In the last few weeks the grade 12 IB's have been putting their final touches on their Extended Essays (EE) as the deadline has already approached. The EE is an independent 4000 word research paper. It prepares students for all sorts of undergraduate research papers and gives them the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of a topic of their choice in one of the courses they are currently taking.
During the process, students are required to formulate a suitable research question, develop an argument, and effectively communicate their ideas with guidance from supervisors. The Extended Essay encourages the development of the characteristics stated in the IB learner profile which is why it is a compulsory component of the Diploma Program. This paper certainly requires time and effort, and the grades 12's have a lot to say about their experience writing it.
Most of the students agree that probably the hardest part about the EE was the research process and finding relevant information. The EE involves such hard core research that it can be quite a struggle to choose the information necessary.
To avoid the hard part of the EE, the students also shared tips. Vishmayaa Jeyamoorthy, who had written her EE on English, thinks the best way to avoid the dilemma of finishing the 4000 word essay on time is by starting early. This not only gives you ample time to do all the necessary research, but it also helps you from procrastinating and last minute panic attacks.
Howsikan Kugathasan further recommends choosing a subject you like. He says, "Pretend that what you're writing about is significant and you'll like it more; you'll feel responsible."
According to many of the grade 12 IB students, although the experience involved many challenges and proved to be a pain at times, it did have benefits that will surely come in handy for the students in the future. For example, Keerthana Ravigulan thinks the EE experience prepared her for post-secondary school work. "I've benefited a lot from the EE," said Keerthana. "I learnt a lot of research skills, organizational skills and improved my work ethic which will help me in post-secondary programs."
Likewise, Howsikan, who had written an EE on chemistry, enjoyed the experience so much that he now wants to pursue academic research in his career. Although the EE can be challenging, it prepares students and teaches skills that will definitely help them succeed in their university studies.