This guide explains the process required to complete the IB Extended Essay - from the initial step of choosing a research topic, through effectively searching for information and organizing your sources to presenting your findings with accurate references and citations.
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What is the Extended Essay? How to Get Started - the Twelve-step Plan for Researching the EE IB Extended Essay Guide, first exams 2018
Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay
Need tips on how to get started? Follow these steps to get going on the research for your Extended Essay.
1. Choose an available Diploma Programme subject for the extended essay for the session in question.
2. Educate yourself. Read the following materials: the assessment criteria, relevant subject-specific chapter of the Extended Essay guide, the IB's ethical guidelines and other associated policies where relevant, such as those relating to animal experiments
3. Set up the Researcher's Reflective Space (RRS) and use this as the key planning and reflection tool for the extended essay process.
4. Choose a topic and undertake some background reading in it.
5. Formulate a preliminary research question. Try to incorporate an IB command term in the research question if possible.
6. Draw up an outline plan for the research and writing process. This should include a timeline.
7. Begin to identify how and where you will gather source material for your research.
8. Identify which system of academic referencing they will use, ensuring that this meets the minimum requirements for the IB.
9. Set deadlines for yourself that are realistic and take into consideration WSA's internal EE deadlines.
10. Plan a structure for the essay. This may change as the research develops but it is useful to have a sense of direction from the start.
11. Undertake some preparatory reading in light of the proposed research question. NOTE: If you discover that it will not be possible to obtain the evidence needed in the time available, the research question should be changed. This is better done sooner rather than later; do not lose time waiting and hoping that something will turn up. Go back to step 3, 2, or 1, and choose a new research question that can be answered.
12. Carry out the research. The material collected should be assembled in a logical order, linked to the structure of the essay and clearly focused on the research question posed. Only then will you know that you have enough evidence for each stage of the argument so that you can proceed to the next. You should be prepared for things to occasionally go wrong. Sometimes you may discover something later in the research that undermines what you thought had been established earlier. If that happens, your research plan needs to be revised.
A list of the steps necessary in order to carry out the research required for writing the IB Extended Essay - choosing the subject and topic, doing the required reading of IB rules and guidelines, writing the initial research question, and more.
What is the Extended Essay?
The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP).
It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
What is the significance of the extended essay?
The extended essay provides:
practical preparation for undergraduate research
an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of personal interest to them, which relates to one of the student's six DP subjects, or takes the interdisciplinary approach of a World Studies extended essay.
Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
formulating an appropriate research question
engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
developing an argument.
Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.
An extended essay can also be undertaken in world studies, where students carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, across two IB diploma disciplines.
How is study of the extended essay structured?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.
The IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.
The extended essay and interview can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.
How is the extended essay assessed?
All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 34.
The score a student receives relates to a band. The bands are:
A – work of an excellent standard.
B – work of a good standard.
C –work of a satisfactory standard.
D – work of a mediocre standard.
E – work of an elementary standard.
Students are evaluated on five criterion:
Criterion A – focus and method.
Criterion B – knowledge and understanding.
Criterion C – critical thinking.
Criterion D – presentation.
Criterion E – engagement.
However, when your supervisor marks your essay in order to arrive at a predicted grade, the grading will be based on the qualitative grade descriptors for the EE, not a translation of a number score into a letter grade.
A list of the qualitative grade descriptors for the Extended Essay, grades A through E. IB senior examiners will use these descriptors to set the boundaries (i.e., grade) the extended essay beginning in May 2018.