By Maya Sirotin
Juniors are currently getting started on their extended essays which are a necessary component of their IB Diploma: Students must receive a minimum of D on their EE to be eligible for the Diploma.
According to Ms. Deo, when it comes to choosing an EE topic, one can consider strategy or interest. While “interest is always extremely important […] to keep you motivated and engaged […], some universities may have requirements or expectations for the subject of your EE. If you have to choose a subject that might not be your first pick, pick a topic that you are really interested in within the subject.”
Ms. Deo also encourages juniors to follow the requirements, rubrics given in the EE guide, and the advice of your supervisor and teachers. She also reminds juniors that she will provide them with resources that are especially designed for “where you need to go in this EE journey, but they can only support you as much as you are willing to engage with them and use them.”
Warriors News reached out to some juniors to get an idea of what they were doing for their EEs. Student Fiona H. is planning to do an EE on visual arts and is investigating how Yayoi Kusama uses repetition to reflect her story of mental illness. She became interested in the topic after visiting a modern art museum in Amsterdam where she saw some of her works. She tells Warrior News that although she is nervous, she is looking forward to completing a research paper and “being able to look at a finished result and be proud of it.”
Kijung S. is doing an EE in world studies, and is interested in looking at why South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She feels nervous about the workload she will have to balance while writing her paper, but is hoping that she will be successful.
Lia L. is doing a design tech EE focused on the design of prosthetics. She chose the topic because she is interested in studying biomedical engineering and wanted to get some practical experience. She tells Warrior News that she is excited when it comes to designing and possibly printing a 3D model, but is wary about the challenges to come.
The EE process often creates stress and worry among IB students, to which Ms. Deo says, “I never want students to panic about any of the DP requirements. I think the best way to avoid panic is by planning and being organized, plus being willing to be flexible and open-minded with thinking.” The students are given time to do good work, and if they can take advantage of this time, they can create something they are proud of, she said.
Warrior News also reached out to 2020 graduates for comments and advice. Despina N. recommends that students “make sure to have a structure of your essay before you start writing and also a clear answer to your question. That way you can just sit down and write and not have to worry about it not being focused enough.” She also recommends that juniors “set a minimum task for the summer, like at least research [the topic] over the summer.”
Ola N. encourages juniors to “be concise, take your time to make sure your question is the best that it can be, ask your advisor for as much advice as possible” and “to not procrastinate.”
While the process of writing an extended essay can feel difficult and tiresome, Ms. Deo tells Warrior News that “it is exciting to see students become ‘experts’ in their research topic, and I am always so impressed with seeing one of the ‘final products’ of what it means to be an IB student.”