top of page


|Extended Essay| 

|Marking criteria| 

|Criterion A: Fieldwork question and geographic context |

The fieldwork question (the precise inquiry) guides the fieldwork investigation. It must be focused, appropriate and stated as a question that can be answered through the collection of primary information in the field. Where appropriate, students can make a brief preliminary judgment or prediction answering the fieldwork question. This prediction may be formulated as a hypothesis.

Students must also comment briefly on the geographic context, explaining why and where the fieldwork investigation is to be carried out. This can include relevant spatial, physical, socio‑economic conditions and other background information, concepts or characteristics. A map of the research area and/or the locations used in the fieldwork investigation is essential to provide the necessary spatial element.

Students must also state the area(s) of the syllabus to which the study relates, which geographic inquiry topic or sub-topic in the syllabus, whether it is from the optional themes, the core theme, or the HL extension. It can be drawn from a combination of two or more topics or themes.

This criterion assesses the focus and geographic context of the fieldwork and to what extent the link between the fieldwork question and the geographic context (that is, material in the syllabus, a relevant syllabus topic or geographical theory) is made clear. The fieldwork question should be specifically geographical.

00:00 / 00:16

|Tip:Take a listen| 

|Front Cover| 

|A clear title of investigation. Ensure to refer to a specific location regarding place and a geographical model.|

|Ensure to provide the word count which is a max of 2500 words. Dont go over the word count.| 

|Add an image if you want. Make sure it is an image that is relevant to the coursework.|

|Make sure not to have page number on your front page.|

|Contents Page| 

|Add Heading 1s for the main sections of the IA|

These are: 

  1. Introduction

  2. Methodology

  3. Data Analysis

  4. Conclusion 

  5. Evaluation 

  6. Bibliography

  7. Appendix

|Add maps and Images to your Bibliography.|


|Make sure to add page numbers to your document.|

|Add a clear Aim (word count 50 words)|

  1. Ensure to the reason as to why you are conducting this research

  2. What part of the curriculum does it cover.

  3.    When was the research gathered?

  4. What to aim to achieve through this research?

|A clear title for each sections to help structure your report.|

|Add a well labelled map of the area where the research is going to be conducted.

Tip: Add more than one map to create a detailed context of place.|

|Example of Mapping Techniques| 

|Introduction Page 2| 

|Location: Help create context as to where the data is going to be collected.|

|Have a Geographical model that is relevant to the coursework and that has been explained and researched. |

|Ensure to have a depiction of the model chosen and spent some time to contextualise the image. |

|Examples of geographic models| 

|Introduction Page 3| 

|A clear subtitle is given.|

|With only 2500 words at your disposal you need to ensure that you can prove or disprove your hypothesis at the end of your IA. So less is sometimes more. Choose three Hypotheses that you will be able to prove or disprove and explain your findings.|

|Criterion B: Method(s) of investigation| 

Students must describe the method(s) used to collect information. The description may include technologies employed, sampling techniques, time, location and circumstances of information collection where relevant.

The method(s) used must be justified and must enable a sufficient quality and quantity of primary data to be produced to allow the fieldwork question to be investigated.

This criterion assesses the description, justification and appropriateness of the method or methods including sampling and surveying techniques, primary or secondary data collection as appropriate used to investigate the question formulated.

|Give a clear title of investigation, this helps guide the reader and help the examiner allocate the marks to the right criteria.|

|Conduct a pilot study prior to collecting your data to help improve the overall results. It helps reduce human error and bias, increases accuracy and increases the reliability of your results.|

|Method: How are you going to use the named equipment above to gathered the required data. Ensure to keep this short and detailed.|


|Constructing Hypothesis| 

1. Ensure to make sure your Hypothesis is a statement.

2. Keep the Hypothesis simple and easy to understand. 


|The Bradshaw Model|

|The Schumm's Model|

|Hjulström curve|

|Equipment: What equipment will you use to gather this set of data, list them.|


|Justification (sampling) | 

Random sampling

Random sampling = is a part of the sampling technique in which each sample has an equal probability of being chosen. A sample chosen randomly is meant to be an unbiased representation of the total population.

