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Avoiding Plagiarism in the EE. Essential Tools and Techniques

ee plagiarism

Hello, fellow students working hard on extended essays (EE)! As an experienced IB writer, I’m here to guide you through one of the trickiest parts of the International Baccalaureate road: avoiding the pitfalls of extended essay plagiarism. But what’s the big deal? My extensive experience has shown how EE plagiarism can unintentionally creep into your work. Today, I’m excited to share my insights and strategies to help you deal with this problem confidently.

Plagiarism in the Context of the Extended Essay

From my perspective, plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own. This can manifest in several ways β€” from the blatant copying of text without attribution to the more subtle but equally problematic act of paraphrasing another’s ideas without proper acknowledgment.

In my experience, students often misunderstand the seriousness of plagiarism. It’s not merely a matter of academic etiquette; it’s about the integrity of your work and your moral stance as a scholar. The International Baccalaureate Organization holds a strict policy against plagiarism. According to general IB criteria, any instance of plagiarism, no matter how small, can have significant consequences. It can range from losing marks in your EE, a substantial component of the IB Diploma, to the more severe repercussion of failing the diploma entirely.

As far as I know, the implications of plagiarism extend beyond the IB Diploma Program. Plagiarism is viewed as a serious ethical breach in the wider academic community. Universities and employers look unfavorably upon any history of academic dishonesty. The damage to your academic reputation can be long-lasting and far-reaching, potentially affecting your future educational and career opportunities.

But it’s not all about avoiding punishment. Understanding and avoiding plagiarism is also about respecting the intellectual property of others and valuing the hard work and original thought that goes into academic writing. It’s about developing as a responsible and ethical researcher, a skill that will serve you well throughout your academic and professional life.

Common Plagiarism Pitfalls in Extended Essays

While guiding students through their extended essays, I’ve observed several common traps that can lead to unintentional plagiarism. Understanding these pitfalls is essential, as they often occur subtly and without malice. From my perspective, the key is not only to avoid these traps but also to cultivate an understanding of what constitutes ethical research and writing:

  • Students sometimes lean heavily on one source for their EE. This over-reliance can inadvertently lead to the replication of ideas and even specific phrases from that source.
  • Often, students believe they have paraphrased a source sufficiently, but in reality, their version is too close to the original. As I’ve seen, effective paraphrasing involves more than just changing a few words; it requires completely rephrasing the idea.
  • Another common issue is the incorrect application or outright omission of citations. Some students may not understand the importance of citing all sources, including those from which they have paraphrased ideas.
  • A significant risk factor for plagiarism is the last-minute rush to complete the EE. Remember, procrastination in extended essays often leads to cutting corners.

There’s often a misconception that information in the public domain or deemed as common knowledge does not require citation. However, per IB standards, it’s always better to err on caution and provide citations where there is doubt.

Strategies to Avoid Plagiarism in Your EE

In my years of mentoring IB students, I’ve realized that the foundation of a plagiarism-free Extended Essay lies in robust research techniques. It’s about gathering information and how you interact with and interpret it. Here are some key strategies I’ve found particularly effective.

1. Diversify Your Sources

Avoid over-reliance on a single source. Incorporate a variety of perspectives by using books, academic journals, interviews, and credible online resources. This approach, along with including primary and secondary sources, enriches your essay and minimizes the risk of plagiarism.

2. Critical Note-Taking

As you research, take detailed notes. However, don’t just copy information. Instead, analyze it and jot down your interpretations and thoughts. This practice encourages processing information in your own words, a vital skill in avoiding plagiarism.

3. Organize Your Research

Keep a meticulous record of all sources, including page numbers and authors. It makes referencing easier and ensures you don’t lose track of resources. I’ve found that well-organized research is less likely to result in accidental plagiarism.

4. Use Your Voice

Develop your argument or thesis early on and let it guide your research. It helps maintain a unique perspective throughout your essay, reducing the temptation to rely on the words of others overly.

EE Plagiarism: The Role of Citations and Referencing

In my experience, many students struggle with this, but it’s an area where attention to detail pays off significantly.

extended essay plagiarism

1. Choose the Right Citation Style

Whether it’s APA, MLA, Chicago, or another style, make sure you understand the citation style requirements you are using. Each style has specific rules for formatting citations and bibliographies.

