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Extended Essay: Formatting your EE

Introduction.

  • Finding a Topic
  • Subject Guidance & Proposal Forms
  • Sources of Information
  • Formatting your EE
  • Reflections
  • IB Resources for Students
  • Citations and Referencing - IB REQUIREMENTS
  • In-Text Citations
  • Further information on Citations Styles

PLEASE NOTE

All final submissions must be made in pdf format to these 4 places:, google classroom, emailed to your supervisor, formal presentation basics.

extended essay front page

All essays must follow this format:

  • Standard Margins (1-inch or 2.5 cm margins)
  • 12-point, readable font (Arial is recommended)
  • Double-spaced
  • Page Numbers start on the Table of Contents 
  • No Candidate or School name  is to appear anywhere in the document
  • Title of the Essay
  • Research Question
  • Subject for which the Essay is registered
  • Category - If a Language A or B Essay
  • Theme & 2 Subjects utilized - If a World Studies Essay
  • Contents Page
  • annotated illustrations and tables
  • formulas and calculations
  • parenthetical or numbered
  • footnotes or endnotes
  • Bibliography
  • The RPPF Form
  • The Research and Writing Process: Word Counts
  • The Research and Writing Process: Footnotes and Endnotes

Table of Contents

  • Labelled "Table of Contents" in 12-point, readable font (Arial is recommended)
  • Headings and subheadings within the body of the essay may be included

References and Bibliography

  • Topic, purpose and focus of the research clearly identified and explained
  • Research Question bolded within the introduction and phrased as on the title page
  • Methodology of research and insight into the line of argument

Body of the Essay

The body of the essay must:

  • Examiners will not read appendices, endnotes or footnotes, so all essential elements to your argument must be included in the body of the essay
  • Include headings and sub-headings as appropriate to the subject 

Your conclusion must be:

  • A Summative conclusion based on the information presented in the body of the essay
  • A Conclusion linked directly to the research question
  • Notes of limitations and unresolved questions (as appropriate) can be included

Your References and Bibliography must follow this format:

  • Cross-referenced: each reference in the essay is ticked off in the bibliography to ensure all references are included and no extraneous references exist
  • All tables, charts, diagrams, illustrations etc. must be clearly labelled and referenced in the body of the essay
  • References are presented alphabetically 
  • Use hanging indents for all entries
  • Include Date Accessed or Retrieved for websites (as outlined on the IB Requirements page)
  • Remove all hyperlinks
  • The Research and Writing Process: Tables
  • The Research and Writing Process: Illustrations

Appendices should only be used if required by the subject discipline:

  • Appendices titled
  • Headings labeled
  • Included in the Table of Contents
  • Reliance on external resources such as DVDs, music, specimen materials etc. is not permitted
  • The Research and Writing Process: Reliance on External Materials
  • The Research and Writing Process: Specimen Materials
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Extended Essay Resources: Paper Formatting

  • Research Video Tutorials
  • In-text Citations
  • Plagiarism VS. Documentation
  • Primary Sources
  • Subject Resources
  • Cite Your Sources This link opens in a new window
  • Evaluate Your Sources This link opens in a new window
  • Supervisor Resources
  • Note Taking Templates
  • Paper Formatting
  • Ms Wood's presentation
  • Extended Essay calendar
  • Submit your topic selection

How to format the EE

The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look.

To help achieve this, the following formatting is suggested.

  • Arial 12 or Times New Roman 12
  • Double-spaced
  • page numbering
  • no candidate, supervisor, or school name on the title page, page headers, appendices or acknowledgment pages
  • the file size must not be more than 10 MB. (Note that the RPPF is uploaded separately and is not part of the overall file size of the essay.)

What's on the Title Page?

The title page should include the:

  • title of the essay
  • research question
  • if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into;
  • if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized)
  • word count.

DO NOT include any personal information like your name, the name of the school, or your candidate number. The IB wants each EE to be anonymous and assessed without bias. 

Images and Illustrations

From the mla style guide at purdue, labels, captions, and source information.

Illustrations appear directly embedded in the document. Each illustration must include a label, a number, a caption and/or source information.

  • The illustration label and number should always appear in two places:  the document main text (e.g.  see fig. 1 ) and near the illustration itself ( Fig. 1 ).
  • Captions  provide titles or explanatory notes (e.g.,  Van Gogh’s The Starry Night)
  • Source information  documentation will always depend upon the medium of the source illustration. If you provide source information with all of your illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
  • All visuals/illustrations that are not tables or musical score examples (e.g. maps, diagrams, charts, videos, podcasts, etc.) are labeled Figure or Fig.
  • Refer to the figure in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure. Do not capitalize figure or fig .
  • MLA does not specify alignment requirements for figures; thus, these images may be embedded as the reader sees fit. However, continue to follow basic MLA Style formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
  • Below the figure, provide a label name and its corresponding arabic numeral (no bold or italics), followed by a period (e.g. Fig. 1.). Here, Figure and Fig .  are capitalized.
  • Beginning with the same line as the label and number, provide a title and/or caption as well as relevant source information in note form (see instructions and examples above). If you provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
  • If full citation information is provided in the caption, use the same formatting as you would for your Works Cited page. However, names should be listed in  first name last name  format.

Figure Example

In-text reference:

Some readers found Harry’s final battle with Voldemort a disappointment, and recently, the podcast,  MuggleCast  debated the subject (see fig. 2).

Figure caption (below an embedded podcast file for a document to be viewed electronically):

Fig. 2. Harry Potter and Voldemort final battle debate from Andrew Sims et al.; “Show 166”;  MuggleCast ; MuggleNet.com, 19 Dec. 2008, www.mugglenet.com/2015/11/the-snape-debate-rowling-speaks-out.

Appendices are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within them, in the assessment of the essay. Students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it. Appendices should therefore be avoided except in the following instances:

  • an exemplar of a questionnaire or interview questions
  • an exemplar of permission letters
  • group 1, category 1 essays: copies of poems or short stories (of less than three pages)
  • group 1, category 3 essays: excerpts from newspapers, advertisements and transcripts of speeches
  • language acquisition, category 1 and 2: excerpts from newspapers, advertisements, transcripts of speeches, etc
  • language acquisition, category 3: excerpts or copies of poems or short stories (less than 3 pages)
  • an external mentor letter, where one has been used
  • raw data or statistical tables for experimental sciences (this should not include any analysis or conclusions).

Students should not continually refer to material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay and examiners are not required to refer to them.

Word Counts

Word counts.

The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.

Please note:  Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria. 

Please refer to the following guidance on what content should be included in the word count.

Please refer to the document entitled  Assessment principles and practices—Quality assessments in a digital age  for further clarification of word count requirements.

A note for students writing in Chinese, Korean and Japanese:

Students writing their extended essay in Japanese, Korean or Chinese should use the following conversions.

  • Japanese: 1 word = approximately 2 Japanese characters (upper limit 8,000 characters)
  • Korean: 1 word = 1 Korean character (upper limit 4,000 characters)
  • Chinese: 1 word = approximately 1.2 Chinese characters (upper limit 4,800 characters)

When typing in Chinese, Korean or Japanese word processing software is likely to include the number of characters  and  punctuation in the word count. Students are asked to  not  include punctuation in the word count for assessed work. The word count should only take into account the number of characters typed.

A note about acknowledgments and dedications:

An acknowledgment/dedications page may be included in the EE if this is important to the student, but it must contain no “identifiers”, for example, people should not be detailed in any way that makes the student’s school identifiable. An acknowledgment/dedications page is not a formal requirement of the EE, so it does not contribute to either the word count or assessment.

Headers and Footnotes

Students may wish to use the header function for their research question, so that it appears on each page. This may help retain focus.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes may be used for referencing purposes and if this is the case will not be included in the word count of the essay. If information is contained in a footnote or endnote and is not a reference, this  must  be included in the word count. In order to avoid confusion and unwittingly exceed the word limit, students are advised to avoid using footnotes or endnotes other than for referencing purposes unless it is appropriate.

One appropriate use of footnotes is for the placement of the original quotation (where the original quotation is in a language other than the language of registration). This use of footnotes would not need to be included in the word count.

As footnotes and endnotes are not an essential part of the extended essay students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it.

An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in footnotes or endnotes will be compromised across the assessment criteria. Please note that footnotes and endnotes are added to the word count as they are encountered.

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Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

  • Criteria, Format, Sample EEs
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • DP Research Process
  • Databases & Academic Journals
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Academic Integrity
  • MLA Citation Format
  • CSE Citation Format (Science & Math)
  • Video Tutorials 2024

The Assessment Crtiteria in Detail!

