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Extended Essay Guide

2013/14 American International School of Johannesburg


The Extended Essay

….in a nutshell!!

 A 4000 word study of a topic of special interest.  Provides you with the opportunity to engage in independent research while having a teacher as an advisor.  It may be written in one of 60 subjects, including languages.  It is a compulsory component of the IB diploma.  Essays will be assessed externally.  In combination with TOK, it can contribute up to 3 bonus points.  Facilitates the transition from school to university.

The Nature of the Extended Essay The extended essay is an in-depth study of a topic chosen from one of the subjects offered in the IB program. Its purpose is to acquaint you with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. Emphasis is placed on the process of engaging in personal research, on the communication of ideas and information in a logical and coherent manner, and on the overall presentation of the extended essay in compliance with these guidelines.

List of Subjects Your extended essay topic must fall under one of the subjects listed below. You do not need to be studying this subject in your diploma. Biology Business and Management Economics ESS Geography Global Politics Group 2 language/literature History Mathematics Music Philosophy Psychology Theatre Visual Arts

Chemistry Film Group 1 language/literature ITGS Physics Social and Cultural Anthropology World Studies*

You can also write an extended essay for literature in English or a foreign language. Your subject would be English or French, Spanish etc. *World studies is a new subject area for the EE (first exams May 2013). It is an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary significance. See the EE official guide for further details, or go to: http://xmltwo.ibo.org/publications/DP/Group0/d_0_eeyyy_gui_1012_1/html/productionapp3.ibo.org/publication/258/part/4/chapter/30.html


Choice of Topic The topic is a particular area of a chosen subject. You should choose a topic that is both interesting and challenging to you. If possible, the topic should also relate to your surroundings and or cultural background. The topic chosen should be limited in scope and sufficiently narrow to allow you to examine an issue in depth. It should present you with the opportunity to collect or generate information and/or data for analysis and evaluation. This is why many students choose a science as their subject - they can run their own experiment and get their own results. You are not expected to make a contribution to knowledge. For example, if you choose mathematics as your subject, you are not expected to invent a new theorem. A broad topic is unlikely to result in a successful extended essay. A topic which requires no personal research and/or requires an essentially narrative or descriptive approach is not suitable for an extended essay.

The Research Question When an appropriate topic has been chosen, you should narrow the focus of the investigation and formulate a specific research question. For many extended essays this will be phrased in the form of a question, but alternatives such as launching the investigation with a hypothesis are acceptable. By frequently referring to the research question, you should be able to maintain the purpose and orientation of the investigation. Examples of inappropriate topics with an appropriate topic:

 "Vitamin C levels in lime juice" versus "An experimental study to determine if vitamin C levels decrease in lime juice under simulated supermarket and street vendor conditions"  "Imaginary Numbers" versus "The reality of imaginary numbers - What are they; do they really exist; where and how did they originate; and why do we need them?"  "North and South Korea" versus "Will unification be achieved as a result of the process and efforts being made between the two Koreas"

Regulations  Every IB diploma student must submit an extended essay.  Each student will approach and then ask a teacher to act as an advisor. The chosen teacher needs to accept the offer and be a teacher relevant to the subject chosen.  Extended essays in groups 1 and 2 must to be written in that language. All others must be written in English.


 Malpractice, such as plagiarism or collusion, will result in the loss of IB Diploma status.

Organizing the Essay Introduction The introduction should include:  An indication of why the topic chosen is interesting, important or worthy of study.  Some background information and an attempt to place the topic in appropriate context.


 An indication of whether the topic has been narrowed to a focus of more manageable proportions.  A clearly and precisely stated research question.  A clear concluding statement of the thesis and argument, i.e. the response to the research question that will subsequently be developed in the body of the essay. Body/Development The essential feature of the body is a convincing answer to the research question. The structure and approach will depend on the subject in which the essay is being undertaken. Some subjects may require sub-headings for major sections within the main body. Scientific investigations will usually have separate sections for method and results. In other subjects, sub-headings should be avoided because they disrupt the flow and unity of an essay. Conclusion The requirements of a conclusion are that it:    

Is clearly stated. Is relevant to the research question being investigated. Is substantiated by the evidence presented. Indicates issues, unresolved questions and new questions that have emerged from the research.

