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What type of things do you need to include in your EPQ to get an A/A*? Any writing techniques or writing format?
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Report 1 year ago
I have a provisional A in AQA EPQ (won't know for certain until results day) and this is what I included:

Title Page
Contents Page
My main three sub-sections
References List (All of the references I used in my essay in alphabetical order)
Bibliography (All of the sources I looked at even if I didn't use them in alphabetical order)
Appendix (In here I included screenshots of emails from researchers, my research proposal and a literature review)

How you write and split up the main bulk of your essay is very dependant on what your topic is, your areas of research and how you find it easier to write. Mine looked at the factors affecting four different treatments and their use in healthcare and I found it easier to have three subsections on the factors rather than splitting it into four subsections based on the treatment.

References wise I used Harvard Referencing and websites like citethisforme to make my references. I personally used footnotes in the main bulk of the text, using the shorter reference in here e.g. (Donina et al., 2015, pp.421-426) and then placed the full longer reference in the references list and bibliography.

When writing, ensure you are not just being descriptive but are evaluating and discussing your points and arguments in contrast/comparison with each other. Throughout my essay I'd also evaluate my sources too so if I was saying "This study shows that this treatment is good" I would then say "However the study itself is unreliable as it was not a double blind study/had few participants". This will gain you marks for critical analysis of sources but you could also do all of this in a literature review of some kind.

Fill in the logbook in as much detail as possible. The logbook is the source of a huge chunk of your marks so fill it as much as you can. Don't be afraid to be negative. If something didn't go right, tell them. If you missed a deadline, say you did and why. Say how you're going to change your plan to make it less likely you'll miss more deadlines. Have you changed your title? Why and what to? Is everything going to plan? Good, what are you going to do next? Always write too much rather than too little in the logbook.

I'd recommend doing some form of primary research as you can get marks for planning it, undertaking it (it expands your variety of sources), and evaluating it. If you're going to do a questionnaire tell them why, what questions you'll ask, how you're going to get responses. Once you have the results tell them if the results are actually useful or not (my primary research wasn't). Do this with any primary research you get whether it is a survey or emailing researchers or authors. Make sure you get a wide variety of primary and secondary sources as this gets you more marks and discuss in the logbook how it's going.

Don't be afraid to add extra stuff to your logbook! I included: Timeline/Deadline Plan, my project proposal, and my 'research plan' in which I categorised all of my sources and picked out interesting quotes/colour coded them for positive and negative. Make sure you do some form of plan/deadlines 100% (even if you don't stick to it).

I did my presentation as a powerpoint presentation with me speaking about the slides and such. Try and keep it short (we were told 10 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for a Q&A though this may be different for you) and don't overcrowd the slides. Just bullet point your main bits and pieces and make it look a little attractive but still professional. Don't just read off the slides, add onto what you have on there while you speak. Have good body language, a loud and confident voice and use hand gestures (yes you do get marked on this). You can use things like prompt cards/cue cards in your presentation to keep you on track but make sure to make eye contact, don't just stare at the cards or the slides.

As for content for the slides, focus more on your journey rather than your content of the essay. Briefly outline what it was about and what you concluded but go more into how you did what you did and evaluation. My slides were as follows:

Why I chose to do the EPQ
How I chose my topic
Why is my topic important
My aims
How the project developed (3 slides briefly outlining changes I made and why)
Research (two slides covering what my sources were and why I collected both primary and secondary data)
What was found? (Briefly outlining my results)
Overall Conclusion
Issues during the project (and how I overcame these practical issues)
What I have learned from the EPQ (including new knowledge and skills)
Strengths of the project
Weaknesses of the project
If I did it again (things I would change with the benefit of hindsight)
How the EPQ has affected me

Hope I've helped and please feel free to ask anymore questions you have!

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