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9/13/2017 An Extended Essay in Economics eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

Apple Distinguished Educator 2011 |

An Extended Essay in Economics

September 12, 2010October 19, 2010

(h p://www.simpsoncrazy.com/pictures/regulars)In my
opinion, the Extended Essay requirement of the Diploma
Programme, is one of the more enjoyable and
challenging parts of the course. Students endeavor to
write a mini-thesis on an original topic, based on a
subject on their choice. Economics and Business
Management seem to be common subject choices and I
regularly supervise 4-5 students each year. Students pick
topics which are either related to Singapore, or a country
where they call home. In recent years, Singapore has
provided plenty of original topics relating to recessions
and government interventions.

Some of the recent research questions from my students


1. To what extent will the policy of supplementary income payments be eective to boost the Gross
Domestic Product of Japan in 2009?
2. To what extent has the recession aected the consumption of demerit goods in Singapore?
3. Are the movie industries in Singapore recession-proof?
4. To what extent has price changes aected the demand for public transport in the Helsinki
Metropolitan Area?
5. To what extent are the HDB ats aordable in Singapore from 2000 to 2010?
6. How eective are Electronic Road Pricing policies in reducing congestion in Singapore?
7. To what extent has the government intervention in the market for hybrid cars lead to rise in
demand in Singapore?

Some of these questions are good, but some questions are too broad in their focus. A good research
question is essential to a good Extended Essay. Three of these topics received A grades.

What makes a good research question?

Any research question must be answered within

https://ajmccarthynz.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/extended-essays/ the 4000 word limit, and therefore needs to be 1/5
9/13/2017 An Extended Essay in Economics eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

Any research question must be answered within the 4000 word limit, and therefore needs to be
limited in both scope and economic content. A question which focuses on consumers in Singapore is
in my opinion too broad. Selecting a cohort of consumers, such as working age males, would be a
more focused approach. Limiting the number of economic concepts covered is also important. A
good essay will explain one concept in sucient depth and make links through the analysis to other
related concepts. For example, an explanation of market failure could include links to elasticity but
shouldnt go any further to explain eects on economic growth, or ination.

The way the research question is phrased is equally important. A closed question should be
restructured to a question which can quantied. Rather than what is the eect of government
interventions on the market for hybrid cars it could be restructured as to what extent has the
government intervention .led to changes in demand. Students can then conduct in-depth analysis
which explains how much the demand has changed, or to justify the degree of success or failure of
the policy. To simply state that,the intervention has lead to an increase in demand is too basic.

What kind of information should an extended essay


A good essay includes an innovative range of data, which could be either from a secondary or
primary source, but preferably both. In my opinion, an essay with a good selection of primary data
that is checked against other secondary research is a good approach. Too often students rely on the
internet for all of their secondary research. They will be penalised for this approach in some of the
criteria. The holistic judgment (Criteria K) is judged by the teacher and examiner and will reward
students that adopt innovative or clever ways to collect data. Students can sometimes compensate in
an essay with lots of secondary data by showing examples of in-depth analysis that makes links
between separate pieces of secondary data. A survey of movie a endance during a recession, checked
against secondary data on movie takings and consumer incomes will provide sucient resources to

How could students improve their overall marks in an

Extended Essay?

Each extended essay is assessed against a set of criteria. The criteria is very detailed and includes
eleven dierent catagories. The highest level in some of these categories are easier to a ain than
others. For instance every student should achieve the highest level in each of the following. Criteria
G,H and I

https://ajmccarthynz.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/extended-essays/ 2/5
9/13/2017 An Extended Essay in Economics eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

(h ps://ajmccarthynz.les.wordpress.com/2010/09/critg.png)

It is extremely important that economic terminology is used and that denitions of key terms are provided.
This will clearly enhance the academic tone of the essay. Denitions should be precise. For example, a
discussion of elasticity should refer to percentage or proportionate changes as opposed to big or small

(h ps://ajmccarthynz.les.wordpress.com/2010/09/crith.png)

Consistent is the key word here: the conclusion should develop out of the argument and not introduce any
new material. Any obvious limitations to the analysis/argument should be restated here, as evidence of
critical awareness. For example, if a survey is carried out but the sample size is deemed to be rather small,
then it could be stated that the sample size might limit the validity of the conclusion drawn. If interviews are
carried out, it could be noted that the ideological bias of the interviewees might limit the validity of the
conclusions drawn.