  • Criterion A: Focus and method
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking
  • Criterion D: Presentation
  • Criterion E: Engagement
  • EE_How to maximize marks for different subjects?

extended essay front page

  • Criterion C: Critical thinking

Notes from the IB

RE: Research Question and Title of Extended Essay

Please note the statement below from the EE curriculum manager regarding the need to have both a title and a RQ for all subjects. Previous versions of the EE Guide indicated that the title and the RQ should be the same for History, Business Management and Mathematics. This is no longer the case.  All essays, regardless of the subject, need to have both a RQ and a title.

Hi Kathy, 

To answer your question, I am going to quote directly from a response John Royce provided, on this forum, in October in response to a very similar question: (it was a question about using Spanish sources - hence the mention of Spanish)

It is certainly  permissible to use sources which are not in the language of the essay, but translation into the target language is required , one cannot assume that the reader understands the original language.

It is usual to quote the original as well as presenting the translation.  [Do not put quotation marks around your translation, just around the original]

Umberto Eco argues ("in Mouse or rat?") that direct translation may lose meaning, paraphrase or use of different idioms may be required to get the ideas across. Paul Bellos ("Is that a fish in your ear?") makes a similar argument - direct translation may confound meaning... Direct translation may not be ideal - meaning and understanding are preferred - so, not to worry that your student with her good Spanish cannot present a direct translation.

What  must be made clear is that the translations are those of the student;  these are her understandings. Readers can make of that what they will - and if unsure, are presented with the original - they can seek another translation.  A note in the acknowledgements and/or in the introduction to the effect that all translations are those of the writer is ... essential.

In response to the question about the  Bibliography/Works cited, my preference would be to list the source in its original Thai version, but perhaps with the English in brackets, to help the examiner.

Your bibliography will have the entries in Thai characters first in the document. Any in-text citation to Thai sources will be in (Thai characters [English translation]).

Citation in Thai [English translation]

Works Cited Example:

วงษ์ปัญญา, ธนกร [Wongpunya, Thanakorn]. “โรงงานยาสูบรวยแค่ไหน และเอาเงินไปทำอะไรบ้าง.”  [How rich is the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly and where does the money go?] (candidate translation). The Standard, The Standard, 30 Aug. 2018, thestandard.co/thailand-tobacco-monopoly/.

Format of the Extended Essay

Required Formatting

The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look. 

To help achieve this, the following formatting is  required:

  • 12-point, readable font (Calibri or Times New Roman);
  • double spacing throughout entire Essay;
  • page numbering - top right corner;
  • no candidate or school name or supervisor name on the title page or page headers.

Submitting the extended essay in the required format will help set the tone of the essay and will aid readability for on-screen assessment by examiners.

Required S tructure

The structure of the essay is very important. It helps students to organize the argument, making the best use of the evidence collected. 

There are six required elements of the final work to be submitted. More details about each element are given in the  “Presentation”  section. Please note that the order in which these elements are presented here is not necessarily the order in which they should be written. 

Six required elements of the extended essay:

  • Contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • References and bibliography -- if MLA "Works Cited" if CSE "References"

1. Required Title Page  

The title page should include  only  the following information: 

  • the title of the essay
  • the research question
  • the subject the essay is registered in (if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into; if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized) 

The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. 

extended essay front page

2. Required Contents Page

A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. Please note that an index page is not required and if included will be treated as if it is not present.

3. Required Introduction

The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay. The introduction should make clear to the reader the focus of the essay, the scope of the research, in particular an indication of the sources to be used, and an insight into the line of argument to be taken. 

While students should have a sense of the direction and key focus of their essay, it is sometimes advisable to finalize the introduction once the body of the essay is complete.

4. Required Body of the Essay  (research, analysis, discussion, and evaluation)

The main task is writing the body of the essay, which should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument. The form of this varies with the subject of the essay but as the argument develops it should be clear to the reader what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument. In some subjects, for example, the sciences, sub-headings within the main body of the essay will help the reader to understand the argument (and will also help the student to keep on track). In structuring their extended essay, students must take into consideration the expected conventions of the subject in which their extended essay is registered. 

Once the main body of the essay is complete, it is possible to finalize the introduction (which tells the reader what to expect) and the conclusion (which says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved). 

Any information that is important to the argument  must not  be included in appendices or footnotes/endnotes. The examiner  will not  read notes or appendices, so an essay that is not complete in itself will be compromised across the assessment criteria.

5. Required Conclusion

The conclusion says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved. While students might draw conclusions throughout the essay based on their findings, it is important that there is a final, summative conclusion at the end. This conclusion(s) must relate to the research question posed.

6.  Required References & Bibliography

Students should use their chosen style of academic referencing as soon as they start writing. That way they are less likely to forget to include a citation. It is also easier than trying to add references at a later stage. For more information on this, refer to the guidelines in the IB document  Effective citing and referencing.

Writing the essay takes time but if students have used their Researcher's reflection space and reflection sessions in a meaningful way they should be well prepared to develop their arguments.

Extended Essay - Examples & Exemplars

  • Essays from May 2018 with IB marks and commentaries
  • Assessed Student Work & Commentary IB-provided. "Student sample extended essays, corresponding marks and comments from senior examiners are available for the following Diploma Programme disciplines. Please note that in light of not having authentic RPPFs to accompany these essays, they are marked against criteria A – D only, for a total of 28 possible marks. Following the first assessment session in 2018, exemplars will be refreshed with authentic sample material." more... less... Biology English Economics History Studies in language and literature Language acquisition Mathematics Psychology Visual arts World studies extended essay (WSEE)
  • Excellenet Extended Essays Concordian GoogleDoc
  • EngA1_Othello EE Othello 2018 From inThinking.net Click the link to see the score and evaluation.
  • Fifty (50) More Excellent Extended Essays DVD by International Baccalaureate Call Number: HS DVD 808.4 ISBN: 9781906345600 Publication Date: 2011 1 DVD-ROM (1:33 min.)

Past CIS Extended Essays

Available in the library behind the desk are file folders of past Extended Essays by Concordian students and IB EE Exemplars. Feel free to browse the papers which must be kept in the library.

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International Baccalaureate (IB)

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IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources you need to get an A on it.

If you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you're an IB student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum .

IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?

I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma, and I happened to receive an A on my IB Extended Essay. Don't believe me? The proof is in the IBO pudding:

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If you're confused by what this report means, EE is short for Extended Essay , and English A1 is the subject that my Extended Essay topic coordinated with. In layman's terms, my IB Diploma was graded in May 2010, I wrote my Extended Essay in the English A1 category, and I received an A grade on it.

What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Extended Essay, or EE , is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide) . I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.

For the Extended Essay, you will choose a research question as a topic, conduct the research independently, then write an essay on your findings . The essay itself is a long one—although there's a cap of 4,000 words, most successful essays get very close to this limit.

Keep in mind that the IB requires this essay to be a "formal piece of academic writing," meaning you'll have to do outside research and cite additional sources.

The IB Extended Essay must include the following:

  • A title page
  • Contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • References and bibliography

Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories , or IB subject groups, which are as follows:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

Once you figure out your category and have identified a potential research topic, it's time to pick your advisor, who is normally an IB teacher at your school (though you can also find one online ). This person will help direct your research, and they'll conduct the reflection sessions you'll have to do as part of your Extended Essay.

As of 2018, the IB requires a "reflection process" as part of your EE supervision process. To fulfill this requirement, you have to meet at least three times with your supervisor in what the IB calls "reflection sessions." These meetings are not only mandatory but are also part of the formal assessment of the EE and your research methods.

According to the IB, the purpose of these meetings is to "provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the research process." Basically, these meetings give your supervisor the opportunity to offer feedback, push you to think differently, and encourage you to evaluate your research process.

The final reflection session is called the viva voce, and it's a short 10- to 15-minute interview between you and your advisor. This happens at the very end of the EE process, and it's designed to help your advisor write their report, which factors into your EE grade.

Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :

  • A check on plagiarism and malpractice
  • Your reflection on your project's successes and difficulties
  • Your reflection on what you've learned during the EE process

Your completed Extended Essay, along with your supervisor's report, will then be sent to the IB to be graded. We'll cover the assessment criteria in just a moment.

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We'll help you learn how to have those "lightbulb" moments...even on test day!  

What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?

You can technically write about anything, so long as it falls within one of the approved categories listed above.

It's best to choose a topic that matches one of the IB courses , (such as Theatre, Film, Spanish, French, Math, Biology, etc.), which shouldn't be difficult because there are so many class subjects.

