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science extended essays format+ footnotes and references

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Hello,

I am doing my extended essay on Physics, and I have done a draft. My supervisor encouraged me to add subheadings under every heading( e.g. for introduction I could put specific subheading/s under such as "the structure of the gun"; or if my heading is"results", I could add subheadings such as "data collection" and "data analysis" in my essay to clarify things.) I took my supervisor's advice and did so; however some science teachers told me that I should avoid subheadings in order to make the essay flow better(They told me that if I do subheadings it will make the essay look like a lab report. But the thing is,it's a science essay, it's hard to make it not look like a lab report).

I don't know who I should listen to. I've looked up all the science EEs from the 50 excellent EE examples, some of the candidates had a lot of subheadings, some don't.

So, I'm confused; subheadings or no subheadings?

Also I have a problem with footnotes and references formatting; I don't know what the difference is. What I did was: I cited my sources throughout the essay and make them as footnotes; in the end I also did a bibliography that included all those cited sources.

My supervisor told me that footnotes should only be definitions or explanations of some terms, and that all my cited sources should just go to the bibliography. But he told me he wasn't really sure if I need to cite my sources in my footnotes(many of the essays that I have read cite sources in both footnotes and bibliography) .

Oh, please someone instruct me with your formatting expertise.

Thanks in advance!

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If some of the 50 Excellent EEs had them and some didn't, I don't think it matters - obviously you can score highly with or without them! On the plus side they will make your EE more organised (and if it helps, essay-based subjects get to have subheadings too :D ) and you might score more highly for structure, on the negative side.... I can't think of one. It's up to you as to what you think suits the style and format of your essay. Obviously you want it to be easy to follow and for the headings to reflect how you're building up your case/experiment so the examiner is satisfied it all progresses logically. If you think it can do that, go for it! If you feel headings are redundant and your essay progresses really well without them all (or with relatively few), do that instead. It seems to me there's no right and wrong.

As for footnoting, don't put a reference in twice. It seems like a little bit of overkill! I can only suggest what I did (and it worked) which is to footnote explanations and then stick all references in the bibliography, as your teacher suggests. Provided the references are easy to link up (e.g. if you use the Harvard system where you say things within your essay like "according to K. Smith (2004), physics is great..." and then at the end in your alphabetically organised bibliography list you have "Smith, K. (2004) The amazingness of Physics" and so on, it's all good. Basically your referencing just needs to be coherent, consistent and extant! :) Although I empathise (A LOT) with stressing about referencing, it's actually more a case of fulfilling the whole "I did not plagiarise without acknowledgement" thing than absolute technical correctness.

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If some of the 50 Excellent EEs had them and some didn't, I don't think it matters - obviously you can score highly with or without them! On the plus side they will make your EE more organised (and if it helps, essay-based subjects get to have subheadings too :) ) and you might score more highly for structure, on the negative side.... I can't think of one. It's up to you as to what you think suits the style and format of your essay. Obviously you want it to be easy to follow and for the headings to reflect how you're building up your case/experiment so the examiner is satisfied it all progresses logically. If you think it can do that, go for it! If you feel headings are redundant and your essay progresses really well without them all (or with relatively few), do that instead. It seems to me there's no right and wrong.

As for footnoting, don't put a reference in twice. It seems like a little bit of overkill! I can only suggest what I did (and it worked) which is to footnote explanations and then stick all references in the bibliography, as your teacher suggests. Provided the references are easy to link up (e.g. if you use the Harvard system where you say things within your essay like "according to K. Smith (2004), physics is great..." and then at the end in your alphabetically organised bibliography list you have "Smith, K. (2004) The amazingness of Physics" and so on, it's all good. Basically your referencing just needs to be coherent, consistent and extant! :D Although I empathise (A LOT) with stressing about referencing, it's actually more a case of fulfilling the whole "I did not plagiarise without acknowledgement" thing than absolute technical correctness.

Oh dear,

Thank you so so much. Some really helpful information there! :)

Well I am glad to know that I am not the only one struggling with referencing! There are just so many people telling me different ways of how I should do my referencing D:

One more thing though...If I cite my sources in the bibliography alphabetically, do I need to put those tiny subscript numbers next to the information from the sources? That is what you do with footnotes right? But how do you show which reference in the bibliography refers to what information in your essay?

Sorry if I am a little inarticulate, I am pretty much brain dead at the moment.

And thanks again

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<Insert anxious chuckle>

I've never seen a bibliography with the superscript numbers. I'm positive you don't put them in the bib [by the way, I've heard that "Bibliography" is for if you're only citing books and "Works Cited" is if you're citing different kinds of materials]. In Sandwich's wonderful example, you can see that by saying "according to K. Smith..." your grader will know which source you're referring to in the bibliography because there'll only be one Smith, K.

Also, from my footnoting experience [which is severely limited], you'd put the author and name of the resource in the footnote, and you'd put the whole citation in the bibliography, and I'd guess what you put exactly in the footnote varies by which system you're using. Some people even say that using "ibid" is okay while others caution you away from it.

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One more thing though...If I cite my sources in the bibliography alphabetically, do I need to put those tiny subscript numbers next to the information from the sources? That is what you do with footnotes right? But how do you show which reference in the bibliography refers to what information in your essay?

Nope, just put in the main passage of the essay enough identifying features (usually the name of the author(s) and the year of publication - very few people publish more than one thing in the same year, although even if they did you just have to make them distinguishable!) to make sure the author is clear and then you won't have to subscript, superscript or otherwise script anything! You show it simply through author name and date which the examiner will then find in your bibliography. If you keep mentioning or quoting somebody, unless you quote two different works by them it's totally permissible to just mention them by name the second time, as they'll only appear once in your bibliography for reference, if that makes sense. Basically just name and date them the first time you mention them and make sure your bibliography is complete :)

^^ aka more or less what sweetnsimple said! :D

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