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September 23, 2023, 08:49:23 am

Author Topic: Extended Investigation: Advice  (Read 15077 times)  Share 

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Extended Investigation: Advice
« on: June 14, 2014, 10:14:15 am »
Extended Investigation is a subject that has been set up in order to encourage critical thinking skills about a research topic that the student has chosen themselves.
I do not do EI but I tutor two students who do, FOR their EI as well. Here are a few of the things I have found help immensely with both the research and writing of the report.

Be Consistent
As with any VCE subject, but especially for this one, maintaining consistent work from the very first week, right up until your final submission is due, is incredibly important. In this subject, students are given a lot of leeway in terms of how they allocate heir time. Class time is often spent either doing "independent research" or being taught (in the beginning) concepts such as Ethical Research Methods, and How to Analyse Bias in Resources etc. Given that there is so much autonomy over how you use your time in this study... use it to your advantage!

One of the students I tutor had not decided on a question until the end of term 1. The other student had compiled all of her resources with summaries by that point. You need to work consistently to achieve in this subject, or you will end up submitting a hastily put together and sub-par research 'thesis' written the night before it is due.

As an extension of remaining consistent, it is always going to be more effective for you to have a weekly timeline to stick to. Some teachers provided a template timeline to the class, others did not. You are assessed on how comprehensive this timeline is. SO MAKE ONE. Each week set a large goal i.e. Week 1: Establish Extended Investigation Question. Break that down into 2-3 smaller tasks such as "Summarise relevant media stories", "read articles from Nature Magazine". Summarise the sources you are exposed to in 2-3 sentences. Justifying your choice in question is another piece of assessment. Make sure the question is not too controversial or too boring - remember that you have to defend this as your external assessment in front of people who have their own beliefs.

Tl;dr - make sure the timetable is detailed and that you stick to it.

Get Help
For Semester Two especially, being able to defend your thesis is the focus of your assessments. You need to practice and practice and practice how you defend your research findings. Why was your method effective? What were the biases/errors in your research method? What are the positive findings of your research? And the negative ones? How do your findings influence our society broadly.Make sure your EI is proofread by someone other than yourself. There is no point if all of your efforts are undermined by spelling mistakes/grammatical errors - you want your EI to look professional. And as a result, practice defending your thesis with a range of people: friends, your teacher (if available), other teachers - your school's debating coach/coordinator or, of course, a tutor. A tutor that is genuinely wanting to help you can be critical to your success in this subject. Having to meet with someone who isn't a pushover teacher at your school can make you feel more accountable to doing well.

Enjoy Your Research!!
Having an opportunity to use your time freely to read about a topic that you get to choose can be the most interesting thing you do all year. When picking a question try to find an issue that genuinely interests you. You might find that you use your EI to procrastinate other subjects because you find the material on your research topic just so much more interesting than calculus. Take this as an opportunity to do something you enjoy and on your own terms. It is a breeze to then invest time into it, because you will enjoy it!

The students that I am tutoring for their EI have put in quite a bit more work than many of their other classmates BECAUSE they haven't bludged in their "personal research" classes or used those classes to do other work. They are also genuinely interested in their topics which makes them want to develop the answers for their thesis.

For People Considering This Subject: If you have a spare subject slot, and think that you can find something you're passionate about to research, and build up your critical thinking skills to defend those findings - then this is the subject for you. If my school offered it hands down I would do this. This subject teaches you skills that are critical to your success beyond school as well.

PM me if you need extra help, post questions that can benefit everyone else, here!

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Re: Extended Investigation: Advice
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2015, 11:14:22 am »
I need a really good advice on what I should be prepared about for next year 2016, since its my last year im Studying Extended Investigation but i HOnestly have no clue to what to do. I keep chaning my research topic, any advice on some topics i could do???