Formal Presentation The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal style appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. It must be word processed. The Length of the Extended Essay The upper limit is 4000 words and essays should be at least 3500 words. The upper limit includes the introduction, the body, the conclusion and any quotations, but does not include:      

the abstract acknowledgements the contents pages maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and tables the references/bibliography appendices

Essays in excess of 4000 words are subject to penalties and examiners are not required to read material


in excess of the word limit. 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. Examples: Geography Title - The influence of distance on agricultural land use patterns in New South Wales, Australia Research question - Is there a characteristic pattern in the use of agricultural land with distance away from central places in New South Wales? English Title - Religious imagery in Wuthering Heights Research question - What is the nature and function of the religious imagery used in Wuthering heights? Mathematics Title - An investigation into polynomial functions Specific Issue - Observations of the characteristics of the polygonal cycloids obtained by rolling regular polygons along a straight line. Abstract An abstract not exceeding 300 words must be included. It does not serve as an introduction but presents a synopsis of the extended essay, and therefore should be written last. The minimum requirements for an abstract are to state clearly:    

the research question being investigated. the scope of the investigation. the conclusion/s of the essay. It should be placed immediately after the title page.

Contents Page


A contents page must be placed after the abstract and all pages should be numbered. An index is not required. Illustrations Presentation and overall neatness are important, and it is essential that illustrative material, if included, is well set out and used effectively. Graphs, diagrams, tables and maps are effective only if they are well labelled and can be easily read. This must be directly related to the text and acknowledged where appropriate. The use of photographs and postcards is acceptable only if they are captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate a specific point made in the extended essay. References/Bibliography The direct or indirect use of the words of another person, written , oral or electronic, must be acknowledged appropriately as must visual material in the essay, derived from another source. Failure to do this will be viewed as plagiarism. The bibliography or list of references should only include those works, such as books and journals, that have been consulted by you. It is good practice to study a major style of referencing appropriate to the subject of the essay so that you can present your references professionally. Each work consulted, regardless or whether or not it has already been cited as a reference, must be listed in the bibliography. The bibliography should specify: ďƒź Author/s, title, date and place of publication, and the name of the publisher following consistently one standard method of listing sources. Possible examples are: Peterson, A. D. C. Schools Across Frontiers: the story of the International Baccalaureate and the United World College. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1987 Peterson, A. D. C (1987), Schools Across Frontiers: the story of the International Baccalaureate and the United World College. Open Court : La Salle, Illinois Whilst any referencing style is permitted, AISJ prefers and as such uses the MLA referencing style.

Appendices Appendices are not an essential section of the essay and examiners are not required to read them, so care should be taken to include all information of direct relevance to the analysis and argument in the main part of the essay. Unless considered essential, complete list of raw data should not be included in the extended essay. The Use of Other Media and Materials ďƒź Apart from graphic material, materials in other media may be submitted only as supporting


appendices and should not detract from the written extended essay.  Computers - the use of computers is encouraged where they are appropriate as tools for analysing data relevant to the subject of the extended essay. Material such as hard copy of computer output may be included in the original essay, but any associated program should be referred to or reproduced, if original, only as an appendix.  Videotapes - the use of videotapes as supporting material is not acceptable.  Audiotapes - the use of audiotapes as supporting material is permissible, but is not encouraged, and extra merit will not be given for the inclusion of audiotapes in support of an extended essay. Digital audiotapes are not acceptable.  Specimen materials - specimen materials used in or produced by investigations do not form part of the extended essay and must not be submitted. Photographic evidence may be submitted in place of such material.

Assessment of Extended Essays Use of Assessment Criteria Essays are externally assessed and the maximum score possible is 36. This is divided into 24 points from General Assessment Criteria and 12 points from Subject Assessment Criteria. General Assessment Criteria There are eight general assessment criteria. For each, different degrees of quality are described by a set of achievement levels. These criteria are mainly concerned with the writing of the abstract and conclusion, the use of information and data, and the overall presentation. A. Research question This criterion assesses the extent to which the purpose of the essay is specified. In many subjects, the aim of the essay will normally be expressed as a question and, therefore, this criterion is called the “research question”. However, certain disciplines may permit or encourage different ways of formulating the research task.


Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The research question is not stated in either the introduction or on the title page or does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in an extended essay in the subject in which it is registered.

1

The research question is stated in either the introduction or on the title page but is not clearly expressed or is too broad in scope to be treated effectively within the word limit.

2

The research question is clearly stated in either the introduction or on the title page and is sharply focused, making effective treatment possible within the word limit.

B. Introduction This criterion assesses the extent to which the introduction makes clear how the research question relates to existing knowledge on the topic and explains how the topic chosen is significant and worthy of investigation. Achievement level

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is little or no attempt to explain the significance of the topic.

1

Some attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is some attempt to explain the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.

2

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.

C. Investigation This criterion assesses the extent to which the investigation is planned and an appropriate range of sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, that is relevant to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2.


