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How to structure a 17 mark IB Business question

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

After learning about the requirements for a 17 mark question here , now it’s time to actually write one! You might have read this blog before, but I have made some changes based on an IB course I took. This structure includes less emphasis on trade-offs and more focus on actions over time.


Format 1:


Introduction: talk about the problems that your action plan is trying to solve. Briefly introduce the steps/actions you are going to propose


Paragraph 1: What is the action(s) that should take place in the short-term.Why? What source/sources can you reference about this? What area of the syllabus can you mention and talk about? What is the counterpoint/trade-off? Think about the evaluation elements to include.


Paragraph 2: What is the action(s) that should take place in the medium-term. Why? What source/sources can you reference about this? What area of the syllabus can you mention and talk about? What is the counterpoint/trade-off? Think about the evaluation elements to include.


Paragraph 3:What is the action(s) that should take place in the long-term. Why? What source/sources can you reference about this? What area of the syllabus can you mention and talk about? What is the counterpoint/trade-off? Think about the evaluation elements to include.


Conclusion: Summarize what you have said and the benefits for following your plan and why it will help them reach their objective.






Final Notes:


  • Also, you should present 3-5 recommendations for the action plan. Read the case study to see how many issues they are having and be sure to cover the ones you mentioned in the 6-mark question.


  • It is better to write three good, developed recommendations than 4-5 mediocre ones. Choose quality over quantity.


  • Practice is essential for these questions. Don’t get discouraged if they seem difficult at first!

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