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EXTENDED ESSAY in English Watch

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    Hey, so it's summer and I'm starting my EE now (or at least the planning of it). I will be comparing two books: "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess and "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. The idea, at the moment, is that my topic (i.e. area of focus) is the subject of free will and more specifically, free will in relation to evil. If you've read these books, I'd love to hear your opinion on this idea and whether or not it seems viable. Even if you haven't read them, I'd greatly appreciate any advice whatsoever on where to start, how to plan etc... I have NO idea how to start... Also, my rough research question is something along the lines of "Is evil justified through the representation of free will in the books 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'East of Eden'?" or perhaps "Are acts of evil justified through the representation of free will in the books 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'East of Eden'?". So yeah, any help is appreciated. Thanks!

    P.S. - my supervisor did mention that I need a solid understanding of the term/concept of free will, hence I have also set aside reading and further research upon strengthening my understanding of it. Also, my housemistress (in my boarding house) is a Philosophy teacher, so hopefully, this should be no issue... And yes, I don't take Philosophy right now, but I intend to study PPE at uni (which is why I thought that incorporating free will into my EE would be a good way to show my interest in Philosophy).
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    heyo! i did my extended essay in english (on narrative communicating postmodern ideas in The Magus by John Fowles) and got a p decent grade on it, i think like 1 pt away from an A? which isn't Ideal but not terrible i suppose lol.. i haven't read any of the books you mentioned unfortunately, but if you're in the early stages i would make sure you don't narrow down what you want to talk about just yet. it really helped me to keep my subject fluid until a whiiile later in the project (whether or not you can do this will depend on how flexible and open to the idea your supervisor is though!)

    i would suggest, as you read the books with your EE in mind, to jot down ANY ideas that come to mind! anything! even better if you can keep track of a certain page or passage that brought something to mind, because those will be handy later when you want to pull quotes from the books. what happened with me was that, as i wrote down ideas and read papers on my book, a pattern emerged as to what i found most notable (in my case, narrative and postmodernism lol). having ideas down somewhere will help a lot when it comes to building a plan and trying to build something coherent, although i could have planned the whole note thing a little better as i ended up with a pile of scribbles on bookmarks, scraps of paper, and napkins. a side-note too, i would definitely try to read as many academic lit papers as you reasonably can: they'll give you an idea of how you should approach your subject and get you in the swing of analysing things (bonus points if they're texts about your books!)

    i also incorporated a lot discussion of postmodernist philosophy into my EE, so i can offer a little bit of help with that! i didn't have a philosophy option at my school, but the subject interested me... i was a little wary about broaching a subject i had no formal education in, but i feel like it all turned out pretty alright some advice my supervisor gave me was to name drop and cite directly as many influential and pertinent philosophers as possible. don't just state something about the concept of free will, quote or reference someone who is more of an authority on the subject than you (or as much of an authority as you can get in philo lol). i would definitely suggest you talk things out with your housemistress! make sure you understand what you're talking about: if you don't, it'll show and your essay could get muddled and confusing. in order to keep things clear too, spend the time you need properly working through your structure and order.. it'll make your redaction a whole lot easier and your essay a lot more fluid and pleasant to read.

    hope this helped some? i personally had a whole lot of fun writing my EE, which might sound funny to some but i was really interested in what i was doing let me know if there's anything more i can do for you, and good luck with it all!!
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    (Original post by jamiieh)
    heyo! i did my extended essay in english (on narrative communicating postmodern ideas in The Magus by John Fowles) and got a p decent grade on it, i think like 1 pt away from an A? which isn't Ideal but not terrible i suppose lol.. i haven't read any of the books you mentioned unfortunately, but if you're in the early stages i would make sure you don't narrow down what you want to talk about just yet. it really helped me to keep my subject fluid until a whiiile later in the project (whether or not you can do this will depend on how flexible and open to the idea your supervisor is though!)

    i would suggest, as you read the books with your EE in mind, to jot down ANY ideas that come to mind! anything! even better if you can keep track of a certain page or passage that brought something to mind, because those will be handy later when you want to pull quotes from the books. what happened with me was that, as i wrote down ideas and read papers on my book, a pattern emerged as to what i found most notable (in my case, narrative and postmodernism lol). having ideas down somewhere will help a lot when it comes to building a plan and trying to build something coherent, although i could have planned the whole note thing a little better as i ended up with a pile of scribbles on bookmarks, scraps of paper, and napkins. a side-note too, i would definitely try to read as many academic lit papers as you reasonably can: they'll give you an idea of how you should approach your subject and get you in the swing of analysing things (bonus points if they're texts about your books!)

    i also incorporated a lot discussion of postmodernist philosophy into my EE, so i can offer a little bit of help with that! i didn't have a philosophy option at my school, but the subject interested me... i was a little wary about broaching a subject i had no formal education in, but i feel like it all turned out pretty alright some advice my supervisor gave me was to name drop and cite directly as many influential and pertinent philosophers as possible. don't just state something about the concept of free will, quote or reference someone who is more of an authority on the subject than you (or as much of an authority as you can get in philo lol). i would definitely suggest you talk things out with your housemistress! make sure you understand what you're talking about: if you don't, it'll show and your essay could get muddled and confusing. in order to keep things clear too, spend the time you need properly working through your structure and order.. it'll make your redaction a whole lot easier and your essay a lot more fluid and pleasant to read.

