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Unformatted text preview: re able to demonstrate that
they developed their own experimental design. In survey essays, the weaker candidates relied too heavily
on material copied from the Internet.
Criterion L Reasoning surrounding the research and its limitations
Generally, candidates did not perform well in this criterion. In s urvey essays, little or no attempt was
made to assess the quality of the sources used. Back -of -the-envelope calculations were extremely rare. EXTENDED ESSSAY REPORTS – MAY 2003
Some candidates were not aware of the need to provide support for their statements and to be aware of the
quality of the information they provided.
In many laboratory essays, the error analysis was completely flawed or ignored. In some cases,
uncertainties were mostly dealt with in a mechanical fashion but with little further comment on their
relevance. The connectio n of the size of the uncertainty to the experimental design was rarely made.
Significant figures were at times ignored, even if uncertainties were included as well as calculations of
errors. The percentage difference between the experimental value and the accepted value did not represent
the error in an experiment as suggested by some candidates who ignored the uncertainty attached to the
experimental value or did not app reciate its significance.
Recommendations for the supervision of future candidates
Supervision The supervisor carries specific responsibilities as defined in the Guide for Extended Essays (May
1999) and plays an acti ve role. Guidance and encouragement are essential aspects of supervision.
The supervisor should:
· help candidates to choose a realistic and suitable research question that represents an “in -depth
study of a limited topic restricted to physics”
monitor closely and continually the progress of candidates, offering advice during the drafting
and the development of the essay (e.g. “verify your units!, check this law!”…)
show candidates examples of well - written articles or essays in physics
make the Guide (including general and subject criteria) available to candidates
assure that the essay is in fact the product of the candidate’s w ork and, if necessary, spot
in the case of essays involving out -of-school l...
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- Spring '11