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Extended Essay

A guide for the extended essay in the DP.

Psychology Sample A

Extended Essay: Exemplar Commentary

Subject

Psychology

If applicable, theme for WSEE

 

 

If applicable, category for language essays

 

If applicable, subjects used for WSEE

 

 

Title of essay

Nature Versus Nurture in the Origins of Prejudice

Essay number

A

Examination session

May 2014

 

Assessment of extended essay

Criteria

Mark awarded

Commentary

A: Focus and method

[6]

4

The topic is effectively identified and explained.

The Research question is clearly stated and focused.

The research relates to the Research question and is applied to an informed debate (focus).

However, the essay methodology is not described and the selection not explained in the introduction.

B: Knowledge and understanding

[6]

5

Knowledge and understanding are demonstrated through the confident use of psychological terminology and concepts, relevant selection, and the sound use of source materials applicable to the Research question.

C: Critical thinking

[12]

9

The majority of research is consistently appropriate and relevant to the Research question.

The analysis is good—less relevant material only marginally detracts from the overall analysis. Conclusions to points are usually supported by evidence.

Assertions supported by methodologically evaluated research findings, contributing to informed discussion of the Research question, although evaluation is not always balanced.

D: Presentation

[4]

4

Formal presentation meets the requirements for top band marks.

E: Engagement

[6]

3

The candidate has clearly learnt a lot from this process but has not really expressed this in a meaningful way on their RPPF. There is some insight into their learning.

Total marks awarded

25/34

There is a well-constructed response using a range of relevant resources, demonstrating sound understanding of the topic and RQ. Focus is largely maintained throughout essay despite no mention of essay methodology in the introduction.

Psychology Sample B

Extended Essay: Exemplar Commentary

Subject

Psychology

If applicable, theme for WSEE

 

If applicable, category for language essays

 

If applicable, subjects used for WSEE

 

Title of essay

Changes in Intelligence

Essay number

B

Examination session

May 2014

Assessment of extended essay

Criteria

Mark awarded

Commentary

A: Focus and method

[6]

4

In the introduction the topic is identified and explained and the Research question clearly worded. However, connections to the Research question are only occasionally offered throughout the essay, impacting on focus.

The lack of a description of essay methodology and why it was selected contributes to the lack of explicit focus.

B: Knowledge and understanding

[6]

3

Knowledge and understanding of source materials is largely sound and the selection of material is usually relevant. However, the use of specialist terminology is not always accurate, indicating some problems in knowledge of the subject. Additionally, there are problems with clarity impacting the demonstration of knowledge and understanding.

C: Critical thinking

[12]

5

There is a limited application of resources with some appropriate evaluation, but more is required. The argument explains the research, but the reasoning contains gaps. The summative conclusion needs more focus on the Research question’s “To what extent…?”

D: Presentation

[4]

1

The structure is largely appropriate but there are serious citation/referencing problems.

Under the new requirements this essay must be referred as a possible case of academic misconduct due to incorrect and inconsistent citing and referencing.

E: Engagement

[6]

(not included)

 

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

Total marks awarded

13/28

There is a somewhat descriptive account with insufficient evaluation, most of which lacks balance, ie a consideration of both strengths and limitations before accepting the results of research. The confusion over the accurate identification of research methodologies may have been avoided with a fuller reading of sources.

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.

Psychology Sample C

Extended Essay: Exemplar Commentary

Subject

Psychology

If applicable, theme for WSEE

 

If applicable, category for language essays

 

If applicable, subjects used for WSEE

 

Title of essay

Adolescents and Social Anxiety

Essay number

C

Examination session

May 2014

Assessment of extended essay

Criteria

Mark awarded

Commentary

A: Focus and method

[6]

1

It is unclear which of the two formulations is the Research question.

No essay methodology is identified, and choice of approach and resources is not explained.

There is very minimal commentary or linkage to the Research question throughout the essay.

The topic outline lacks clarity and the Research question is too broad in scope for the word limit.

B: Knowledge and understanding

[6]

2

There is a lack of appropriate empirical research and some lack of clarity in the outlines of studies which have been included.

There are inaccuracies in the use of subject-specific terminology and also some usage which indicates a lack of understanding of concepts and demonstrates limited knowledge and understanding.

C: Critical thinking

[12]

2

The application of research is limited.

The essay adopts a descriptive approach, which makes no attempt at the required analysis and evaluation.

The argument lacks clarity and is superficial, with the summative conclusion not focusing on the Research question (social anxiety).

D: Presentation

[4]

0

There is poor formal presentation, with inappropriate style, a non-standard “Contents” page and “References” section, many citations are omitted and listed references are uncited.

Under the new requirements this essay must be referred as a possible case of academic misconduct due to incorrect and inconsistent citing and referencing.

E: Engagement

[6]

(not included)

 

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

Total marks awarded

4/28

The choice of a dysfunctional behavioural topic is not recommended in the psychology section of the Extended essay guide.

The informal approach and lack of relevant sources suggest a lack of the detailed research and planning that was required before beginning the writing of this essay.

Although the topic must be of interest to the candidate, discussion with the supervisor and reference to the EE guide are required before committing to a RQ.

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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