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The Extended Essay. What is it? And why should I care?. The Extended Essay is a requirement of the diploma program. A piece of independent research. Independent you have control & are responsible for getting it done Self-directed

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the extended essay

The Extended Essay

What is it?

And why should I care?

a piece of independent research
A piece of independent research
  • Independent
    • you have control & are responsible for getting it done
  • Self-directed
    • You decide what you want to write about & how you’re going to conduct & organize your research
  • 4000 words in length
  • Places strong emphasis on the research process
ib requirements
IB Requirements
  • Over the course of the two-year programme, students:
    • study six subjects chosen from the six subject groups
    • complete an extended essay (EE)
    • follow a theory of knowledge course (TOK)
    • participate in creativity, action, service (CAS).
nature of the learner profile
Nature of the Learner Profile
  • The IB learner profile is the IBO mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century.
ib learners strive to be
IB Learners Strive to be…

Aim of all IB programmes

Internationally Minded

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective
the ee demonstrates that you
The EE demonstrates that you:
  • are an inquirer;
  • have become more knowledgeable about your subject thru’ research and self directed inquiry;
  • can think critically about your material and not just regurgitate information;
  • Are able to communicate your ideas clearly & with confidence in a way that is 0pen-minded, balanced and reflective;
  • Can be an intellectual risk taker;
  • Can act in a principled manner by giving credit to all sources used;
  • Can demonstrate a caring attitude by treating anyone involved in your study with dignity, empathy and respect (this includes your mentor).
emphasis is placed on the research process
Emphasis is placed on the Research Process
  • Choose a topic (no later than June th)
  • Formulate the research question
  • Plan the investigation & writing process
  • Plan a research structure (outline)
  • Undertake some preparatory reading
  • Carry out the investigation (May – Nov.,2014)
ib requirements1
IB Requirements
  • Participation in this process develops the capacity to:
    • analyze
    • synthesize, and
    • evaluate knowledge.
    • Students are supported throughout the process with advice and guidance from a supervisor (a teacher at GFSS).
what does this mean
What does this mean?
  • If you fail to submit a TOK essay, or fail to give a TOK presentation, you are given N for TOK.
  • Failing condition*: An E in either TOK or the EE is a failing condition. However, provided that your total diploma score is 28 or more, you can carry one failing condition and still be awarded the diploma. Nevertheless, having a failing condition puts your diploma at risk (if you get 24-27 points, or if you have another failing condition).
  • An N in any subject, including TOK, means you will not be awarded a diploma.
choosing a supervisor mentor
Choosing a Supervisor/Mentor
  • Must be a teacher at GFSS
  • Should be a teacher with whom you can work effectively
  • Remember, teachers are not required to supervise an extended essay
  • Teachers normally only supervise 3 – 4 students so don’t procrastinate (you can begin asking on May 8)
supervisor mentor you may begin your search on tues may 28 not before
Supervisor/Mentor (you may begin your search on Tues., May 28 – not before)
  • The extended essay supervisor has a few principal responsibilities:
    • Provides advice & guidance in the skills of undertaking research
    • Encourages & supports the student throughout the writing of the EE
    • Helps you decide on and refine your research question
    • Ok’s the final research question
    • Knows the regulations governing the EE & the assessment criteria
    • Reads & comments on first draft only – does not edit the draft
    • Monitors the progress
    • Submits a predicted grade
    • Completes the supervisor's report
viva voce mandatory
Viva Voce (mandatory)
  • The Viva Voce is a short interview (about 10 min) between the student and the supervisor
  • theconclusion of the EE process
  • Students who fail to attend the Viva Voce must realize that a comment to this effect may appear on the coversheet of the EE and may be disadvantaged.
structure of the extended essay
Structure of the Extended Essay

A common assessment rubric has been established

read it carefully
Read it carefully ...

“It was really helpful when my supervisor handed me a copy of the assessment criteria from the guide, but I just wish it could have been easier to understand.”

