IB Economics IA Guide

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Oct 28, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Contents:












Page
:


Introduction and requirements








2
-
3


Assessment Criteria










3
-
5




Unpacking the assessment criteria







5
-
7


Selecting articles for
your portfolio







8
-
9


Individual commentary coversheet







10






IB Economics
IA

Guide


Dulwich College Shanghai


2011
-
2013







2


Economics Internal Assessment SL & HL


The IA for both HL & SL Economics is simply a portfolio of only
three

commentaries
based on news articles relating to Economic concepts. Its completion will be spread out
over one year and its final weighting is 20% of your Diploma Economics grade.


Rationale
:
Internal assessment in economics enables students to demonstrat
e the
application of their knowledge and understanding of economic theory to real
-
world
situations.


Requirements
:

Both SL and HL economics students produce a portfolio of
three
commentaries based on articles from

published news media. Each article
must
be

based on a different section of the syllabus (microeconomics, macroeconomics,
international economics and development economics).


Articles
:
The articles may be from a newspaper, a journal or the internet, but
must not

be from television or radio broadcas
ts. If a student includes a relatively lengthy article,
the student must highlight the section(s) of the article upon which the commentary is
based.

Students must also include the original article in their portfolio.


Individual work
:
Students must select

their own articles to discuss. It may happen that
more than one student bases his or her commentary on the same article, but the article
must not be given to the class by the teacher, and the production of the commentary
must be each student’s individual
work. A commentary must not be prepared
collaboratively.


Focus
:
Each commentary must:




explain the linkages between the article and economic theory taken from the
section of the syllabus on which the article is based




demonstrate economic insights into
the implications of the article (that is, it
should provide evidence of the student’s ability to discuss current events from
the point of view of an economist).


Drafts:

As part of the learning process, teachers can give advice to students on a
first

draft

of the internally assessed work. This advice should be in terms of the way the
work could be improved, but this first draft must not be heavily annotated or edited by
the teacher.
The next version handed to the teacher after the first draft must be the
fi
nal one.





3


Rubric requirements

for Criterion F


1. Word limit
:
Students must produce a portfolio of three commentaries. Each
commentary
must not exceed 750 words
.


The following are
not
included in the word count:




Acknowledgments •

Contents page •

Diagrams •
Labels

of five words or fewer


Headings on diagrams

of 10 words or fewer •

Tables of statistical data



Equations, formulae and calculations



Citations (which, if used, must be in the body of the commentary)



References (which, if used, mus
t be in the footnotes/endnotes)


Please note that footnotes/endnotes may be used for references only. Definitions of
economic terms and quotations, if used, must be in the body of the work and are
included in the word count. Please note that a citation is
a shorthand method of making
a reference in the body of the commentary, which is then linked to the full reference in
the footnotes/endnotes.


2. Articles
:
Each article must be based on a different section of the syllabus.


3. Sources
:
Students must use
a different source for each commentary.


4. Contemporary articles
:
Students need to look for articles relating to current events
and these must be published no earlier than one year before the writing of the
commentary.


5. Contents
:
Each portfolio must contain
a summary portfolio coversheet a
commentary coversheet for each commentary three commentaries, accompanied in
each case by the relevant article.


INTERNAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA




4





5





6


Unpacking the assessment criteria. What does i
t all really mean?


Criterion A: Diagrams


Any diagram used in a commentary should be explained and should be made relevant
to the discussion. If
relevant
quantities (e.g. tonnes of coal, litres of petrol etc) and
currencies (HK$,
¥)

are provided in an extract, they should be incorporated into the
diagram.

Whenever numerical data is provided in an extract, it should
also
be
incorporated into the diagram.




Produce your own diagrams rather than cutting and pasting from other sources.
Ev
en hand
-
drawn diagrams done well are better than using graphs from
Wikipedia

.

if you absolutely must use a pre
-
produced diagram make sure you
reference it properly … but it is much better to produce your own.



Make sure you explain your graphs well and re
fer directly to them in your
discussion. E.g. make reference to shifting
curves. If there are numbers (e.g
.
Price levels or Quantity levels) mentioned in the newspaper article itself, then
you should include them in your own diagram

and explanation



The mor
e diagrams you use (appropriate ones obviously

) the more likely you
will do well in
this criterion.

But don’t use irrelevant graphs, or go overboard!
The rule of thumb is at least 2 diagrams,
but no more than 5
.



Your diagrams should come throughout your commentary, not at the end or
separately.




7



Diagrams can be useful in your evaluation for demonstrating the effect of an
alternative solution.


