EPQ help! I have no idea where to start... How should I lay it all out? EPQ

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KToddy
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My chosen title is "If facial expressions are universal, does that mean I can tell if you're lying?" This is based on a tv show and a psychologists research.

My teacher hasn't told me what to do other than start the research? I don't know how to lay it out or what I need to include... Can someone help?!
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by KToddy)
My chosen title is "If facial expressions are universal, does that mean I can tell if you're lying?" This is based on a tv show and a psychologists research.

My teacher hasn't told me what to do other than start the research? I don't know how to lay it out or what I need to include... Can someone help?!
Which exam board are you doing it with? If you're with AQA then I can help
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KToddy
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Which exam board are you doing it with? If you're with AQA then I can help
If I'm completely honest I have no idea because our teacher hasn't said but I'd assume so and I'm happy to take the advice regardless
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by KToddy)
If I'm completely honest I have no idea because our teacher hasn't said but I'd assume so and I'm happy to take the advice regardless
Okay then, I did my EPQ with AQA (AQA seems to be the most popular EPQ exam board, so here's some advice for AQA as I don't know much about the other boards)

The essay

Assuming you’re doing the long 5000 word essay, you usually lay it out like this:

1. Introduction (bear in mind that the introduction is often easier to write at the end of the project)

Start by introducing your question, for example: “The question I am researching is ‘If facial expressions are universal, does that mean I can tell if you're lying?’”, then explain the aim of your project, i.e. what you plan to find out. Also mention what sources of information you will use, and how your essay is going to be structured.

2. Main essay

Here you should discuss all of the main points and arguments which will help to answer your question. This should be the bulk of your essay; remember to use paragraphs and reference any quotes you use so that the examiner can refer to them in the bibliography.

3. Conclusion

In the conclusion you should briefly discuss the most significant points/arguments again and come to a conclusion which answers your original title question.

4. Bibliography

The bibliography should include sources for all images and quotes you use in your essay. Keep a note of the date when you found each source as well and add them in square brackets after each source. If I remember correctly, you need at least three different types of sources of information, for example a book, a website and a TV programme – you get marks specifically for doing this. I would check with your teacher though!

The presentation

When you have completed your essay, you’ll need to give a short 10-15 minute presentation on your EPQ topic. The presentation should have slides dedicated to the following: why you chose to do an EPQ, why you chose your specific title, sources of information you used, what you found out, your conclusion, any problems you encountered during the project, benefits of doing an EPQ, what you would do differently if you did the project again, and whether you would recommend doing an EPQ to others. There must also be opportunity for the audience to ask questions, either during the presentation or at the end.

The Log Book

As well as the essay, you’ll also need to complete a Log Book (I think it’s also sometimes called a Production Log) - remember to fill it in thoroughly because this is the part which gets you most of the marks. You fill in the Log Book at various stages during your EPQ, at the start, middle and end of the project. Inside the Log Book there is guidance on what to include, but I found it very vague, so basically at each stage you’ll write about 1) what has gone well and what has gone badly, 2) any changes you have made to the project e.g. the title, structure etc, 3) what you plan to do next, and 4) any recommendations from your EPQ mentor/supervisor. You also need to write about your presentation, but again, the Log Book will have instructions on what you need to include.

At the end of the Log Book there is a section titled ‘Reflection’. Don’t be tempted to skimp on this section, as it’s worth A LOT of marks – they give you an entire page of answer space for a reason!

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to do; if you have any more questions feel free to message me (I got an A in my EPQ)
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Vikingninja
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Leviathan I am currently doing the EPQ as well and I also have a few questions:

How much research should we aim to do over the Summer holidays?

Is the plan basically the log because I am a bit scared about this as I am getting research and putting in a journal with comments but apart from the log I have no plan?
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KToddy
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
Okay then, I did my EPQ with AQA (AQA seems to be the most popular EPQ exam board, so here's some advice for AQA as I don't know much about the other boards)

The essay

Assuming you’re doing the long 5000 word essay, you usually lay it out like this:

1. Introduction (bear in mind that the introduction is often easier to write at the end of the project)

Start by introducing your question, for example: “The question I am researching is ‘If facial expressions are universal, does that mean I can tell if you're lying?’”, then explain the aim of your project, i.e. what you plan to find out. Also mention what sources of information you will use, and how your essay is going to be structured.

2. Main essay

Here you should discuss all of the main points and arguments which will help to answer your question. This should be the bulk of your essay; remember to use paragraphs and reference any quotes you use so that the examiner can refer to them in the bibliography.

3. Conclusion

In the conclusion you should briefly discuss the most significant points/arguments again and come to a conclusion which answers your original title question.

4. Bibliography

The bibliography should include sources for all images and quotes you use in your essay. Keep a note of the date when you found each source as well and add them in square brackets after each source. If I remember correctly, you need at least three different types of sources of information, for example a book, a website and a TV programme – you get marks specifically for doing this. I would check with your teacher though!

