Here's a great structure to follow when you're writing your Business EE or IA. Keep in mind for your EE that you'll also want to include a lot of extra insights from secondary sources. But this structure will help you manage your main body arguments, which are based on Business analysis.
Lets say you’ve chosen (as your EE question) to explore whether a restaurant should relocate from one shopping mall to another one. The second location is more popular, but also more expensive. Great!
This is great because it’s a toughy.
Easy questions (questions with pretty obvious answers) are not good extended essay questions because they don’t let you show off how well you know your stuff. You need to get from your Research Question to your Answer, but we need to make sure that we don’t simply jump from one to the other, without doing careful analysis. There are three simple steps you need to follow to make sure you do this properly. It works every time.
To get from your RQ to your answer you obviously use models. But you need to use them in a particular way to show your thinking. Here is what you do each time you come to a model: JAM!
Justify the use of this model. Why do you need to use this model (SWOT, Decision Tree, or Ratio Analysis) to answer your Research Question. Make it clear that you are doing a SWOT analysis because a SWOT is necessary to answer this particular question. The insights a SWOT analysis provides are essential when dealing with a question like this. Or, why must you determine the current ratio?
Fill in your model. What does the SWOT (or Decision Tree or Ratio Analysis) say? Work it out. What are the organizations Strengths, Weaknesses, etc. Write it down.
After you’ve done your analysis, make sense of it for the reader. What conclusions can we draw in general and most importantly, what does this model tell us about the answer to our Research Question? Just looking at this model, should the business relocate or not?
Connect your mini-conclusion for this model to the mini-conclusions you have made from your other models. Don't skip this step! If you keep doing this (connecting your mini-conclusions, making comparisons as you go, synthesizing and making sense of it as you go), by the time you actually get to your real conclusion, the result will be obvious and your argument will be strong and balanced.
There is a saying in journalism that goes like this, "Tell'em what you're gonna tell'em, tell'em, then tell'em what you told'em." It is a fail-safe approach for clear communication and basically what we’re trying to do here. You're building an argument. You're showing that your thinking process is organized and clear. And that makes it convincing.
A great extended essay reads like a wise person wrote it, a person who understands that things are complicated and business questions are often hard to answer. Think of your ToK class here: it’s great to pull in some counter claims, to show that there are some good arguments for, say moving the restaurant, but there are also some risks. But try to always put these opposing insights inside the models (inside Step 2). And, to fit all into the word count, stay focused on your models (Read: Speak like your doctor). Good luck!
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