and understand it
And understand it!
  • 11 assessment criteria
  • the level your work has reached is determined separately against each of these by the examiner
  • Each criterion is judged on its own merit
  • There may be some ‘knock on’ cumulative effect
  • Each assessment statement has a stem which explain what is being assessed, followed by descriptors that state the qualities that should be demonstrated to reach a certain achievement level
  • Subject choice plays a role in each level
assessment rubric
Assessment Rubric
  • A -- Research Question (2)
  • B -- Introduction (2)
  • C -- Investigation (4)
  • D -- Knowledge and Understanding of the topic studied (4)
  • E – Reasoned Argument (4)
assessment rubric cont d
Assessment Rubric, cont’d.
  • F – Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject (4)
  • G – Use of Language appropriate to the subject (4)
  • H -- Conclusion (2)
  • I – Formal Presentation (4)
  • J -- Abstract (2)
  • K – Holistic Judgment (4)
student responsibilities
Student Responsibilities
  • It is required that students:
    • Choose an appropriate topic
    • Observe the regulations relating to the EE
    • Meet internal school deadlines
      • May 28th– June 4th : topic meeting date with your teacher supervisor sign up on Ms. Habib’s office door
      • May 28th : begin searching for a teacher supervisor
      • May 28 – June 3: individual conferences for topic approval & mentor verification with your mentor
      • Mon., June 2: Contract for Supervision of EE & Final Topic Confirmation to Mrs. Marsh in the Library (go to website or EE Guide for necessary forms)
    • Attend the UTM Research Workshops on June 5 or 6
student responsibilities1
Student Responsibilities
  • It is strongly recommended that students:
    • Start early (sign in to the library every day after your exams are completed)
    • Think carefully about the research questions
    • Plan how, when & where you will find the research material
    • Plan a schedule for researching and writing the essay
    • Record all sources accurately
    • Have a clear structure for the essay before beginning to write
    • Check & proofread the final version carefully
    • Treat your supervisor appropriately according to IBO guidelines (start hunting for a mentor on Tues., May 8th and not a minute before)
    • Go to our school website for direction (under IB; Extended Essay) or consult the EE Guide
choice of topic
You must honor the deadlines:

Sign up sheets for topic conference meeting dates on Ms. Habib’s office door

Attend your individual conference for final topic approval & mentor verification during the month of May

June 2 – you must have your topic and mentor in place

June 2 - Submit Contract for Supervision of EE & Final Topic Confirmation (on website & in EE Guide) to Mrs. Marsh in the Library

Have your topic in mind for the UTM field trip

Submit your first rough draft on Tuesday, Sept. 2

Submit final copy of essay to on Mon., Dec. 8

Absolute Deadline:

Monday, January 12that 3 p.m. in the library

Choice of Topic
deciding on your topic
Deciding on your topic
  • Your supervisor may help you:
    • Ensure that the chosen research question is appropriate for the subject
    • Advise you on:
      • Access to appropriate resources
      • Techniques of information, evidence , data gathering, and analysis
      • Writing an abstract
      • Documenting sources
try to find an interesting topic
Try to find an interesting topic:

Interest can stem from a wide range of experiences:

