Considering that I was doing a Music and English EE, I think the biggest challenge was finding analysis and being able to justify why that academic/expert opinion is valid. Since the response to music and language are subjective to the audience, it would be very easy to say that everyone has an expert opinion on the effect of the songs. However, throughout my EE writing process, I had to go back to the principles of the subjects, breaking down the techniques used, focusing on how and why, rather than what. I think the biggest lesson that I took away was making sure that you are always reminding your reader of the bigger picture, how your sub-point relates to your main point, and how that answers your research question. If I was to change my methodology, I would probably have tried to conduct primary research by interviewing people on their opinions of the songs, however, this might have affected my response, as we have a different cultural landscape than the United States, meaning that the songs might not resonate with an audience here. This journey helped me fall in love again with the process rather than just the end product.
My second meeting with my supervisor was very effective. I had finished my essay but it seemed as though it wasn’t up to standard. However, I feel like this was probably the best outcome as my supervisor was able to really explain the requirements of the EE using my written work to show me where I was missing marks. I feel encouraged rather than disheartened because I feel like I know what’s expected now, in terms of how to achieve marks and hit specific criteria in the Extended Essay. In terms of moving forward, I’ve already started to make corrections in my essay, making sure that I have academic sources and opinions in my work, rather than just write from my head. I’ve also learnt the importance of not wasting words; although it’s important to go in-depth, I also have to remember the word limit, getting my ideas across in as little words as possible.
One thing I’ve learned today is the importance of synthesis in my writing; being able to explicitly show the interdisciplinary nature of my essay through my writing requires me to also think in an interdisciplinary manner. Although I didn’t write much today, the biggest thing I took away was how to change my thinking and to make the mental connections between the subject rather than just write about one subject for half of my essay then write about the other half on the other subject.
What I’m proud of most today is my resilience. Inspiration on what to write wasn’t coming to me and instead of me trying to force an answer to my question or to waffle 2 or 3 paragraphs, I stayed calm, spoke to teachers and let my essay come to me. Even though this may sound as though I was being lazy, I’ve come to realise that the EE is not about the essay, but about the thought process; it’s about understanding the disciplines better and seeing not only the real-life applications but also realising the interconnectedness.
My next step, or goal is to definitely write and complete my introduction. The introduction sets the tone for the rest of the essay, and I feel as though once I start it right, I’ll be on my way; I always have trouble starting things, but once I get going, the rest of the work just seems to flow naturally.
I’m really thankful for this day, because it gave me a chance to just think, and to really try and understand what I want to achieve in my essay. #buzzbuzz
I have a really strong passion for hip-hop music as well as trying to understand stereotypes of different ethnic groups. As a result, I decided to do a World Studies EE with my research question being: “How has hip-hop evolved in alignment with African-American culture in the United States? After reviewing this question, my supervisor and I discussed how, exploring African-American culture in the United States would be so broad, that I would have too much to write about. We also spoke about how it might be hard for me to “align” the evolution of hip-hop music with African-American culture as one is so broad, and one is relatively short. We came to the conclusion that I should explore how hip-hop music has reflected African-American culture, perhaps in the last 20 years or so. After this, we also discussed the idea of belonging to a community, and whether the hip-hop community is truly inclusive of everyone.