How to Structure SL Business Management Internal Assessment

In this guide, we share with you the most appropriate structure to use for your IB Business Management IA at SL.

The outline will help you to organize your thoughts with ease, and to write a comprehensive analysis that’s sure to score top grades.

Key Takeaways

  • The IB Business Management IA at SL is worth 20% of the final grades, which your teacher assesses out of 25 marks. 
  • Your Business IA at Standard Level should be no more than 1,500 words long.
  • Make sure you focus on a single business and a specific aspect of that business in your research, data collection, and analysis. 
  • Because your aim is to bump up your grades, your focus should be on a Business IA topic or question that requires 3 to 5 data sources and at most 4 course tools for analysis.

IB SL Business Management Structure

The following is the format to use for your Business Management internal assessment at the Standard Level:

Title Page

The title page should have the following:

  • Research question
  • Target audience, usually the name of the business
  • The IB Number
  • Session
  • IA Word Count

Contents Page

The contents page should include the following with corresponding page numbers:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Analysis and Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited
  • Appendices


Mention the people that helped you while you were working on your internal assessment.

However, you need to understand two things. First, acknowledgements are not mandatory for this paper, so you can ignore this part if you want. Second, acknowledgements aren’t part of your work’s word count, so your teacher won’t grade it.


The introduction is the section where you set the scene for your assignment.

Here, you mention the company and explain what it does. Also, state and explain your research question in a few words. Then explain why the topic is significant to the company.

The introduction should be approximately 150 words long.


The methodology section should be no more than 200 words long.

Here’s where you show a clear and carefulselection of your sources that consider a variety of perspectives that enriched your analysis. Explain your sources, making sure you give sufficient information that justifies your selection.

Outline the specific chapters and tools that you plan to use to explore the issue.

Evaluate the validity and reliability of your data collection, and make sure you acknowledge any potential weaknesses in your sources. You should also highlight areas where bias or a limited research scope might have influenced your findings.

Finally, discuss at least one modification that you made to your approach as the work progressed. This can be a change of tools, sources, or the research question.

Analysis and Discussion

The analysis and discussion should be 900 words long.

Use three or four techniques for analysis. If you use three tools for analysis, for example, the description for each tool should be at least 300 words.

Explore the insights and themes derived from each analytical tool in the conclusion of your analysis and discussion. Aim for synthesis by linking the insights of the current tool with those of preceding tools, and explain how the insights from each tool contribute to answering your research question.

Throughout your writing, assess the reliability of your sources, as these insights carry weight in Criterion E.


Don’t introduce an argument that you haven’t mentioned in your analysis and discussion. Instead, focus on writing a comprehensive conclusion support ted by your analysis.

Write a clear answer to your question and add some evaluative insights, such as possible business conflicts or long-term effect, in this section. You should also mention one or two limitations of your research to show that you have done your best to reflect on all aspects of your work.

The conclusion section should be no more than 250 words long.

Work Cited

There is no word limit for the work cited.  

Cite all the sources (usually 3 to 5) in MLA format. Also, include any additional sources that you used for additional information.


The appendices should include the 3 to 5 documents used in your research with clear labeling for easy reference.

You should also highlight the parts in the document that you used for analysis.

This section also doesn’t have a word limit.

Is Business Management IA the Same at SL and HL?

Business Management IA at SL and HL are not the same. So, it’s important to understand the difference between them so that you don’t make any mistake when working on your paper.

The following table is a summary of the differences that you need to know:

  Standard LevelHigher Level
1.Word CountThe paper should be no more than 1,500 words long. It should NOT include a Research Proposal.The paper is usually 1,800 words long, and it includes a Research Proposal.
2.Data SourceYou should extract your information from secondary sources.For HL, you rely mostly on the primary sources for your research data.
3.Number of SourcesIB states clearly that you can use only 3 to 5 sources.You can use as many sources as you like.

How to Choose Sources for SL Business Management IA

Consider the following when choosing sources for your SL Business Management internal assessment assignment: 

  • Choose documents that fit your tools: Align your sources with the type of analysis you plan to conduct to address your question. Include at least one source with numerical data to facilitate financial analysis.
  • Consider varying views: Your documents should represent diverse perspectives relevant to your topic.
  • Consider something impressive: Include at least one source that demonstrates your commitment to thorough research. You can incorporate trade journals or advanced academic papers to elevate the quality of your references.
  • Use different source types: Include information from business articles, Annual Reports that contain financial data, academic papers, company websites, market research, and so on.
  • Find recent sources: Ensure that all supporting documents should be three years older before your final exams. So if your IB exams are in May 2024 choose sources dated after June 2021.

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