The presentation

When you have completed your essay, you’ll need to give a short 10-15 minute presentation on your EPQ topic. The presentation should have slides dedicated to the following: why you chose to do an EPQ, why you chose your specific title, sources of information you used, what you found out, your conclusion, any problems you encountered during the project, benefits of doing an EPQ, what you would do differently if you did the project again, and whether you would recommend doing an EPQ to others. There must also be opportunity for the audience to ask questions, either during the presentation or at the end.

The Log Book

As well as the essay, you’ll also need to complete a Log Book (I think it’s also sometimes called a Production Log) - remember to fill it in thoroughly because this is the part which gets you most of the marks. You fill in the Log Book at various stages during your EPQ, at the start, middle and end of the project. Inside the Log Book there is guidance on what to include, but I found it very vague, so basically at each stage you’ll write about 1) what has gone well and what has gone badly, 2) any changes you have made to the project e.g. the title, structure etc, 3) what you plan to do next, and 4) any recommendations from your EPQ mentor/supervisor. You also need to write about your presentation, but again, the Log Book will have instructions on what you need to include.

At the end of the Log Book there is a section titled ‘Reflection’. Don’t be tempted to skimp on this section, as it’s worth A LOT of marks – they give you an entire page of answer space for a reason!

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to do; if you have any more questions feel free to message me (I got an A in my EPQ)
Thaaaaank you so much! This is exactly what I needed!

I just have a few final questions ...
1. So the presentation is basically a verbal reflection of what went well in your EPQ and what didn't and then you would write this in the Log. Does that mean I don't need to include what went well and what didn't in my actual EPQ?

2. For the research, how would I lay this out bearing in mind all my teacher has done so far is ask me what topic I'm doing (over email) and told me to start research, so I don't really know what he wants. Would it be like a table and I write what I found and then the source and date ect...?

3. Finally, when did you start your EPQ and how long did it take for you to complete it?

Again thank you, I'm feeling so much better about this EPQ now.
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
Leviathan I am currently doing the EPQ as well and I also have a few questions:

How much research should we aim to do over the Summer holidays?

Is the plan basically the log because I am a bit scared about this as I am getting research and putting in a journal with comments but apart from the log I have no plan?
The amount of research you should aim to do depends on when you need to hand in your EPQ - obviously if you're handing it in in September/November then you should be doing most/all of it during the holidays. I'm not 100% sure though because the deadline for my EPQ was different to the other subject departments in my college, so your time frame may be different.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a 'plan', as I didn't do one like you describe. I think the most important thing is to fill in the Log Book thoroughly, so I would focus on that. I don't think a plan like the one you're doing is actually necessary as I wasn't told to do one and still got an A, but I would keep it anyway as it might get you some marks. I would check with your teacher whether it's necessary - perhaps other schools approach it differently to how mine did.

How far into your project are you, and when is the deadline?
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Vikingninja
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
The amount of research you should aim to do depends on when you need to hand in your EPQ - obviously if you're handing it in in September/November then you should be doing most/all of it during the holidays. I'm not 100% sure though because the deadline for my EPQ was different to the other subject departments in my college, so your time frame may be different.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a 'plan', as I didn't do one like you describe. I think the most important thing is to fill in the Log Book thoroughly, so I would focus on that. I don't think a plan like the one you're doing is actually necessary as I wasn't told to do one and still got an A, but I would keep it anyway as it might get you some marks. I would check with your teacher whether it's necessary - perhaps other schools approach it differently to how mine did.

How far into your project are you, and when is the deadline?
The examboard doing the EPQ at my college is AQA

I am currently on research as the Summer holidays is the bulk of our research. From what my student calendar says my final draft is completed in January and presentation in February.
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by KToddy)
Thaaaaank you so much! This is exactly what I needed!

I just have a few final questions ...
1. So the presentation is basically a verbal reflection of what went well in your EPQ and what didn't and then you would write this in the Log. Does that mean I don't need to include what went well and what didn't in my actual EPQ?

2. For the research, how would I lay this out bearing in mind all my teacher has done so far is ask me what topic I'm doing (over email) and told me to start research, so I don't really know what he wants. Would it be like a table and I write what I found and then the source and date ect...?

3. Finally, when did you start your EPQ and how long did it take for you to complete it?

Again thank you, I'm feeling so much better about this EPQ now.
1. Your actual EPQ is the essay, where you write about all of your arguments and come to a conclusion for your title question. You write about what went well/badly etc in the Log Book and then briefly repeat parts of it in the presentation. I hope that makes sense, it's kinda hard to explain!

