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International Baccalaureate (IB)


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:


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.


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?


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...


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!


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.


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


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IB Extended Essay: Past Essays

  • Research Questions
  • Past Essays
  • Notes & Outlines
  • Works Cited Page
  • In-Text Citations
  • Assessment Criteria
  • Reflections
  • Supervisor Info
  • Net Valley Library This link opens in a new window

example of extended essay

Check these CAREFULLY to be sure your topic fits with IB expectations!

  • Language & literature (language A)
  • Language acquisition (language B)
  • Mathematics
  • Visual Arts
  • World Studies

Business Management

English a & b ee examples.

  • English A EE Example
  • English A EE Example 1
  • English A EE Example 2
  • English A EE Example 3
  • English B EE Example
  • English B EE Example 1
  • English B EE Example 2
  • English B EE Example 3
  • English B EE Example 4
  • English B EE Example 5
  • English B EE Example 6

Philosophy EE Examples

  • Philosophy Example 1
  • Philosophy Example 2
  • Philosophy Example 3
  • Philosophy Example 4

Economics EE Examples

  • Econ Example 1
  • Econ Example 2
  • Econ Example 3
  • Econ Example 4
  • Econ Example 5
  • Econ Example 6
  • Econ Example 7
  • Econ Example 8

Review Past Papers

  • From the IB:  papers from other students and how they scored
  • Renaissance Library Past Essays :  Links to all subject area examples

Music EE Examples

  • Music EE Example 1
  • Music EE Example 2
  • Music EE Example 3
  • Music EE Example 4

Psychology EE Examples

  • Psych EE Example 1
  • Psych EE Example 2
  • Psych EE Example 3

Chinese EE Examples

  • Chinese EE Example 1
  • Chinese EE Example 2
  • Chinese EE Example 3
  • Chinese A EE Cat 1
  • Chinese A EE Cat 2
  • Chinese A EE Cat 3
  • Chinese B EE Example 1
  • Chinese B EE Example 2
  • Chinese B Example 3
  • Business EE Example 1
  • Business EE Example 2
  • Business EE Example 3

Visual Arts EE Examples

  • Visual Arts EE Example 1
  • Visual Arts EE Example 2
  • Visual Arts EE Example 3
  • Visual Arts EE Example 4

Film EE Examples

  • Film Example 1
  • Film Example 2

Chemistry EE Examples

  • Chemistry EE Example

Biology EE Examples

  • Biology EE Example
  • Biology EE Example 1
  • Biology EE Example 2
  • Biology EE Example 3

Physics EE Examples

  • Physics EE Example
  • Physics EE Example 1
  • Physics EE Example 2
  • Physics EE Example 3
  • Physics EE Example 4
  • Physics EE Example 5

Math EE Examples

  • Math EE Example 1
  • Math EE Example 2
  • Math EE Example 3
  • Math EE Example 4
  • Math EE Example 5
  • Math EE Example 6

World Studies EE Examples

  • World Studies Example 1
  • World Studies Example 2
  • World Studies Example 3
  • World Studies Example 4
  • World Studies Example 5
  • World Studies Example 6
  • World Studies Example 7
  • World Studies Example 8
  • World Studies Example 9
  • World Studies Example 10
  • World Studies Example 11
  • World Studies Example 12
  • World Studies Example 13
  • World Studies Example 14
  • World Studies Example 15
  • World Studies Example 16
  • World Studies Example 17
  • World Studies Example 18
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  • Last Updated: Apr 9, 2024 9:39 AM
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Table of contents


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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.


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!


If topics seem too complex, turn to our top essay writers. They will accomplish any IB assignment in the best way your professor can evaluate it!  


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Guide to the IB Extended Essay in 2024

January 24, 2024

If you’re an International Baccalaureate student getting ready to write your IB Extended Essay, you might be experiencing some very understandable trepidation. But have no fear—we’re here to help you understand what’s required of you, how to plan ahead (IB extended essay topics), and how you’ll be graded (IB extended essay rubric). Keep reading for a good dose of preparation and confidence before you begin the journey. In this article, we’ll cover:

What is the IB Extended Essay?

The ib extended essay—required content, ib extended essay topics.

IB Extended Essay—Sample Essays

IB Extended Essay Tips

Ib extended essay rubric, ib extended essay—more resources.

The IB Extended Essay is a 4,000-word paper that asks you to immerse yourself in research and academic writing. A required part of the IB program, the Extended Essay is a chance to dig deep into a topic that fascinates you.

