Transcript of Changes made to 2018 Extended Essay Assessment
Changes made to 2018 Extended Essay Assessment
All research questions must be posed as a research question.
Enables students to maintain their focus more easily throughout the essay and to make a judgment as to whether they have responded to the research question.
The use of footnotes, endnotes and appendices is clarified.
Greater clarification will be given over the use of footnotes, endnotes and appendices to ensure parity across subjects. Additionally, this is to mitigate against students attempting to circumvent the word limit.
Footnotes and endnotes are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within in the assessment of the essay. Students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the
Role of external mentors is clarified.
In circumstances where the school deems it appropriate, students may undertake their research at an institute or university, under the guidance of an external mentor. This must be with the agreement of the school, and the external mentor must be provided with a letter outlining the nature of the extended essay and clear instructions as to the level of guidance that is permitted.Schools are responsible for ensuring that these external mentors are aware of the limits of their role in providing this service. It is important to note that if this is the case the student must be allocated a supervisor within the school and undertake their reflection sessions with this person. Only a supervisor within the school is permitted to complete the reflection process for the extended essay with the student and provide both signature and comments on the Reflections on planning and progress form (RPPF).
The “best-fit” approach has been adopted for the assessment of extended essays.
The aim of the “best-fit approach” is to find the descriptor that conveys most accurately the level attained by the student's work. A best-fit approach means that compensation should be made when a piece of work matches different aspects of a markband at different levels. The mark awarded should be one that most fairly reflects the balance of achievement against the markband. It is not necessary for every indicator of a level descriptor to be met for that mark to be awarded.
Reference to external sources or supplementary information
is not permitted
and examiners will not access them.
The extended essay is an entity in itself and any argument made must be in the body of the essay. Supplementary information provided in the form of CDs or DVDs or links to external sources such as YouTube clips are not permitted and examiners will not refer to them.
The abstract will no longer be a requirement of the extended essay.
The abstract will no longer be a formal requirement in response to feedback from teachers and examiners. While the extended essay models an academic research paper, it does not mirror it. Writing an abstract is a skill that students can develop at a later stage in their respective studies. This decision also helps to mitigate the effects the introduction of criterion E might have on student workload.
Formatting of the extended essay is clarified.
Strong recommendations will be made in relation to fonts used, font size and line spacing for the extended essay. This is to promote the idea that the extended essay is an academic piece of work and as such should be formatted appropriately, including font choice.
The number of assessment criteria has been reduced.
After much consultation, review, evaluation and trialling the decision was made to reduce the criteria to five: four to be applied to the essay itself and one to the Reflections on planning and progress form.
The Reflections on planning and progress form has been introduced.
This has been introduced to allow examiners to gain an insight into students’ thinking throughout the process of undertaking their research and writing. It will allow for the application of criterion E, engagement. This will be completed by students after each of their mandatory reflection sessions. Supervisors must sign after each reflection is completed and at the end of the process once the viva voce has taken place and write their summative comment. The form is submitted along with the essay for external assessment.
Three mandatory reflection sessions must take place.
In order to support students through the process of undertaking independent research they must be allocated an appropriate supervisor. It is recommended that students be given between three and five hours of supervision time and this must include the three mandatory reflection sessions. Supervision sessions may vary in length of time and nature of discussion to meet the needs of individual students. This may include a 10-minute check-in to discuss a timeline or clarification of a comment made by the supervisor. It may also include a more lengthy discussion about particular issues related to access to resources, for example. The three mandatory reflection sessions must be allocated an appropriate length of time and it is recommended that this be at least 20 minutes per session.
The Researcher’s Reflection Space has been created.
The RRS is a personal learning environment that can be either a physical or virtual support tool. It is a space in which students are able to record reflections on what they are reading, writing and thinking. The use of a RRS will help students to prepare for their reflection sessions with their supervisors and inform the discussions that take place. In preparing for their reflection sessions students could use their RRS to:
record their reflections
respond to artefacts, such as photos, newspaper clippings, twitter feeds, blogs, and so on
respond to prompts and questions that may arise in the students’ subject areas, TOK classes or other aspects of the DP
create Mind Maps®
EXTENDED ESSAY GUIDELINES
Mr. Crown's Advice Concerning Your Extended Essay
IN ORDER TO DO WELL ON THIS ASSIGNMENT YOU MUST READ THE EXTENDED ESSAY BOOKLET CAREFULLY. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO KNOW ALL OF THE IB GUIDELINES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR YOUR ESSAY DETAILED IN THIS BOOKLET. IN PARTICULAR, EVERYONE MUST CAREFULLY READ PAGES 10-23 (GENERAL GUIDELINES AND GENERAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA) AS WELL AS THE SUBJECT GUIDELINES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR ESSAYS IN YOUR SPECIFIC SUBJECT AREA. FOLLOW THE BOOKLET CAREFULLY WHEN YOU WRITE YOUR ESSAY BECAUSE YOUR ADVISOR AND THE IB WILL REFER TO THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA WHEN YOUR ESSAY IS GRADED.
Also, read and follow the guidelines below.
Title Page - Place the title ¼ of the way down from the top of the page. Remember that the title is not the same thing as your research question or topic. Think of an informative title which conveys the essence of your essay. In the bottom right corner of your paper include the following:
Extended Essay Final Draft
Advisor: Mr. or Ms.________
Word Count: ______________
Abstract - The abstract should be no more than 300 words. It must be written in 3rd person. The
abstract is a formal synopsis of your essay which explains the scope of your investigation and states the research question and conclusion. Include a word count for the abstract at the bottom of the page. The abstract comes directly after the table of contents.
