Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your IB Internal Assessment

Table of Contents

Understand the requirements and grading criteria.

When it comes to writing your IB internal assessment, the first step is to ensure that you understand the requirements and grading criteria. Take the time to carefully read and analyze the assessment criteria and any additional instructions provided by your teacher or the IB.

It’s important to know exactly what is expected of you in terms of the content, structure, and format of your IA. This will help you to avoid common mistakes and ensure that your work meets the necessary standards. You don’t want to miss out on marks because you misunderstood the requirements or didn’t structure your work correctly.

One key aspect of the grading criteria is the level of analysis and evaluation required for a high score. Your IA should go beyond a simple description of the topic and instead demonstrate a deep understanding of the concepts and their real-world application. Make sure to provide examples, data, and relevant theories to support your arguments and demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

Another important element to consider is the organization and coherence of your work. Your IA should have a clear structure with a logical flow of ideas. Make sure your work is well-organized and easy to read, with headings and subheadings to guide the reader. Don’t forget to proofread your work for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure your writing is concise and to the point.

By understanding the requirements and grading criteria, you can make sure that your IA is tailored to meet the expectations of the IB examiners. This will help you to avoid common mistakes and ensure that you achieve the best possible grade for your hard work. So take the time to carefully review the assessment criteria and instructions, and make sure that you are meeting all of the necessary requirements.

Common Mistakes to avoid IA

Choose a topic that interests you

When it comes to choosing a topic for your IA, it’s essential to select one that genuinely interests you. You’ll be spending a lot of time researching and writing about your topic, so if you pick something you’re passionate about, the process will be much more enjoyable. You’ll also be more likely to produce high-quality work that meets the requirements and criteria for your IA.

Think about your hobbies, interests, or something that you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Consider topics related to your coursework or something you’ve learned in class. You can also talk to your teacher or supervisor for guidance on selecting a suitable topic that fits the requirements and criteria for your IA.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s specific enough to allow for in-depth analysis but not too broad that you’ll struggle to cover all the necessary details. You’ll also want to consider the availability of resources to support your research, such as books, articles, and databases.

Ultimately, choosing a topic that interests you will help you stay motivated throughout the research and writing process, making it much easier to create a high-quality IA that meets the requirements and criteria.

Be clear and concise in your writing

When it comes to writing your IA, it’s important to remember that clarity and concision are your best friends. A well-organized piece of work with clear headings and subheadings can help guide the reader and ensure that your ideas are presented in a logical manner.

Avoid using overly complicated language or long, convoluted sentences that might confuse your reader. Instead, aim for clear and straightforward writing that gets your point across without any unnecessary fluff. Use simple language, but be precise and accurate in your choice of words.

Don’t be afraid to use bullet points and numbered lists to help break up your writing and make it more digestible. This will make your IA easier to read and follow, and will help you get your point across more effectively.

Remember, your goal is to communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly. By keeping your writing clear and concise, you’ll be able to achieve that goal and create a compelling and effective IA.

Cite your sources correctly

Properly citing your sources is an important part of any academic work, including your IB internal assessment. It’s not only necessary to avoid plagiarism, but also to acknowledge and give credit to the authors whose work you have referenced.

The IB specifies a particular citation style that you must follow, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with it and ensure that you’re following the correct guidelines. Make sure to use the correct format for the type of source you’re referencing, such as a book, website, or journal article. You should also include a complete list of references at the end of your IA, following the same citation style.

While citing your sources may seem like a daunting task, there are resources available to help make the process easier. Many citation management tools are available online that can help you organize your sources and automatically generate correct citations. Some examples of popular citation management tools include Zotero, Mendeley, and EasyBib.

It’s important to remember that accurate citation is a vital part of academic integrity, and any failure to cite your sources correctly can result in serious consequences, such as a lower grade or even academic penalties. By taking the time to properly cite your sources, you can ensure that your work is not only accurate, but also up to the standards required by the IB.

Proofread and edit your work carefully

Proofreading and editing your work is a crucial step in the IA writing process. It’s important to give yourself enough time to go through your work and make any necessary corrections before submitting it. When proofreading, keep an eye out for spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as awkward phrasing or unclear sentences. These types of errors can detract from the quality of your work and make it harder for your readers to understand your ideas.

In addition to proofreading your own work, it can be helpful to have someone else read through your IA and provide feedback. A fresh pair of eyes can often catch mistakes that you might have missed. They can also offer suggestions for how to improve your work and make it more effective.

When editing your IA, be sure to check that your writing is clear and concise, with well-organized headings and subheadings that guide the reader through your ideas. Avoid using overly complicated language or long, convoluted sentences. Instead, aim for clear, straightforward writing that gets your point across without unnecessary fluff.

Remember, the goal of editing and proofreading is to ensure that your IA is the best it can be. This means taking the time to carefully review and revise your work, and being open to feedback from others. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can produce an IA that meets the requirements and criteria, and showcases your knowledge and skills in the subject.

By following these tips, you can avoid many of the common mistakes that students make when writing their IB Internal Assessment. With a bit of careful planning, organization, and attention to detail, you can produce high-quality work that meets the requirements and criteria of the IB, and earns you the grades you deserve.


Writing your IB Internal Assessment can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in your chosen subject area. By avoiding common mistakes and following the tips outlined in this article, you can produce work that meets the standards and criteria of the IB, and showcases your abilities as a student.

Remember, the key to success is careful planning, attention to detail, and a willingness to put in the time and effort required to produce high-quality work. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to earning the grades you deserve on your IB Internal Assessment.

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