2. That's exactly what my EPQ teacher did too! Basically what I did was make a list of all of the points I wanted to cover in the essay. Then I spent time researching each point in turn and wrote a couple of paragraphs about each point, building my essay up slowly. It would be a good idea to make a table for all of the websites you visit, books you read etc, with the URLs, titles, authors etc and when you visited/read them. You can then use this to keep track of your sources so that you can easily create your bibliography later on.

3. I believe I started my EPQ in around May/June and finished it in November, so it took about 6 months to complete.

I hope this helps. Hopefully your teacher should be more helpful once you've made a proper start and can give you more tailored guidance
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
The examboard doing the EPQ at my college is AQA

I am currently on research as the Summer holidays is the bulk of our research. From what my student calendar says my final draft is completed in January and presentation in February.
You have loads of time then! For now I would concentrate on identifying all of the points which you want to cover in your essay and spending time researching each of them. When I did mine, I wrote my essay while I was doing research, like I found some information, incorporated it into the essay, found more information, added it into the essay and so on. I would recommend this approach, because it allows you to see whether your title is broad enough - you don't want to do all your research in one go only to start writing your essay and potentially finding out that there isn't enough information to help you write it. Although you can alter your title at any time, I think it'd be easier to have a good title from the beginning to avoid potential stress and hassle later. Also, if you get the first draft of the essay out of the way early, you'll still have plenty of time to improve it before the deadline
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jape
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I didn't write my EPQ, got an X on it and still qualified for my first choice university. I know it's not the advice you wanted, I just thought you should know that it isn't the end of the world if it all goes balls-up and not to worry too much about it.
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KToddy
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
1. Your actual EPQ is the essay, where you write about all of your arguments and come to a conclusion for your title question. You write about what went well/badly etc in the Log Book and then briefly repeat parts of it in the presentation. I hope that makes sense, it's kinda hard to explain!

2. That's exactly what my EPQ teacher did too! Basically what I did was make a list of all of the points I wanted to cover in the essay. Then I spent time researching each point in turn and wrote a couple of paragraphs about each point, building my essay up slowly. It would be a good idea to make a table for all of the websites you visit, books you read etc, with the URLs, titles, authors etc and when you visited/read them. You can then use this to keep track of your sources so that you can easily create your bibliography later on.

3. I believe I started my EPQ in around May/June and finished it in November, so it took about 6 months to complete.

I hope this helps. Hopefully your teacher should be more helpful once you've made a proper start and can give you more tailored guidance
It all makes so much sense now and a very good idea about building up what point you want to make I'm definitely going to do that.
Thank you
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Leviathan1741
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(Original post by KToddy)
It all makes so much sense now and a very good idea about building up what point you want to make I'm definitely going to do that.
Thank you
Glad I could help
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Jamshaid101
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I did the EPQ last year , with the AQA exam board. I got an A*.

if you need any clarification, i'm sure i could be useful )
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crossy33
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Is the tv show Lie to me?
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KToddy
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(Original post by crossy33)
Is the tv show Lie to me?
ahaha yeah it is! Good show
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bparris2
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(Original post by Jamshaid101)
I did the EPQ last year , with the AQA exam board. I got an A*.

if you need any clarification, i'm sure i could be useful )
#

Hey I'm just about to start writing my EPQ. I am aiming to get an a*. How did you set yours out and did you do anything extra or have any tips on getting the a*. thank you
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TheHungryStudent
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i want to do an EPQ but i my school hasn't told us anything about it and its September now, i'm worried i wont have time to do research etc. Shoud I have started way before? I'm so stressed
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Mlb37
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(Original post by TheHungryStudent)
i want to do an EPQ but i my school hasn't told us anything about it and its September now, i'm worried i wont have time to do research etc. Shoud I have started way before? I'm so stressed
Hi I had a meeting with my sixth form yesterday to choose my a levels and they suggested I do EPQ. So I am trying to come up with a topic before I start on Monday. I feel like I should have done loads of research in the summer but I only found out about it yesterday. I am worried I won't get enough time to do it all but I'm trying to put my faith in the teachers! So don't stress too much, I know I wasn't much help but I am in the same situation!
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Kefte
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I did it with Edexcel - and got an A (only because I handed in beyond the deadline).

At first it seems incredibly daunting, but it isn't and it's easier than you think. The biggest problem for me was looking at all my sources first, then trying to write it, because I was left confused.

Introduction - Write your introduction now. I found breaking it down into questions and then answer them, then rearranging it to make an introduction help. Why did you choose this subject? Why is it important?

Discussion - Then find your sources, and write as you find each source (you can rearrange or delete later) and make sure you footnote as you write (doing footnotes later is an absolute pain).

Conclusion - Then talk about the sources, pros/cons - is there any bias?

There are some textbooks you can buy to help you - but, I didn't find them helpful.

The main thing I can say is - write now, you can alter and edit as you go along.
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