Page Numbers – Page numbers must be included on each page except the title page. Use the “Insert” menu on Microsoft Word.
Table of Contents - The table of contents identifies each section of the paper (Abstract, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Bibliography, Endnotes, Appendix, Illustrations, etc.) as well as topical subsections. Page numbers in the table of contents and the essay must match. Include section and subsection headings labeled in bold throughout the essay to guide the reader and identify the different sections of the essay.
Introduction - Introduce the topic and provide enough information about your topic in order to enable the reader to comprehend the significance of your research question. Each extended essay must have a research question. The research question is the central question you are trying to answer through your research and writing of the extended essay. This question, if properly composed, will enable you to maintain your focus on a topic of narrow and limited scope while also help you to maintain the purpose and orientation of your entire investigation. The research question must be clearly and precisely stated in the early part of your extended essay. It must be sharply focused so that it is susceptible to effective treatment within the 4000 word limit. Your extended essay will be assessed in part according to the extent to which the essay appropriately addresses and develops the specific research question. The reader will also evaluate your success in collecting information relevant to the research question. Include the research question in the introduction stated precisely and focused in such a way that it is susceptible to effective treatment within the 4000 word limit. Establish the significance of the research question and explain why it is worthy of study. You may also briefly discuss why your topic is of significance to you personally. At the end of the introduction state your thesis (or hypothesis for science). Clearly identify the research question and thesis as such. Briefly and concisely preview your body by providing a “game plan” for the rest of the paper. The game plan briefly explains how you intend to answer the research question and support the thesis, that is, how you propose to proceed in the body.
Thesis – This belongs in the introduction, preferably at the end. You must take a position, construct an argument based on evidence, and defend your thesis. The entire essay must be a response to your research question and a coherent, organized, structured, logical, critical, in-depth examination and defense of your thesis.
Body (Methods and Results for science) - The body will differ depending on your subject. However for all essays the body be evaluated based on 1) your approach to the research question, 2) your analysis and interpretation of evidence, including critical analysis and evaluation of sources, and 3) your own argument and evaluation of this argument. SEE PAGES 19-20 of the Extended Essay Booklet and the Assessment Criteria for details. You must convincingly answer the research question and argue for your thesis, presenting evidence to support your arguments. You must evaluate your sources and demonstrate an ability to think and write critically and analytically. You need to plan this section carefully so that you are able to present your arguments in an organized, structured, convincing body which is constructed upon evidence. Evidence includes historical evidence derived from primary and secondary historical sources, textual evidence from a work of literature, and scientific data and the results of experiments and research.
Conclusion - The conclusion must be clearly stated and relevant to the research question. It must also be consistent with the thesis and its explanation and development presented in the essay. Where appropriate the conclusion indicates unresolved questions and new questions that have emerged from your research. This is more than a summary. Review how you have demonstrably and convincingly supported your thesis and answered the research question. Concisely restate your key points and discuss the broader implications of the thesis. How have you satisfactorily answered the research question?
Illustrations, data, charts, graphs, etc. - If you plan to include these make sure they are labeled and listed in the table of contents, and make sure you discuss their significance and relevance in the text of the essay.
Appendix - Please note that IB readers are not required to read the appendix thoroughly, so all essential information must be in the body of your essay.
Documentation - You must include footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations. You also must include a bibliography. Documentation must be completed with meticulous concern for accuracy. Use your Guide to Writing Research Papers or the online Chicago Style Guide and make sure everything is in the correct style and format. Avoid accusations of plagiarism by treating documentation with the seriousness it deserves. In the bibliography include only sources you have cited in the essay. You need at least 15 sources, five of which must be articles from scholarly journals. The bibliography must be alphabetical by the author’s last name. Literature essays need six sources and may use in-text citations. Good history essays will have 30 to 40 footnotes and 15 sources. All history essay footnotes must follow the Chicago Style Guide.
This draft must be typed double spaced in 12 pt. Font and be as close to 4000 words as possible without going over the limit. The 4000 words includes the Introduction, Body, Conclusion, and any quotations. It does not include the Abstract, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, Illustrations, Bibliography, Footnotes, Endnotes, or Appendices. Use Times New Roman or Courier font or a similar font; nothing fancy, flashy, or difficult for the eyes. Use black ink.
The essay must look neat and not sloppy. Do not use run-on sentences and paragraphs that are too long and attempt to treat too many topics. Do not allow careless grammatical and spelling errors to lower your grade. Paragraphs must be topical, readable, and of reasonable length. The essay must be structured and organized logically with all arguments and analysis presented and developed in a systematic fashion and order. Use smooth transitions between paragraphs to link the paragraphs, arguments, and sections of your paper. Use a spelling checker and make sure several competent people proofread your essay.
Your extended essay must address each of the following questions.
What is your research question?
Why is the research question significant and worthy of study?
Why is the research question significant to you personally?
What is your thesis?
What is your game plan for the rest of the essay?
What is the background information needed in order to understand your research question and thesis?
What are the distinct elements of your thesis? How can the thesis be divided and broken down into parts?
What are the central arguments you will make to defend your thesis?
What are the topical subsections of your body? Outline each subsection of the body.
How does each subsection build upon the previous subsection and lead up to the next? How does each subsection contribute to your defense of your thesis?
What evidence will you present to support your arguments and thesis?
What are your key sources? How will you integrate the evaluation of your sources in the Body?
How will you integrate critical analysis into your Body?
How have you sufficiently answered the research question and defended your thesis?
What are the major strengths of your thesis and your analysis and defense of it in your essay?
What could you have done better in the essay? Evaluate your own work critically.
What are the new questions and unresolved questions which have arisen from your research and analysis?
Include only those sources you have cited in the essay.