Here is a range of sample topics with the attached extended essay:

  • Biology: The Effect of Age and Gender on the Photoreceptor Cells in the Human Retina
  • Chemistry: How Does Reflux Time Affect the Yield and Purity of Ethyl Aminobenzoate (Benzocaine), and How Effective is Recrystallisation as a Purification Technique for This Compound?
  • English: An Exploration of Jane Austen's Use of the Outdoors in Emma
  • Geography: The Effect of Location on the Educational Attainment of Indigenous Secondary Students in Queensland, Australia
  • Math: Alhazen's Billiard Problem
  • Visual Arts: Can Luc Tuymans Be Classified as a Political Painter?

You can see from how varied the topics are that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to picking a topic . So how do you pick when the options are limitless?

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How to Write a Stellar IB Extended Essay: 6 Essential Tips

Below are six key tips to keep in mind as you work on your Extended Essay for the IB DP. Follow these and you're sure to get an A!

#1: Write About Something You Enjoy

You can't expect to write a compelling essay if you're not a fan of the topic on which you're writing. For example, I just love British theatre and ended up writing my Extended Essay on a revolution in post-WWII British theatre. (Yes, I'm definitely a #TheatreNerd.)

I really encourage anyone who pursues an IB Diploma to take the Extended Essay seriously. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition merit scholarship to USC's School of Dramatic Arts program. In my interview for the scholarship, I spoke passionately about my Extended Essay; thus, I genuinely think my Extended Essay helped me get my scholarship.

But how do you find a topic you're passionate about? Start by thinking about which classes you enjoy the most and why . Do you like math classes because you like to solve problems? Or do you enjoy English because you like to analyze literary texts?

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your Extended Essay topic. You're not more likely to get high marks because you're writing about science, just like you're not doomed to failure because you've chosen to tackle the social sciences. The quality of what you produce—not the field you choose to research within—will determine your grade.

Once you've figured out your category, you should brainstorm more specific topics by putting pen to paper . What was your favorite chapter you learned in that class? Was it astrophysics or mechanics? What did you like about that specific chapter? Is there something you want to learn more about? I recommend spending a few hours on this type of brainstorming.

One last note: if you're truly stumped on what to research, pick a topic that will help you in your future major or career . That way you can use your Extended Essay as a talking point in your college essays (and it will prepare you for your studies to come too!).

#2: Select a Topic That Is Neither Too Broad nor Too Narrow

There's a fine line between broad and narrow. You need to write about something specific, but not so specific that you can't write 4,000 words on it.

You can't write about WWII because that would be a book's worth of material. You also don't want to write about what type of soup prisoners of war received behind enemy lines, because you probably won’t be able to come up with 4,000 words of material about it. However, you could possibly write about how the conditions in German POW camps—and the rations provided—were directly affected by the Nazis' successes and failures on the front, including the use of captured factories and prison labor in Eastern Europe to increase production. WWII military history might be a little overdone, but you get my point.

If you're really stuck trying to pinpoint a not-too-broad-or-too-narrow topic, I suggest trying to brainstorm a topic that uses a comparison. Once you begin looking through the list of sample essays below, you'll notice that many use comparisons to formulate their main arguments.

I also used a comparison in my EE, contrasting Harold Pinter's Party Time with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in order to show a transition in British theatre. Topics with comparisons of two to three plays, books, and so on tend to be the sweet spot. You can analyze each item and then compare them with one another after doing some in-depth analysis of each individually. The ways these items compare and contrast will end up forming the thesis of your essay!

When choosing a comparative topic, the key is that the comparison should be significant. I compared two plays to illustrate the transition in British theatre, but you could compare the ways different regional dialects affect people's job prospects or how different temperatures may or may not affect the mating patterns of lightning bugs. The point here is that comparisons not only help you limit your topic, but they also help you build your argument.

Comparisons are not the only way to get a grade-A EE, though. If after brainstorming, you pick a non-comparison-based topic and are still unsure whether your topic is too broad or narrow, spend about 30 minutes doing some basic research and see how much material is out there.

If there are more than 1,000 books, articles, or documentaries out there on that exact topic, it may be too broad. But if there are only two books that have any connection to your topic, it may be too narrow. If you're still unsure, ask your advisor—it's what they're there for! Speaking of advisors...

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Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!

#3: Choose an Advisor Who Is Familiar With Your Topic

If you're not certain of who you would like to be your advisor, create a list of your top three choices. Next, write down the pros and cons of each possibility (I know this sounds tedious, but it really helps!).

For example, Mr. Green is my favorite teacher and we get along really well, but he teaches English. For my EE, I want to conduct an experiment that compares the efficiency of American electric cars with foreign electric cars.

I had Ms. White a year ago. She teaches physics and enjoyed having me in her class. Unlike Mr. Green, Ms. White could help me design my experiment.

Based on my topic and what I need from my advisor, Ms. White would be a better fit for me than would Mr. Green (even though I like him a lot).

The moral of my story is this: do not just ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor . They might be a hindrance to you if they teach another subject. For example, I would not recommend asking your biology teacher to guide you in writing an English literature-based EE.

There can, of course, be exceptions to this rule. If you have a teacher who's passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (as my English teacher was about my theatre topic), you could ask that instructor. Consider all your options before you do this. There was no theatre teacher at my high school, so I couldn't find a theatre-specific advisor, but I chose the next best thing.

Before you approach a teacher to serve as your advisor, check with your high school to see what requirements they have for this process. Some IB high schools require your IB Extended Essay advisor to sign an Agreement Form , for instance.

Make sure that you ask your IB coordinator whether there is any required paperwork to fill out. If your school needs a specific form signed, bring it with you when you ask your teacher to be your EE advisor.

#4: Pick an Advisor Who Will Push You to Be Your Best

Some teachers might just take on students because they have to and aren't very passionate about reading drafts, only giving you minimal feedback. Choose a teacher who will take the time to read several drafts of your essay and give you extensive notes. I would not have gotten my A without being pushed to make my Extended Essay draft better.

Ask a teacher that you have experience with through class or an extracurricular activity. Do not ask a teacher that you have absolutely no connection to. If a teacher already knows you, that means they already know your strengths and weaknesses, so they know what to look for, where you need to improve, and how to encourage your best work.

Also, don't forget that your supervisor's assessment is part of your overall EE score . If you're meeting with someone who pushes you to do better—and you actually take their advice—they'll have more impressive things to say about you than a supervisor who doesn't know you well and isn't heavily involved in your research process.

Be aware that the IB only allows advisors to make suggestions and give constructive criticism. Your teacher cannot actually help you write your EE. The IB recommends that the supervisor spends approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.

#5: Make Sure Your Essay Has a Clear Structure and Flow

The IB likes structure. Your EE needs a clear introduction (which should be one to two double-spaced pages), research question/focus (i.e., what you're investigating), a body, and a conclusion (about one double-spaced page). An essay with unclear organization will be graded poorly.

The body of your EE should make up the bulk of the essay. It should be about eight to 18 pages long (again, depending on your topic). Your body can be split into multiple parts. For example, if you were doing a comparison, you might have one third of your body as Novel A Analysis, another third as Novel B Analysis, and the final third as your comparison of Novels A and B.

If you're conducting an experiment or analyzing data, such as in this EE , your EE body should have a clear structure that aligns with the scientific method ; you should state the research question, discuss your method, present the data, analyze the data, explain any uncertainties, and draw a conclusion and/or evaluate the success of the experiment.

#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!

You will not be able to crank out a 4,000-word essay in just a week and get an A on it. You'll be reading many, many articles (and, depending on your topic, possibly books and plays as well!). As such, it's imperative that you start your research as soon as possible.

Each school has a slightly different deadline for the Extended Essay. Some schools want them as soon as November of your senior year; others will take them as late as February. Your school will tell you what your deadline is. If they haven't mentioned it by February of your junior year, ask your IB coordinator about it.

Some high schools will provide you with a timeline of when you need to come up with a topic, when you need to meet with your advisor, and when certain drafts are due. Not all schools do this. Ask your IB coordinator if you are unsure whether you are on a specific timeline.

