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Psychology EE on Animal-Assisted Therapy

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Hey everyone. I'm pretty new to IBSurvival.

I'm doing my EE on the subject of psychology, and this is the question I came up with so far: "To what extend is Animal-Assisted Therapy effective?" I don't think that's the best topic, so I was hoping to get some help on how I can narrow it down. My advisor keeps telling me that my question will develop as I research. I just don't want to pick a bad topic, letting it snowball through and end up not getting a good grade.

AAT is defined as a type of therapy where an animal is incorporated to become a fundamental part of a person's treatment. It's used in a lot of aspects, the elderly, children with disabilities etc.

One thing I was wondering was if I should do it specifically on one aspect, like the elderly, but I'm afraid I might not be able to write enough on just use of AAT with the elderly.

Any suggestions? My soul is seriously dying over here because of this EE

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Well I think there's a lot to be said for what your advisor said. I spent ages agonising over my question - then I did my research and suddenly found I could frame my question around that :)

All your problems with whether you ought to focus it more, which bits you ought to explore etc. should solve themselves as you research it and come up with the substance of your essay - you'll want to make the most of good articles, statistics and explanations and you'll only know how much material there is available as and when you discover it. You may even end up targeting in on a specific animal as well as a specific group of people (my guess is that there's enough research in this area to end up doing that).

The final thing is to check, re-check and then check again on the subject specific guidelines for Psychology to make sure that your topic is following what they want to the letter. You'll find the guide is littered with things to keep you on track and give you a good idea of what to aim for -- for instance in Psychology essays they really want good analytical argument, so you should bear this in mind whilst doing your research that whatever you find should be mouldable into part of your argument. What you find may change how you want your argument/question to go! I know my question changed dramatically as I came across things I suddenly realised would make wonderful segments of my argument.

You may also wish to check out the 50 Excellent Extended Essays site (Google) for some official Psychology exemplars. Trust me when I say it's not worth A) the stress B) the time waste of worrying about the title and direction, those will at some point come to you, no matter how unlikely it seems now!!

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My subject is Psychology, and my topic is "To what extent is Animal-Assisted Therapy effective?"

I tried to do my introduction in a general narrowing to specific theme, so this is how my introduction is like:

I started with the history of animal and human relationships. Then I introduce what Animal-assisted therapy is. I then talk about the history of the usage of animals in therapy. I then state my research topic and I will soon revise it so that my thesis statement follows the topic statement. After that I talk a little bit about what research I will describe in the essay.

I got my EE draft back from my advisor, and over the introduction, he wrote How does this information strengthen your essay? Your thesis?

I was wondering whether the description that I made about my introduction is good for an EE introduction. I know that the introduction as stated on the rubric should state the context of the RQ and also why the topic is worthy of investigation.

My question is, when I asked my advisor if adding the history part was okay, he asked me whether I put history anywhere else in the essay, and I said no. I'm only using it as an introductory element. I was wondering if it is appropriate, or if it just seems like useless information. I intended the history of Animal Assisted Therapy to sort of be the "context" of my RQ and that the statement that AAT is gaining recognition as a therapeutic treatment as "why the topic is worthy of investigation".

Sorry about the lengthiness of this post(haha).

I'm also wondering how to frame my thesis statement so that it can clearly be pointed out as a thesis statement.

Thanks for all the help.

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When I was writing a draft of my history EE, I was a little weirded out. The thesis wasn't a tangible thing, per se. It was more like an immaterial thread that tied my essay together. I didn't exactly state it in my introduction. In the intro, I said what my readers needed to know about my topic that I wouldn't cover elsewhere, like what you did. I defined and clarified some terms I would be using, and I tried to explain the importance/significance of my EE by connecting it to the world we live in.

Your plan for your intro sounds fine with me. The history can't be useless if it helps the reader understand the progress in AAT. I agree. It does establish the significance of your topic. Also, you're equipping your reader with the tools to understand your EE in case you go into any AAT jargon.

As for your thesis, I'm not sure. IB makes you put your RQ in your abstract and intro. It seems counter-intuitive to have both a thesis and RQ. The closest I got to a thesis was several sentences that made up a pseudo-thesis. You know how often in the thesis, you give the answer to the question you're looking at and how you clearly state what you will be arguing? I changed it a little to stating that I would be arguing about causation between two things that I stated, but I didn't specify what the causation was exactly. Of course, I had already done the whole spoiler deal in my abstract, so it was much clearer there. I just tried to set my my intro 'thesis' as a hook, primarily.

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