Achievement level

Descriptor

0

There is little or no evidence that sources have been consulted or data gathered, and little or no evidence of planning in the investigation.

1

A range of inappropriate sources has been consulted, or inappropriate data has been gathered, and there is little evidence that the investigation has been planned.

2

A limited range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and some relevant material has been selected. There is evidence of some planning in the investigation.

3

A sufficient range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been selected. The investigation has been satisfactorily planned.

4

An imaginative range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been carefully selected. The investigation has been well planned.

D. Knowledge and Understanding of topic covered Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2. “Academic context�, as used in this guide, can be 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. For example, to obtain a level 4, it would be sufficient to relate the investigation to the principal lines of inquiry in the relevant field; detailed, comprehensive knowledge is not required. Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The essay demonstrates no real knowledge or understanding of the topic studied.

1

The essay demonstrates some knowledge but little understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows little awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

2

The essay demonstrates an adequate knowledge and some understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows some awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

3

The essay demonstrates a good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay successfully outlines an academic context for the investigation.

4

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.


E. Reasoned Argument This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay uses the material collected to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and develops a reasoned argument in relation to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2. Achievement level

Descriptor

0

There is no attempt to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

1

There is a limited or superficial attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

2

There is some attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question, but this is only partially successful.

3

Ideas are presented in a logical and coherent manner, and a reasoned argument is developed in relation to the research question, but with some weaknesses.

4

Ideas are presented clearly and in a logical and coherent manner. The essay succeeds in developing a reasoned and convincing argument in relation to the research question.

F. Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

1

The essay shows little application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

2

The essay shows some application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills, which may be only partially effective.

3

The essay shows sound application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

4

The essay shows effective and sophisticated application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.


G. Use of language appropriate to the subject Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The language used is inaccurate and unclear. There is no effective use of terminology appropriate to the subject.

1

The language used sometimes communicates clearly but does not do so consistently. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is only partly accurate.

2

The language used for the most part communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is usually accurate.

3

The language used communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is accurate, although there may be occasional lapses.

4

The language used communicates clearly and precisely. Terminology appropriate to the subject is used accurately, with skill and understanding.

H. Conclusion This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay incorporates a conclusion that is relevant to the research question and is consistent with the evidence presented in the essay. Achievement level

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to provide a conclusion that is relevant to the research question.

1

A conclusion is attempted that is relevant to the research question but may not be entirely consistent with the evidence presented in the essay.

2

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.

I. Formal presentation This criterion assesses the extent to which the layout, organization, appearance and formal elements of the essay consistently follow a standard format. The formal elements are: title page, table of contents, page numbers, illustrative material, quotations, documentation (including references, citations and bibliography) and appendices (if used).


Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The formal presentation is unacceptable, or the essay exceeds 4,000 words.

1

The formal presentation is poor.

2

The formal presentation is satisfactory.

3

The formal presentation is good.

4

The formal presentation is excellent.

J. Abstract The requirements for the abstract are for it to state clearly the research question that was investigated, how the investigation was undertaken and the conclusion(s) of the essay. Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The abstract exceeds 300 words or one or more of the required elements of an abstract (listed above) are missing.

1

The abstract contains the elements listed above but they are not all clearly stated.

2

The abstract clearly states all the elements listed above.

K. Holistic judgment The purpose of this criterion is to assess the qualities that distinguish an essay from the average, such as intellectual initiative, depth of understanding and insight. While these qualities will be clearly present in the best work, less successful essays may also show some evidence of them and should be rewarded under this criterion.


Achievement level

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no evidence of such qualities.

1

The essay shows little evidence of such qualities.

2

The essay shows some evidence of such qualities.

3

The essay shows clear evidence of such qualities.

4

The essay shows considerable evidence of such qualities.

Subject Assessment Criteria Each subject has its own set of assessment criteria with different degrees of quality being described by a set of achievement levels. These can be found on the schools IB website. An extended essay which is inappropriate to the subject in which it is registered will score zero on the subject assessment criteria.

Overall Assessment The total score obtained will be used to determine in which of the following bands the extended essay will be placed. This band, in conjunction with the band for TOK, determines the diploma points awarded for these two requirements. The band descriptions 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


Extended Essay Predicted Grade Calculation

Predicted Grade

Student Name: Supervisor Name: Subject Area: Title of Extended Essay:

**The aim is to find, for each criterion, the descriptor that conveys most adequately the achievement level attained by the student. In the light of any one criterion, a student’s work may contain features denoted by a high achievement level descriptor combined with features appropriate to a lower one. **Only whole numbers should be used, no partial points as fractions or decimals. **The highest descriptors do not imply faultless performance and assessors and teachers should not hesitate to use the extremes, including zero, if they are appropriate descriptions of the work being assessed.