Below is my recommended EE timeline. While it's earlier than most schools, it'll save you a ton of heartache (trust me, I remember how hard this process was!):

  • January/February of Junior Year: Come up with your final research topic (or at least your top three options).
  • February of Junior Year: Approach a teacher about being your EE advisor. If they decline, keep asking others until you find one. See my notes above on how to pick an EE advisor.
  • April/May of Junior Year: Submit an outline of your EE and a bibliography of potential research sources (I recommend at least seven to 10) to your EE advisor. Meet with your EE advisor to discuss your outline.
  • Summer Between Junior and Senior Year: Complete your first full draft over the summer between your junior and senior year. I know, I know—no one wants to work during the summer, but trust me—this will save you so much stress come fall when you are busy with college applications and other internal assessments for your IB classes. You will want to have this first full draft done because you will want to complete a couple of draft cycles as you likely won't be able to get everything you want to say into 4,000 articulate words on the first attempt. Try to get this first draft into the best possible shape so you don't have to work on too many revisions during the school year on top of your homework, college applications, and extracurriculars.
  • August/September of Senior Year: Turn in your first draft of your EE to your advisor and receive feedback. Work on incorporating their feedback into your essay. If they have a lot of suggestions for improvement, ask if they will read one more draft before the final draft.
  • September/October of Senior Year: Submit the second draft of your EE to your advisor (if necessary) and look at their feedback. Work on creating the best possible final draft.
  • November-February of Senior Year: Schedule your viva voce. Submit two copies of your final draft to your school to be sent off to the IB. You likely will not get your grade until after you graduate.

Remember that in the middle of these milestones, you'll need to schedule two other reflection sessions with your advisor . (Your teachers will actually take notes on these sessions on a form like this one , which then gets submitted to the IB.)

I recommend doing them when you get feedback on your drafts, but these meetings will ultimately be up to your supervisor. Just don't forget to do them!

body-bird-worm-cc0-pixabay

The early bird DOES get the worm!

How Is the IB Extended Essay Graded?

Extended Essays are graded by examiners appointed by the IB on a scale of 0 to 34 . You'll be graded on five criteria, each with its own set of points. You can learn more about how EE scoring works by reading the IB guide to extended essays .

  • Criterion A: Focus and Method (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking (12 points maximum)
  • Criterion D: Presentation (4 points maximum)
  • Criterion E: Engagement (6 points maximum)

How well you do on each of these criteria will determine the final letter grade you get for your EE. You must earn at least a D to be eligible to receive your IB Diploma.

Although each criterion has a point value, the IB explicitly states that graders are not converting point totals into grades; instead, they're using qualitative grade descriptors to determine the final grade of your Extended Essay . Grade descriptors are on pages 102-103 of this document .

Here's a rough estimate of how these different point values translate to letter grades based on previous scoring methods for the EE. This is just an estimate —you should read and understand the grade descriptors so you know exactly what the scorers are looking for.

Here is the breakdown of EE scores (from the May 2021 bulletin):

How Does the Extended Essay Grade Affect Your IB Diploma?

The Extended Essay grade is combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade to determine how many points you get toward your IB Diploma.

To learn about Theory of Knowledge or how many points you need to receive an IB Diploma, read our complete guide to the IB program and our guide to the IB Diploma requirements .

This diagram shows how the two scores are combined to determine how many points you receive for your IB diploma (3 being the most, 0 being the least). In order to get your IB Diploma, you have to earn 24 points across both categories (the TOK and EE). The highest score anyone can earn is 45 points.

body-theory-of-knowledge

Let's say you get an A on your EE and a B on TOK. You will get 3 points toward your Diploma. As of 2014, a student who scores an E on either the extended essay or TOK essay will not be eligible to receive an IB Diploma .

Prior to the class of 2010, a Diploma candidate could receive a failing grade in either the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge and still be awarded a Diploma, but this is no longer true.

Figuring out how you're assessed can be a little tricky. Luckily, the IB breaks everything down here in this document . (The assessment information begins on page 219.)

40+ Sample Extended Essays for the IB Diploma Programme

In case you want a little more guidance on how to get an A on your EE, here are over 40 excellent (grade A) sample extended essays for your reading pleasure. Essays are grouped by IB subject.

  • Business Management 1
  • Chemistry 1
  • Chemistry 2
  • Chemistry 3
  • Chemistry 4
  • Chemistry 5
  • Chemistry 6
  • Chemistry 7
  • Computer Science 1
  • Economics 1
  • Design Technology 1
  • Design Technology 2
  • Environmental Systems and Societies 1
  • Geography 1
  • Geography 2
  • Geography 3
  • Geography 4
  • Geography 5
  • Geography 6
  • Literature and Performance 1
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mathematics 2
  • Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 4
  • Mathematics 5
  • Philosophy 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Philosophy 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Philosophy 5
  • Psychology 1
  • Psychology 2
  • Psychology 3
  • Psychology 4
  • Psychology 5
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 1
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 2
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 3
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 1
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 2
  • Visual Arts 1
  • Visual Arts 2
  • Visual Arts 3
  • Visual Arts 4
  • Visual Arts 5
  • World Religion 1
  • World Religion 2
  • World Religion 3

body-whats-next-stars

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The Extended Essay Step-by-Step Guide 6: How to Write It

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With summer either already here or very near, it’s time for our next step in the Extended Essay Step-by-Step Guide. This one will help give you that push to put all of that essay preparation to use. Yes, it’s time to bite the bullet and write the thing.

To recap, this is the stage that comes after:

Topic Choice Topic Research Finalising a Question Outlining/Planning

If you don’t feel you’ve quite nailed something in that list above, have a read of our previous blogs in the series for a comprehensive breakdown of what you can do to get there. If on the other hand you do feel you’ve done all of this, you should know WHAT you’re going to say. The real question is HOW. This isn’t a post about how to write. I know you’ve written things before. This blog is about how to make yourself get that writing for this Extended Essay on the page in front of you.

1. Know When You’ll Write Your Essay

It should be obvious that the key to making sure you write your extended essay is to find the time to write it. But you’d be surprised how easily the time can slip away without a single word getting typed or written. Especially in summer, that pesky thing called procrastination can disguise itself as everything from the new season of Orange is the New Black to a trip to a lake to swim with pelicans.

To make sure you get the writing done when you want it done, take half an hour to get organised. Work out when, objectively, you will have the time to devote some love and care and sweat and blood to this essay. And do it in chunks. Half a day at a time is ideal. Start by scheduling a few at a time near the start of your holiday so that you can see how much time this will actually take you and adjust your schedule accordingly.

To be extra efficient, don’t just decide when you will work on your essay, but decide what you will work on. Set deadlines for finishing different stages of the essay throughout the summer. For a Language, Literature, or Group 3 essay you might set deadlines for completing the introduction, body, conclusion, and proofreading. For a Group 4 Science essay your deadlines could be more detailed, separated for completing sections on background information, methods and materials, and data analysis, for example.

Exercise 1: Take out your calendar, work out what plans you already have for the summer which you’ll need to work around, and mark out your devoted Extended Essay time. Don’t have a calendar? No problem! Download our own printable Extended Essay time planner by clicking here !

2. Getting the Words on the Page

Now you’ve organised yourself and found time to do the writing, it’s time to sit down and put the words on the page. The biggest tip I can possibly give you is to remind that getting any words on the page at all is more important, at this stage, than getting ‘the right words’. This is only a first draft, and at this point it’s only a draft of a first draft. So do whatever you can to help yourself put pen to paper/hands to keyboard.

If you feel like you can launch straight into writing that essay, great! Sit down and do that. On the other hand if you’re still unsure where you start there are a bunch of techniques you can try to help get you started.

  • There’s nothing to say you have to write the essay in chronological order! Instead you could take each paragraph of your essay one at a time, and start with the section you feel most confident, or excited about.
  • A lot of people find it easier to write things by hand before typing it. If you’re experiencing what I like to call ‘keyboard fear’, ditch the laptop, take a pen and a piece of paper, and write your essay as if you are answering the question in an exam.
  • If you’re struggling to turn your outline into full sentences, forget about eloquence for a while and just write it in whatever way you like. No need for good words. Just write. No one will see it but you.

extended essay front page

3. Perfect Your Extended Essay Language

Perfect language doesn’t matter at the beginning of your writing process. But making sure that your writing is clear, well-paced and polished is essential for the final product. You’ll get a chance to fix up the writing later in the process, but paying attention to your language, tone and style as you go along will save you a lot of time in the long-run. More importantly, it will help you to see what is and isn’t making sense now.

A great way to get into the right frame of mind for writing a formal essay is to read other examples. Have a look at our free resources page to see how other successful IB students have written their essays in the past. Alternatively you could remind yourself of general guidelines to academic writing like this guide here .

extended essay front page

In general it’s better to be simple. Avoid the temptation to write as many long, complicated words as you possibly can so that you reach the 4000 word limit faster! I promise you that the most common Extended Essay problem of all IB students is fitting their words into the word limit at the end. So take some time to relax, breathe, and only write what you need to write.

extended essay front page

Case in point: Which sentence makes more sense to you?

  • It is arguable that during the nineteenth century, and in the latter half of the century in particular, many people perceived a growth in what can be termed the mass market for novels and literature.
  • The later nineteenth century saw an increase in the literary mass market.

