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Extended Essay

Choosing to write an EE in ITGS


Information Technology’s rapid development, global reach and emerging social and ethical considerations offer ITGS students huge scope in their choice of topic. Students have the opportunity to be innovative in their research in ways that few other subject areas can match.

The choice of topic may emerge from many sources including:

  • A news article
  • Current use of IT system(s)
  • Issues discussed in class
  • Personal interest

  • The topic must focus on the impact of an IT system or a specific issue that has ITGS at its core. A topic with only an incidental mention of an IT system or that focuses on another technology is not suitable for an ITGS EE.

    Students must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of some aspect of IT and its impacts. Their level of expertise must go well beyond general knowledge. They should be able to use IT terminology and concepts competently. Students’ explanation of the particular IT system must be supported with appropriate research, including visual evidence.

    Sources of information
    Students’ essays will include evidence obtained from:
  • the internet
  • books
  • newspapers and magazines
  • media broadcasts
  • publications from expert sources.

  • The essay will also include primary evidence collected by the student. Students’ sources should be reliable. The essay will, therefore, include some critical analysis of the evidence.

    May 2013  May 2015 (1)  May 2015 (2)

    Research question

    In choosing their topic, students are strongly advised to concentrate on developing a research question, carrying out relevant primary research, in which the students collect their own data, and secondary research, and applying ITGS theory, tools and techniques. It is important that the research question is sufficiently focused to allow adequate treatment within the word limit. Students should avoid topics that depend entirely on summarizing general secondary data, as they are likely to lead to an essay that is essentially narrative or descriptive in nature. However, students who make effective use of relevant secondary data and primary data in answering the research question will achieve the highest marks. Students can collect primary data using a wide range of research methods, including:
  • Investigations
  • Experiments
  • Interviews
  • Other formal research methods.

  • Students are encouraged to research a current issue. A successful essay will concentrate on one issue, but the issue should be significant enough to require a wide variety of suitable evidence.

    Other Resources

    Paper 1

    Slightly different examinations for SL and HL, based on answering 20 mark questions on a selection of the course topics.

    Paper 2

    Exactly the same examination for SL and HL, based on answering questions on an unseen article.

    Paper 3

    For HL students only, answering questions on the pre-seen case study. This year is 'On the road to driverless cars'.

    Internal Assessment

    Details and recommendations for the ITGS Internal Assessment project.