1. Early Bird & the RRS

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What is a 'Big Idea'? 

A 'Big Idea' is a broad topic related to a subject area of the IB EE. This should be some field of study that you are genuinely interested in researching. This could be looking at Solar Heating, Electric Cars, the works of Shakespeare, or any other big field of study.  Right now you are in the 'Understanding Phase' of your research cycle. That means you shouldn't be trying to land on the perfect Research Question. You should be asking LOADS of questions, skimming, and scanning lots of literature on your subject area.  

What NOT to Do...

Lekanides (64) says you should avoid:

One idea just isn't enough...

It’s a wise student that has a plan B and C ready when plan A runs into a roadblock. Having several plausable ideas is best at this stage. 

Create your Researcher's Reflection Space (RSS)

This is a long term project and you may forget some of the ideas you come across along the way. Additionally, the EE has 6 points that are earned via reflections. A solid RSS can be used to write those reflections and to also ensure none of your great ideas get away.

"IB considers the development of the RRS an essential element of good reflective practice as it will help the student to not only scaffold the extended essay process but also to build skills which transcend the task itself and prepare the student for university study and beyond." (pg. 54 IB EE Guide)

Your RSS can be anything to capture your thinking and ideas. It can be a spider diagram, or a flow chart, or something else to help your ideas grow. You may have been given previous planners in some of your regular classes. If they work for you then consider using them for the EE. The Main Library offers its eNotes as a way to capture your thinking.

Super tips

What subject to pick?  

It's true that most students pick from one of their HL options. Logically that makes sense, you'll be learning most about those topics so why not write an EE about one of them?



Where to get EE ideas from
How to manage the unavoidable problem of inexperience
Initial Wonderings: First steps

About the Researcher's Reflection Space (RSS)

The Reaschers Reflection Space (RRS)
How to make the most of your RRS?

Did you know ???

More information about reflection can be found on the following pages

IB EE Subject Guides

All the following subject guides are clickable and downloadable. Be sure to read over them carefully and be fully aware of what the EE in that subject 'feels' like. Ask the teachers of those subjects or the EE coordinator for more information or to answer any questions you may have. They are all taken from the official IB EE Guide found HERE.

EE HACK 1: consider an EE in any of your six subjects or even the special interdisciplinary options such as World Studies (maybe better called Global Issues)