Exercise 3: Paste one of your completed paragraphs onto a new document and cut out the unnecessary words and phrases. Aim to cut words down by 10%. Do this for each one of your paragraphs either as you go along or at the end.

The only thing left to say now is to just do it. It will be tough, but you won’t have a better time to work on it than this summer*. If you’d like more help from us have a look at our assignments package for online private tuition, or our Mid-IB Extended Essay workshop .

(*And if you hate the idea of doing it now, think about doing it next term when you have 10 other deadlines to meet as well!)

Happy writing!

Read Part 7: Refine your draft

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Extended Essay - Criteria: Title Page

  • Criterion A: Focus and Method
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking
  • Table of Contents
  • Citations and Referencing
  • Appendices (Optional)
  • Initial reflection
  • Interim reflection

Sample Title Pages

Sample title page, sample title page for group 1, sample title page for group 2, sample title page world studies.

A brief heading that describes what the essay is about. 

Research Question

  • Make sure the RQ that is used on the title page matches the RQ used in other sections of your essay (e.g. the introduction).  
  • Make sure the RQ that is used on the title page is being answered in the conclusion.  
  • Use correct spelling and grammar, and make sure it ends in a question mark.

Make sure you list the subject and category (if applicable) to which your essay belongs.

Ensure that you accurately specify the exact number of words contained on your extended essay.

World Studies - Theme and Subjects

For a World Studies extended essay, make sure you list the theme:

  • Culture, Language and Identity
  • Conflict, peace and security
  • Environmental and/or economic sustainability
  • Equality and inequality
  • Health and development
  • Science, technology and society

You must also list the two IB Dimploma subjects chosen.

Parts of a title page:

extended essay front page

How it should look:

extended essay front page

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Extended Essay Guide: The Introduction

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Writing Your Research Question
  • Finding Resources
  • Research Plan Ouline
  • Drafting Your Paper
  • The Introduction
  • The Conclusion
  • Citations/Bibliography
  • Proofreading Your Paper
  • IB Assessment Criteria/Subject Specific Guides/Exemplars/Etc

Extended Essay Introduction

The goal of the introduction is to introduce the topic and provide enough information about it in order to enable the reader to comprehend the significance of your research question. The research question must be clearly and precisely stated in the introduction.  The research question is the central question you are trying to answer through your research and writing of the extended essay. This question, if properly composed, will both enable you to maintain your focus on a topic of narrow and limited scope while also help you to maintain the purpose and orientation of your entire investigation. Your extended essay will be assessed in part according to the extent to which the essay appropriately addresses and develops your specific research question. The readers will also evaluate your success in collecting information relevant to the research question. Establish the significance of the research question and explain why it is worthy of study.  Briefly and concisely preview your body by providing a plan of investigation (game plan) for the rest of the paper. The game plan briefly explains how you intend to answer the research question.

Introduction Checklist

____ Does your introduction include some background information and place the topic in an appropriate context

_____ Is your research question clearly and exactly focused, and stated (in bold)?

_____ Does your introduction explain the significance and context of your topic? (This topic is an important because…)

_____ Does your introduction explain why your topic is worthy of investigation and still have contemporary relevance? (This topic is worthy of investigation because…)

_____ Does your introduction explain how the research question relates to existing knowledge?

_____ Do you avoid writing lengthy, irrelevant background material?

_____ Do you give the game plan for the rest of the essay?

  • _____ Is it clear where your intro ends?

EE Introduction

Background information.

Background information identifies and describes the history and nature of your research question with reference to the existing literature. Background information expands upon the key points stated in the beginning of your introduction but is not intended to be the main focus of the paper.  Sufficient background information helps your reader determine if you have a basic understanding of the research question being investigated and promotes confidence in the overall quality of your analysis and conclusion. This information provides the reader with the essential context needed to understand the research question and its significance.

Websites to help:

Background of the Problem Section: What do you Need to Consider?

How to Write a Research Paper . 

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Extended Essay: Step 11. Read, Read, Read!

  • Extended Essay- The Basics
  • Step 1. Choose a Subject
  • Step 2. Educate yourself!
  • Using Brainstorming and Mind Maps
  • Identify Keywords
  • Do Background Reading
  • Define Your Topic
  • Conduct Research in a Specific Discipline
  • Step 5. Draft a Research Question
  • Step 6. Create a Timeline
  • Find Articles
  • Find Primary Sources
  • Get Help from Experts
  • Search Engines, Repositories, & Directories
  • Databases and Websites by Subject Area
  • Create an Annotated Bibliography
  • Advice (and Warnings) from the IB
  • Chicago Citation Syle
  • MLA Works Cited & In-Text Citations
  • Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay
  • Evaluate & Select: the CRAAP Test
  • Conducting Secondary Research
  • Conducting Primary Research
  • Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Presentation Requirements
  • Evaluating Your Work

Time to read!

You have your subject (Step 1), topic (Step 4), and research question (Step 5), and you have identified some sources (Step 7).  Now you need to do some preparatory reading to make sure your research question is viable in light of the information you have found.

The IB advises that you evaluate all of your sources (online, print, and otherwise) to make sure they are valid and reliable.  On this page see:

Advice from the IB on Evaluating Sources (Online, Print, and Multimedia)

You can also use "The CRAAP Test" for evaluating sources.  See:

Currency:   The timeliness of the information Relevance:   The importance of the information for your needs Authority:   The source of the information Accuracy:   The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content Purpose:   The reason the information exists

The Internet is a tremendous resource for finding information, but you need to use it critically and with care. One important thing to be aware of is that unlike resources found in a library in printed form, those found on the internet may not have been through a review or editing process.

When researching online you should:

  • know appropriate search engines to use
  • not rely exclusively on sources found on the Internet
  • have a clear and focused research question to help you search more directly on the Internet (given the amount of information available it is easy to be overwhelmed!) 
  • critically evaluate the reliability and validity of the information presented on the Internet 
  • keep a detailed record of all references, in accordance with the IB’s minimum requirements, ensuring that the URL of where the source was located is written down correctly. This includes recording the date that the site was accessed. The  Researcher's reflection space (RRS) is a good tool for supporting this practice.

Adapted from "Introduction; Academic honesty, Acknowledge the work or ideas of another person", from Extended Essay Guide, International Baccalaureate Organization, 2016.

Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay - Step 11

11.  Undertake some preparatory reading in light of the proposed research question. 

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How to Write an Extended Essay: from Outline to Conclusion

Extended essay

Writing an Extended Essay

As a student, especially those pursuing International Baccalaureate (IB), you will be faced with the challenge of coming up with an extended essay. But few students do not know how to write long essays like an extended essay. That is where we come in.

In this comprehensive guide, I will guide you on the 8 steps to follow when writing a good extended essay and provide you with examples of topics you can use.

As noted by one of our top essay writers for hire , extended essays are not like your ordinary essays. As the name suggests, they are extended versions of essays and it may take longer and a unique approach to writing them.

extended essay front page

However, before delving into such details, it is important to first understand what extended essays are.

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What is an extended essay.

An extended essay (EE) is a form of writing that provides learners with a chance to carry out independent research concerning a topic of their interest. It is part of the requirements for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and its content is based on a freely-selected topic provided that there is an instructor for the subject in school since candidates should have a supervisor for the subjects.

To be more precise, an extended essay can be regarded as a 4000-word structured piece of writing centered on an International Baccalaureate student’s topic and it may take various forms.

What is meant by “it may take various forms” is that the way it looks depends on the topic selected. The next section will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write an extended essay. 

How to Write an Extended Essay

When writing an extended essay, there 8 steps that should be taken to effectively complete it on time. Carefully read through the 8 steps to fully understand how to write an extended essay.

Step 1: Selecting a topic and researching on it

Researching extended essay

This is the first step that you should take before writing your extended essay.

As noted, extended essays will allow you to write on the topic of your interest.

However, various topics are provided by your instructor and it is upon you to select the topic that interests you.

You should keep in mind that the topic selected should have enough material and resources to support your topic and the position of your arguments concerning the topic.

Some topics may have limited resources.

At the same time, select a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. A narrow topic may lack enough material to have a 4000-word extended essay while a broad topic may require a lot of supporting material that may exceed the 4000-word limit.  

If you find the first step confusing or you find it difficult to tackle it on your own, it is advisable to seek a mentor/advisor. You should select an advisor or mentor with whom you will connect well and the one who understands the topic and what is required when writing extended essays.

Such a mentor will help you select the topic that fits your interest. While helping you select a topic that is not too narrow or broad, they should push you to deliver your best. Mentors/advisors can be your instructors or friends who have completed extended essays. 

