The Extended Essay (EE) is a compulsory component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, which requires students to write a research paper of up to 4,000 words on a topic of their choice. In physics, the EE provides students with an opportunity to explore a challenging research question in greater depth than is possible in the classroom, and to develop their scientific writing and research skills. However, writing an EE in physics can be challenging, and there are several common mistakes that students often make. In this answer, we will discuss these mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them.
Choosing a topic that is too broad or too narrow
One of the most common mistakes that students make when writing an EE in physics is choosing a topic that is either too broad or too narrow. If the topic is too broad, the student may struggle to cover the subject matter in sufficient depth within the word limit. Conversely, if the topic is too narrow, the student may struggle to find enough information or data to support their argument.
To avoid this mistake, students should choose a topic that is focused and specific, but also allows for a range of different perspectives and approaches. It is also important to choose a topic that is of personal interest to the student, as this will help to keep them motivated throughout the research and writing process.
Not conducting enough research
Another common mistake that students make is failing to conduct enough research. To write a successful EE in physics, students need to conduct extensive research on their chosen topic, including reading scientific papers, books, and other sources of information. This research is essential for developing a deep understanding of the topic and for providing evidence to support the student’s argument.
To avoid this mistake, students should start their research early and develop a clear research plan. They should also consult with their supervisor regularly to ensure that they are on the right track and that they are conducting the appropriate level of research.
Failing to use appropriate scientific language
A third common mistake that students make is failing to use appropriate scientific language. Physics is a highly technical and precise subject, and it is important for students to use accurate and appropriate scientific terminology in their writing. Failing to do so can lead to misunderstandings and can undermine the credibility of the student’s argument.
To avoid this mistake, students should ensure that they are familiar with the appropriate scientific terms and concepts related to their topic. They should also consult with their supervisor or other experts in the field to ensure that they are using appropriate language and terminology.
Not following the correct structure and format
Another common mistake that students make is not following the correct structure and format for their EE. The IB provides clear guidelines for the structure and format of the EE, including requirements for the introduction, body, and conclusion, as well as for the citation of sources and the inclusion of a bibliography.
To avoid this mistake, students should carefully read and follow the IB’s guidelines for the structure and format of the EE. They should also consult with their supervisor regularly to ensure that they are meeting the requirements and that their writing is clear and well-organized.
Focusing too much on experimental data
Finally, a common mistake that students make is focusing too much on experimental data and not enough on the theoretical aspects of their topic. While experimental data is important in physics research, it is equally important to consider the theoretical foundation of the topic and to explore the broader implications of the research question.
To avoid this mistake, students should ensure that they are balancing their discussion of experimental data with a thorough exploration of the underlying theory and its implications. They should also consider the broader context of their research question and its relevance to other areas of physics or to other scientific disciplines.
In conclusion, writing an EE in physics can be a challenging but rewarding experience for students. By avoiding these common mistakes and following the IB’s guidelines for the EE, students can develop their research and writing skills, deepen their understanding of physics, and produce a high-quality research paper that demonstrates their knowledge and expertise in the field.