1.3 Setting up for success

1.3.1 Some DOs and DON'Ts

You are not the first student to write an extended essay. Here are several tips from EE students, supervisors and examiners. Following them will help you set up for success. 


Plan ahead. Make a realistic schedule and stick to it. See Page 1.3.2 on time management.

Don’t put everything off until the last minute. Research and writing usually take longer than you think. 

Use your supervisor. He/she has experience and expertise that you can benefit from. (Page 1.3.4)

Don’t ignore your supervisor’s advice. There are reasons why he/she offers that advice. Discuss any disagreements with your supervisor and reflect on them in your RPPF. 
Formulate your research question carefully. Getting the wording right early helps you focus and research effectively (Page 2.1.4).

Don’t worry about refining your research question midstream – but if  you do, make sure everything you have done so far aligns with the revised research question; this is especially important if you have already begun writing!

Devise a research method. You’ll need a kind of ‘work flow’ that helps you gather and process information. (Page XXX)

Don’t start writing without a plan. Create mind-maps, organisers and outlines to sort your ideas, data and research. Get all of the pieces in place and then put them together. 

Review, revise and rewrite. Read your work aloud, perhaps to an audience. Make sure that any feedback you receive is within the bounds of what is permitted.

Don’t submit your essay until you are sure that it is complete, and that it says what you think it says. Chapter 5 includes useful tips for reading your essay with fresh eyes.