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Extended Essay Guidelines

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1 Extended Essay Guidelines
London, June 2010

2 The Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended essay is: a research paper with a maximum length of 4000 words that sharpens students’ independent research, investigation and writing skills. one of the core requirements of the diploma program

3 Responsibilities of the Supervisor
Supervisors are actively engaged in the production process of the EE starting the choice of the topic to the final draft submission for external assessment. Their role is a supportive and an administrative one.

4 1. Understanding the support role
Supervisors should: (Extended essay guide; p.8) Guide students in the skills of undertaking the research Encourage students in the writing process Spend between three to five hours with each candidate Guiding Question: what does the IB mean in terms of support?

5 1. Understanding the Support Role
Content Knowledge Familiarity with assessment criteria Reading of EE reports Giving focus Discussion of suitable focus and choice of topic Formulation of a sharply precise research question that can be tackled in 4,000 words Ensuring availability of primary and secondary sources Supervision Finding appropriate resources Assisting in methods of data collection and analysis Reading & commenting on first draft ONLY Documenting sources Writing an abstract Administration Conduct a short interview with the student Complete a report on the inside front cover page of the EE Submit a predicted grade

6 2. Understanding the Administrative Role
Guiding Questions: What forms do I have to complete? What information do I have to submit? Supervisors should: ensure that the student is familiar with all the relevant information in the extended essay guide Implement the appropriate measures if malpractice has taken/might have taken place sign and complete a coversheet, and submit the essay to the IB coordinator.

7 Sample inside front cover page

8 Which of the following statements are the principal
responsibilities of the supervisor? to encourage and support the student throughout the research and writing of the extended essay to improve the first and final draft of the extended essay to provide the student with advice and guidance in the skills of undertaking research to provide editorial recommendations in each draft to ensure that the extended essay is the student's own work to complete the supervisor's report

9 Preparing the Essay Choice of Topic: the topic of the essay should:
be of personal interest, offer a challenge in its analysis and be sufficiently focused relate to economic information that is not older than three years. “Essays should not be historical”. Research Question: should be put in the form of a clearly focused question to ensure that it can be explored within the word and time limit constraints be challenging and leading towards analysis Allow the collection of a combination of primary and secondary sources

10 Examples of RQs from the IBO guide P. 80
Pricing at the local Supermarket Research Question: Will the recent policy of cutting bakery prices lead to increased revenue for the Safeway supermarket in Ryde, Sydney? Approach: Primary research is conducted through observation and supported by secondary research, such as company records and textbooks. This results in a detailed examination of elasticity and its relationship to total revenue.

11 Examples from the IBO guide P. 80 (continued)
The impact of monetary policy Research Question: Has the Kenyan central bank’s policy of interest rate cuts lead to a rise in new car sales in Nairobi? Approach: A consumer questionnaire (quantitative research) is circulated and interviews (qualitative research) are carried out with sales managers of new car firms. Government macroeconomic statistics (secondary research) are also accessed.

12 Activity Are the following RQs appropriate or not?
What are the likely economic effects of the UK abandoning the pound and adopting the Euro, the currency used by several EU member states? Answer: This is an inappropriate question. It is too broad and it relates to a hypothetical situation that may/may not occur in the future. It would therefore be impossible to make use of primary data or to do anything other than summarize/paraphrase existing articles/ textbook sections on the topic.

13 From the Nov 09 EE Report Essays should not base conclusions on data that is hypothetical: e.g. surveys that ask “How much would you buy if the price decreased by 10%, 20% 30%?”. Elasticity theory should only be used if prices actually do change. Furthermore, if there is evidence that prices have changed, it is important to appreciate that changes in quantity may not actually be due to the change in price, and so any data gathered needs to be carefully evaluated.

14 Activity (continued) Is the market structure for travel agents in Bangkok, Thailand, monopolistically competitive? Answer: This is a good question. It is sharply focused and it would enable both primary and secondary data to be used, as well as the application of economic theory and concepts.

15 From the Nov 09 EE Report In some centers, there was over-reliance on research questions involving market structures. Properly done, these can be quite effective, but there is a real danger of presenting pages and pages of economic theory, with unsubstantiated and superficial links to the case study. In many cases, candidates would make the good effort to collect some primary data, but this was often trivial and not effectively linked to the theory.

16 Activity (continued) The performance of the Chinese economy over the
past 8 years Answer: This is an inappropriate question. It is far too broad and is not actually framed as a question. It could be narrowed down by focusing on a particular industry in China, eg shoes, covering a shorter period of time.

