Class of 2018 Extended Essays

As part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, students must complete a 4,000 word individual research project on an approved subject of their choosing. The Westwood staff are very proud to announce that the class of 2018 has successfully completed and uploaded their Extended Essays and are one step closer to not only earning their high school diplomas but also their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diplomas.


Topic: “Comparing Henrik Ibsen’s”, “A Doll’s House” and Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House Part 2”

“My topic explored the International Baccalaureate Fine Arts category where I chose to research the question, ‘How does the use of different types of production elements and writing choices affect the audience’s perception of the themes presented in both plays?’ I chose this topic because of my own love for theatre and after I had the opportunity to see Lucas Hnath’s, ‘A Doll’s House Part 2’ wherein I became interested in both its and the original play’s effect on the audience. I learned that what is known to be “acceptable” in theatre has changed drastically; playwrights like Henrik Ibsen were forerunners in making that possible.”



Topic: Film & Propaganda

“I chose the IB category Individuals and Society/History and evaluated the question: “In what manner was film used as a tool for propaganda in the beginning of the 20th century across different regions of the world?” I studied how film was a new technology being utilized by America, Germany, and Japan. I learned a lot about how film evolved in and around Asia because I had not previously evaluated this type of historical information. “



Topic: Democratization of England

“I chose the IB category Individuals and Society/History to evaluate the process of democratic history in England. During this research project, I evaluated to what extent the Exclusion Crisis was responsible for democratization. I chose this topic because I am interested in British history, as well as the formation of political institutions in Britain. During my research I discovered in much more detail how the impact of Catholic tyranny influenced the development of democratic development.”



Topic: Philosophy & Society

“I selected Individuals & Society/Philosophy for my International Baccalaureate Extended Essay research. Within this category I asked, ‘Is there a common point in which different philosophies can be aligned to provide a more clear understanding of how society should act?’ I chose this topic because I always have had an interest in ethical philosophy, especially in terms of the society as a whole, rather than the individual. Most of what I uncovered showcased general ideas of how communities should interact, and how I, as a member of my community, should act to most benefit everyone around me and to better build the community infrastructure.”


Topic: Influencers on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Writing Style Before & After the Great Depression

“In my Extended Essay I chose the IB category Language and Literature/English and evaluated the influencers on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing, prior and  following the Great Depression. This historical period is one of my favorite eras to study and I truly discovered even more how ten years and a difficult historical period can cause literature to evolve and change over time.”




Topic: Philosophy & Poetry

“For my Extended Essay I selected Individuals & Society/Philosophy as my IB category and chose to evaluate the tension between philosophy and poetry and what can be expressed or gained from it. In my exploration I discovered a lot about the human experience and how we make meaning out of the language and knowledge that we have. I chose this topic because I am very passionate about both philosophy and poetry and I wanted to see how the two interacted. I came away from my essay with a new outlook on two interest areas I am passionate about and an even stronger desire to find or create meaning in this life.” 


Topic: Andrew Carnegie

“I completed my IB Extended Essay under the Individuals and Society/History category evaluating the question, To what extent was Andrew Carnegie a robber baron? I chose this topic because I have been fascinated by robber barons and their business practices and I wanted to discover more about the robber baron, Andrew Carnegie. I learned Andrew Carnegie is much more of a robber baron than a philanthropist because of the actions he made as a businessman and because of his addictive drive towards wealth.”



Topic: How Does Harper Lee Reveal the Character of Atticus Finch From To Kill a Mockingbird through Go Set a Watchman?

“My Extended Essay topic fell under the International Baccalaureate category Language and Literature/English. I selected this category as I truly enjoy English, but even more I like analyzing characters such as the iconic Atticus Finch; exploring issues such as what caused his swift destruction. While Extended Essay can be viewed as a difficult project if students narrow down the research question, find strong sources and select a topic which covers content that is personally interesting and enjoyable it can be an achievable project and a huge milestone for any International Baccalaureate Diploma Program candidate!”


Topic: Science & Electricity

“For my extended essay, I chose the IB category Science, where I calculated an electronic band structure of silicon. I was always interested in computing and I wanted to research what gives silicon the ability to act as a transistor. I learned about eigen-values and the Schrodinger equation along the way.” 





Topic: Interdisciplinary: Music & Culture

“My Extended Essay covered multiple of the six IB categories as I discussed Hip Hop as a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement. Hip Hop prompted social change and brought issues faced by blacks to the forefront through new and controversial beats. From this paper, I now have a deeper appreciation for the hip hop culture and from that appreciation comes the inspiration and drive to do the best that I can do to be true to my own identity and culture.”




Topic: History & War

“My Extended Essay was taken from the IB category History wherein I evaluated the question: “To what extent was the battle of Gallipoli responsible for the birth of the Turkish Republic? In my essay I discussed the history of the Ottoman Empire and how certain events led up to the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The reason why I chose this topic is because I really like history and the world wars intrigue me and I wanted to research a topic related to war that I had not previously studied.”



Topic: Art & Culture

“For my Extended Essay question I evaluated the question “To what extent has Maya Angelou and Beyoncé’s works and them as individuals compared and influenced the artists industry; and how have these works influenced society in general?” I annotated a poem by Maya Angelou and a song by Beyoncé and analyzed them in depth, comparing them both along with their works, and applying them to artists and society. I chose to write about this topic because I think it is interesting how art has such an impact on society. I also think it is significant that these two African American women have and still continue to influence society today.”



Topic: Literature & Psychology

“My Extended Essay subject was IB English and my research question asked: “How does the treatment of Randal McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Susanna Kaysen from Girl, Interrupted influence the characterization and identity development of each character and their mental stability?” I decided to explore the psychological nature of literature in books that have similar stories but drastically different outcomes. In my research the most profound thing that I learned was that for these literary characters, sanity in and of itself is just a matter of dropping the act.”




Topic: History & Music

“My Extended Essay was an IB History essay evaluating the Beat Generation & Movement. In my essay I discussed the ways the movement influenced American Society and how this movement inspired many other counter cultural movements in the United States. I chose this topic because I was in San Francisco and visited the Beat Museum and became extremely interested in the movement and its influences.”

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