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The Extended Essay Proposal

Following six weeks of Friday tutor periods devoted to the Extended Essay, Year 12 students are now completing their proposal forms and making some very important decisions.  

 

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As you may be aware, students have greater ownership of the EE (as it is commonly referred to) than any other academic endeavour they have undertaken to date. Appointed teacher supervisors will support but this student-led, mainly independent enterprise but it is an assignment that represents the closest experience that students will have of university expectations while still at TBS. The EE can really help this later transition, as one of our alumni discovered in September when the media examination she was studying for her Law degree so closely mirrored the Law examination she had already completed for her Literature EE.  

Without a doubt, it  is the students who fully embrace the EE expectations that get the most out of the experience. And the journey towards‘... an independent piece of research, culminating with a 4,000-word paper.’ (IBO)  effectively starts with the proposal, and the decision of what that paper will be about. 

This proposal itself is also important because the final assessment considers not only the writing but the whole process: the choice of question, the methodological approach towards the answer, and the research required to reach it. And because the EE can either focus on a single subject, or a combination of two in order to examine a contemporary global issue, students are asked to provide two separate proposals for their EE. In itself, this a useful exercise in gathering useful research sources and considering the potential methodologies, but it also keeps ensures that alternative avenues remain open should problems arise with initial choices. Additionally, the proposal will be used to allocate the best supervisor to the student.

In completing the proposal form, these are some of the decisions that students will need to make: 

  • A single subject choice and a two World Studies subject choices: focused on the subjects that the student is studying. 
  • A topic area of interest: ...within the chosen subjects 
  • A possible research question (RQ): ...which further focuses the area of examination 
  • Resources found: title and author, url, preferrably correctly referenced (Harvard style) 
  • Next steps in the investigation? This might include further research, experimentation, planning, exploration of different RQs or even different topics. Also: what research might be required in order to write the essay? How will that research be organised? What might the essay structure look like? What is the likely conclusion to the essay? 

There is a wealth of support material available on and via Firefly, and students are strongly advised to visit these pages over the coming weeks. We are looking forward to reading the wealth of research and ideas our students have.

Gruffudd Jones

Teacher of English, Year 12 Tutor,

Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge Coordinator