0 A. B. C. D. E. F.

G. H. I. J. K.

Research Question Introduction Investigation Knowledge & understanding of the topic studied Reasoned Argument Application of analytical & evaluative skills appropriate to the subject Use of language appropriate to the subject Conclusion Formal Presentation Abstract Holistic Judgment Total Points

Band Descriptors 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

30-36 25-29 17-24 9-16 0-8

1

2

3 4 X X X X

X X X X


The Extended Essay/TOK Matrix


Extended Essay Checklist Judge your essay against these criteria:  Is the essay a reasoned argument in which the writer endeavours to persuade a skeptical reader of the justifiability of the line of argument adopted?  Is there an argument? Is each part of it clear? Is it easy to understand and does it make sense? (The argument should be clear from the beginning and not tacked on the end)  Does the essay develop logically through a series of arguments or points?  What evidence is used to support arguments (too little, too much, inappropriate)?  Does the essay show evidence of the imaginative use of a variety of sources (précising one or more source is not adequate)?  Is the essay clear and readable? (Pay attention to grammar and spelling)  Does the essay contain repetitive or irrelevant material?  Has a bibliography of all materials consulted been included?  Are all quotations properly footnoted?  Is a word count been included, and is the essay within limits? Presentation: Has the essay been word processed, allowing space-and-a-half (or double space) between lines and a 12-point font? However pretty it might look DO NOT bind your essay, simply staple it, or hole-punch it, and fasten with a treasury tag in the top left hand corner. Multimedia/Web features of the essay:    

Is the essay attractively laid out? Is it presented in a readable fashion? Have gimmicks -- bells and whistles -- taken over from functionality and fitness for purpose? Are graphics used; do they contribute to the overall thrust of the essay; are they referred to in the text?  Are links used to Web sites; are they relevant; are there any dead links?  Have any hyperlink pages been created; do they contain relevant additional information /primary material?  Is navigation easy; do you always know where you are?


Our Agreements  You will read and understand the general guidelines as well as the guidelines specific to the subject that you have chosen.  You will abide by the deadlines overleaf  You will understand and abide by the school policy with regard to academic honesty, and shall cite all references and sources of ideas, quotations, data, diagrams, illustrations etc. You will understand that the role of your supervisor will be to:  Encourage and support you in your efforts  Provide advice of a subject specific nature.  Make sure that the work is your own.  Complete the supervisor report You will understand that the role of your supervisor will not be to:  Get you started and tell you what to do.  Give you a research question.  Give you the resources  Edit your work.  Remind you of the deadlines  Chase you to be able to read a draft and offer advice


Must use resources: Extended Essays 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

50 Excellent Extended Essays CD rom – There is a copy in the library (or from me) 50 more Excellent Extended Essays CD rom – There is a copy in the library (or from me) IB Prepared: Approach your assessment the IB way—Extended essay books in the school library There are lots of Extended Essays from previous students stored in the school library There are lots of Extended Essays from previous students stored in the my office Official IB guides to the Extended Essay in my office The IB website - http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/core/essay/

References 1. Referencing tutorial - http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ 2. Referencing tutorial - http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/DocMLACitation_Info.html 3. Easy bib, an online reference constructor (absolutely amazing) - http://www.easybib.com/


Milestones and deadlines These milestones are flexible and can be negotiated with your supervisor, deadlines however, are rigid and must be adhered to. Extensions can only be given by the IB Coordinator: Requirements

Milestone/Deadline

1. The student has identified both the subject area and topic area, and has secured 22nd November 2013 a supervisor for the Extended Essay. 2. The student has shown evidence of conducting preliminary research and has 6th January 2014 chosen a working title. Title of the essay: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ 3. The student has submitted a formal outline of the essay and has developed a work plan. 4. The student has completed a first draft of the essay and has discussed it with their supervisor. Note: The first draft is effectively your complete essay it is not just an outline. 5. The student has revised the first draft over the vacations and has submitted a completed version of the essay. Final adjustments are discussed with the supervisor prior to formal submission of the Extended Essay. 6. The student has completed the abstract, bibliography and appendix. 7. The student has handed in the final essay to the IB Coordinator (one hard copy and one electronic copy) and has completed the cover sheet.

20th February 2014 16th May 2014 15th August 2014 31st October 2014 28th November 2014

Key: Milestone Deadline

Your progress will be recorded at each meeting with your supervisor on Managebac against the following progress indicators:

Any student performing at ‘concern’ will be referred to the IB coordinator for intervention.

AISJ extended essay guide 2013-2014  
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