  • A book, newspaper article, magazine piece that interested you
  • An author, historical figure, performer who inspires you
  • A website that looks intriguing
  • A film, musical performance or play that captivated you
  • An experiment that captured your imagination
  • A natural phenomenon that you’d like to know more about
  • An idea that you heard in class that you’d like to explore further
  • A TOK topic that fascinated you
  • An issue or problem in the local community that irks you
  • A significant event in your own life or in the life of your ancestors
consider the following
Consider the following:
  • A research topic and question will not appear out of nowhere; you have to find it
  • Spending a lot of time on this step is not a waste of time
  • Make sure it falls within a recognized IB subject
  • Make sure a supervisor is available for this topic
  • Make sure there is information available to research
  • Consider all safety & ethical issues beforehand
establishing the research question
Establishing the Research Question
  • Consult your supervisor because he/she is the subject specialist
  • Know exactly what it is you want to write about
  • Follow these steps:
    • Decide on your subject
    • Decide on a topic within this subject
    • Explore and then develop some possible research questions relating to this topic
    • Show them to your supervisor
    • Decide on the most suitable one
english a1
English A1
  • An opportunity to explore a writer or topic that excites or absorbs you
  • Do not choose a work that is studied in class
  • Conduct an in-depth literary topic
  • Engage in independent literary criticism and only include some establish critical comment if necessary
  • Literary works often address philosophical, political or social questions, so the major focus of the essay should be the literary treatment of such questions
  • The literary work should not be treated simply as documentary evidence in a discussion of philosophical, political or social issues
  • Always consider how the texts work as literature, dealing with aspects such as the effects they achieve, the devices they use, and the way they are written
biology living organisms life processes
Biology (living organisms & life processes)
  • Your chance to actually be a biologist ; you will actually do some science
  • As an independent researcher you should start with your own idea
  • You have a chance to find out about living organism and investigating them first hand
  • Where? In your garden, on school grounds, your kitchen, under a stone ...
  • Observe the diversity of life forms around you and they way they change in the environment
  • You must incorporate biological theory and emphasize the essential nature of this subject
  • Can be based on data collected by student thru’ experimentation, survey, observations, fieldwork OR on data/information obtained from literature from a primary source that is manipulated or analyzed in an original way
  • Most biology EEs that conduct the second kind of research tend to do poorly because students tend to simply restate facts or date taken directly from the original source and are of little value
  • Provides an opportunity to investigate a particular aspect of the materials of our environment
  • Chemistry is the science that deals with the composition, characterization and transformation of substances
  • Should incorporate chemical principles and theory, and emphasize the essential nature of chemistry, relating to the study of matter and of the changes it undergoes.
  • This EE must be characterized by a particular chemical emphasis within a more general set of research criteria
  • Outcome of the research must be a coherent and structured piece of writing that effectively addresses a particular issue or research question and arrives at a particular, and preferably personal, conclusion.
  • Choose a topic which to which you can actually apply some economic theory; use a theory you’ve learned about in class
  • Don’t summarize other people’s views
  • You must undertake in-depth research in an area of personal interest
  • Apply economic theory to real world situations
  • You may carry out original research on a topic within any of the syllabus sections in the current Economics guide
  • An EE in microeconomics gives you the ability to carry out primary research in the form of surveys, questionnaires, or interviews
  • Analyze and evaluate the outcomes of your research
  • Outcome of the research should be a coherent and structured analytical essay that effectively addresses the particular research question
  • A good history essay has to be well research and well organized
  • Anything that has happened within the last 10 years is not considered history
  • This means looking for and reading a lot of sources
  • Keep a list of all sources you find
  • Do not summarize general secondary sources
  • Primary sources are the key
  • Use primary and secondary sources in order to establish and apprais varying interpretation
  • Analyze sources in order to explain changing views over time of particular happenings or developments
  • Collect and analyze oral and written data
  • Note cards are essential
  • NoodleTools is the way to go here (see Ms. Ludin for further information)
  • An opportunity to investigate a mathematical idea or application that you’ve found intriguing
  • A mathematics EE means doing math as well as discussing it
  • You can do one of the following:
    • The applicability of math to solve both real and abstract problems
    • The beauty of math as in, for instance, geometry or fractal theory
    • The elegance of math in the proving of theorems
    • The origin and subsequent development of a branch of math over time
    • The link between different branches of math
    • The way a branch of math has been born, or flourished, as a result of technology
  • Real music should be at the heart of this EE
  • Particular pieces of music, experienced via recordings, live performances or concerts
  • You should strive for a coherent verbal anaylysis and interpretation of one or more pieces of music in relation to the research question
  • Choose from a variety of different interests:
    • Something in the DP music course
    • Local performances or concerts
    • Musical cultures that you have encountered that is not your own
    • Personal contact with composers and/or performers
    • Direct involvement in actually making music
    • Recordings
    • Music on the internet, or downloaded from it
  • The best opportunity to attempt to exercise and master the basic but fundamental skills implied in a scientific investigation
  • Must take the form of a research paper involving a hypothesis or model, or a critical analysis, that demonstrates argumentation, comparison, or the extraction of relevant information or data
  • Must have a basis in physical theory and emphasize the essential nature of the subject
  • Student must be personally involved with the subject matter and not simply an informant
  • Avoid topics that go beyond the scope of conventional science, like metaphysics or psedo-science
  • Consult scientific magazines to attempt to answer your own research question
  • Collection of data is extremely important
  • The investigation must lead to a conclusion that can be drawn naturally from that data
  • Investigate a narrow part of a topic within a given context and report the findings
  • This subject is defined as “the systematic study of behaviour and experience”
  • Most important thing is to clearly define your research question so that it is possible to write an essay within the word limit
  • Avoid “pop psychology” or “self help” topics
  • A good research question in Psychology is one that promotes discussion or analysis of a problem and not merely a description
  • Find appropriate literature by talking to your supervisor
  • Refer to relevant psychology concepts, theories and studies throughout the EE
  • Try to see how you can apply psychological theories and use empirical research done by psychologists to answer your research question
  • Base your argument on existing research – you are not supposed to collect date yourself for an EE in Psychology
visual arts
Visual Arts
  • Art is a form of expression so focus on this concept
  • What drives one to create? What inspires? How does art fit into society?
  • Illustrate your thoughts and findings with images—visual arts are visual!
  • Be sure to source all images and reference materials & refer to artists correctly
  • Be passionate about your topic
  • Research may be generated or inspired by your direct experience of artwork, craftwork or design, or interest in the work of a particular artist
  • Personal contact with artists, curators and so on is strongly encouraged
  • Absolute reliance on textbooks and the internet is discouraged
  • You must include visual references
world studies
World Studies
  • An in-depth, interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance
  • The interdisciplinary essay is different from the other subject areas in that students have the opportunity to advance the students’ global consciousness, which encompasses
    • Global sensititivity
    • Global understanding
    • Global self
  • Students should choose to explore a topic from one of the following global themes:
    • Language, culture and identity
    • Science, technology and society
    • Equality and inequality
    • Conflict, peace and security
    • Economic and/or environmental sustainability
    • Health and development
time management
Time Management
  • Recommended: 40 hours in total
  • Work done outside of regular class time
  • Attendance at Library Workshops count towards final hours
  • Consultation Sessions with supervisor
  • Internal Deadlines established by supervisor
  • Final Deadline: Monday, January 12, 2015
glenforest ee website
Glenforest EE Website
  • Go to the GFSS Extended Essay webpage to find all of the information and forms needed to complete the EE.
  • Seriously, everything you need is right there
how to write a 4000 word ee
How to Write a 4000 word EE...
  • Attend the Research Skills Workshop at UTM on Thurs., June 5th or Fri., June 6th.
  • If your last name begins with:
    • A to Lau – you will go to UTM on June 5
    • Lee to Zhou – you will go to UTM on June 6
  • Look at exemplars (on website)
  • Consult the EE Guide
  • Work on research during your free time
  • Ask for help if you need it 
please remember
Please remember ....
  • Math & Sciences: APA
  • Environmental Sciences: APA
  • Economics: APA
  • Psychology: APA
  • English, Art, French, Music, Film, Dance: MLA
  • History/Politics: Chicago (footnotes)

