Reflecting on the EE

The final assessment criterion of the extended essay is "engagement."  It is important that the reflections do not just recap step by step what the student did but, in fact, demonstrate personal engagement.

Below you will find a set of potential questions for the three required reflections.  The IB is looking for three key elements in the reflections:

Evaluation of your own decision-making and planning.

Discussion of how you have dealt with challenges.

Personal engagement with your topic and the research process.

Students are not expected to address all of these questions, but should rather show a breadth of reflection that demonstrates the three qualities listed above. 

Initial reflection

  • Why is this question personally important to you?
  • Was there a specific conversation, book, news report or another source that helped you narrow your focus or decide on your question? Explain.
  • What do you see as your biggest challenge as you begin this process?  How do you hope to address this challenge?

Interim reflection

  • Looking back at your initial reflection,  how would you assess your start to the research process for this question? Did you plan appropriately?  What would you do differently if you were to start all over again?
  • At this stage in your process, what could be improved in your research and writing method?  What specific steps should you take to show improvement?
  • How is your background on the subject you are researching, TOK or CAS informing the writing of your paper?
  • Has anything surprised you so far in your research?  How has this affected your approach to the paper?

Final reflection

  • How did what you learned about your question change your way of thinking?
  • What was the most significant problem for you in carrying out the research and writing your paper?  How were you able to resolve this problem?
  • What did you learn about yourself in the process of writing this paper?
  • If you were going to evaluate yourself on your planning and decision making with regard to the extended essay, what would you say?

EE reflection questions

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