2. Cite as You Write

One strategy I always recommend is to cite sources as you incorporate them into your essay. This practice prevents accidental plagiarism and ensures that no source is forgotten.

3. Paraphrasing vs. Quoting

Understand when to paraphrase and when to quote. Paraphrasing shows your understanding of the source material, but it must be done correctly. Always cite the source, even when you paraphrase.

4. Use Citation Tools

There are many tools available that can help with citations from many different sources, such as Zotero or EndNote. These tools can be beneficial in keeping your citations organized and formatted correctly.

5. Review Your Citations

Finally, always review your citations and bibliography before submitting your essay. Ensure that every source you have used is acknowledged and formatted according to the chosen citation style.

Tools and Resources for EE Plagiarism Prevention

In tackling the challenge of EE plagiarism prevention, it’s invaluable to use a blend of digital tools and academic resources. As a seasoned IB writer, I’ve found that working with plagiarism checkers is crucial. These platforms compare your work against extensive databases, highlighting potential overlaps with existing texts:

  • Turnitin. This is one of educational institutions’ most widely used plagiarism detection tools. It checks your work against an extensive database of academic works.
  • Grammarly. Besides grammar and spelling checks, Grammarly offers a plagiarism checker that compares your text against billions of web pages.
  • PlagScan. This tool is another reliable option for detecting plagiarism and ensuring your EE is unique and original.

Equally important is tapping into the knowledge available in online libraries and databases. Resources like Google Scholar and JSTOR are gold mines for scholarly articles and books that can enrich your research. For guidance on writing and citations, the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) offers comprehensive advice, which is particularly valuable for mastering various citation styles.

Never underestimate the power of well-organized research notes. Using apps like Evernote or Microsoft OneNote to keep your findings and ideas in order can significantly aid in maintaining the originality of your work. Lastly, remember that your school’s library and mentors are invaluable resources. Their insight can provide that final polish to ensure your extended essay is informative and plagiarism-free.

So, using these resources can significantly enhance the quality of your research and writing, ensuring that your EE adheres to the highest standards of academic integrity. Remember, these tools are to assist you in your writing; the core of your essay should always be your original thought and analysis.

Developing Originality in Your EE: The Best Techniques

When writing your extended essay, originality should be at the heart of your work. In my experience, the most memorable and impactful EEs reflect a student’s unique perspective and voice. Achieving this requires more than avoiding plagiarism; it requires actively cultivating original thinking and expression.

One effective technique is to engage with your chosen topic actively. It means understanding existing research, questioning it, looking for gaps, and identifying new angles. Ask yourself, “What hasn’t been addressed yet?” or “How can I view this topic differently?” This approach encourages critical thinking and leads to the development of fresh insights.

Another critical aspect is to nurture your voice. Your EE should sound like you, not like a textbook or a compilation of other people’s ideas. You can achieve this by reflecting on your personal experiences or viewpoints related to the topic. Connect the academic with the personal; this blend often leads to original and compelling writing.

Need help with your IB extended essay?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you write an exceptional extended essay that meets the word count and stringent IB criteria and reflects your passion for the selected IB group.

Furthermore, creativity in structuring your essay can also contribute to its originality. Don’t feel constrained by traditional formats. Consider different ways of presenting your argument or information. Could your EE benefit from a comparative analysis, a case study approach, or a narrative style? Experiment with other structures to see what best conveys your unique take on the topic.

Collaborating with mentors or peers for feedback can also be beneficial. Sometimes, discussing your ideas with others can spark new thoughts or help refine your argument, enhancing the originality of your work.

Lastly, be bold in your writing. Originality often requires taking risks β€” proposing unconventional ideas or challenging existing ones. As long as you back up your arguments with solid research and reasoning, these risks can transform your EE from a standard research paper into an insightful and original piece of scholarship.


In sum, developing originality in your EE is more than just producing unique content; it’s about fostering a distinctive analytical voice and presenting your ideas innovatively. By engaging critically with your topic, personalizing your approach, creatively structuring your essay, seeking constructive feedback, and daring to be different, you can write an EE that is not only plagiarism-free but also a true reflection of your intellectual and creative abilities. And if you need some help, the Extended Essay Writers are always by your side! 🀝

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