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It gives you a chance to study in real depth a topic that you have an interest in.
It can relate to any period and any topic within the last 10 years.
It gives you the chance to work closely with your History teacher to 'fast-track' your historical skills with one-to-one tutoring.
As such it is a great opportunity to produce a mature academic study on something that you might never again have the chance to research.
Both the IA and the EE in History award students who choose an interesting question which they research thoroughly and answer coherently through critical evaluation of evidence.
The IA is only 1500 words long; the EE is 4,000 words.
The EE requires a much heavier emphasis on the use of primary source material than the IA.
The IA is structured into specific sections; the EE is structured more flexibly.
The IA markscheme grades each section separately; the EE markscheme grades each criteria across the essay as a whole.
You will select which of your IB subjects will form the basis of your EE in the Spring Term of the first year of IB. This will usually (although not always) be one of your Higher Level subjects. The supervisor will set a series of internal deadlines and meetings for each student to ensure the completion of the study in a timely fashion.
Start by considering if there is a period / place / person / issue in history that would like to investigate further. Maybe this is something you have read a little about, watched a film about or are interested in from your other studies / hobbies. The only strict rule is that anything that happened in the past 10 years is not allowed.
The three main focuses of study tend to be focused on
Once you have settled upon a topic, you have to then turn this into a question - a problem that your study will solve, in other words.
You will initially be required to identify at least THREE articles/books and TWO websites that will form the basis of your study. To help you find the books/articles, use these
Google Books Search
Google Scholar Search
BBC History Magazine Search
History Today Magazine Search (password required to access articles after search - see your teacher)
In addition, for the Extended Essay you will be expected to make especially heavy use of primary sources.
I have also produced useful video: "Google Books for Student Research: 3 minute guide":
You are now ready to complete the Initial Proposal Sheet and hand it to your teacher.
Make sure that this is a detailed, considered proposal. Your supervisor will schedule a meeting with you to talk about how you plan to structure your essay in particular.
You are now ready to start work on the study itself. To help you structure your study effectively, make use of the following resources:
Six Steps for Writing your Extended Essay in IB History
A one-sided sheet provided step-by-step guidance for students on how to go about producing their Extended Essay.
Style Guide: Formatting your Extended Essay
A simple summary sheet providing a useful checklist to help students format their final study appropriately.
Completing the "Reflections on Planning and Progress" Form
A suggested timetable for students
to help them complete this important part of the study in a timely fashion.
Marksheet and Guidance
A student-friendly version of the IB mark scheme, combining the generic guidance from the IB as well as its subject-specific criteria for History.
Glossary: Historiographical and Subject-Specific Terminology for History Extended Essays
ClassTools.net Harvard-Author Reference Generator
Russel Tarr, Head of History, International School of Toulouse
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