The grade you will earn from the 4,000 word structured mini-thesis that is also known as the Extended Essay (or EE) will be combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade – both of which will determine whether you will earn your IB Diploma or not.
Here are two of the most important things you need to decide on right away: first, choosing an IBO-approved topic that you really, really like; and second, choosing an adviser that will help you convert your enthusiasm to a well-crafted masterpiece that is called your EE. This guide focuses on the second one.
Why does your EE adviser matter? Read on.
Capability, Not Likeability
It may seem an easy decision to choose your favorite teacher Mr. Smith (for example), as your EE adviser but don’t. If you’re doing an English EE and he’s teaching Biology, this may be a hindrance.
Choose someone that is passionate and knowledgeable about your topic and not just because you get along really well with that teacher. There are instances where there are no instructors in your school that teaches your chosen subject matter. Don’t panic yet. Weigh your options carefully before you do because they could be instrumental if you’re going to soar high or bomb badly in your EE.
Don’t forget to ask your IB coordinator if you need your EE adviser to sign an Agreement Form which is a requirement with some IB high schools. If this is the case, bring it with you when you ask a teacher to be your EE adviser.
Sizzling Passion, Not Fizzling Sympathy
Just because you have to choose an EE adviser with an expertise in your topic doesn’t mean you have to settle for one who doesn’t even have the slightest interest in helping you earn great points.
It is not about expecting your EE adviser to help you crank out a 4,000-word essay that is worthy of an ‘A’, but it’s more about determining if he or she will have the willingness and the time as well to read your endless drafts and provide extensive notes that will be useful for improving your essay.
An ideal EE adviser is one who knows the balance between coaxing you gently when you’re too lazy to continue and pushing you out of your comfort zone until you have produced a well-crafted masterpiece.
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