Once this is done, research extensively concerning your topic and ensure that the sources of your information are peer-reviewed and credible. They should provide the most recent research or information concerning your topic.

Note the sources of your information so that you can cite and reference them in your extended essay. 

Step 2: Coming up With a Research Question

This is an important step because selecting a research question will provide you with a focused and clear summative statement to be used during your research.

It will act as a roadmap or a guideline that will help you during the writing process. It will also help you formulate a clear and concise thesis statement that will summarize your arguments and the position you will take in your extended essay. 

Step 3: Structuring Your Extended Essay

As aforementioned, extended essays should always take an academic format. This means that it should have an acceptable academic structure.

At the same time, since International Baccalaureate (IB) guidelines are constantly updated, you should follow the latest guidelines so that you can utilize the latest format. 

The acceptable format for your extended essay will include an introduction, methodology, main body, conclusion, bibliography, and appendices.

Writing extended Essay

This will be the general structure for your extended essay.

It should be noted that this structure is not an outline.

What this means is that the structure should be considered when coming up with an outline.

Once you have decided the structure of your extended essay, come up with an outline based on your topic, thesis, and arguments.

An outline will act as a guide during the drafting process and it will save a lot of time.

This is because you will have already outlined your extended essay and what you will be doing is to add content to the points you have highlighted. Ensure that individual points translate to a single paragraph. 

You should also note that the extended essay will have a table of contents. Therefore, the outline will be very important when coming up with your table of contents that is located after the cover page of your extended essay. 

Step 4: Writing the Introduction

Once you have completed the above steps and you have come up with an outline based on the extended essay’s structure, the next step is to introduce your topic and elaborate it to your target readers.

Writing the Introduction

There are various things you should consider when coming up with an introduction.

First of all, the introduction should be catchy and interesting.

This is because your readers will read it before deciding on whether to continue with the rest of the paper.

The best way to do this is to begin your introduction with something catchy or attention-grabbing sentence.

This will arouse the reader’s curiosity to know more about the topic.

The second thing you should know about the introduction is that it should offer a crisp and clear description of what you are going to talk about and the various strategies you will use to explore the topic. It all depends on the topic.

You can decide to highlight the issues that will be explored and the ways of addressing such issues. It is all about proving some brief background of what you will be exploring in the rest of the paper.

Do you remember that you formulated a research question after researching your topic? While introducing the topic of your extended essay, you should provide the context of your research question where you address the situation or the background from which the question comes.

While doing so, you should state the research question and elaborate on why answering the question is important for the paper’s findings. 

The introduction should also tell the readers why the research you present in your extended essay is important, interesting, and/or valuable to the discipline and the audience.

Finally, you should conclude your introduction by writing your thesis statement. This should be the last sentence of your introduction paragraph(s). 

Step 5: Methodology

This is also a very important step when writing an extended essay. To make sure that all the important aspects of the methodology are covered, you should divide this section into two.

extended essay Methodology

The first section of the methodology explains your sources of information and the second section explores the related theories, topics, and arguments that will be used to explore your topic. 

In the first section, you should describe every primary and/or secondary source used, why the sources are important, and their limitations.

Sources of secondary research can include news articles, annual reports for companies, business textbooks, magazine articles, and encyclopedias. The final thing you should do while in section 1 is to state the adjustments made in your research. 

For the second section, you should provide a brief explanation of the theories that are going to be applied and the reason why they are the most appropriate in explaining your arguments.

Also, give the limitations of each theory, topic, or argument applied. Finally, state the changes made during the research and writing process.

Step 6: Drafting the Main Body

This should be the most elaborate part of your extended essay because you will concentrate on the research, analysis of the research, discussion, and evaluation.

You should try to retain the flow of step 5 that has steps 1 and 2. This will demonstrate that you understand the concepts of the International Baccalaureate while still addressing your topic using the relevant sources. 

In the first section, for each of the theories, arguments, and topics used to address your topic, include about 4 examples of each to help you answer the research question effectively. Also, address the qualitative tools applied before the quantitative tools.

The second section goes beyond the course to educate your evaluator and/or readers concerning your topic. Explore the related concepts and theories deeply while providing different perspectives on the topic.

Remember that you should be evaluating the findings here. Use analytical insight to further explain your arguments and points of view. Graphs and other forms of data presentation can be used. However, they should apply to the research.

Step 7: Writing the Conclusion

In this step, you should sum up your arguments from all your sections. It is important to stipulate what has been researched and how it has helped answer the research question.

It should be noted that no new information should be added in the conclusion. Mention some limitations of the research and their impact, and the reasons behind such limitations.

Finally, state the thing(s) you can do differently if you were to write another extended essay.

Step 8: Bibliography and Appendices

On a different page or the next page after the conclusion, reference your sources of information using the correct format (APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard styles). Always remember to arrange the references from A to Z. Bibliography or references are not part of the word count.

The appendices section showcases the extra work you have done such as transcripts of the interviews conducted, additional analysis, and any other data that you found interesting but did not include in the body of your paper. 

Once you are done with writing, thoroughly proofread your work and correct any grammatical or spelling errors made. Make sure that the work is well formatted with all the sections included.

At the same time, make sure that nothing in your paper is copy-pasted because it will be regarded as plagiarism. Always do this before submitting your extended essay. 

Best Length of an Extended Essay

While there is no universally agreed minimum word count for an extended essay, you should not write less than 3,000 words. This is because lesser than that will demonstrate that you did not adequately research your topic.

Since the acceptable word limit on the upper side is 4,000 words, always strive to write more than 3,500 words. Unlike other types of essays like a GRE Essay that is short, an extended essay is long in terms of word count.

In other cases, the minimum word count is 1,500 words, and the maximum word count is 4,000 words. It is up to the student to decide what their word count should be. It is important not to go over or under the prescribed word count by more than 10%. The upper limit of 4000 words should be a guideline rather than a firm rule.

Can the extended essay be over 4000 words?

Yes, the extended essay may be up to 4000 words in length. The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. This upper limit includes the introduction, the body, the conclusion, and any quotations, but does not include:

  • the abstract
  • the contents page
  • acknowledgments
  • any diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs
  • the bibliography

How many pages is an extended essay?

4000 words is 8 pages single spaced, and 16 pages double spaced. The number of pages changes depends on the number of words, the font, and the font size. Usually, the extended essay is 4000 words in length, so it is quite a bit longer than your average essay. Double-space, Times New Roman 12 is pretty much universal, in college anyway.

What are the extended essay minimum and maximum word count?

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12 Examples of Extended Essay topics

  • What is the effect of age and gender on the photoreceptor cells in the human retina?
  • How is climate change impacting the appearance of coral reefs?
  • An evaluation of how antioxidants work in our bodies?
  • Is there an association between viewing violence on television and the display of violent acts?
  • What motivational climate should a coach employ to achieve optimal performance in athletes?
  • How does the X hormone affect human behavior?
  • How were women treated differently in the 1920s and 1950s Great Britain?
  • What role did economics play in the unification of Germany from 1834 to 1871?
  • How does the sugar concentration affect the refractive index of water?
  • What factors influence the location of industries in country/city X?
  • An investigation into the significance of preserving the quality of water in a continent/country/city?
  • What effect does the coating of aspirin tablets have on the hydrolysis of aspirin?

Can You Redo an Extended Essay?

Yes. You can redo an extended essay if you appeal to the relevant institution about the reason(s) why you failed on the first try. You should provide credible and sensible reasons for you to be considered. It is only then that you are granted a retake. 

Can You Fail an Extended Essay?

Yes. You can fail an extended essay if you do not follow the essay’s requirements, instructions, or rubric. 

What Happens if You Fail an Extended Essay?

If you fail an extended essay, you will not graduate with a diploma. Therefore, if you fail, you should request a retake and do your best to write a good extended essay. 

How many points is the extended essay worth?

The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word essay that you write on a topic of your choice. This counts towards your IB Diploma and it’s worth 3 points of your overall score.

The Extended Essay is often the most rewarding part of the IB Diploma. It gives you the chance to study something that you want to learn about in-depth, and it can be on any topic you choose – as long as there’s an expert to supervise it!

Can I publish my extended essay?

You may publish your extended essay. There are some things to consider before you do though: • Check that the subject of your essay is appropriate for publishing. Some subjects, such as science and math, may not be appropriate for publication because of how quickly the field develops. Also, check that your advisor approves of publishing the essay. • Check that you have gotten all the necessary permissions you need before you publish. • Check with your advisor if you have any doubts about these things.

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Extended essay

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students.

Read about the extended essay  in greater detail.

You can also read about how the IB sets deadlines for the extended essay , find examples of extended essay titles from previous DP students and learn about the world studies extended essay .