(h ps://ajmccarthynz.les.wordpress.com/2010/09/criti.png)

This criterion relates to the extent to which the essay conforms to academic standards about the way in
which research papers should be presented. The presentation of essays that omit a bibliography or that do
not give references for quotations is deemed unacceptable (level 0). Essays that omit one of the required
elementstitle page, table of contents, page numbersare deemed no be er than satisfactory (maximum
level 2), while essays that omit two of them are deemed poor at best (maximum level 1). Additionally, if
diagrams are poorly presented or if the information shown on the diagram is unclear, one mark should be
deducted. (Source: IB DP Economics Syllabus rst exams 2005)

For several other criteria, it appears harder to

https://ajmccarthynz.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/extended-essays/ achieve the top band. The harder criteria involve 3/5
9/13/2017 An Extended Essay in Economics eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

For several other criteria, it appears harder to achieve the top band. The harder criteria involve
analytical and evaluative writing. There is no easy way to gain high marks, but I think students need
to follow the criteria very carefully to ensure they gain all of the basic marks. Below is a sample
checklist which I have found useful. Students need to work through the list to ensure they have
completed the essential parts of the Extended Essay.

Econ EE Checklist (h ps://ajmccarthynz.les.wordpress.com/2010/09/econ-ee-checklist.pdf) (accessed

from IB Online Workshop previous examiners)


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Posted in: Economics | Tagged: economics, extended essay

14 thoughts on An Extended Essay in Economics

JASON WELKER says: September 15, 2010 at 8:30 am REPLY

1. This is very useful and I will add it to my list of resources for my incoming group of EE
supervisees! Great! Keep the tips and insight coming, Andrew!

TIM WOODS says: October 14, 2010 at 12:09 am REPLY

2. Ive just stumbled on your site and Im impressed!

Great post on Econ EEs. Ill share it with my EE students next time around. I particularly like the
Singapore examples, as Im teaching IB Economics in Singapore as well (at OFS).
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9/13/2017 An Extended Essay in Economics eLearning and economics digging a little deeper

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ROSHNI BIJU says: February 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm REPLY
4. Its really good tips for the students to perform well in the EE . I will use this for my present batch
and for the coming up batches . Really great! !!!!!!.

VASUKINANDAN says: July 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm REPLY

5. Hello,

I am an IB student studying in India. I recently came across your blog and nd it very useful for
my Extended Essay. I have chosen Economics as the subject for my extended essay. I wish to
choose my topic on the new airport in Hyderabad, India and its economic impact on the regions
around it. Could you please give me your opinion of my topic and suggest any changes.

Thank You

DANIEL HONG says: July 9, 2011 at 7:53 am REPLY

6. Hi,
I am an IB Senior writing my Extended Essay on Economics and I was wondering if you could
help me expand on my topic using economic theories and concepts. My question is how the 2007
Recession, which began in the U.S. aect my secondary school district. I have information on
where cuts were made to survive the recession and also how they plan on surviving in the coming
years, but I feel as though I lack explicit economic concepts.

Thank you,

7. Pingback: Extended Essay for IB Economics

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CONSTANTINE ZIOGAS says: February 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm REPLY
9. As usual, great job, Andrew! Thanks!

Constantine Ziogas

DANIEL GOEBEL says: January 28, 2015 at 2:27 am REPLY

10. Wow. Impressed. There is so much useful information on here. Thank you for pu ing together
this information. I will denitely be sharing this information with my students for the EE.

11. Pingback: The 99 Best Resources to help you learn IB Economics

ZELLA says: January 6, 2016 at 1:05 am REPLY
12. Keep oon writing, great job!

DEXTER PHILLIPS says: February 5, 2016 at 2:00 am REPLY

13. Amazing resource. Thanks for sharing. I will bookmark this and share it with my students.

CALLEB OKONGO says: May 30, 2017 at 3:33 am REPLY

14. Very helpful. Thanks for the good job.I will help my students with this.


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