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IB English A: Literature: The EE process


In this LibGuide you will find support and advice to help you to write an EE in your subject, as well as supporting you with inquiry in your subject throughout your course. Make sure you also subscribe to the EE blog on the IB Extended Essay General Guide to receive regular updates, reminders and encouragement during the Extended Essay process. If you are still in the process of deciding on your initial topic, you can find general guidance in the Choosing a subject and topic section of the IB Extended Essay General Guide.

Purpose of this Guide

Use this Subject LibGuide to help you access and use resources effectively to support your DP course. It is intended to support all inquiry-based tasks, such as Extended Essays and Internal Assessments. Use the tabs at the top of the page to find:

  • An overview of the whole Inquiry Process;
  • Guidance on Developing a line of inquiry, specifically:
    • Connecting with your topic;
    • Developing and maintaining lists of keywords;
    • Understanding the difference between your topic, your title and your research question (particularly for an EE);
    • Developing a research question.
  • Help with Finding and selecting resources, including:
    • how to decide where to start looking;
    • information about our Library catalogue and subscription databases;
    • effective search strategies; and
    • evaluating the quality of the resources you find.
  • Guidance on Working with ideas, both your own and other people's including:
    • how to take effective notes;
    • how to organise all the information you have found to develop your understanding of your topic;
  • Advice on Expressing your ideas clearly, appropriately and honestly, including:
    • how to write about other people's ideas - quoting and paraphrasing, citing and referencing;
    • guidance on academic writing;
    • guidance on the specific requirements for the formal presentation of an Extended Essay.
  • Suggestions about Reflecting effectively on the inquiry process.
  • Specific guidance relating to writing an Extended Essay in your subject.
  • Specific guidance relating to Internal Assessments in your subject, if your subject department has requested this.

Basic EE resources

This timetable summarises all the deadlines that everyone is expected to meet, and events designed to support the whole cohort. You will also need to set yourself personal deadlines for completing particular elements of your inquiry, and arrange support and reflection meetings with your supervisor.

It would be a good idea to save a copy of this document and add to it to create your own personal timeline. You might want to share this timeline with your supervisor and include it in your Researcher's Reflection Space (see individual subject LibGuides for details). It is likely to evolve as your inquiry takes shape, but setting personal interim deadlines makes it more likely that you will be able to meet the formal ones that the school has set for you.

The IB's 12 step EE process

The IB introduce research and writing with this 12-step process, which ends with the collection of information. Have a look also at The Inquiry Process tab in this LibGuide to see a simpler structure that covers the whole process, not just a part. Notice the emphasis on background reading, time-management and frequent reflection in a Researcher's Reflection Space.

(Image from The IB Extended Essay Guide: The Research and Writing Process)

IB 12 Step Research Process

English EE Subject Guide

Who can help me?

While your Extended Essay is supposed to be an independent piece of work, and you are expected to motivate and organise yourself, there are also plenty of people available to help you. Your key contacts are:

  • Your supervisor is an expert in your subject and can help you with questions relating to your topic, your line of inquiry and the subject specific guidance for EEs in your subject. Your supervisor wil often be the first person you turn to for help.
  • The Library staff are experts in inquiry and can help you with questions relating to the inquiry process, finding, acquiring and using resources, and citing and referencing.
  • Mr Russell is an expert in the IB Diploma and can help you with questions relating to regulations, timetables, deadlines and using ManageBac.

Be proactive - if you are stuck, ask someone for help!

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If you have any comments, corrections or additions for this guide, or if you are having trouble accessing any of the materials, please contact Mrs Toerien. Please include the URL of the LibGuide you are referring to in your email.