The purpose of this page is to help students understand how to do the internal assessment in IB Economics and to give students a resource to help them while they are working on their portfolios.

IA Description

The internal assessment in economics involves writing a portfolio of three commentaries on articles related to the topics that we cover in our course. IB calls the articles extracts. Each commentary must focus on a different section of the syllabus. The three commentaries are examined and marked individually. For HL students the IA is 20% of your final mark in IB Economics and for SL students it counts as 25% of the final mark.

Each commentary should be 650-750 words. The following are not included in the word count:

• Acknowledgments
• Contents page
• Diagrams
• Labels—of five words or fewer
• Headings on diagrams—of 10 words or fewer
• Tables of statistical data
• Equations, formulae and calculations
• Citations (which, if used, must be in the body of the commentary)
• References (which, if used, must be in the footnotes/endnotes)

Please note that footnotes/endnotes may be used for references only. Definitions of economic terms and
quotations, if used, must be in the body of the work and are included in the word count. Please note that a
citation is a shorthand method of making a reference in the body of the commentary, which is then linked to
the full reference in the footnotes/endnotes.

Intro Assignment

  • Part 1: Do the following three tasks on the internet.

    • Evaluating Sources: First, click on the link to the left and complete the tutorial on the website (Internet Detective) to learn a little about how to evaluate sources. This will help you make better choices in choosing your extracts.
    • Economics Research: It will be helpful to you, if you take the time to search web sites whose focus is economics. Click the link above and do the tutorial on the website (Internet for Economics) to help you with this.
    • Internet Searches: Finally, watch the following YouTube tutorial to learn how to use search engines and the internet more effectively.
    • Google Advanced Searches: Click on the link to learn more about Google advanced searches.

  • Part 2: Your homework is to come to class next time with your exract in hard copy and an outline. The extract should be on a topic from Section 2 (Microeconomics) in the IB Economcis syllabus.

    • How do I choose an extract?
      • You should avoid using articles from the Economist and the Wall Street Journal. Your extract should be related to at least one of the cocepts/theories that we have studied in class. It should be relatively short. You should try to choose an extract that does not have much analysis and evaluation. You are responsible for the analysis and evaluation.
      • The extracts must come from four DIFFERENT sources.
      • The extracts can be from newspapers, magazines, journals and the internet.
      • The extracts cannot be from television or radio broadcasts.
      • If your extract is from the internet, news media websites are the only appropriate sources.
      • The article/extract must be published no more than one year before the writing of the commentary.

    • A good outline will:
      • Identify the topic that you plan to write about. For example, you could identify price floors, negative externalities or excise taxes as topics.
      • Identify the terms that you will probably define in your commentary. You do need to have them defined in the outline.
      • Identify the diagrams that you most likely use in your commentary. For example, a commentary on pollution will most likely use a graph depicting the effects of a negative externality on a market.
      • Identify a few ways that you may evaluate the commentary. Click here for more explanation on how to evaluate in an economics commentary.

Help Documents

Writing Help

Graphing Help

You are required to draw your own diagrams for the commentaries. A graphing software that my students have used with success in the past is Omnigraph.