AstarforEPQ
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Hello,

I am struggling with how to write each structure of my essay. To what I know, I need the abstract, introduction, literature review, main body, conclusion. Is this correct?

I am unsure about how to approach the Literature review and the difference between Intro and Abstract! What the format/structure of the sections? What am I supposed to write?

Detailed answer would be very much appreciated! Image
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jennifugh
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You sound about right - hopefully you have an EPQ advisor at school though who can mentor you in how to do it.
One thing about the EPQ though is the structure can be quite flexible. I once saw an examiner comment that it appeared many students had been pushed toward the classic research project e.g. lit review, intro, discussion etc. when actually every project is different. The research itself should lead to a specific structure to an extent and this can depend on what project you are doing e.g. English related, science etc.
From what I remember, the literature review is focused on the research that has come before you in this area and evaluating the sources you have used. The introduction meanwhile sets up a background to your research, introducing the question itself. The abstract I'm not too sure about.

What is also necessary is a bibliography - this is where all your sources are accurately referenced and does not count towards your word count but is vital.

Structuring the main part for me was through sub sections where (mine was English literature based) each subtitle was a different focus of the novel and the for and against arguments were integrated. I also had done primary research which I found it easier to put afterwards rather than within these subsections.

The conclusion was mainly summarising my debate and reaching a clear side which shined through as more prominent in the essay (although it was a balanced debate). It also highlighted limitations in my research and scope for further investigation.

Hope this helps
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AstarforEPQ
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(Original post by jennifugh)
You sound about right - hopefully you have an EPQ advisor at school though who can mentor you in how to do it.
One thing about the EPQ though is the structure can be quite flexible. I once saw an examiner comment that it appeared many students had been pushed toward the classic research project e.g. lit review, intro, discussion etc. when actually every project is different. The research itself should lead to a specific structure to an extent and this can depend on what project you are doing e.g. English related, science etc.
From what I remember, the literature review is focused on the research that has come before you in this area and evaluating the sources you have used. The introduction meanwhile sets up a background to your research, introducing the question itself. The abstract I'm not too sure about.

What is also necessary is a bibliography - this is where all your sources are accurately referenced and does not count towards your word count but is vital.

Structuring the main part for me was through sub sections where (mine was English literature based) each subtitle was a different focus of the novel and the for and against arguments were integrated. I also had done primary research which I found it easier to put afterwards rather than within these subsections.

The conclusion was mainly summarising my debate and reaching a clear side which shined through as more prominent in the essay (although it was a balanced debate). It also highlighted limitations in my research and scope for further investigation.

Hope this helps
I have a few more questions!

The bibliography comes at the very end with all the sources I read regardless of whether I cited it or not right? And for the sources I actually used/cited in my essay I also have to make footnotes to reference?

Also, as in the literature review, we evaluate and analyse and talk about the main sources we read, we don't have to evaluate the sources within the main body of the essay right? So I can just write a point the source said, footnote reference it and move on WITHOUT having to say "the author says ... and it is valid because he is credible... etc" because I am doing that in the literature review right?

Also, do you think its okay if my topic (The Korean Financial Crisis) will be about 2 topics (cause and response) in 2 seperate sections? First on Causes of the Crisis (where I evaluate the different debated causes and talk about how significantly it contributed to causing the crisis) and then the Response to the crisis (which I will evaluate the success of the policy responses and whether it was appropriate... etc). Do you think it will be okay? In my conclusion I can have small sections talking about each then a 3rd section combining both and talking about the crisis in general. Most essays I read were like For and Against essays with a balance and then picking a side in the end, but my essay will be more of a discussion of evaluating each causes and responses.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your previous answer. I want to ask my supervisor but he hasn't been reading my mails for 1 month since the summer holiday beginning and I need to finish it by end of break
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jennifugh
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Okay - some more answers
Sidenote: I'm happy to help as I know when I did the EPQ I was so lost at times
For the EPQ, at least at my school we had an online system called ProjectQ in which we kept as a sort of diary for our whole EPQ process. Therefore, this was a chance to do the things such as evaluating sources for utility without necessarily using up word count in the essay (also in regard to the word count - 5000 is the target but there is slight leeway, especially if you prove effective planning, e.g. decided to go slightly over so you could explore an argument in depth).
Your topic sounds quite interesting even though I honestly don't know much about it. I think structuring depends on your question. For example if your question is ….. was the most significant cause of the Korean Financial Crisis then the causes need to be the bulk of your essay. Meanwhile if its focused on the responses, if you talk at extreme length about the causes in a 50/50 split between causes and response your EPQ may appear too narrative like and less debate like. The question typically leads to the right structuring however I'd say by exploring the causes you are showing historical depth and then the responses evidences clear research so both will be useful to explore. What I would say is the debate relating to your question should be the largest part of the essay.
I personally integrated my for and against arguments because my essay felt too 'jumpy' from one topic to the next when I tried to put all the for arguments together and all the against ones together. Typically your essay leads you to what is right. For science-topics the arguments may appear binary and thus best placed as clear for and against but for more humanities based subjects, it sometimes flows better to integrate the two and kind of debate as you write.
For referencing, I used the Harvard method which a lot of online guides helped me with but basically entails an in text reference (not a foot note but brackets - author, date close brackets) and then in the bibliography - which was alphabetical rather than chronological as to when I reference the author in the project.
In the literature review, it can sound a bit forced to be like this author is credible because... but I kind of integrated an evaluation for some because it felt right. However I don't think you have to. The mark scheme I think references some form of evaluation but this can be in your diary of some kind e.g. ProjectQ.
Hope this helps
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AstarforEPQ
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(Original post by jennifugh)
Okay - some more answers
Sidenote: I'm happy to help as I know when I did the EPQ I was so lost at times
For the EPQ, at least at my school we had an online system called ProjectQ in which we kept as a sort of diary for our whole EPQ process. Therefore, this was a chance to do the things such as evaluating sources for utility without necessarily using up word count in the essay (also in regard to the word count - 5000 is the target but there is slight leeway, especially if you prove effective planning, e.g. decided to go slightly over so you could explore an argument in depth).
Your topic sounds quite interesting even though I honestly don't know much about it. I think structuring depends on your question. For example if your question is ….. was the most significant cause of the Korean Financial Crisis then the causes need to be the bulk of your essay. Meanwhile if its focused on the responses, if you talk at extreme length about the causes in a 50/50 split between causes and response your EPQ may appear too narrative like and less debate like. The question typically leads to the right structuring however I'd say by exploring the causes you are showing historical depth and then the responses evidences clear research so both will be useful to explore. What I would say is the debate relating to your question should be the largest part of the essay.
I personally integrated my for and against arguments because my essay felt too 'jumpy' from one topic to the next when I tried to put all the for arguments together and all the against ones together. Typically your essay leads you to what is right. For science-topics the arguments may appear binary and thus best placed as clear for and against but for more humanities based subjects, it sometimes flows better to integrate the two and kind of debate as you write.
For referencing, I used the Harvard method which a lot of online guides helped me with but basically entails an in text reference (not a foot note but brackets - author, date close brackets) and then in the bibliography - which was alphabetical rather than chronological as to when I reference the author in the project.
In the literature review, it can sound a bit forced to be like this author is credible because... but I kind of integrated an evaluation for some because it felt right. However I don't think you have to. The mark scheme I think references some form of evaluation but this can be in your diary of some kind e.g. ProjectQ.
Hope this helps
I have a few more clarification questions

