How to write the IA Introduction

Travis DixonInternal Assessment (IB)

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. This post has a few tips on how to write the IA Introduction.

Knowing how to write the IA Introduction for IB Psychology can be difficult. This post gives a few tips to make it easier.

While there is no prescribed way to write your IA Introduction in IB Psychology. if you’re struggling to get started the following format might help. However, feel free to structure it in a way that makes sense to you.

Available online here. Click the image for the free preview.

Remember that no matter how you present your introduction, it must contain the following (scroll down for links to more resources on how to do each of things things).

  • A description of the background theory or model
  • Explanation of the link between your investigation and the theory or model
  • Statement of the aim of your research
  • An explanation of the relevance of this aim
  • Null and research hypotheses
  • Operational definitions of the IV and DV*

*The IA rubric states that the operational definitions should be the research (aka alternative) hypotheses. However, in recent exam sessions it has been clarified that they can be operationalized in other areas of the

According to the IA rubric, you need to do these things to score top marks (6/6). From the IB Psychology Guide, pg 67.

While it’s not required, it’s still a good idea to include a brief summary of the original study you’re replicating. This is one way you can explain a link between your investigation and the theory or model.

Read more:

How to write the IA Introduction

The above slide is taken from our Teacher Support Pack files for IA. Available here.

Not sure how to start?

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. This post has a good activity and some examples of opening lines for writing a good first line.

Another way to get started is to complete the above 7 points in the order that you’re most confident with. For example, summarizing the original study’s aims, methods and results is pretty easy. Start with that. Then you might be able to state your aim and go from there.


More Online Resources

Here are some more resources to help with each of the above aspects of the IA:

  • Theory/Model
      • How to link the background theory/model to the investigation (your study)(Blog and Video)
  • Aim 
    • How to state the aim of an experiment (Blog)
  • Hypotheses & operational definitions
    • How to state your research (alternate) and null hypotheses (Blog)
    • How to operationalize your variables (Blog and Video)
  • Top 5 Mistakes in the Introduction (Video)
  • How to reference properly using APA (Blog)