Article by Kirtana Devaraj

Second semester marks the beginning of a very important journey for juniors as they begin writing their Extended Essay (EE). The EE is a 4000-word research paper that every Diploma candidate must write on any subject of their choosing. January 8th marked the EE kick-off day, where juniors were introduced to the various aspects of a good EE and were given time to think about potential research questions.

The day started off with general information about the EE, after which the students were divided into three groups. Three seminar workshops set up: a scavenger hunt of the EE website, an informational talk on library resources, and tips on choosing a good research topic. The groups rotated between these workshops throughout the morning.

The workshops were found to be helpful by many juniors. Karl C. says, “the EE seminars were really nice and pretty useful, even though some people didn’t take advantage of this.” On the other hand, Sally L. mentions, “For me, the EE seminars were somewhat useful. The workshop on how to improve making research questions was useful. I also liked how there was time for us to look through past Extended Essays in the library to get an idea for the EE. But I felt like it was too much on the first day.” Meanwhile, Manapo I. comments, “I think EE kick off day was pretty helpful because we got to talk to our teachers about our proposals.”

There is a lot of variation in the subject choices for the EE. Junior Gabby F. says, “My first subject choice is English and my second choice is History.” World Studies, which was a new option last year, seems to be popular this year. It is a combination of any two IB subjects and the research question should be based on a global theme, discussed in a local context. When asked about his EE topic, Karl adds, “I am doing a World Studies EE, where I will combine history and global politics.” Similarly, Sally says, “I am thinking of doing a World Studies EE on ESS and biology.”

The EE is due at the end of the second semester which coincides with the math IA and final exams. However, the stress levels have yet to take its toll on the juniors. Karl mentions, “I’m not that stressed. EE gives me freedom to choose my own topic, which is very helpful. We have a lot of time to finish this and I’ll make sure that my EE is done before the summer break.” Finishing the EE over the summer has been an option in the past. Gabby also comments, “I’m kind of glad that we have the option of working on it over the summer and then submitting it the first week back, so worst comes to worst that’s what I will do.”

This week, the teachers have repeatedly stressed upon the fact that time management and following the deadlines are key aspects to a successful EE. After all, the EE is just another assignment. Good luck to the Juniors!

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