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Extended Essay

A guide for the extended essay in the DP.

Economics Sample B


Extended Essay: Exemplar Commentary



If applicable, theme for WSEE


If applicable, category for language essays


If applicable, subjects used for WSEE


Title of essay

To what extent has the recent fall in the exchange rate of the Rand affected the tourism industry of Cape Town, South Africa?

Essay number


Examination session


Assessment of extended essay


Mark awarded


A: Focus and method



Level 3-4 is appropriate here. In the early part of the essay, the purpose and focus are adequately clear and the Research question is mostly clear. What is missing from the Research question and the methodology is a clear indication of the timeframe under investigation, and this is a shortcoming for the entire essay, as it is never clarified. The methodology is reasonably clear. There are reasonable sources related to the tourism industry, but very limited information on movements in the exchange rate. The essay does not maintain a focus on the link between the exchange rate and the tourism industry.

B: Knowledge and understanding



The use of economic terminology and concepts is adequate, but there are points of confusion. There is an understanding of some parts of the sources, but the application is only partially effective. Knowledge of the topic borders on anecdotal in quite a few places. This means that the lower level of 3-4 is appropriate.

C: Critical thinking



The essay fits into the 4-6 band. There is reasonable information on the tourism industry, and there is some analysis of this information, but it is only partially relevant to the Research question. There are many assertions that are not supported by the evidence, and insufficient information about the exchange rate. At no point is there any concrete data about the exchange rate to map against changes in the tourism industry. There is an attempt to provide conclusions to individual points, but these are only partly consistent with the evidence.

There is an attempt to provide evaluation of the research, and there is an awareness of the limitations of the research, but this is not clearly developed or supported by evidence.

D: Presentation



The formal elements of the essay are in line with expectations. Footnotes are clear and informative and the bibliography is adequate, although more information is required for websites.

The data in the tables is not easy to read, and there is too much of it that is not relevant to the essay, thus hindering effective understanding of the evidence.

E: Engagement


(not included)


The assessment of an accompanying RPPF will affect the overall mark awarded and the grade achieved.

Total marks awarded


The topic is an interesting one, and one that could reasonably be explored in the context of the EE. In this essay, however, there is not enough evidence about the exchange rate to make a reasoned argument. There is an awareness of this limitation, but too much time is spent discussing the tourism industry in general without appropriate information about the exchange rate. There seems to be some inconsistency in the use of data in the essay. The data does not convincingly indicate any discernible change in the tourist industry that could be attributed to any particular factor, and so an attempt to make an argument relating to the exchange rate is unlikely to be successful. Within the context of the subject, it would also have been appropriate to introduce some discussion of the price elasticity of demand in the short run.

Please note: as a result of modifying existing extended essays for illustrative purposes, not all exemplars have an accompanying RPPF for assessment under criterion E (this is a mandatory element for all essays as of 2018). As a result, this essay has been marked out of 28 rather than 34.


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