“A consistent structure will protect the students from being penalized.”

create a clear argument
Create a Clear Argument
  • Make sure you :
    • Take a position (an argument – How? Why?)
    • Present evidence
    • Draw a conclusion

“If the arguments aren’t convincing and/or there are gaps in knowledge, there is room for an alternative interpretation and the student will be penalized.”

demonstrate a good command of the english language
Demonstrate a good command of the English language:
  • Subject specific language (syntax)
  • Diction, word choice
  • Are the words used correctly? (affect vs. effect)
  • No contractions
  • Avoid passive voice & first person (except for Art)
  • Abstract can have first person
  • Definitions whenever necessary

“Communication is vital: the little things are the things that are going to radically affect the grade.”

  • Have a plan (see school website)
    • Paragraph 1: R.Q. stated; explain what questions were answered
    • Paragraph 2: approach and scope: what method was used?
    • Paragraph 3: what conclusions did you reach?
  • Know the criteria (school website)
  • Edit carefully (not the mentor’s job)
definition of malpractice
Definition of Malpractice
  • Plagiarism
    • The representation of ideas or work of another person as the candidates own
  • Collusion
    • Supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another
definition of malpractice1
Definition of Malpractice
  • Duplication of work
    • The presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements
  • Any other Behaviour
    • Which gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or which affects the results of another candidate
research writing
Research & Writing

Tackle the EE by breaking it down into small parts.

the research and writing process
The Research and Writing Process
  • The success of an extended essay is shaped largely during the preparatory stages.
the research and writing process1
The Research and Writing Process
  • The iceberg analogy illustrates clearly the importance of the analysis/research/experimentation that underpins the completed essay.
the research and writing process2
The Research and Writing Process
  • Since the initial work is so crucial, consider following the steps in preparing the extended essay.
  • Pick your favorite thing to do outside of class; pick your favorite class in school = research question
  • Provide a concise title that clearly indicates the focus of the essay.
  • Do not use your research question or hypothesis as your title.
  • An abstract is not an introduction, although there is some overlap. (250 to 300 words)
  • An abstract is a synopsis of the essay.
  • It also sets the tone of the essay.
table of contents
Table of Contents
  • The contents page outlines the main sections with corresponding page numbers.
  • It also indicates the structure of the essay.
  • Although not listed as a criterion of assessment, an introduction is an important component of an extended essay.
body development
Body & Development
  • This is the longest and most important section.
  • Remember that last impressions are lasting impressions.
  • Use quotations judiciously and integrate them smoothly into the text of the essay.
  • Organization enhances the clarity of your thesis.
  • Write your essay in a style that is clear and smooth and in a tone that is formal and scholarly.
subheadings chapters
  • Longer essays in certain subjects, like the sciences, might require section headings.
  • Whether you are citing a quotation, an idea, an illustration or Internet information, you must document the source.
  • The most successful essays are in the 3,200 – 3,800 word range. [4000 maximum]
formal presentation
Formal Presentation
  • Proofread your essay meticulously from the title page to bibliography.
  • All material placed in the appendix must be directly relevant to your thesis.
  • The computer is simply a tool and its effectiveness as a tool is determined by how you use it.