Learn more about the extended essay in a DP workshop for teachers . 

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What Is an IB Extended Essay and How to Write It?

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The IB extended essay is a paper of up to 4,000 words that is required for students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program. The extended essay allows students to engage in independent research on a topic within one of the available subject areas.

The extended essay should be an original piece of academic writing that demonstrates the following student's abilities:

  • Formulating a research question
  • Conductig independent investigation
  • Presenting key findings in a scholarly format.

Check out this article by StudyCrumb to discover how to write an IB extendend essay properly. We will give you a complete writing guide and critical tips you need for this essay type.

IB Extended Essay: What Is It?

An extended essay is independent research. Usually students choose a topic in consultation with a mentor. It is an integral part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) degree program. This means that you won't receive a degree without a successfully written paper. It requires 4,000-word study on a chosen narrow topic. To get a high score, you should meet all required structure and formatting standards. This is the result of approximately 40 working hours. Its purpose is giving you the opportunity to try independent research writing. It's approved that these skills are critical for student success at university. The following sections explain how to write an extended article with examples. So keep reading!  

Choosing a Mentor for Extended Essay

IB extended essay guidelines require supervisor meetings, totaling 3-5 hours. They include three critical reflections. A mentor won't write a paper instead of you but can help adjust it. So it is important to consult with them, but no one will proofread or correct actual research for you. In general, initially treat an essay as an exclusively individual work. So your role and contribution are maximal.

Extended Essay Outline

Let's take a look at how to write an extended essay outline. In this part, you organize yourself so that your work develops your idea. So we especially recommend you work out this step with your teacher. You can also find any outline example for essay . In your short sketch, plan a roadmap for your thoughts. Think through and prepare a summary of each paragraph. Then, expand annotation of each section with a couple more supporting evidence. Explain how specific examples illustrate key points. Make it more significant by using different opinions on general issues.  

Extended Essay: Getting Started

After you chose an extended essay topic and made an outline, it's time to start your research. Start with a complete Table of Contents and make a choice of a research question. Select the subject in which you feel most confident and which is most interesting for you. For example, if at school you are interested in natural science, focus on that. If you have difficulties choosing a research question, rely on our essay topic generator .

Extended Essay Introduction

In the introduction of an extended essay, present a thesis statement. But do it in such a way that your readers understand the importance of your research. State research question clearly. That is the central question that you are trying to answer while writing. Even your score depends on how you develop your particular research question. Therefore, it is essential to draw it up correctly. Gather all relevant information from relevant sources. Explain why this is worth exploring. Then provide a research plan, which you will disclose further.  

Extended Essay Methodology

In accordance with extended essay guidelines, it's mandatory to choose and clearly state a methodological approach. So, it will be apparent to your examiner how you answered your research question. Include your collection methods and tools you use for collection and analysis. Your strategies can be experimental or descriptive, quantitative or qualitative. Research collection tools include observations, questionnaires, interviews, or background knowledge.

Extended Essay Main Body

Well, here we come to the most voluminous part of the extended essay for IB! In every essay body paragraph , you reveal your research question and discuss your topic. Provide all details of your academic study. But stay focused and do it without dubious ideas. Use different sources of information to provide supporting arguments and substantial evidence. This will impress professors. For this section, 3 main paragraphs are enough. Discuss each idea or argument in a separate paragraph. You can even use supporting quotes where appropriate. But don't overcomplicate. Make your extended essay easy to read and logical. It's critical to stay concise, so if you aren't sure how to make your text readable, use our tool to get a readbility test . Following the plan you outlined earlier is very important. Analyze each fact before including it in your writing. And don't write unnecessary information.

Extended Essay Conclusion

Now let's move on to the final part of IB extended essay guidelines. In conclusion, focus on summarizing the main points you have made. No new ideas or information can be introduced in this part. Use conclusion as your last chance to impress your readers. Reframe your own strong thesis. Here you must show all key points. Do not repeat absolutely every argument. Better try to make this part unique. This will show that you have a clear understanding of the topic you have chosen. And even more professional will be recommendations of new areas for future research. One good paragraph may be enough here. Although in some cases, two or three paragraphs may be required.

Extended Essay Bibliography & Appendices

To write an impressive extended essay, you should focus on appropriate information. You must create a separate page for bibliography with all sources you used. Tip from us: start writing this page with the first quote you use. Don't write this part last or postpone. In turn, appendices are not an essential section. Examiners will not pay much attention to this part. Therefore, include all information directly related to analysis and argumentation in the main body. Include raw data in the appendix only if it is really urgently needed. Moreover, it is better not to refer to appendices in text itself. This can disrupt the narrative of the essay.  

Extended Essay Examples

We have prepared a good example of an extended essay. You can check it by downloading it for free. You can use it as a template. However, pay attention that your paper is required to be unique. Don't be afraid to present all the skills you gained during your IB.

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Final Thoughts on IB Extended Essay

In this article, we presented detailed IB extended essay guidelines. An extended essay is a daunting academic challenge to write. It is a research paper with a deep thematic analysis of information. But we have described several practical and straightforward tips. Therefore, we are sure that you will succeed!

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Presentation.

4 of the 34 marks for the Extended Essay are for Criterion D: Presentation. The IB does not provide a checklist to remind you to include page numbers, captions and correct citations. Instead Criterion D asks: 

  • To what extent does the structure of the essay lend itself to the topic, subject and argument?
  • To what extent is the layout correct?
  • To what extent do the structure and layout support the reading, understanding and evaluation of the essay?

The first bullet point is arguably the most difficult and is inextricably related to Criterion C: Critical thinking. However, there is no reason why you should lose marks for the second two bullet points on layout. Here is a checklist that you can use to determine if your essay is ready to submit:

EE checklist

Have you checked your word count (under 4000 words, after you have excluded words which are not counted towards the word count)?

Have you numbered tables and figures/illustrations, i.e. Fig.1, Table 1?

Does each table, figure or illustration have a caption or label?

For tables, illustrations and figures that are not based on your own work, have you included citations or full references?

Are tables, illustrations and figures mentioned in the text, using a numbered reference?

Do all in-text citations refer to a source in the bibliography or works cited section?

Is your list of works cited / references / bibliography in alphabetical order?

In your bibliography / works cited, are your sources formatted according to the requirements of your style guide (APA, Chicago, MLA)?

Are your pages numbered?

Does your table of contents include section headings and page numbers?

Are quotations clearly indicated by quotation marks or indented blocks?

Are appendices titled, referenced in the text and listed in the table of context?

Have you used a readable, conventional font? Have you double spaced your lines and used standard margins?

Does your title page include both your title and research question ? (Note: do not include your name, candidate number or school name or number on the title pages)

Do your introduction and conclusion answer the research question ? Does the answer to your research question follow logically from your arguments, evidence and findings?

Does the structure of your essay lend itself well to your topic, question and research?

How well does your essay structure lend itself to your argument? See the subject-specific interpretations of the assessment criteria in the EE Guide on the Programme Resource Centre under MyIB. There you can find advice on how to use headings and structures that are appropriate for your subject.

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Economics Extended Essay: A Complete Guide (Including Topics)

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by  Antony W

July 18, 2022

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Are you looking for a complete guide on Economics Extended Essay? You’ve come to the right place.

The IB diploma program is a comprehensive education framework that requires students to:

  • Complete 3 to 5 Internal Assessments
  • Write a Theory of Knowledge Essay
  • Complete an Extended Essay in a topic of your choice.

As an IB student, you must compose a 4,000-word autonomous, self-directed essay on a topic of your choosing. An extended essay (EE) in economics gives you the chance to do an in-depth research on a topic of personal interest that is academically rigorous and worthy of study.

Engaging in and completing the extended essay in economics enables you to:

  • Enhance your research abilities
  • Apply economic theory to a real-world scenario or issue 
  • Analyze and evaluate the results of your study

The extended essay involves around 40 hours of preparation, with the assistance of a school-based EE supervisor. The result of the study should be a clear and well-organized analytical essay that handles the specific research subject successfully.

To succeed in the economics EE, you must be prepared to do research to deepen your understanding of the theory and to collect meaningful and trustworthy data that you can analyze in the context of the theory and the research topic.  

How to Structure an Economics Extended Essay

The table below shows what the structure of your economics extended essay assignment should include:  

Economics Extended Essay Assessment Criteria

The table below is a summary of the assessment criteria that IB uses to grade all the economics extended essays:  

Choosing an Economics Extended Essay Topic

In picking an appropriate topic for your economics EE, you should consider the portion of the course material that most piques your attention. As a framework for investigating the issue that most interests you, your essay should focus on the fundamental economic concepts.

