Writing samples for CLOA

For each of the levels of analysis, we are including annotated examples of responses. The responses are not from the IB. They are either created by us as examiners, or they are edited copies of work done in-class by our students. Often the editing was done to provide examples of a common mistake or in order to show something that should be done for higher marks. Here is a list of the learning outcomes for the...


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Comments 13

Jennifer Adinolfi 15 March 2017 - 09:29

For biolgical factors effecting cognitive factors as an SAQ, can the case study of Clive Wearing be used? with rational highlighting localization in the function of the hippocampus effecting memory

John Crane 15 March 2017 - 16:29

Yes, that would be fine, Jennifer.

Rona Sutherland 28 April 2017 - 15:00

Hi John, for the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes, I understand that (at least) two different types of technology would be required e.g. MRI and fMRI. Given that "cognitive processes" is plural, do we need to also have two different processes e.g. memory and decision-making? Thank-you.

John Crane 29 April 2017 - 10:24

Dear Rona - thankfully, no. Actually, the recent wording has been clarified to be "one" - rather than the plural. The plural here actually is a more general plural rather than requiring two. So, students may focus only on memory. If they were to use two when the plural is used, however, they would not lose marks.

Rona Sutherland 30 April 2017 - 18:01

Great, thanks for the clarification.

Stacey Locascio 1 May 2017 - 03:49

To piggyback on Rona's question, for each type of technology explored, do they need to use two studies to support each one? For ex. 2 studies that use MRI and 2 that use EEG. Therefore 4 studies in all. Thanks!

John Crane 1 May 2017 - 08:13

Dear Stacey - they can do a top essay with two studies - one for each form of technology. If a student outlines each technology, gives a study and then evaluates the study - and then evaluates or discusses the use of technology in research, that is a lot to do in one hour!

Stacey Locascio 2 May 2017 - 03:38

Thanks! That's what I was hoping you'd say. So the same is true for any question that asks for two forms of something (i.e. two effects of the environment)?

John Crane 2 May 2017 - 05:24

Yes, it is. I always tell students to watch their time, Some of my students will use three studies in such an essay - two for one effect and one for another - because they can do it in an hour. It partly depends on what they are writing about. Some studies are rather complex and require a lot of writing; others are simple and can be summarized in a sentence or two.

Sreekala Sureshkumar 13 May 2017 - 15:06

hello John,

I am doing revision now for the end of year 1 exams and I'd like a sample for " Discuss how and why research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis" . thank you.

John Crane 14 May 2017 - 05:31

Dear Sreekala, I don't have one. Here is a sample for the BLOA: thinkib.net The approach to the essay would be the same for cognitive, but would maybe use experiments (Loftus and Palmer) and case studies (HM).

Sreekala Sureshkumar 21 May 2017 - 08:15

John, my students are doing an SL IA on Peterson and Peterson 's study on short term memory. They can't seem to find the consonants though - is it possible to find them?

John Crane 23 May 2017 - 05:05

Dear Sreekala - they probably won't find them. They don't have to use the original combinations, but can create their own


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