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Extended Essay: Evaluating Your Work

A guide to the research and writing process required for students completing the IB Extended Essay.

Evaluate Your Work

Ask yourself questions.
Your answers will help you identify any problems, so you can then find ways to solve them.

Take a break between finishing your work and evaluating it. This helps you assess your work more objectively.

Question mark - Britannica ImageQuestBegin by asking yourself general questions, like:

Have I answered the question?
Does my work meet the assessment criteria I was given?
Have I given evidence to support my ideas?
Is my assignment structured correctly?
Have I edited my work enough?
Is my work interesting?

Then, ask more specific questions, like:

Are there any spelling mistakes?
Does each sentence make sense?
Is there anything I can do to improve my presentation?
Does every sentence and paragraph add to my argument?

Ways to evaluate

PMI - Pluses, minuses, improvements

A PMI is a graphic organizer that helps you to evaluate your work by viewing it objectively:

P = pluses: what's good?
M = minuses: what's bad?
I = improvements: what can I do better and how can I improve?

To use this method:

  • Divide your page into three columns
  • Write one letter at the top of each column
  • Underneath each letter, write your thoughts about your work.

When you've finished your PMI, you'll be able to clearly see the parts of your assignment that need improvement, and also the parts that you've done really well.

Six Thinking Hats

Alligator in top hat and bow tie - Britannica ImageQuestThis method helps you to view your work from six different points of view. You ‘wear' one hat at a time and think about your topic from that perspective.

It's important to focus on one perspective at a time and give it your full attention:

  • White hat = facts and information - Does your work make sense? Is your spelling right? Are your facts right?
  • Red hat = feelings - Do you feel anxious or concerned about your work? Why? Are you happy with it? Is there anything you're proud of?
  • Black hat = Negatives - What's wrong with your work?
  • Yellow hat = Positives - What's good about your work?
  • Green hat = Creativity - Is there anything you could have done differently? Is your work interesting? Unique? Personal? Surprising?
  • Blue hat = Organization - Do the different parts of your assignment fit together as a whole? Have you answered the question?

In the end it doesn't matter which strategy you choose to evaluate your work. As long as you take the time to reflect on what you've done, you're guaranteed to improve your final product.


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