You must undertake secondary research, but you may also conduct pertinent original research depending on the area of economic content selected. You should use the economic theories, methods, and instruments presented in the curriculum to the selected issue.

While choosing the topic for the economics EE make sure that:

  • The topic isn’t historical. The chosen topic and research question you choose to focus on should be no more than five years old
  • You can answer the research question using economic theories and concepts
  • The topic you choose provides opportunities for critical analysis of the information and data collected
  • The scope of the essay has a clear focus, while allowing room for your analysis.

You should avoid picking broad topics, as the EE needs critical and reflective thinking abilities on a particular subject.

However, keep in mind that excessively narrow themes sometimes want particular data that may not be accessible.

So choose your topic wisely, making sure that it isn’t too wide or too narrow to fit within the scope of the assignment’s requirements.

Examples of Economics Extended Essay Topics

The following are some examples of economics extended essay topics to give you an idea of what a specific, concise, and focused topic looks like:

  • What is the major factor influencing cabbage demand in Busan, South Korea?
  • In what capacity does Chartwells Compass Group (school catering service providers) compete in Sevenoaks, United Kingdom?
  • How has Leicester City Football Club’s (LCFC) championship triumph contributed to the city’s economic growth?
  • How has the application of the Double Stamp Duty affected the Shek Kip Mei, Hong Kong home market?
  • How has demonetization affected the Mumbai Metropolitan Region’s residential real estate market?
  • To what degree is the repeal of the sugar tax in Denmark economically justifiable?
  • How has the increase in tariffs influenced the demand for Tallinn, Estonia vodka?

Data Collection in Economic Extended Essay

You are encouraged to do original research on any topic covered within the curriculum. In other words, you need to spend time establishing value for your topic be it in microeconomics, macroeconomics or the global economy.

Doing original research goes a long way to show that the title as well as the research question is an issue unanswered by secondary sources.

An EE concentrating on a facet of microeconomics might be undertaken utilizing primary research in the form of surveys, questionnaires, or interviews with pertinent businesspeople. However, these must be directly pertinent to the study subject.

Keep in mind that Extended Essay themes from Macroeconomics and The Global Economy require more secondary research in the form of data extraction from published academic papers, historical records, government publications, newspaper/online articles, and statistical databases.

An EE based on one of these two areas of the syllabus demands the collection and clear use of relevant secondary data and information to aid in the development of reasoned arguments.  

Economics Extended Essay Analysis and Evaluation

The analysis of your economics extended essay can only be effective if you use pertinent economic theories to analyze data collected.

Throughout the EE, you should incorporate applicable economic theories, models, and methods with your research’s findings.

For example, you can exhibit critical analysis and evaluation by a sound assessment and judgment of the amount to which the applicable economic theory is beneficial in addressing your research question and within the context of the issue.

If you cannot establish relevant connections to the selected topic and research issue avoid establishing knowledge claims based on economic theories, models, and instruments.

In order to answer the specific research question, you should include supporting evidence or facts throughout the essay.

Note that Criterion C of the assessment standards requires you to offer precise findings for each analyzed point. In other words, you must provide interim conclusions throughout your writing. You must also demonstrate a critical understanding of the veracity of the obtained and utilized data.

When developing your arguments, you should also demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the limitations of your own research as well as the flaws in the economic theories and underlying assumptions of the models utilized. To do this, evaluate the extent to which economic theory may or may not describe the examined topic’s facts.  

The Reflection Session for Economics Extended Essay  

Being reflective is one of the IB learner profile characteristics, and it is now a formal requirement of the EE evaluation criteria.

IB uses the Reflections on Planning and Progress Form (RPPF), which has a 6-point value, to evaluate reflections. This is a substantial amount of points, which can determine the distinction between two grades on the final examination.  

As part of the EE requirements, you will be required to hold three mandatory reflection sessions with your supervisor, and each of these reflection sessions appear on the official RPPF.

Reflection in the EE focuses on the process of the assignment itself.

Consider the following areas of reflection for each portion of the RPPF:

  • How did you overcome the problems, setbacks, and barriers you encountered, and what did you learn in the process?
  • Which of the IB learner profile characteristics apply to you?
  • What did you learn, and did new views emerge?  

The maximum word count for all three reflections is 500. You must write the reflection in your own word and pertain only to your personal learning journey throughout the course.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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COMMENTS

  1. LibGuides: Extended Essay: Formatting your EE

    "The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn..." All essays must follow this format: Standard Margins (1-inch or 2.5 cm margins) 12-point, readable font (Arial is recommended) Double-spaced Page Numbers start on the Table of Contents

  2. Extended Essay: Presentation Requirements

    Your extended essay is a formally written research paper and you should strive to present it as professionally as you can. See the boxes on the right for IB documents giving detailed requirements for presentation, required elements, and suggestions on formatting. See the box below for guidance on what should be on the title page. Font and spacing

  3. LibGuides: Extended Essay Resources: Paper Formatting

    The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look. To help achieve this, the following formatting is suggested.

  4. The Extended Essay Step-By-Step Guide

    The extended essay (often called the EE) is a 4000-word structured essay on a topic of your choice which can take many different forms. Ultimately what your EE ends up looking like depends on the topic you choose.

  5. Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

    2. Required Contents Page. A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. Please note that an index page is not required and if included will be treated as if it is not present. 3. Required Introduction. The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay.

  6. PDF A Student Guide To Writing the Extended Essay

    The Extended Essay is your chance to go beyond taking things apart and begin to figure out how to put something together. Essays are interpretive or argumentative pieces of writing. Your job is to write a persuasive essay gathering, applying, repurposing, questioning evidence in order to give your best answer to a question.

  7. The Complete IB Extended Essay Guide: Examples, Topics, and Ideas

    What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme? The IB Extended Essay, or EE, is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide).

  8. Extended Essay Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write It

    Exercise 1: Take out your calendar, work out what plans you already have for the summer which you'll need to work around, and mark out your devoted Extended Essay time. Don't have a calendar? No problem! Download our own printable Extended Essay time planner by clicking here! 2. Getting the Words on the Page

  9. Guidance on the Presentation and Format of Theses and Extended Essays

    a. Table of Contents. This should show in sequence, with page numbers, the subdivisions of the thesis/essay. The titles of any chapters and appendices should be given. (Such a table may well be unnecessary in an extended essay.) b. List of abbreviations (if any: use only for frequently-cited sources) and/or List of illustrations.

  10. Title Page

    For a World Studies extended essay, make sure you list the theme: Culture, Language and Identity. Conflict, peace and security. Environmental and/or economic sustainability. Equality and inequality. Health and development. Science, technology and society. You must also list the two IB Dimploma subjects chosen.

  11. PDF Extended essay guide

    The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. The use of word processors is encouraged. The length of the extended essay The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. This upper limit includes the introduction, the body, the

  12. The Introduction

    Extended Essay Introduction. The goal of the introduction is to introduce the topic and provide enough information about it in order to enable the reader to comprehend the significance of your research question. The research question must be clearly and precisely stated in the introduction. The research question is the central question you are ...

  13. Extended Essay: Step 11. Read, Read, Read!

    Step 11. Read, Read, Read! - Extended Essay - LibGuides at West Sound Academy Extended Essay: Step 11. Read, Read, Read! Time to read! You have your subject (Step 1), topic (Step 4), and research question (Step 5), and you have identified some sources (Step 7).

  14. How to Write an Extended Essay: from Outline to Conclusion

    Step 1: Selecting a topic and researching on it This is the first step that you should take before writing your extended essay. As noted, extended essays will allow you to write on the topic of your interest. However, various topics are provided by your instructor and it is upon you to select the topic that interests you.

  15. Extended essay

    The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. Read about the extended essay in greater detail.

  16. IB Extended Essay

    Follow the guide to set up your Extended Essay so it has:Cover PageContents PageChaptersPage NumbersAdd a Cover page - Mac and Windows - https://support.micr...

  17. How to Write an Extended Essay • Structure + Examples

    Choosing a Mentor for Extended Essay. IB extended essay guidelines require supervisor meetings, totaling 3-5 hours. They include three critical reflections. A mentor won't write a paper instead of you but can help adjust it. So it is important to consult with them, but no one will proofread or correct actual research for you.

  18. PDF Ib Extended Essay Guide

    IB mission statement The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

  19. Extended essay: Presentation

    4 of the 34 marks for the Extended Essay are for Criterion D: Presentation. The IB does not provide a checklist to remind you to include page numbers, captions and correct citations. Instead Criterion D asks: To what extent does the structure of the essay lend itself to the topic, subject and argument? To what extent is the layout correct?

  20. Economics Extended Essay: A Complete Guide (Including Topics)

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