17 The Research & Writing Process
Topic Focus Search for Sources Research Question Preparatory Reading Working Outline Assemble sources/Materials Recording info. & data Shaping the Outlines Basic Outline Skeleton Outline Supporting Details Rough Draft/First Draft Title Page Abstract Contents Introduction Body/Methods/Results Conclusion Illustrations Appendix Documentation Revising & Editing Proofreading Final Copy The Extended Essay Guidelines. IBO, 1998

18 Formal Presentation of the Essay
Title Page Abstract Table of Contents Introduction Body Conclusion Bibliography Appendices

19 1. Title Page Topic Research Question Subject Examination Session
Candidate Name Candidate Number Word count (less than 4,000)

20 2. Abstract The abstract presents a synopsis of the extended essay,
and it: must not exceed 300 words appears right after the title page of the final draft. must include: The research question being investigated written in bold The scope of the investigation undergone The conclusion/s of the extended essay.

21 3. Contents Page The contents of the essay should be listed by page
number Introduction Explaining the problem/case study through economic theory Research Conclusion Bibliography Appendices

22 4. Introduction The introduction should include: Why?
Justify the choice of the topic in the context of the study of economics What? State the research question How? Research methodology

23 5. Body Research: methodology should be clearly explained
How was the data collected? What data is needed to answer the research question? Try to have a representative sample Questionnaires and interviews should be included in appendices

24 5. Body (continued) Your findings should be clearly presented through
Tables and graphs should be explained Your findings should be analyzed in order to answer the research question While interpreting the data, you should refer to economic theory It should be clear how your analysis leads the conclusion

25 6. Conclusion Make a heading “Conclusion” as a signal
Recap, do not add any new information Answer the research question Shortcomings Try to think of new or unresolved questions that emerged from the research

26 7. Bibliography Center the word Bibliography.
Double space before the first entry. Do not indent at the beginning of an entry, but indent additional lines If the entry runs more than one line. Double space between entries. List entries alphabetically by the author’s last name. If there is no author, list by the first word of the title. Sources, not cited, but contributed to the approach taken should be stated in the introduction or in an acknowledgment. Only sources listed should be part of the bibliography.

27 8. Appendix If your research involves interviews or surveys, include them in the appendix. Findings form your data collection should not be in the appendix. Presentation and analysis of data should be included in the body of your essay.

28 EE Assessment Criteria
Criterion of Assessment Maximum Marks A: Research Question 2 B: Introduction C: Investigation 4 D: Knowledge and Understanding E: Reasoned Argument F: Analysis and Evaluation G: Use of Subject Language H: Conclusion I : Formal Presentation J: Abstract K: Holistic Judgment Total 36 Source IBO: Extended Essay First Examination 2009

29 EE Mark bands- Nov.09 A: 29 – 36 B: 23 – 28 C: 16 – 22 D: 8 – 15

30 Extended Essay Statistics for May 2009
Source: IBO: statistical bulletin May 2009

31 Criterion A: Research Question [2 marks]
Students have to formulate a clearly focused RQ that must be answered using suitable economic theories. Full Score: “The research question is clearly stated in the introduction and is sharply focused, making effective treatment possible within the word limit.” Extra Hints: Write the RQ in bold. Make sure it is stated in the early part of the essay (first page and a half of the essay) Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

32 Criterion B: Introduction [2 marks]
Students should explain the importance of their planned investigation and the appropriateness of their research question. Full Score: “The context of the research question is clearly demonstrated. The introduction clearly explains the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.” Extra Hints: Explain the importance of the subject and its worth of investigation Avoid stating personal reasons and experiences behind topic choice Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

33 Criterion C: Investigation [4 marks]
Students should critically select their primary and secondary sources to construct solid arguments. Full Score: “An imaginative range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant materials has been carefully selected. The investigation has been well planned.” Extra Hints: Students should ask interview and survey questions that: Reflect appropriate and relevant economic theory focus on the RQ Are “need to know” rather than “nice to know” Are clear and precise Not subject to bias

34 Criterion C (continued)
Supervisors should support students in ensuring a balanced combination of primary and secondary sources to be used as evidential support requesting students to research and present a summary bibliography. This would strengthen students’ confidence about resource availability and would provide supervisors with an insight about students’ understanding of the research process. developing workshops to help students write appropriate survey questions Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ? . It is important to be sensitive to whether a student is going to be reliant on textbooks and/or the Internet. If this is part of their initial approach to selecting sources further discussion is required with the assessment criteria and subject reports being useful supporting resources. The role of sources in terms of argument and assessment will be further developed in the next two sections of this module. Guiding the student: your role as a supervisor 'It is often all too evident that neither the candidate nor the supervisor has read the guidelines, as both the research question adopted and the approach taken are far more appropriate to another form of writing such as a research report, or simply a long essay.' When the student has selected economics as their subject and had their first supervision meeting, agreed to the mutually designed supervision contract (and extended essay timeline in the process), they should actively seek to establish their focus and therefore develop the research question along with a suitable approach. This involves ensuring that there are enough suitable sources available to argue their perspective and that their treatment of the topic is appropriate. At this stage there are a number of significant variables apparent to the student and this can cause anxiety and the onset of avoidance or denial strategies. Circumventing these can be a challenge for the supervisor and having pre-established agreements as part of the contract as well as well thought out strategies is well worth the effort.

