Looking to ace your IB Economics Paper 1? You’re in the right place. This guide breaks down the steps to help you secure your 7. From understanding your essay question and explaining economic theories, to using situations from everyday life effectively, incorporating diagrams, and wrapping up with a strong conclusion – we’ve got you covered on your journey to success.

Step 1: Understanding the Question

Carefully read the essay question and identify the key components. Pay attention to the command terms such as “evaluate,” “analyse,” “explain,” “discuss,” etc. These terms indicate the specific type of response required. Write down the main question and underline the command terms.

Step 2: Introduction

This is a 2-3 line paragraph where you Introduce the topic and provide background information. You should also state the thesis statement or main arguments. Refrain from giving definitions here, as you will be discussing the definitions in the subsequent paragraphs.

Step 3: Define key theories

Identify the key economic concepts and theories relevant to the essay question. This should make up 30% of each paragraph you write. Define these concepts and briefly explain their significance in the context of the question. Use your Economics textbook or class notes as a reference. For example, in the question “Discuss the possible consequences of the imposition of an indirect tax on cigarettes for the different stakeholders in the market”, you may choose to define and explain the terms “demerit goods” and “indirect tax”.

Step 4: Contextualise your chosen examples

Next, research and gather data, statistics, and examples to support your arguments. This should form 50% of the same paragraph. While you only require general examples for the part (a) questions, you will require real-world examples to score the highest band for the part (b) questions. It will be good to use reputable sources such as academic journals, government reports, or reliable economic publications. What matters more is evaluating the context of your real-world example(s), rather than statistics and figures. For instance, you get awarded more marks for assessing why the Federal Reserve adopted a contractionary monetary policy to combat inflation as America recovered from the COVID19 pandemic, rather than listing down statistics like “the central bank raised rates 3 times in second half of 2022 from 4% to 4.5% and then 4.75%”. Here are some points you could evaluate:

  • The pros and cons of the chosen policies
  • The impacts on various stakeholders
  • The short run and long run impacts of the chosen policies

That’s basically what the contextualisation part is about. Explaining the theory, how it works, what it’s effects are and its potential flaws. It is important to apply the theory to your chosen example and evaluate why it may or may not work.

Step 5: Diagrams

This forms 20% of your paragraph. Diagrams also serve as visual evidence to support your written arguments. Use them to back up your analysis and show a deeper understanding of the economic concepts under discussion. In most cases, you only have to state what the diagrams illustrate. There is no need to explain how the diagram was derived.
Whenever you include a diagram in your essay, make sure to explain it thoroughly. Describe what the diagram represents, the economic concept it illustrates, and how it relates to the argument you’re making in your essay.Interpret the movement of curves, shifts in supply or demand, and the implications of these changes on the economy or market.

Step 6: Conclusion

Similar to the introduction, this should be a 2-3 line paragraph where you give an overall judgement to the points you have raised. Rather than summarising what you have already written, you should provide a concluding statement and an evaluative stand.

If you find yourself in doubt or need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced tutors at Quintessential Education. Our experienced tutors can provide you extra help and guidance. Embrace the opportunity to start your journey towards academic success today!