Q1) What was the format of your literature review? Like what did it actually talk about and contain? Can you give me an example?
I already made like a source summary and evaluation table on a separate document (because our school doesn't use Project Q nor a diary of any kind) which I plan on submitting as well. How does the literature review differ from the source table I have? You mentioned you did some source analysis and evaluation on your diary but also on your literature review, whats the difference?

Q2) Also, can I do the citing of the sources in my footnotes and then put all of what I used and read in the bibliography? Because if I do the text reference it will take away my precious word count.

Q3) Also, I don't think my essay will be like a typical 'for and against' essay like the majority of EPQ essays. Mine will more be like an evaluation of the significance of each cause and how much it contributed to the crisis and also the evaluation of the success of each policy and its appropriateness. As you said, it won't be like a hard on debate between causes and responses but it will be more of an assessment with evaluation. Also, my title is gonna be "The Korean Financial Crisis 1997 - Evaluation of Causes and Responses", not in form of a question but more of a report style but I will be evaluative to resist being too descriptive. Is my topic idea and title fine?
Because its hard going like "What is the most significant cause of the Korean Crisis?" as the title because my topic basically the causes are all interconnected with each other, causing and worsening each others effects. Nor can I just focus on responses because the reader doesn't know the causes and its really long explaining all the causes. What do you think?
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jennifugh
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Lit Review - I'm not the best at literature reviews but here's my advice: I started with writing how my chosen title ('to what extent did the publication of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time lessen autism stigma?' fit into the wider topic of disability and literature. Then I introduced my most prominent sources - evaluating can be done outside your project but I personally (but I don't think you have to) tried to use this section to justify their relevance to my project and this is how it differs from a source table which perhaps is mainly searching for utility e.g. when published, by who etc.
Citing - This depends on what system you use and certain systems do use footnotes (e.g. Oxford). Therefore, if you are more comfortable with footnotes then in text citations, and your school doesn't restrict you, I'd go with a system that allows footnotes. Then in a bibliography, you'll put any sources you've quoted or drawn ideas from. There may have been a part of your research (e.g. reading something) that you found wasn't relevant and so you didn't mention the ideas from the source in your argument, then it doesn't need referencing.
Topic - I personally think it is easier to have a debate question however, I appreciate with your subject that may not be easy. I prefer this because you can more easily hit the points of debating, balancing arguments and reaching a conclusion.
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AstarforEPQ
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(Original post by jennifugh)
Lit Review - I'm not the best at literature reviews but here's my advice: I started with writing how my chosen title ('to what extent did the publication of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time lessen autism stigma?' fit into the wider topic of disability and literature. Then I introduced my most prominent sources - evaluating can be done outside your project but I personally (but I don't think you have to) tried to use this section to justify their relevance to my project and this is how it differs from a source table which perhaps is mainly searching for utility e.g. when published, by who etc.
Citing - This depends on what system you use and certain systems do use footnotes (e.g. Oxford). Therefore, if you are more comfortable with footnotes then in text citations, and your school doesn't restrict you, I'd go with a system that allows footnotes. Then in a bibliography, you'll put any sources you've quoted or drawn ideas from. There may have been a part of your research (e.g. reading something) that you found wasn't relevant and so you didn't mention the ideas from the source in your argument, then it doesn't need referencing.
Topic - I personally think it is easier to have a debate question however, I appreciate with your subject that may not be easy. I prefer this because you can more easily hit the points of debating, balancing arguments and reaching a conclusion.
So for your source, you did a literature review talking about how your most major sources relate to your topic and how it answers your question. Then you also had a source analysis/evaluation of the credibility of the source in your diary right? Did I understand correctly that for you, you used the Literature review strictly for relevance of your source to your topic and then the evaluation of credibility was done on the diary to reduce word count?
Do you think I can integrate the source evaluation (which you had in your diary) into my literature review?

Also, how did you format the literature review? I know some people that did it as a table format, and some that did it in the traditional text paragraph format. Which did you do? Also, does the literature review count in the 5000 word count?
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