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Extended Essays in the IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme is widely seen as the most challenging pre-university course, and the topics which Regents students choose to tackle as part of their compulsory extended essay support that notion.
  • The IB Centre at Regents International School Pattaya
2014/15 Exemplar Essay Titles
  • An investigation into Mark Rothko’s “Orange, Red and Yellow”: Why does it cost $87,000,000? (Visual Arts)
  • To what extent is perfectionism detrimental to the performance of elite athletes? (Psychology)
  • What musical features are used in Pirates of the Caribbean (Hans Zimmer) and Psycho (Bernard Hermann) to heighten emotion? (Music)
  • To what extent did the Korean War (1990 – 1953) affect US Foreign Policy? (History)
  • To what extent does a Warehouse Management System (WMS) benefit an industrial business in improving reliability when controlling inventory? (Information Technology in a Global Society)
  • How are indigenous culture and language portrayed in Philip Noyce’s movie, 'Rabbit Proof Fence'? (English B)
  • To what extent does the pH of soil affect Papaya production in Pattaya? (Biology)
Exemplar Essay Abstracts

Example 1: Chemistry

Abstract: Aluminium readily forms a layer of aluminium oxide whenever it comes in contact with air or water. This natural oxide adds hardness and thickness to the underlining aluminium protecting it from further oxidation, corrosion and wear. Although the process occurs naturally, the natural oxide coating is not of sufficient thickness for use in industrial processes. Therefore, an electrolytic process known as anodizing is carried out to make the oxide layer thicker. This study is centered towards the following research question: Does the Thickness of the Anodic Oxide Film Produced during the Anodizing of Aluminum Increases as the Acid Used in the Electrolytic Solution is changed from a Monoprotic Acid to a Diprotic Acid?

The investigation was carried out on Acetic acid (monoprotic), Nitric acid (monoprotic) and Sulphuric acid (diprotic) which were standardized and diluted to molarity of 1mol dm-3.

The aluminium plates were anodized through electrolysis for a constant time by varying the acid used in the electrolyte solution. After the anodizing was carried out an eddy current gauge measured the thickness of the anodic oxide film.

It was found that varying the acid in the electrolyte solution used to anodize aluminium does have an effect on the thickness of the anodic oxide film.  Sulphuric acid formed the thickest layer in a constant time interval (of 10 minutes) while acetic acid formed the thinnest layer. Both nitric acid and acetic acid are monoprotic acid but they have a varied effect on the thickness of the anodic oxide film showing that the thickness does not directly depend on the number of hydrogen atoms donated per molecule, i.e. the thickness of the anodic oxide film does not depend on the number of dissociation levels of the acid in water but on the extent to which the acid dissociates in water.

Example 2: Language A: Literature

Abstract: The following essay explores how Atwood developed the theme of Vision in Cat’s Eye. The scope of this essay is restricted to this novel and the interpretations and analysis of the text are supported by reference to Jungian theories of the shadow and literary analysis from academic sources. However, the limitation of this essay is that it does not take a complete psychoanalytical review of the novel. The essay focuses instead on how the narrator uses vision to construct her past, present and ultimately her future. Vision is developed as a narrative technique for a painter’s fictive autobiography. The narrator experiences visions of her suppressed memories through her paintings which are arranged in chronological orders for her retrospective and as means of structuring the text to allow authorial analepsis.

A chain of references to the symbol of eyes such as the cat’s eye and ways of seeing is sustained throughout the novel to convey the narrator’s repressed memories of childhood trauma. Sight and insight is contrasted as she views her paintings but fail initially to understand the meaning behind them, generating a sense of irony in the novel. Atwood incorporates the use of a figurative narrative (the paintings) and Cordelia as a visual manifestation of Elaine’s Jungian shadow to provide alternative ‘versions’ to Elaine’s past memories and highlight the theme of twin ship and memory in the novel. Elaine’s metaphorical blindness towards her past memories is used to drive the plot and the clearing of vision (which is also represented as her ability to deal with ‘light’) is used to provide the moment of anagnorsis for Elaine therefore it can be concluded that vision is developed as a narrative technique for a painter’s fictive autobiography.