How to write ESS Internal Assessment

Table of Contents

The Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) Internal Assessment is a vital element of the ESS course. It offers students the chance to delve deeply into a topic, showcase their understanding of ESS concepts, and cultivate critical thinking and research abilities. In this guide, we present tips and strategies for composing a successful ESS IA. We will cover every aspect, from topic selection to research and analysis, ensuring you have the knowledge necessary to excel.

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How to write ESS IA

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Topic Selection

Choosing the right topic is essential for writing an effective ESS IA. The topic you choose should be aligned with your interests and academic strengths, as this will make it easier for you to research and write your IA. Additionally, your topic should be focused and manageable, allowing you to conduct in-depth research and analysis.

When selecting a topic, start by brainstorming potential ideas. Consider topics that you are passionate about and interested in exploring in-depth. You can also consider current environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution, or conservation efforts. Once you have a few potential topics in mind, it’s important to research each one to determine if there is enough data and resources available to support your IA.

It’s important to avoid topics that are too broad or general. For example, if your topic is “climate change,” this topic is too broad, and you may struggle to research and write a focused IA. Instead, consider a more specific topic, such as the impact of deforestation on climate change or the effects of global warming on a particular ecosystem.

When selecting a topic, it’s also important to consider the availability of data and resources. You should ensure that there is enough data available to support your IA and that you have access to the necessary resources to conduct your research. This may involve conducting surveys, interviews, or experiments, so you should consider the feasibility of your research methods when selecting a topic.

Once you have a few potential topics in mind, narrow them down to a few options that you feel are the most manageable and focused. This will make it easier for you to conduct in-depth research and analysis and will also help you stay on track as you write your IA. Remember, the topic you choose will be the foundation for your IA, so it’s important to choose one that you are passionate about and interested in exploring in-depth.

Research and Data Collection

Effective research and data collection are crucial to writing an ESS IA. Conducting thorough and comprehensive research will help you to gather the necessary information to support your arguments and draw meaningful conclusions. To conduct effective research, you should gather data from a variety of sources, including academic journals, books, government reports, and reputable websites.

When gathering information, it’s important to evaluate the credibility and reliability of each source. This involves considering the reputation of the author, the date of publication, the quality of the research, and whether the information is supported by other sources. You should also consider the potential bias of the source and whether it is relevant to your topic.

Data collection can involve a variety of methods, including surveys, interviews, and experiments. When collecting data, it’s important to ensure that it is accurate, relevant, and reliable. You should also consider the ethical implications of your data collection methods and ensure that your research is conducted in an ethical and responsible manner.

When conducting research and data collection, it’s important to keep track of your sources and the data you collect. You should create a bibliography or reference list of all sources used in your IA and ensure that you properly cite all sources in your work.

In addition to traditional research methods, you can also use digital tools and resources to aid in your research. These can include databases, online journals, and other digital resources. However, it’s important to ensure that these sources are credible and reliable before using them in your work.

Overall, effective research and data collection are essential to writing an ESS IA that is well-supported, comprehensive, and informative. By taking the time to gather high-quality data and sources, you will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the field of environmental science and develop a deeper understanding of your chosen topic.

Data Analysis and Evaluation

Data analysis and evaluation are critical components of the ESS IA process. Once you have collected your data, you need to analyze and interpret it to draw meaningful conclusions and make recommendations.

Data analysis involves organizing, summarizing, and interpreting your data to identify patterns, trends, and relationships. You need to use appropriate statistical methods and software to analyze your data accurately. For example, if you are conducting a survey, you might use statistical software like SPSS or Excel to analyze your data. You could use charts, graphs, and other visualization tools to help you understand your data and communicate your findings.

When conducting data analysis, it’s also important to consider the limitations and biases of your data. For instance, you might have a small sample size or biased data, which could affect the accuracy of your analysis. You should consider these limitations and biases when interpreting your results and drawing conclusions.

Data evaluation involves interpreting your findings and drawing conclusions from your analysis. You should consider the implications of your findings for environmental sustainability and the social and economic impacts of your results. For instance, if your research suggests that a particular policy or practice is harmful to the environment, you might recommend alternative approaches to promote sustainability.

It’s important to support your conclusions with evidence from your data analysis. You should use specific examples and data to support your arguments and draw conclusions. It’s also important to discuss any limitations or uncertainties in your analysis and consider how they might affect your findings.

Overall, data analysis and evaluation are essential components of the ESS IA process. By carefully analyzing and evaluating your data, you can draw meaningful conclusions and make recommendations to promote sustainability and address environmental challenges.


In conclusion, writing an effective ESS IA requires careful planning, research, and analysis. By selecting a manageable and focused topic, conducting effective research and data collection, and conducting accurate and ethical data analysis and evaluation, you can produce a high-quality IA that demonstrates your knowledge and skills in ESS. You should also consider the implications of your IA for environmental sustainability and the social and economic impacts of your findings.

Our recommendations for success include developing a timeline for completing your IA, seeking feedback from your ESS teacher and peers, and utilizing resources such as writing centers, peer review programs, and online research databases. With these tips in mind, you can write an effective ESS IA that demonstrates your knowledge and skills in this important field.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a passionate educator, marketer, and management expert with over 15 years of experience in the education sector. After graduating from business school in 2016, Nick embarked on a journey to earn his PhD, fueled by his dedication to making education better for students everywhere. His extensive experience, beginning in 2008, has made him a trusted authority in the field.

Nick's groundbreaking article, published in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," showcases his keen insights and commitment to improving the educational landscape. Guided by his motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to simplify students' lives and promote efficiency in learning. His innovative ideas and leadership have helped transform countless educational experiences, setting him apart as a true pioneer in his field.

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