Did you promise yourself you’d do your Extended Essay Draft over summer? Are you, like I was, completely lost, demoralised and on the edge of a breakdown before term has really started? Below you’ll find 3 quick easy ways to get you started and put you on the right track:
Let go of that Summer guilt!
When I stepped into the classroom on the first day of DP2, I went from motivated to horrified, queasy and faintish in 0.2 seconds. Everyone seemed to have a polished, shiny, perfect and COMPLETED Extended Essay draft with them – going on and on about the work they’d done over summer. The guilt was nauseating.
While the nausea didn’t pass for days, I found that accepting and admitting that I hadn’t done any Extended Essay was a good place to start. I mean – did I really regret having a great time by the pool on the hottest day in July with all of my friends?! As you reminisce about summer, think of all the activities and new experiences you had. Now, reformulate your thinking: Are any of the activities I did over summer eligible for CAS?
Without even thinking about it, I had an amazing summer between DP1 and DP2 completing my CAS obligations when I did field work with sea turtles in Cape Verde. Ultimately, that experience helped me complete all my CAS hours on time!! Moral of the story: You may have done more IB work than you think by volunteering at local shelters, playing sports and being part of a theatre production.
Contact your supervisor!
Even after I let go of my Summer guilt, I was completely lost. All the ideas I had seemed either boring, unfeasible or too broad. However, the dread of contacting my supervisor and admitting that I hadn’t done anything all summer seemed too much. In fact, I tried to postpone it by all possible means. When I finally did get around to it, my supervisor did admit being disappointed. However, I would never have narrowed my question down so quickly and specifically without that meeting right when term began.
His help prompted me from thinking about large, broad and unfeasible ideas about WWII and questionable Swedish neutrality during the conflict to a specific time and place – the Midsummer Crisis in 1941. In fact, he was even able to recommend several books on the topic which I would never have thought of! Moral of the story: Your supervisor is there to help you and will want to help you succeed. Use their help sooner rather than later! In fact, use the template I’ve created for an easy and pain-free way to contact your supervisor right now:
Hi Teacher Name,
I’ve really been struggling with my Extended Essay over summer. The ideas I currently have are A, B, C. Are you free anytime this week to talk about these ideas? I would really love some help and guidance.
Break your tasks down!
Once I had had my supervisor meeting, I thought ‘I’m BACK ON TRACK, I GOT THIS!!!! Now I just have to learn to type 200 words a minute and I’ll be fine’. Despite my frantic wishing, I didn’t actually turn into the world recorder holder in Extended Essay writing. What I did do though was create a realistic and detailed plan about how I was going to complete all the sections of the Extended Essay. Now this new plan was DETAILED. We are talking:
- Topic Sentence/Background Information
- Research Question
- The context of the research question
- Why this research question is significant
- Why is this research question worthy of investigation
While this may seem like a straight forward method, this process of creating small tasks for each Extended Essay section made sure I stayed on track and didn’t underestimate the time each section was going to take to complete. In addition, the satisfaction of crossing something off your task list will be indescribable. Moral of the story: Don’t think you can type an entire Extended Essay in a sitting, break it down!
Now that you’ve procrastinated even more reading this – go get started!!