expected to do something almost completely new - I've actually been told almost the opposite. My supervisor said it's more about the development and the thought process behind the experiment (why you're doing it, what's the possible significance of the results, how you would change it now that you've completed the trials etc) is more important that the experiment itself - and let's face it, at a high-school level it's hard to do something revolutionary... Of course, the idea should probably be something innovative (as in, the approach to an issue), but not something overly complicated.

 

I agree that it shouldn't be like an IA - you have to show your personal interest and how you developed the idea. An IA is kind of "I like this so I did it because it's fun" - this won't cut it for an EE.

Im sure you will find more examples of good EEs online (50 Excellent Extended Essays) to see how they have been structured. 

Your results *don't* have to be conclusive. It's more about how you analyse your results that matters (I'm talking about the 2018 EE reform, but I'm assuming it's the same for the previous years as well. If not, sorry!).

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8 hours ago, SC2Player said:

I'm really confused as to what exactly should be the purpose, or aim, of my chemistry extended essay, and how to structure it.  My supervisor says that it should be something that's "almost new", i.e. something that hasn't really been done before by a lot of people (or something like that), which makes sense to me, as the EE guide does say something similar.  He also says that it should focus on the learning process, and that it shouldn't really be structured like an IA, with the aim, hypothesis, data analysis and whatnot, and instead be structured like a sort of mini-paper.  However, the exemplar EE I have is structured quite similarly to an IA, with a lot of graphs, data analysis, and discussion.  

 

3 hours ago, mac117 said:

I agree that it shouldn't be like an IA - you have to show your personal interest and how you developed the idea. An IA is kind of "I like this so I did it because it's fun" - this won't cut it for an EE.

Most research papers still have introduction, experimentals, analysis, and conclusion. "I did it because it's fun" is only because personal engagement in IA is 2 marks out of 20 and you are almost always getting at least 1 mark. In the EE you are expected to showcase how you developed the topic and experiment, which is just longer introduction (including background research/literature), but not necessarily a whole different format.

8 hours ago, SC2Player said:

Should I be attempting to come to a significant conclusion, in that I shouldn't just blame everything on bad equipment and say that results are inconclusive?  

These are two separate questions. Yes you should design an experiment that allows reasonably significant conclusion. You would rather describe a conclusion and go into why the conclusion is very uncertain, than not give a conclusion. Blame everything on bad equipment is not a good reason in the IA anyways; you should comprehensively evaluate sources of random and systemic errors. 

Edited by kw0573
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