35 Criterion D: Knowledge and understanding of the topic studied [4 marks]
Students should show deep understanding to their topic by referring to appropriate economic theories and concepts. Full Score: “The essay demonstrates a very good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay clearly and precisely locates the investigation in an academic context*” Note*: “defined as the current state of the field of study under investigation. However, this is to be understood in relation to what can reasonably be expected of a pre-university student […], to obtain a level 4, […] comprehensive knowledge is not required”

36 Criterion D (continued)
Extra Hints: Identification of relevant economic theories to the RQ Correctly labeled and explained diagrams The explanation of diagrams should include an explanation of the underpinning theories, assumptions, etc. Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

37 Criterion E: Reasoned argument [4 marks]
Students should support their arguments with appropriate economic theories and should demonstrate awareness of other developed point of views. Full Score: “The essay succeeds in developing a reasoned and convincing argument in relation to the research question.”“It should be evident throughout the essay that the research question is being answered. Relevant economic theory, concepts and data/information must be integrated in a logical and coherent manner. A valid and persuasive argument needs to be developed in a clear and structured way, with some awareness that there may be alternative viewpoints.” Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

38 Criterion F: Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject [4 marks]
Students should assess the validity of their findings and identify possible limitations to their arguments Full Score: “The essay shows effective and sophisticated application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.” Extra Hints: Collected data should be examined using economic theories An awareness of made assumptions and possible limitations of presented arguments should be demonstrated. Only theories/ diagrams, which are relevant to the RQ should be used Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

39 Criterion G: Use of language appropriate to the subject [4 marks]
Students should communicate their arguments by using appropriate economic terms Full Score: “The language used communicates clearly and precisely. Terminology appropriate to the subject is used accurately, with skill and understanding” Extra Hints: Economic terminology should be used appropriately and terms requiring a definition should be precisely defined. Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

40 Criterion H: Conclusion [2 marks]
Students should clearly state the answer to their RQ and critically state the limitations of their arguments Full Score: “An effective conclusion is clearly stated; it is relevant to the research question and consistent with the evidence presented in the essay. It should include unresolved questions where appropriate to the subject concerned.” Extra Hints: No new material should be introduced in the conclusion. Any limitations or biases should be discussed. Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

41 Criterion I: Formal presentation [4 marks]
Students should organize and present their essays following a standard format. Full Score: “[T]he layout, organization, appearance and formal elements of the essay consistently follow a standard format. The formal elements are: title page, table of content, page numbers, illustrative material, quotations, documentation and appendices (if used).” Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

42 Standard Format The essay is less than 4000 words.
There is a title page. All pages are numbered. There is a table of contents. The illustrative material is appropriate, well set out and used effectively. The bibliography includes all, and only, those works, which have been consulted. The references are set out in a consistent standard format.         If there is an appendix, it only contains information that is required in support of the text.

43 Criterion J: Abstract [2 marks]
Students should clearly state their RQ, explain the scope of their investigation and write the conclusion reached . Full Score: “the abstract clearly states all the elements listed above.” Extra Hint: Students are not penalized if the research question is poor under this criterion. Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

44 Criterion K: Holistic judgment [4 marks]
Students should demonstrate intellectual initiative, show a deep understanding and insight of the topic and derive balanced conclusions. Full Score: “The essay shows considerable evidence of such qualities.” Intellectual initiative could be judged based on: The choice of an original topic Undertaking appropriate primary research Constructing a meaningful survey with an appropriate sample or carrying out good interviews with relevant people. Drawing a meaningful conclusion

45 Criterion K (continued)
Insight and depth of understanding could be judged based on: Making a balanced conclusion Showing an awareness of limitations of research and evaluation of the relevant economic theories Question: Quality of the IB learner Profile identified ?

46 Criterion K (continued)
Importance of the Viva Voce A short (10-15 minutes) interview between the supervisor and the student at the end of the extended essay process. Its purpose is to : check for plagiarism/malpractice reflect on successes/ difficulties as well as what has been learned help the supervisor write his report (criterion K)

47 Examples from IBO guide P. 20
I am not clear what you mean on page xxx. You quote Y: could you explain a little more about what this tells us? On page *** you cite Z. I couldn’t find a reference (for example website). Could you tell me more about it? What has been the high and low points of the research and writing process? What were the most interesting aspects of the process? Did you discover anything that surprised you? What have you learned through writing the essay? Is there any advice you would want to pass on to someone just starting out an extended essay?


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