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Choosing your EPQ topic

We’ve worked with a lot of students undertaking the Extended Project Qualification. When asked for the best piece of advice they would give to someone starting out they said choose to focus on something you’re genuinely interested in. Sounds obvious, right? And it is! You’re going to spend a lot of time immersed in studying this subject so it needs to be something you’re passionate about or fascinated by. Take a look at the information that’s already out there – what’s been written, questioned, investigated, discovered and how could you add to it?  

Part of the EPQ is finding information, combining what you have read together and writing what you think of it. All three of those activities are really important; finding, combining and writing. Your job is to bring lots of pieces of information together, think about how they fit together, and write down what you find and what you think of it. Did anything you read surprise you or change what you think? There is a fancy word for this: synthesise. It means to bring information together from all over the place, thinking about how it fits together with what you already thought of your topic, or have your thoughts changed based on what you found?

To find good information, you don’t want your topic to be as broad as ‘music’ but also not as narrow as ‘music written before 10am on Tuesdays’. Your teacher will help you to find the balance between having such a wide topic that almost everything you read could apply to it, or so narrow that you can’t find anything good.