international baccalaureate extended essay help

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IntBac
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Hey, i really need some help getting started on my extended essay (4000 word essay on a subject and topic of my choice). I'm interested in sciences, but i really need an easy A for this EE, so i'm looking at english and Human rights, does anyone have any suggestions on a subject and topic?
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Sloppy Jumpers
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(Original post by IntBac)
Hey, i really need some help getting started on my extended essay (4000 word essay on a subject and topic of my choice). I'm interested in sciences, but i really need an easy A for this EE, so i'm looking at english and Human rights, does anyone have any suggestions on a subject and topic?
Hi there, I've moved your thread into the IB forum - you should get some more answers there!
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hipsterrapunzel
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I did my extended essay in English so here are a few tips to help get you started.
As compared to science EEs, English is "easier" in a way because you don't have to spend hours upon hours in the labs repeating experiments for results and repeating again if they fail.
However, it does require sophisticated analysis and demands a fair amount of reading and re-reading so it wouldn't be wise to have the mindset that it will be easy to score because you have to put in the work as well. (Unless you are a literary genius of course, then it would be a breeze for you)
Nevertheless, I had a fun time doing mine, so I hope that you'll consider English and have fun doing it as well

Disclaimers:
I can't really tell you what to do, simply because you may not and most probably will not share the same interests in topics as I do.
I wrote my EE on a novel, so this advice is catered towards novels but adapt it to whichever area suits your tastes, be it poems or plays etc..
I'll try to use the word "text" rather than "novel" from time to time, which refers to the various poems/plays/novels/.

1. Decide on which text you are going to pick
There are many ways you can go about this. The first would be one of your favorite novels. However, the novel has to have sufficient literary merit to be used for your EE. Thus, if it doesn't, the second place you could go to look, is recent Man Booker prize winners and booker prize shortlists. I picked my novel from the booker prize shortlist few years back. Make sure that you read the novel and are interested in studying it, because you will be analyzing it throughout your IB journey and it'll suck for you if you don't like the novel. The third way to go, would be to use old classics. And fourthly, you can do comparisons between multiple novels/plays/poems/ etcs.

2. Make sure you know what lies ahead whichever route you choose
The problem with classics such as The Great Gatsby, Lolita etc. is that they have been done and analysed to death by both literary critics, as well as some IB students. Thus, if you want to do an EE on literary classics, make sure that your topic is fresh, or partly fresh, and that you are able to show your own personal interpretation of the novel. For example, if you were to pursue narrative style in either TGG or Lolita, the IB examiners will be aware of various interpretations of the text already and you do not want to be simply regurgitating what other literary critics have said before. If you do have some original analysis and reading of a certain topic for the novel, then one other thing you need to do is to show understanding of what has already been said by other literary critics about the novel, add on your own analysis, and integrate it to give a sophisticated view on the text. My stance on this is that it is hard to find super original content on well-researched classics but it has been done before (a student got A for narrative style in Lolita in 2009? i think. And he's also in IB forums). I also believe that you will score well with original analysis in this area; but of course you will do well with originality classics or not (just make sure your interpretations make sense).

Two ways to tackle this problem (apart from the first way, which is to use an original/fresh criticism of the text)
1. Compare it with another text
2. Use a more recent text

Number 2 is pretty self-explanatory. A more recent text has less studies being done on it, which gives room for fresh criticisms to be made. Nevertheless, you still should research on whatever studies that HAVE been done on the text and try to integrate it into your EE. Also, one shortcoming here, is that you will not be able to build on ideas of other critics as much as compared to classics which is both a good and bad thing.

Number 1 has been done many times by students, which is to compare similar aspects of two different texts, therefore making the topic intriguing and new in its own way. This may be two classics, one classic one recent text, or both recent. Some students have done 3 texts, or multiple poems. I am not personally familiar with the marking criteria for this so I shall leave it here but I will add a point in section 4.

3. Read your text

4. Choosing the topic
Decide on which literary aspect of your text you want to study.
Metaphors/Narrative Style/Setting/Characterization etc.
Put simply, like your text selection, pick something that you like to analyse and is fun
Do your research and see if your personal interpretation is fresh and how to integrate critic's views and your own.
If you are comparing multiple texts, your topic will become very important as you need to make sure that it is relevant to all your text and you can address it adequately. The marking criteria will be slightly different as well when you compare texts so make sure you consult your IB teachers on this

4. Formulating a research question
The range of questions you can form is super broad and it really depends on the length/scope of your text.
I don't recommend broad questions like "Metaphors in [Text]" even if your text is super short though
For a general guideline, I would state that you go with "{How does/Use/Role/Effect of [Literary Technique] in the portrayal/effect of [Some Prevalent Aspect/Theme/Characterization] in [Text]"
This helps to give a focus to your EE.
I must say that that is just one out of many types of questions you can formulate, so be creative!

5. Read your text again and annotate/find evidence/points for your EE.

6. Plan your EE.
The traditional literary analysis style has a flow to the essay and unlike science reports where there are usually many sections, some students just like to have an introduction, body, conclusion for English EE.
Nevertheless, plan the body of your essay well, decide how many main areas of analysis you want and how they flow. This is also the time where you realize whether you are going to be able to answer your research question within your 4000 word EE.

I could ramble on and on but I shall stop myself here. The above should give you a good start to your EE.
Personally, I read maybe about 8 books? and researched quite a bit before deciding on a book. I decided against my first book (a classic), and found a much better book in the end.

I hope this has helped to provide some perspective on the English EE. I know that it doesn't really give a definite answer to your question but hopefully it'll be a guide to helping you find an answer.

There are many better English EE guides available on the internet, I myself have read them while preparing for my EE so I suggest you go look at them.

Once again, this is just a few of my thoughts, and I apologize if there's any misinformation and invite others to provide their thoughts as well. Some parts are also just short notes so I will edit this page if there's anything else I want to add/if you want me to elaborate.

Hope I have helped you and feel free to contact me if you need to ask anything else about English EE.
Cheers.
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