What are Extended Essays?
Helpful Information for Extended Essay Writing
Before writing an Extended Essay (EE), it is important that you understand the meaning of such an essay. This type of essay is a research paper that forms a compulsory core part of the IB Diploma Programme. The essay length of this paper should be up to four thousand words. The purpose of this paper is to provide students with a chance to carry out independent research or investigate a topic that they find to be interesting. Submission of this essay is necessary for all those who wish to be awarded the Diploma.
Before you begin writing your essay, it is important that you are aware of certain important points with regards to Extended Essays.
1. This essay is an extensive study of a limited topic.
2. It must be focused enough to let students study an issue or problem in sufficient detail to apply research methodologies.
3. It must provide an opportunity for IB Diploma students to carry out research independently.
4. The topic selected should be on one of the IB subjects studied by the student.
5. The essay is not part of regular class time. Students must work on this essay on their own time.
6. The essay will be evaluated on the analysis and evaluation of researched information. The essay should not be a superficial description on observations made without any evidence.
Purpose of the Essay
As a mandatory part of the IB Diploma, the essay provides:
1. A practical way for students to prepare for the types of undergraduate research needed at the tertiary level.
2. A chance for students to immerse themselves in an in-depth study of a topic that interests them within a selected subject.
Emphasis of the Essay
In Extended Essays, the emphasis is placed on the research process. The process entails:
• Creating a research question that is appropriate
• Conducting an exploration of the topic
• Communicating ideas
• Forming an argument.
Being a part of this process results in students learning how to analyse, synthesize and evaluate information.
A student can write an Extended Essay on a topic of his or her choice; however it is recommended that the topic be selected from the field of one of the IB subjects studied by the student. The topic selected must not be too broad or too narrow: it should be suitable enough to write four thousand words on. The general subject of the topic must be part of the IB Diploma curriculum and taught by a teacher or supervisor; this is so that every student has someone with expertise to guide them.
Extended Essays are evaluated by external assessors on a scale ranging from 0 to 36. There are two criteria: general, which is marked out of 24 and subject-specific, which is marked out of 12. The final mark is converted into a grade. The grades range from A to E.