Do you sometimes wonder where all those famous personalities got their motivation from? For instance, would physics be what it is if Albert Einstein was not motivated by his curiosity to determine the defining laws of modern physics? Would Michael Jordan be one of the best basketball players of all time if he was not motivated enough to succeed and get past his failures? Would the United States be united if Abraham Lincoln was not motivated and determined to preserve the Union, come what may?
Many of us can agree that History makes for an extremely interesting subject. It takes you into the past and lets you learn about key events and people who were instrumental in shaping our present. However, what happens when you are asked to single-handedly perform a “historical investigation” on a topic of your choice? Getting jittery? Don’t worry - we got you covered. IB’s History Internal Assessment (IA) is a critical and compulsory assignment that requires SL and HL students to choose a historical topic and conduct a thorough critical analysis on it. The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to explore a novel historical topic and put their skills and knowledge into practical use.
Growing up, you were always intrigued to learn more about the history and origin of different religions, how the concept of God varies and the likes, which is why you took up Religion and Theology in college, with great earnestness. Yes, it is an interesting subject and you were thoroughly enjoying everything the course had to offer until one fine day, when you were asked to write a Theology and Religion essay. Now, you’re just staring at a blank computer screen, wondering where and how to begin! Does that ring a bell?
“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me.” — Macbeth, William Shakespeare. Mind blowing, isn’t it? But do you realize what made this sentence so “mind blowing”? The strategic use of metaphor. We have always wondered how certain writers manage to leave us in awe and inspired. You might think it’s impossible for you to achieve but with the right techniques and practice, it isn’t. While there any many elements that make up powerful writing, one of the techniques is literary devices. What are literary devices, you ask?
It’s a long journey from deciding to do a Master’s till actually getting admission in a university of your choice. Once you have narrowed down on the program and shortlisted the list of colleges you want to apply to, starts the herculean task of collating all the supporting documents. From filling the application forms and writing personal statements to gathering transcripts and references – applying to a Master’s program is serious, serious work.
Reflective essay? How difficult can it be to reflect on your own experiences and write about them, you wonder until you actually sit down to write the essay. You are in for a rude shock because it certainly is not as easy as it seems. A reflective essay requires students to examine their life experiences, especially those which have left an impact on them. From describing your thoughts and feelings regarding a certain life event to analyzing its impact and examining what you learnt from it - the primary purpose of writing reflective essays is to push students to think deep and learn from their experiences.
One of the most challenging subjects in IB is Chemistry, without a doubt. Unless you are a genius in that subject, you are bound to be met with hurdles along the way. If giving a Chemistry exam wasn’t enough, there is the Internal Assessment (IA) to worry about. Expected to be 6 to 12 pages long, your Chemistry IA is as good as your own little experiment or research project which accounts for 20% of your final grade. In order to secure high scores, your write-up needs to be meticulously planned, well-researched and articulately presented.
We have all had instances when we came across a story, poem, script or any other creative piece of writing that made us go “Wow!”. From the choice of words and vivid imagination to the ability to strike a connect with readers and mastering clarity in writing – creative writers are fearless and know what it takes to keep readers invested in their writing. Unlike traditional academic writing assignments, creative writing is all about letting your imagination run wild. It requires you to reflect, observe thoughts, express yourself and find your unique voice while acing the art of storytelling.
You made it! Finally, the day has arrived when you are making the transition from high school to college. You are now a college freshman and your excitement has no bounds. After all, college is a whole new world and marks the first step to adulthood. Living alone, stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and discovering new passions – all of it sounds brilliant but in all this excitement, let’s not forget the main reason why you are here – academics. Did you know that 30% of college freshmen dropout after their first year of college? Yes, the first year is a critical one because you are mostly trying to adjust to the new atmosphere. On one hand, there is hope and enthusiasm and on the other, there is stress and anxiety – college opens you up to a myriad of emotions.
“Resumes? I’ll come to that when I am looking for a job” – if that is what you are thinking, you are mistaken. More and more colleges are asking students to submit resumes during the admissions process. While there are a few that strictly specify that they do not want students to upload resumes, there are colleges such as University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon and others that do ask for it. An activities resume is meant to give a snapshot of your background, notable achievements and accomplishments, especially during your high school years. It is an effective tool to set you apart from competition and lets the admissions committee get to know you better.
You have been asked to write an argumentative essay and after all the work you put into doing research and writing the introductory and body paragraphs, you are left wondering about what you can write in the conclusion paragraph. “What do I say that hasn’t been said already,” you wonder. Well, you aren’t alone. The conclusion paragraph is indeed the section that gets the least attention. By the time people get to the end, they are often confused about how to approach it.
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? These lines are from William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice wherein he uses consecutive rhetorical questions to evoke a sense of human empathy. Well, this literary technique certainly worked here because the speech does manage to move us and pushes us to think. Writers have been incorporating rhetorical questions for centuries together. So, why not take an inspiration or two and include them in your college essays too? A rhetorical question is a question asked more to create an impact or make a statement rather than getting an answer. It is a powerful literary device which when used effectively can add immense value to your writing.
“It was an accident. I did not mean to!” you exclaim but it is too late. You are found guilty of submitting a plagiarized paper and there is nothing you can do to save yourself. If these are what your nightmares are made of, you do have a valid reason to worry. Plagiarism is considered to be a serious offense in the world of academics. It can result in expulsion and may have legal repercussions while putting your reputation in jeopardy. While many think plagiarism only refers to a word-for-word copy of someone else’s work, truth is there are other kinds of plagiarism too such as conveniently rewording another person’s work, not citing sources or even submitting an already submitted essay to another class.
College is soon coming to an end. You thought grappling with those essays, projects and assignments was tough till suddenly one day, you are asked to justify everything you have done so far, explain your professional goals and prove that you are worth being part of an esteemed institution. The grad school applications have begun and one of the most important elements of your application is the personal statement. We agree, the thought can be daunting because it might be something you have not done before.
IB’s Biology Internal Assessment (IA) is a make or break - you get it right and your grades rise, you mess it up and it all comes down. Students are required to write the Biology IA during the second year of their HL class. They need to perform a thorough investigation on a topic of their choice. The investigation can be in the form of a traditional experiment or based on analysis of obtained data. Comprising on 6 to 12 pages, you are expected to spend 10 hours doing this investigative work which is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB, as per International Baccalaureate Organization. This assignment makes up for 20% of the overall assessment for the Biology IB score. Marked against strict common assessment criteria, it is possible to obtain a maximum score of 24 points if you perfectly meet all the criteria. Don’t stress - we have put together the perfect guide to help you write a stellar Biology IA paper that is sure to get you the scores you want.