    hope this helped some? i personally had a whole lot of fun writing my EE, which might sound funny to some but i was really interested in what i was doing let me know if there's anything more i can do for you, and good luck with it all!!
    Thanks for the reply - it was really helpful! Just one more question, how did you plan your structure? I've already read both books and have some notes, but I don't know what to do with them...
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    (Original post by asd.987)
    Thanks for the reply - it was really helpful! Just one more question, how did you plan your structure? I've already read both books and have some notes, but I don't know what to do with them...
    hey! glad my rambling made some sense to you

    honestly, for me the plan of this essay was actually the hardest bit to execute. i had a list of points i wanted to bring up, but wasn't sure how to tie them together or make them make sense... here's what i did in case that helps:

    i first boiled down my notes to some more key concepts. i noticed that a lot of the things i'd written down could be grouped together or linked to one another. maybe they were about 2 characteristics that had a similar impact, or maybe they were both indicative of an underlying principle or stylistic choice. this was essentially reducing all my ideas to their roots. that was the hardest part tbh.

    once i had a handful of key ideas (sentences or key words really), i played around with them for a whiiile, trying to figure out the best way to group, order, or approach my proof of them. i'd make a basic skeleton of the order, turn it around for a day or so in my mind, then come back to it and tweak it a little more. rinse and repeat. i ended up splitting the characteristics of the novel i wanted to talk about into 3 big groups (depending on the narrator). i then tried establish an approach: a) describe the characteristic and hint towards its impact, then b) highlight that impact's link with postmodernism. sometimes, i spent more time discussing theory, sometimes, it took longer to describe the characteristic. i found that having decided to split my paragraphs according to the narrative element made my life a whole lot easier than, say, splitting them according to effect. treating narrative devices one at a time was, in my opinion, what helped me make this more of a literature essay than a philosophy essay.

    then, when i had my basic skeleton down, and had decided how i would approach my proofs and discussion, i went back through my more lengthy notes and fleshed out my arguments. that's when i added in the postmodern theory, the sources, the quotes, the specifications, etc.. basically the opposite of the first "boiling down" step, but hopefully this time a little bit more coherently.

    unfortunately, i can't offer much guidance on how to structure a comparative EE, but hopefully this helps a little. this is, of course, just one way to do it! other folks have loads of other strategies to plan their essays, depends on what works for you! i just think very messily sometimes, so simplifying things at the beginning of the planning process helped me deal with them much more effectively. it's also very possible that, part way through writing your essay, you realise "hey, the transition would be much more smooth if i switched the order of these two ideas" (it happened to me a few times!). don't worry about, try to stay flexible with your plan if you can! you'll most likely get a feel for what flows and what doesn't as you write.

    i've attached both the plan i used to write my EE as well as my final copy (which is not to say that there aren't typos in it... there are lol) i also just double checked my grade just to give you an idea of what this scores, and i got a 28 which is the upper boundary for a B (oooone little point away from an A.. curses!) hope this helps!!
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  1. File Type: pdf Plan détaillé mémoire.pdf (154.1 KB, 7 views)
  2. File Type: pdf Remise IB Mémoire - Postmodern Ideas and Narrative in The Magus .pdf (192.6 KB, 7 views)
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    (Original post by jamiieh)
    hey! glad my rambling made some sense to you

    honestly, for me the plan of this essay was actually the hardest bit to execute. i had a list of points i wanted to bring up, but wasn't sure how to tie them together or make them make sense... here's what i did in case that helps:

    i first boiled down my notes to some more key concepts. i noticed that a lot of the things i'd written down could be grouped together or linked to one another. maybe they were about 2 characteristics that had a similar impact, or maybe they were both indicative of an underlying principle or stylistic choice. this was essentially reducing all my ideas to their roots. that was the hardest part tbh.

    once i had a handful of key ideas (sentences or key words really), i played around with them for a whiiile, trying to figure out the best way to group, order, or approach my proof of them. i'd make a basic skeleton of the order, turn it around for a day or so in my mind, then come back to it and tweak it a little more. rinse and repeat. i ended up splitting the characteristics of the novel i wanted to talk about into 3 big groups (depending on the narrator). i then tried establish an approach: a) describe the characteristic and hint towards its impact, then b) highlight that impact's link with postmodernism. sometimes, i spent more time discussing theory, sometimes, it took longer to describe the characteristic. i found that having decided to split my paragraphs according to the narrative element made my life a whole lot easier than, say, splitting them according to effect. treating narrative devices one at a time was, in my opinion, what helped me make this more of a literature essay than a philosophy essay.

    then, when i had my basic skeleton down, and had decided how i would approach my proofs and discussion, i went back through my more lengthy notes and fleshed out my arguments. that's when i added in the postmodern theory, the sources, the quotes, the specifications, etc.. basically the opposite of the first "boiling down" step, but hopefully this time a little bit more coherently.

    unfortunately, i can't offer much guidance on how to structure a comparative EE, but hopefully this helps a little. this is, of course, just one way to do it! other folks have loads of other strategies to plan their essays, depends on what works for you! i just think very messily sometimes, so simplifying things at the beginning of the planning process helped me deal with them much more effectively. it's also very possible that, part way through writing your essay, you realise "hey, the transition would be much more smooth if i switched the order of these two ideas" (it happened to me a few times!). don't worry about, try to stay flexible with your plan if you can! you'll most likely get a feel for what flows and what doesn't as you write.

    i've attached both the plan i used to write my EE as well as my final copy (which is not to say that there aren't typos in it... there are lol) i also just double checked my grade just to give you an idea of what this scores, and i got a 28 which is the upper boundary for a B (oooone little point away from an A.. curses!) hope this helps!!
    Once again, thank you soooo much for the help!
 
 
 
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