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Help needed on Business Extended Essay title - Is determining whether or not the marketing of a product is ethical or not a viable question?

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Hi guys, I need some help. I had to switch from Physics to Business for my extended essay and I didn't have time to read the whole Guide before deciding on a subject. I settled on the question of To what extent is Football Boot (soccer cleat) Marketing Ethical?  My teacher thought it would be good and I have found many sources and written a lot so far.

However, I'm starting to become unsettled by some of the descriptions in the Business section of the 2018 Extended essay guide. They state that:

1) "The EE title must be stated in the form of a question that promotes the application of the higher order skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis, rather than encouraging a descriptive essay." I feel I am analysing, however at times it's hard to use business devices to do so...

2) "Students should remember that a business management essay must be written in an objective style without personal bias. Conclusions should be derived from the evidence and not based on any preconceptions of the student." I am using different examples of unethical marketing being sanctions to argue that football boot marketing should be punished, however, at the end of the day, it's a personal opinion or bias as to whether or not it's ethical or not...

My teacher is a very experienced IB Business Teacher, so I trust her and her judgment, but I do wanna be extra careful as this is a very important part of the IB.

All help appreciated. Many thanks!!

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I did something similar for my business IA, and my teacher approved of it. I think your question is perfectly valid and has a lot of potential, but there are some things I would watch out for.

1) Personal bias. I can see why this is unsettling you a bit since the EE guide says it should be unbiased, and you really need to watch out for this when you do your essay. Try to take into consideration other people's opinions rather than your own since ethics is defined as a moral code within a culture, region, etc. To try and minimize the impact of this you need to have balanced arguments (discuss ideas for and against your point).

2) Bias from your sources. Try and pick secondary sources that have very little bias and use facts to support their claims. I use https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ to verify what type of bias my sources use. In most cases you'd choose sources that are left-centre, least biased, right-centre, and pro-science. However since you're dealing with a topic that includes a lot of biases, I would just use least biased and pro-science sources (sometimes the slightly biased sources if they cite sources and don't use loaded language).

Good luck with your EE

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On 8/18/2017 at 0:32 PM, Lord of the Pickles said:

I did something similar for my business IA, and my teacher approved of it. I think your question is perfectly valid and has a lot of potential, but there are some things I would watch out for.

1) Personal bias. I can see why this is unsettling you a bit since the EE guide says it should be unbiased, and you really need to watch out for this when you do your essay. Try to take into consideration other people's opinions rather than your own since ethics is defined as a moral code within a culture, region, etc. To try and minimize the impact of this you need to have balanced arguments (discuss ideas for and against your point).

2) Bias from your sources. Try and pick secondary sources that have very little bias and use facts to support their claims. I use https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ to verify what type of bias my sources use. In most cases you'd choose sources that are left-centre, least biased, right-centre, and pro-science. However since you're dealing with a topic that includes a lot of biases, I would just use least biased and pro-science sources (sometimes the slightly biased sources if they cite sources and don't use loaded language).

Good luck with your EE

Hey thanks for the reply!! really appreciate it!

Very reassuring to hear it is recognised by the IB!! Thanks for the tip btw on the fact checker - it's a great source!!

Just out of interest what exactly was your question? If you know of any good sources I could use, that'd be extremely helpful!!

Anyway thanks again, I fell a lot better about it now. Good luck with your IB!! I know as much as you do - it's hard as hell!!

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On 8/21/2017 at 8:51 PM, _rjr17_ said:

Hey thanks for the reply!! really appreciate it!

Very reassuring to hear it is recognised by the IB!! Thanks for the tip btw on the fact checker - it's a great source!!

Just out of interest what exactly was your question? If you know of any good sources I could use, that'd be extremely helpful!!

Anyway thanks again, I fell a lot better about it now. Good luck with your IB!! I know as much as you do - it's hard as hell!!

I can't remember my exact question and I don't feel like digging it up lol but I think was looking at whether a company's practices were ethical. I used some legal documents and some company policies. I think I used it to see how its official practices compared against the law.

Everything else I did was pretty ugly, and I admit, I did only OK on this IA, so I know a bit on what NOT to do. They still haunt me to this day lol. My question was shallow despite exploring the same topic as you, and I used some very weak sources to try and show the general population's opinion (not the policies or legal stuff), when I should have looked at a bigger picture instead of a couple of biased sources. I can't remember much else off the top of my head but I remember using weak sources made me lose a lot of marks, and being a bit overdependent on sources made me lose analysis marks. Instead of balancing my points I turned completely towards my crappy sources as a measure of how ethical a company's practices were.

So legal sources can potentially be a good measure of ethics (although you should try not to assume that legal=ethical), as well as company policies or any hard proof of what companies do and try to achieve (instead of looking at a single promotion, ad, etc.). Probably the biggest challenge will be an effective way of measuring a region's moral view on topics.

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