Extended essay



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EXTENDED ESSAY

  • Glenn AuCoin, Tracy Giffen, Amy Smith
  • Prince Andrew High School
  • January 2008

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW…

  • It is a chance for you to do independent research
  • It is a requirement of the IB programme
  • It is worth points towards your IB diploma

WHAT MORE YOU NEED TO KNOW…

  • It is a 4000 word, in-depth study of a limited topic within an IB subject
  • It should take about approximately 40 hours to complete

CHOOSING A SUBJECT

  • Choose a subject that interests you
  • You must choose a subject you are studying, except physics
  • Be aware of the subject specific requirements for your essay
  • It must have a clear emphasis in your chosen subject

SUPERVISOR SELECTION

  • You will be provided with a supervisor who has a background in your selected field
  • Your supervisor will meet with you for approximately 5 hours over the course of writing the essay
  • Your supervisor is meant to provide guidance for your essay; s/he will not be an editor for your paper

LOVE THY SUPERVISOR AS THY SELF!

  • Teachers are not required to be supervisors; respect their time and input
  • Teachers only supervise three essays each
  • They enjoy food and coffee, and presents on their birthdays

LENGTH OF EXTENDED ESSAY

  • The maximum word count is 4000 words
  • The limit includes introduction, main body, conclusion and any quotations
  • Examiners are not required to read material over the word limit

THE LIMIT DOES NOT INCLUDE…

  • The abstract
  • Acknowledgments
  • The table of contents
  • Maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and tables
  • Equations, formulas and calculations
  • Citations/references (whether parenthetical or numbered)
  • Footnotes or endnotes
  • The bibliography
  • Appendices

Title

  • The title should provide a clear indication of the focus of the essay. It should be precise and not necessarily phrased in the form of a question.
  • No pictures or WordArt

ABSTRACT

  • Your abstract cannot exceed 300 words
  • It must be included with your essay
  • It is not an introduction
  • It is an overview of your entire essay
  • It should be written last
  • It must state clearly the research questions being investigated, the scope of the investigation, and the conclusion of the essay
  • It must be placed on its own sheet of paper immediately after the title page

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • It must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered

ILLUSTRATIONS

  • Illustrated material must be well set out and used effectively
  • Do not add extraneous illustrations
  • Graphs, diagrams, tables, and maps must be clearly labeled and easily interpreted
  • They must be directly related to the text and acknowledged where appropriate
  • Photographs and other images are acceptable only when captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate a specific point

BIBLIOGRAPHIES

  • These are essential
  • They must be accurate
  • All research must be documented
  • Failure to include proper bibliographies and citations will be viewed as plagiarism

BIBLIOGRAPHIES, REFERENCES AND CITATIONS

  • All bibliographic material and references should be consistent
  • There are a number of different styles to choose from, the most common being MLA for humanities and social sciences and APA for sciences

APPENDICES, FOOTNOTES AND ENDNOTES

  • These are not essential sections of the extended essay, so examiners are not required to read them
  • Therefore all information of direct relevance to the argument of the essay must appear in the main body of the essay
  • Essays that attempt to evade the word count by including essential material in the appendices will lose marks
  • Unless essential complete lists of raw data should not be included in the essay
  • Students should not constantly refer to material presented in the appendix as this disrupts the flow of the essay

INTRODUCTION

  • A vital component of the essay
  • The research question or purpose of the essay should be clearly identified
  • The thesis or argument should be clearly stated
  • Do not make it overlong

MAIN BODY

  • The longest and most important section of the essay
  • Its sole function is the development and substantiation of the argument
  • It should take the form of a reasoned argument
  • It should be clear what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument
  • Sub-headings may be used to guide the reader through the argument

QUOTATIONS

  • Use quotations judiciously to support your argument, rather than to fill up your word count
  • They should be worked smoothly into the narrative of the essay, not inserted randomly with no introduction and no explanation

STRUCTURE AND STYLE

  • Organization enhances the clarity of your argument
  • The reader should at all times feel that s/he is being led in a particular direction
  • Plan the organization of your paragraphs before you begin to write
  • Write in a clear, smooth, formal, academic style
  • Avoid jargon at all costs
  • Avoid informality and slang

CONCLUSION

  • The conclusion is meant to pull everything together
  • It should sum up the major points of your essay
  • It should not add any new information to your argument
  • It should address any questions that may have arisen from the argument
  • It should not ask questions

REVISION

  • You should be prepared to revise your essay several times
  • Read it over carefully, not just for grammatical or spelling errors
  • Look for points at which your argument is weak or unclear and strengthen them
  • Cut, cut, cut! Do not become married to any part of your essay. Be willing to cut anything which is extraneous to your argument. Be clear and concise at all times.

THE VIVA VOCE

  • The viva voce is a short interview between the student and the supervisor after the extended essay has been written
  • It should last between 10-15 minutes
  • It is meant to check on plagiarism, confirm your understanding of the material, and provide you with time to reflect on what you have learned through the research process

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENT

  • Students are required to:
  • choose a topic from a subject on the approved extended essay list
  • Observe the rules for the extended essay
  • Meet deadlines
  • Acknowledge all sources of information and ideas in an approved academic manner
  • Students are recommended to:
  • Start work early
  • Think carefully about their research question
  • plan how, when, and where they will find material for their essay
  • Plan a schedule for writing their essay
  • Record sources as they research
  • Have a clear structure for their essay before they begin to write
  • Check and proofread their final draft carefully
  • Make sure all basic requirements are met

ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES

  • In working on the extended essay, students are expected to:
  • Plan and pursue a research project with intellectual initiative and insight
  • Formulate a precise research question
  • Gather and interpret material from sources appropriate to the research question
  • Structure a reasoned argument in response to the research question on the basis of the material gathered
  • Present their extended essay in a format appropriate to the subject , acknowledging sources in one of the established academic ways
  • Use the terminology and language appropriate to the subject with skill and understanding
  • Apply analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject, with an understanding of the implications and the context of their research


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