Academic EE

How to Choose an EE Topic (Language and Literature)

You can do it on anything you like as long as you can support yourself with evidence!  I suggest you take a concept or idea that you’re interested in exploring (this goes for all subjects).  Then, take your concept and dive into it.  See what piques your interest, do some research, and present your findings to your supervisor.  They can help you flesh out what needs to be done, or if you need to change your focus.

Don’t worry if you can’t seem to find the right one the first time!  Once you find your concept, the topic will come to you as you explore it.

How I Chose my EE Topic

I knew I wanted to analyze how death was presented thematically and I wanted to work with the TV series Doctor Who, which has a lot of death in it and of which I’m a huge fan.  However, analyzing a theme in a TV show didn’t fit the IB criteria, so I had to change the subject.  After googling a list of books whose primary theme was death,  I came up with “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. I decided to compare the two to reach the word count.

I found Mrs Dalloway too difficult to understand and barely any resources to help me, so I dropped it and made the entire essay on The Road.  My question was: “How does the protagonist of The Road accept his death?”  If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll know it’s depressingly filled with death.  My only sources were The Road and Cirlot’s Dictionary of Symbols; the essay itself was my own interpretation.  Turns out, I had so much I could interpret from that I could have easily written a 7000-word essay (and very nearly did in my first draft).

Group 1 EE Advice

In a Group 1 EE, supporting your own interpretation holds more value than using comparing interpretations between different experts.  If you have a knack for interpretation, don’t be afraid to do it yourself!

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