  • Over Selected Books
    • 1984
    • Harry Potter
    • Wuthering Heights
    • Lord of the Rings
    • To Kill a Mockingbird
    • The Handmaid’s Tale
    • The Grapes of Wrath
    • The Great Gatsby
    • Frankenstein
    • David Copperfield
    • Robinson Crusoe
    • Pride & Prejudice
    • Jane Eyre
    • Heart of Darkness
    • Moby Dick
  • Selecting a Topic with limited resources in the English language
    • Mozambique Independence
      • Portuguese, Swahili, Makhuwa
  • Selecting a Topic not studied in class
    • New Zealand Aboriginal History
      • Maori voting rights
  • Selecting a Topic without creditable historians
    • Website resources only
      • Wikipedia not an acceptable source
scope of the investigation
Scope of the Investigation:
  • Biology
    • Experiments
      • Simplistic
        • Bean Plants
      • Complex
        • Genetics
  • Art
    • Descriptive not analytical
  • English
    • Ensure that the scope is NOT too narrow
  • Economics
    • Did not address a specific regional issue
  • History
    • Ensure that the topic merits study
research question
Research Question
  • English
    • A research question that is too narrow or too obvious will normally be deemed to be one that does not lend itself to systematic investigation
  • Chemistry
    • It is reasonable to formulate the research question as a statement or as a hypothesis rather than an actual question.
  • Biology
    • A broad statement of the topic of the essay or a statement of the hypothesis is not sufficient on its own to meet the requirements
  • Economics
    • The question should not be trivial, nor should the answer to the question be patently obvious. It should not be a “double-barrelled” question with two parts or a “yes/no” question.
reasoned argument
Reasoned Argument
  • English
    • Avoid descriptions of a literary text through plot summary or narration
  • Biology
    • Essays that attempt to deal with a large number of variables are unlikely to be focused and coherent
  • Politics
    • Seek to achieve a balance, by presenting conflicting views in an impartial way before reaching a conclusion
  • History
    • Personal views should not simply be stated but need to be supported by reasoned argument based on specific details
  • Philosophy
    • Developing a philosophical argument must be clearly distinguished from simply describing or narrating a series of theories or opinions
  • Criteria F -- Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject
    • Scientific Skills
      • Analysis of Data (biology)
      • Experimental Design (chemistry)
      • show an understanding of the statistics and mathematical relationships (physics)
    • Literary Skills – Themes and Literary Devices
    • Economics need for Theories and Concepts
    • Historiography (refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic )
    • ITGS -- social and ethical impacts required
And ...
  • G – Language appropriate to the subject
    • Clarity and precision of communication in an English essay includes the correct use of language.
    • Biology need to show a mastery of, and fluency in, the use of appropriate terminology.
    • Relevant chemical formulas (including structural formulas), balanced equations(including state symbols) and mechanisms should be included.
    • Computer Science & ITGS -- Layman terms for computer parts and systems should not be used.
  • English -- The abstract is judged on the clarity with which it presents the three required elements, not on the quality of the research question itself, nor on the quality of the argument or the conclusions.
  • History -- The abstract must consist of three elements: the research question (or hypothesis), the scope of the essay (that is, what was investigated and how it was investigated) and the conclusion. An abstract is not a précis of the topic
  • English -- The abstract is judged on the clarity with which it presents the three required elements, not on the quality of the research question itself, nor on the quality of the argument or the conclusions.
  • History -- The abstract must consist of three elements: the research question (or hypothesis), the scope of the essay (that is, what was investigated and how it was investigated) and the conclusion. An abstract is not a précis of the topic
holistic judgement
Holistic Judgement
  • English -- K: holistic judgment
    • Intellectual initiative, creativity and insight
    • Routine essays on well-worn topics will not score highly under this criterion
  • History – K: holistic judgment
    • Intellectual initiative
    • Insight and depth of understanding
thank you

Thank you.

Mrs. Marsh & Mr. Fink