IB Maths HL & IB Maths SL Exploration Help!
IB Maths HL and IB Maths SL Exploration Help by Expert IB Maths Teacher
Writing a Good Mathematics Internal Assessment: Points to ponder.
Let’s begin with a comment “You write an IA to present your mathematical ability and
in turn fetch Good Grades”, and so whatever you write in IA is eventually read, understood and evaluated. The clear idea or instruction or advice is to have full sincerity while writing an IA. You know this but, has to iterated for it is correct. An IA
is an opportunity, mere filling 7 to 12 pages with text and formulas is no IA. The key aspect of any IA is reliability and readability. Write an IA with enthusiasm and diligence with enough substantiality that you take pride in, at last it is your brain child.
♣ Topic selection
The task initiates with a correct selection of topic. Choose a topic, with the help of your teacher/tutor, which is close to you and the one you can comprehend well. Mathematics provides plethora/ample choices to make, so got be careful. Do not try to impress and opt a difficulty topic with which you are unfamiliar. Once the topic selection is final, collect raw material related to it and design a framework or structure. Do analysis, find what can be done and where you can reach. Mull upon
this aspect carefully and deeply, this is sole of IA. Discuss with tutor / teacher, their approbation is necessary. Then decide the title of IA, it should be clear and concise. Once the framework has been figured start designing Introduction and Aim.
♣ Writing Introduction and Aim
Introduction section is the place to explain what has been already been studied about topic in mathematics literature and present a brief idea what you intend to do. Bear in mind Introduction is the first paragraph of IA so design it in way to involve the reader and tickle his/her logic about what is yet to come. Take 300-400 words at maximum. Then clearly mention the Aim/ Rationale, around 200 to 250 words. This part must be technically written, clarity is thought is desired i.e. how you would start
IA and end, escape from fuzziness. Mention techniques and methodology adopted in brief and touch on outcome/s. The detailed discussion on outcome/s is would come in reflection section of IA.
♣ Presenting the Descriptive work
Then comes the body section of IA, where you explain what and how is it being
done. Start with definitions of the important terms used in IA. Then, present mathematical formulas, and if possible add intuitive meaning to formulas. If it is important, put in the derivation of formulas. Give short and meaningful examples
where ever necessary. Try to present reasoning behind the use of formulas. Especially, when using statistical formulas or doing IA based or related to statistics, the meaning to the formula must be given and in general the result is obtained after
calculations are in the form of numbers, therefore explain inference and significance of the numbers. Do not leave them unexplained. Show involvement in the IA, it is a kind of proof that you carried it out personally. There are different ways to do this and is very subjective for example collecting data, experimenting in Lab, computer of GDC output etc. A remark I would like to make here is, if illustration or diagram of the model or mathematical problem undertaken is possible then present it. Explain it. This will surely imprint good on the evaluator. Stick to the topic and task , do not wander here there with unnecessary mathematical jargons. The straight advice is do not fill pages with useless information. Many a times mathematics permits alternate ways of doing a task, if it is a possibility put it in the text. This presents the broader aspect of mathematical understanding of the writer. When you reach to the end of calculations and have final answer, do explain what the answer reflects. Leave a good impression on the reader with good reasoning and logical explanation. If the final result or conclusion can be tested using some other means opt that and verify your answer even present it in your IA. This leaves sense of affirmation, acceptability and reliability. There are IA topic which require numerical simulations. The output of
computer program can be shown in IA by inserting the picture of console showing final result/s. One can attach the computer program as an appendix. Outputs with the help of GDC can also be shown. Discuss with tutor on every aspect and take
help. Writing the conclusion or reflection part is tricky. Explain the result achieved with adjoined meaning and applicability. Quote possible extensions or scope of present work. This is important because it reflects upon the openness and wide aspects of
thought process the IA writer has gone through. The writer can also point out shortcoming but with caution, no exaggeration.
♣ Common mistakes a writer should avoid
Now it’s time that we discuss the common errors or mistakes that irritates the reader.Remember to insert citation where ever necessary. In the introduction section insert citations when citing reference of books or research papers. Formulas presented must be properly cited with reference from good books. Citations are necessary part of technical writing. A common error frequently observed is that the writer does not define symbols used in formulas, do that carefully and efficiently. Do not get trivial with symbols. Other error observed regularly is when tables are used to present data, ensure to explain the data headings with their relevance. Same goes with the figures or illustrations. Typeset is another important aspect for mathematics IA.
Always use professional software or editor for typing mathematical formula and equations. Alignment and indentation should be perfect. No lethargy while typing, good presentation is reflection of attitude of the writer. The discussion here is quite general. Performing on IA is an involved task and is very subjective and so matters are topic specific. Proper guidance is must and hence find yourself a good tutor who understands you well.
Thanks and Good wishes
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