Stratified sampling

Stratified sampling = is a type of sampling method in which the total population is divided into smaller groups or strata to complete the sampling process. 

Systematic sampling

Systematic sample = requires you to gather data at regular intervals.

For example, every 1 metres along a line running from one river bank to the other data is collected for depth.

Pragmatic sampling

Pragmatic = essentially safety, accessibility and the use of prior knowledge. For example, if a student is carrying out a river investigation they might use pragmatic sampling methods meaning only areas that are easily accessible and did not pose a risk would be studied. It is reliable and practical. 

|Justification | 


Accuracy means how close a measurement is to the true value.

The closer a measured value is to the true value, the more accurate it is. The further a measured value is from the true value, the greater the error.


Reliable means consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

How are you going to repeatedly gather data ensuring top results?


Representation refers to the description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way, in this case the river. At each site how are you going to choose a site that represents that particular course or part of the river?


Bias is a tendency to lean in a certain direction, either in favor of or against a particular result. To be truly biased means to lack a neutral viewpoint on a particular topic. So what are you going to do so that your results arent falsified and are as true as possible?

|Criterion C: Quality and treatment of information collected| 

Students should treat and display the information collected using the most appropriate techniques. These techniques must be the most effective way of representing the type of information collected and must be well used. The precise techniques employed will differ depending on the nature of the fieldwork question but may include statistical tests (including confidence limits), graphs, diagrams, maps, annotated photographs and images, matrices and field sketches.

Students must also refer to the geographic context, information collected and the ways in which the material has been treated and presented.

This criterion assesses the quality of information and data collected and its suitability for analysis in criterion D, whether it is appropriate and a sufficient range of techniques have been used for the presentation of information, and whether the presentation follows accepted conventions (that is, the numbering, labelling, and annotating of tables, graphs and diagrams).

|Data Analysis| 

|A clear title of investigation to ensure the examiners knows what hypothesis this belongs too. |

|Each graph/ map or illustration needs to have a title. |

|For each graph an in-depth analysis must be done.

  1. Make sure to have less graphs that are well constructed an show composite variables rather than simple graphs that show single variables.

  2. Also design your own methods of displaying data.

  3. Also incorporate diagrams and images to highlight anomalies. 


|If you want to construct a cross-sectional area diagram using your data digitally click on the logo. |


|Criterion D: Written analysis| 

In the written analysis, students must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the fieldwork investigation by interpreting and explaining the information they have collected in relation to the fieldwork question. This includes recognizing any trends and spatial patterns found in the information collected. Where appropriate, an attempt should be made to identify and explain any anomalies.

The treatment and display of material and the written analysis must be integrated within this section.

This criterion assesses the quality of the analysis of the results, referring to:

  • links to the question and hypotheses formulated

  • geographic context (that is, geographical theory, the syllabus, or the relevant syllabus topic)

  • information collected

  • statistics used (descriptive techniques—that is, graphs, charts, histograms and so on; as well as statistical techniques—that is, correlations, regression, and so on)

  • illustrative material.

|Written Analysis| 

|Criterion E: Conclusion| 

Students should summarize the findings of the fieldwork investigation. There should be a clear, concise statement answering the fieldwork question. It is acceptable for the conclusion to state that the findings do not match the student’s preliminary judgment or prediction.

This criterion assesses the ability of the student to summarize the findings of the fieldwork investigation and draw a supported conclusion.

A clear title of investigation

A clear title of investigation


A clear title of investigation

A clear title of investigation

|Criterion F: Evaluation| 

Students should review their investigative methodology, including methods of collecting primary information. Within this, they should consider any factors that may have affected the validity of the data, including personal bias and unpredicted external circumstances such as the weather.

Students should suggest specific and plausible ways in which the study might have been improved and could be extended in the future.

This criterion assesses the student’s ability to review the investigative methodology, by weighing up the strengths and/or weaknesses of the chosen method, and suggest improvements


A clear title of investigation

A clear title of investigation

A clear title of investigation

A clear title of investigation

bottom of page