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The WSEE - What to Do First, Second, Next?
Here's the recommended sequence for tasks required when undertaking a WSEE.
Second: Identify a topic in terms of a general research area
Third: Identify the two disciplinary lenses (two IB subjects) through which to explore the topic
Global Theme, Topic, and Disciplinary Lenses
Each WSEE must be registered under one of the six global themes. You will need to first decide which of these you are interested in. Ask yourself:
- Is the interdisciplinary WSEE is a better way to explore my topic than the single subject essay?
- Which disciplines will I use? (Two Diploma Programme subjects are required, one of which you must be studying.)
Questions to Ask Yourself in Your Early Investigation
Questions to consider
- What has already been written about this topic?
- Is it easy to find sources of information?
- Is there a range of different sources available?
- If I want to collect my own data, is this feasible?
- Is there a range of views and perspectives on the topic?
- What interesting questions have started to emerge from my reading so far?
Identify a working research question early on but ... be prepared to change it as a result of your research!
To keep track of whatever you discover in your preliminary reading, first set up an RRS (Researcher's Reflection Space) in whatever format you are happiest with. See:
Sample Prompts for the WSEE RRS
What should you write in your RRS? Use these questions and prompts to help you think through the various stages of the research for your WSEE: your initial ideas, your thoughts and reflections during the process, and your conclusions.
Try reading "around" your topic before settling on a research question. This will:
- make you aware of what sources of information are available to you
- form the basis of demonstrating your knowledge and understanding in context - "Criterion B" in IB's rubric for assessing the EE.
Criterion B requires you to:
- demonstrate how your own research fits into the wider subject areas or global theme under which you are submitting it
- justify why your particular topic is worthy of investigation.