Criterion A: Research Question
The research question must be clearly and concisely stated in the introduction and the abstract.
It can be defined in the form of a question or as a statement or a proposition for discussion. The IT system chosen as the focus of the essay should be sufficiently limited so that specific results
of research can be demonstrated and linked to the social consequences. It is important to avoid vague generalizations and sweeping statements.
Criterion B: introduction
This should explain, succinctly, the context of the research question, the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation, and provide an overview of the impact of the issue.
While it is important in the introduction to consider the theoretical context for the essay, it is not the place for a full review or explanation of that theory.
Criterion C: Investigation
There must be clear evidence of a well-planned investigation. Students are expected to use a wide range of both primary and secondary sources. Wherever possible, the secondary research
can be followed by and further supported by primary research. Primary research can include carefully considered interviews, surveys and investigations. All of these techniques must be concisely explained and critically assessed in the essay, along with the analysis of the results.
The precise details from the data collection must be included in the appendices according to accepted standards for recording data using these techniques.
Criterion D: Knowledge and understanding of the topic studied
The essay must demonstrate a substantial and secure understanding of the IT issues being investigated. To this end, the level of IT knowledge must be clearly greater than general knowledge and show some professional insight and specialized study. The essay must not be a sociological study with some simple IT references—it should ideally address an IT-aware audience, not the general public.
Criterion E: Reasoned argument
The argument should always relate to the research question and the evidence provided. The essay should show a logical development of the argument throughout, providing a clear sense of direction.
Criterion F: Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject
Sufficient data should be collected so that there is scope for it to be summarized and presented in new ways to support the arguments being developed in the essay. Graphs and tables may be considered as methods for presenting some of the analysis. Materials collected in the research for the essay should be used selectively to make the desired points. Effective analysis occurs if the information provided is used to create a sound, reasoned and logical argument.
Effective evaluation occurs if the possible social and ethical impacts of the IT developments are considered, where possible, from both local and global perspectives. Students should also show critical awareness of the validity of their information and the possible limitations of their argument. Very importantly, the essay should clearly note any assumptions that the student
has made in setting out the argument and reaching the conclusions.
Criterion G: Use of language appropriate to the subject
Extensive and accurate usage of IT terminology should feature throughout the essay. It may be appropriate for students to include limited amounts of program, HTML or other code to illustrate
an argument, or it may be helpful for them to quote various system specifications or configurations.
A lack of IT terminology would suggest that the original topic is not suitable for an extended essay in ITGS. Definitions should be clear and precise.
Criterion H: Conclusion
The conclusion must develop from the argument and be consistent with it. New or extraneous content must not be introduced at this point. Material from the introduction should not be reintroduced or repeated here, but there should be a new synthesis in light of the discussion.
Any unresolved questions/issues should be included in the conclusion.
Criterion I: Formal presentation
This criterion refers to the extent to which the essay conforms to academic standards about the way in which research papers should be presented. The presentation of essays that omit a bibliography or that do not give references for quotations is deemed unacceptable (level 0).
Essays that omit one of the required elements—title page, table of contents, page numbers— are deemed no better than satisfactory (maximum level 2), while essays that omit two of them
are deemed poor at best (maximum level 1).
Any material included in the essay that is based on secondary sources should be referenced in the body of the essay. A full bibliography must also be provided. Extracts of interviews, correspondence and copies of relevant e-mails should be provided in an appendix.
Criterion J: Abstract
The abstract is judged on the clarity with which it states the research question, explains how the investigation was carried out and summarizes the conclusion. However, the quality of the research question or the conclusion is not judged in this criterion.
Criterion K: Holistic judgment
Qualities that are rewarded under this criterion include the following.
Intellectual initiative: Ways of demonstrating this in ITGS essays include a choice of topic that shows originality or a new viewpoint on a well-known issue. Some IT issues are well known and
regularly debated. Better essays may identify an issue that has not previously been extensively debated in the public domain.
Insight and depth of understanding: An ITGS essay should show signs of in-depth IT knowledge.
Linkage of the technology to the effects on people should be clear and convincing rather than speculative.
Creativity: A good ITGS essay should deal with an issue of some contention. The suggestion of creative and technically feasible solutions to problems can demonstrate a higher level of achievement in this criterion.