Criterion B
:

Terminology


Criterion B, as stated, is concerned with
using the relevant termi nology appropriately,
including obviously the definitions of the key terms. Criterion B is not devoted to the
evaluation of definitions alone but, more generally, to the evaluation of the appropriate
use of the relevant terminology.




Definitions c
ould come early in your commentary. Your first paragraph may
contain a couple of sentences identifying the key issue in the article and then
should come the key definitions. An effective third or fourth sentence could be
‘This commentary loo
ks at the problem of …. and the effectiveness of solutions
to it’. The first paragraph needs to hook the examiner into the issue of the article
and your initial understanding of it.




Rule of thumb
: If the economic term is explicitly stated

in or related to

the
newspaper article, then you need to give
a
definition.



Avoid excessive definitions.
The most relevant and important terms should be
defined

(e.g. you don’t really need to define ‘price’
, ‘supply’ or ‘demand’

but you
do need to demonstrate you understand the ‘price mechanism’ to generate the
‘equilibrium price’

by using these terms appropriately
).



You don’t have to reference your definitions
, unless they are very unusual
terms and outside the
scope of the cour
se

(ex. Agflation)



If you do make reference to an outside article (e.g. a quotation) or text, you
must reference consistently throughout your whole portfolio (i.e. across all
three

of your commentaries).

Criteria C &

D: Application and analysis of economi
c concepts and theories


A good student will
analyse

(as opposed to merely describe) economic theory when
they
apply

the appropriate theory to the text.





Analysing appropriate theory involves breaking it down

in order to bring out the
essential elements
that can be applied to the extract.

For example, if your
article relates to externalities associated with tobacco smoking, the obvious
theory is market failure, but you don’t need to use the concept of positive
externalities as it is not an ‘essential el
ement’ of this theory.



Avoid excessively paraphrasing or quoting the article. This is the sign of a
weaker student and doesn’t mark well.



Avoid using theory that is not directly relevant to the article.



Make sure you analyse rather than merely describing.



Quotation: remember to refer to text! If you have a quote “……..”, then you
must highlight in the article and state in your commentary… “Referring to



8

paragraph 5 in the article, line…blah blah…”


this is very useful to the
commentary

marker
.

Criterion E:
Evaluation


Evaluation implies making

judgment
s based on your analysis and application of the

theory, with an awareness
of the limitations of
the economic theory
.




Make sure you evaluate throughout the commentary, not just at the end.



These are some sugge
stion points that you may want to consider when
evaluating:


o

1) Advantages vs. Disadvantages

o

2) Priorities (Put the most important one 1st)/ how significant is it (this
will be different for different counties, depending on the policies. It will
be your ow
n value judgment)

o

3) Impacts on stakeholders (benefits/
implications
)

o

4) Short run vs. Long run

implications

o

5) Policy options


again need to prioritize. Which is the most useful one
right now? Which one is most effective? HOW effective?

o

6) Assumptions


Ceteris Paribus valid?

o

7) Validity of data


doubt government or reporter’s data. Different
ways to calculate the inflation rate. Go check another figure by another
source and compare.



Make some sort of concluding statement e.g. asserting one alternative

is
possibly better than another. Your commentary needs to come to some sort of
obvious end. A sentence summing up what you’ve done may be useful (but don’t
use ‘I’ statements).



















9





Selecting articles for your Portfolio commentaries


A. For

your articles selected make sure you know the following:


1.

Title of the extract





2.

Source of the extract





3.

Date of the extract
(is it within
a year of when you will write the commentary?)





4.

Section (s) of the guidelines to which the commentary relates





B. Extracting information:


5.

Which economic terminology will be used and/or defined?
















10

6.

Which economic concepts and/or theories are to be applied/analysed?

E.g. diagrams, theorists, models, ideas etc


Ideas for opening sentences: ‘This
article is demonstrating the principles of …’; ‘The
idea being demonstrated in this article is …’















7.

What is to be evaluated?

E.g.

SR v LR consequences of the issue (what are they? Why?)

The impact on different stakeholders (who are they? Why?)

Advantages (why are they advantages?)

Disadvantages (why are they disadvantages?)

How do they compare? Which are more compelling? Why?

Which argument is most significant? Which is least? Why?

Which theory is most valid or relevant or reliable? Why?

Are
there any alternatives? Why?

Are there any solutions? How effective are they likely to be? Why/why
not?




11

Economics


Internal Assessment

Individual Commentary Coversheet



Name:





Economics
commentary no.:

Commentary #

Extract Title:


Source/date of
extract:





















12

Date retrieved:

(if online)


Section of the
syllabus to which
the commentary
relates:

Section

Date the
commentary was
written:


Word count: