Extended Essay Ideas?Watch
Hi- I'm doing the International Baccalaureate, and as part of it we've got to do a 4,000 word extended essay (I suppose it's the equivalent of the A Level EPQ). I want to do mine on Psychology (preferably educational/socio-cultural), Theatre (possibly educational) or English (possibly society/power related). Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
So I don't know much about Theatre but I might be able to help you out with Psychology and English I did the IB and did English for mine so I'll probably be able to give you a better insight on that. Anyway, for psychology, you want a topic that you can get a lot of case studies for (you have 4000 words to fill, you need a lot of evidence). Sociocultural and educational psychology are both really good areas to look at as there are lots of aspects to them. Psychology is a good subject to make arguments in so you could look at the sociocultural explanation of one behaviour (ie violence) and contrast it against the biological and cognitive explanations.
Society and power for a English essay are two good elements to get into as a lot of texts contain them in some way or another. However, for an EE, they are a bit to broad on their own. For English, essays tend to take the form of 'what is the effect of X on Y?'. What you might want to consider doing, then, is writing about how other elements in a text create a sense of society and power.
Here's a list of examples off the top of my head (I should mention, I am extremely tired so don't kill me if these don't make sense):
-How surveillance in 1984 oppresses society
-How creating words in The Handmaids tale enables some and disables others
-The use of public mockery in The Crucible
-Fruit as a metaphor for the economy and power in Goblin Market
Basically, there are tons you can do with this topic. For a essay of these size you would need to have about two or three works to compare/contrast. The essays above are very specific and could well form part of other essays so feel free to take some ideas (for example, you might decide that you would like to know how authors create a dystopia in which case surveillance AND the making up of words for part of that). Here's some other books you might consider looking at and a little explanation as to why:
1) A Tale of Two Cities/Hard Times (Dickens, all about power)
2) Jane Eyre (Classic Victorian, you should read it anyway)
3) The Woman in White (Marian Halcombe is very powerful and challenges conventions, bit long though)
4) Coriolanus (Shakespeare, the plot involves the division of classes though most of his plays do)
5) Posh (a play, friend of mine told me he did it for A Level, about education systems to an extent)
6) The Picture of Dorian Gray (Socialites, wealth and the society you keep- on a side note, gothic literature is great for power discussions)
Like I said, many to choose from. You might find it useful to compare across styles as well as time periods because it helps when talking about form, structure the way a line was intended and their effects to the literature as a whole. Whatever topic you do, make sure that you focus on one thing and not deviate too much from your argument That applies to both psychology and English.
I would list more but I have reading of my own ;P
Hope this helps
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