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Original vs. Generic Extended Essay Topics. Which one to choose?

original vs generic IB EE topics

IB Extended essay, the bane of every IB student’s existence! You may be wondering, “Can I score well by playing it safe with a generic topic, or do I have to go full-on Sherlock Holmes and uncover a completely original idea?” 

Fear not, young scholars, for we, the expert IB extended essay writers, have ventured into the depths of EE knowledge to bring you answers. 

So, grab your magnifying glass, put on your thinking cap, and let’s dive into the mysterious world of EEs by comparing original vs generic extended essay topics.

Understanding the IB Extended Essay Criteria

Before we crack the code of generic vs. original topics, it’s essential to grasp the elusive IB Extended Essay criteria. 

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Focus and method – the clarity of your research question, the context of your topic, and your ability to plan and execute the investigation. 
  2. Knowledge and understanding – your grasp of the subject, the use of appropriate terminology, and the extent of your research. 
  3. Critical thinking – your ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, as well as the quality of your argument. 
  4. Presentation – the organization, coherence, and technical aspects of your essay, such as citations and bibliography. 
  5. Engagement – the extent of your personal reflection, initiative, and intellectual engagement with the topic.

I have explained all the aspects of the extended essay grading rubric in another article. Make sure to check it out to get a better idea of what counts and what’s not.

The Role of Originality and Creativity in Scoring 

While it may seem like the IB gods demand originality as the ultimate sacrifice, creativity and originality contribute primarily to the critical thinking criterion. 

Original vs Generic Extended Essay Topics

So, while being the next Einstein in essay form might impress your examiner, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to score well. 

Now that we’ve deciphered the cryptic criteria, it’s time to tackle the big question: generic or original? Keep reading, as I’ll share expert insights, real-life examples, and data from the trenches of the IB battlefield!

The Case for Generic IB EE Topics

Generic or overused IB EE topics, also known as the “comfort food” of EEs, are familiar and well-trodden areas in your subject. 

Some examples include: 

1. The impact of social media on mental health 

2. The role of women in Shakespearean plays 

3. The effects of World War II on the global economy

Advantages of choosing a generic topic 

1. Like a warm bowl of mac and cheese, generic topics provide the comfort of the familiar, which can make the research process a tad bit more manageable. 

2. With generic topics, you’ll never go hungry for information. Libraries, databases, and the vast Internet will serve you a buffet of knowledge, making your research journey as smooth as butter.

My thoughts as an IB tutor on successful generic topics

Believe it or not, students have scored top marks on EEs about the symbolism of light in The Great Gatsby and the portrayal of totalitarianism in 1984. Just try to imagine the total word count for all the IB essays on this topic? OMG, imagined?

The secret sauce? They turned those well-worn topics into gourmet dishes with their unique approach and thorough research. 

Firstly, don’t just skim the surface! Instead, dig deep into your topic, unearthing obscure facts, surprising connections, and tantalizing theories. 

Secondly, serve up a twist on a classic! Approach your topic unexpectedly or analyze it through a fresh lens.

Finally, presentation is everything. Organize your thoughts like a Michelin-star chef plates a dish, ensuring clarity, coherence, and a visually appealing argument.

The Case for Original IB EE Topics

Original topics, the “gourmet cuisine” of EEs, are unique, innovative, and sometimes daring. 

Some examples include: 

1. Exploring the role of humor in political satire during times of crisis 

2. Investigating the impact of virtual reality on architectural design 

3. Analyzing the ethical implications of AI-generated art

Advantages of choosing an original topic 

1. Like a contestant on a cooking show, choosing an original topic allows you to showcase your skills, imagination, and ability to think outside the box. 

2. Original topics are the culinary delights that catch the eye (and taste buds) of examiners, making your EE stand out from the crowd.

My thoughts as an IB tutor on successful original EE topics

Students have aced their EEs by investigating the influence of virtual influencers on the fashion industry or analyzing the effects of microplastics on marine ecosystems. These trailblazers forged their paths to success with passion, dedication, and curiosity. 

First, seek out the unexplored corners of your subject, where knowledge awaits discovery like a hidden treasure. 

Second, get creative with your ingredients! Blend ideas from different fields to concoct a truly unique and delectable dish. 

Third, a compelling question will entice your reader (aka examiner) to devour your essay with gusto. This will almost ensure that you will NOT fail your IB extended essay as a result.

As our gastronomic journey through EEs continues, stay tuned for the ultimate taste test. A data-driven analysis of generic vs.original topics, and expert advice to help you cook up a high-scoring masterpiece!

Analysis of Scoring Statistics 

Original vs. Generic Extended Essay Topics

Feast your eyes on this tasty morsel of data: while original topics may have a slight edge in terms of average scores, the difference is not as significant as you might think. 

The secret ingredient to success, it turns out, is not the topic itself but how you prepare and present it.

Factors influencing EE scores beyond topic originality 

1. Quality of research and analysis – like a master chef, the quality of your ingredients (research) and your ability to combine them harmoniously (analysis) play a crucial role in creating a delectable EE. 

2. Adherence to IB guidelines and requirements – stick to the recipe! Following the IB’s guidelines ensures that your EE is well-structured, properly cited, and ticks all the right boxes.

As our expert chefs in the realm of EEs, we believe that the key to success is not whether you choose a generic or original topic but how passionate and invested you are in your chosen subject. 

Like the perfect dish, your EE should be a labor of love crafted with care, dedication, and a dash of creativity.

Original or Generic Extended Essay Topics?

In conclusion, whether you opt for the comfort food of a generic topic or the gourmet delight of an original one, remember that the true magic lies in your passion for the subject, your commitment to thorough research, and your ability to present a well-crafted argument. 

The perfect EE recipe may vary from student to student, but one thing is for sure: with a pinch of creativity, a heaping spoonful of hard work, and a sprinkle of expert guidance, you’re well on your way to cooking up an Extended Essay masterpiece!

But wait, there’s more! If you’re still feeling lost in the vast culinary landscape of IB Extended Essays, our expert IB writers’ team is here to help. We offer personalized topic suggestions tailored to your interests and strengths, as well as writing assistance to ensure your EE is cooked to perfection.

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 craft an exceptional extended essay that not only meets the wordcount and stringent IB criteria but also reflects your passion for selected IB group.

With Extended Essay Writers team by your side, you’ll have access to a smorgasbord of expertise, guidance, and support, empowering you to craft an exceptional Extended Essay that will leave a lasting impression on your examiners.

Now, go forth, young scholars, and conquer the IB Extended Essay with the wisdom, confidence, and support of our expert chef-like team. Together, we’ll cook up a masterpiece that will satisfy even the most discerning palate. Bon appétit!

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