Tips for writing a good Biology Extended Essay or EE

calvin-essay-writingMany students want to choose Biology for their Extended Essay topic, this is great, particularly helpful if you want to go into a medicine or Biology University course. However, many students do not properly think through the ramifications of choosing a Group 4 EE, particularly Biology. The IB Ethical guidelines and IB Animal Experimentation policy are quite strict, usually more strict than many countries standards, and particularly more strict than many Universities, partially because you are not carrying out essential ground breaking research.

So topics researching human diseases or topics regarding animal behaviour are almost out of the question. You need to find a topic that will easily allow you to collect data within the parameters set. Working on plants or working on enzymes are much easier ways to define your EE topic.

Now it might sound obvious, but it’s worth saying, read the criteria, make sure your essay fulfills these EE criteria. The criterion for Introduction has a statement that says “includes the Research Question on the Introduction” thus if you do not do this, you cannot gain the marks. Therefore, use the criteria as a check list. Do you state your RQ in the Intro, is your abstract less than 300 words, does your conclusion relate to the data and the RQ…

BTW – the 4,000 word maximum is just that, a maximum, not a target. A good essay might only be 2,500 words, depending on how articulate and concise you are. Use the appendixes (which do not count for word count), extra raw data ? throw it into an appendix, additional graphs ? appendix, detailed explanation of methods used, appendix. Your essay needs to read well, too much data and descriptions can jam it up, the reader will lose the flow. Remember your essay is not a experimental report it is a investigative essay with regards to your RQ, you define your RQ, then discuss the research about your RQ, then explore and devise an experiment to collect data about your RQ, create a graph to analyse the data and then a conclusion about your RQ using the data collected.

Notice how many times I mentioned your RQ ? There’s a reason for that. Your essay has to be about your RQ. Stay on topic, keep it concise and place all that extra ‘stuff’ into the appendices.

Then check the criteria again!


About Pak Liam

Living, teaching and traveling in Asia.
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