Although it’s no small task, the IB Extended Essay is an opportunity to gain practical research and writing skills that will come in handy again in college. As you write, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify credible sources
  • Formulate a research question and limit your scope of research
  • Communicate ideas to an audience
  • Develop a well-supported argument

The IB Extended Essay is largely an independent, self-directed project, but don’t worry—the IB program doesn’t throw you into the deep end. You do get to select a mentor (usually a teacher at your school) to help guide you through the process. As you write, you’ll be required to meet with your mentor three times. As part of your final evaluation, your mentor will interview you in a final reflection section called a viva voce . During the viva voce, your mentor will check for plagiarism and malpractice, ask you to reflect on challenges and difficulties, and prompt you to discuss what you’ve learned through the research and writing process. Your mentor will then generate a report that factors into your final grade.

Your final essay must include the following:

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

For this essay, it will be up to you to generate a topic; the International Baccalaureate does not provide prompts. However, your essay will need to fit within one of six provided subject areas . You’ll choose from the following list of IB Extended Essay Topics:

  • Language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Mathematics

IB Extended Essay Topics (Continued)

At a glance, the subject areas might look limited, but the topics you can choose to write about are actually wide-ranging. The “Individuals and societies” category includes social science topics like economics, history, world religions, and philosophy. And, if you’re leaning toward “Science,” you can choose from classic subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics, or related topics like environmental systems or health science, among others.

The IB also offers a special “World Studies” option for students interested in researching global issues. This subject would allow you to center your writing on global issues such as migration, global health, cultural exchange, or climate change.

Wondering what an outstanding IB Extended Essay looks like? The International Baccalaureate provides quite a few sample student essays online . Here are five essays that earned A grades.

Language and literature: An exploration of an aspect of the narrative voice in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Environmental Systems and Societies: The economic impact of the 1995 reintroduction of grey wolves to Yellowstone National Park

Psychology: To what extent do social networking sites (SNS) usage lead to experience of anxiety in adolescents?

Music: Composition techniques in the 1st movement of Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 73

Business Management: Corporate Culture at Oracle

1) Pick something you’re passionate about

As you can see from the titles above, the IB Extended Essay is a great place to delve into a niche topic that fascinates you. Since you’ll be spending many months on this essay, you’ll want to pick a topic you genuinely enjoy spending time learning about. It’s also smart to choose something you’ve already learned about in your IB classes so that you have a strong foundation of knowledge to start with. In music class, do you love pondering why music makes us feel a certain way? Maybe an essay about music theory will keep your gears turning. Do you come alive trying to solve seemingly impossible problems in physics class? Now’s your chance to put those equations into action.

Since this essay is all about your academic interests, it’s also a good idea to pick a topic that’s relevant to what you plan to study in college. Selecting a relevant topic will provide you with significant exposure to the field and will also give you something meaningful to talk about in your college admissions essays.

2) Limit your scope

What’s the meaning of life? Why do wars happen? What is time? Some questions are just way too big to answer, and your IB Extended Essay is not a good place to tackle expansive, philosophical questions. Instead, think of this essay as a place to investigate one piece of a big question. If, let’s say, you’re generally interested in what helps women reach positions of leadership in business, this is a good place to examine how one or a few companies approach this issue. Or, if you’re interested in studying what inspires surrealist painters, you’ll want to pick one or a few painters to research, likely all from the same time period. For both these topics, you’d need a whole textbook to tackle the full question, but limiting your scope will make it much easier to write a clear and cohesive 4,000 words.

On the other hand, it’s possible to narrow your focus too much. It would be impossible, for example, to write 4,000 words about a single sentence in a novel. Make sure you talk about scope early and often with your mentor. Together, you can find the perfect Goldilocks scope for your project that’s not too big and not too small.

3) Choose a good mentor

Speaking of mentors, choosing wisely will help you enormously as you embark on your IB Extended Essay. You’ll want to make sure you choose someone with existing knowledge in your research topic. Your English teacher may be able to give you great writing advice, for example, but they won’t be able to guide your research and scope if you’re writing about marine animals or modern dance.

Before you approach a teacher, make sure you have at least one topic idea (or even a few ideas) in mind so that you can make sure they’ll be a good fit to supervise your project. When you meet with them, find out what their mentorship style is like. Make sure they’ll have time to read several drafts of your essays, meet with you a few times, and give you feedback. Some IB schools will require your IB Extended Essay mentor to sign an agreement form too, so make sure you find out what paperwork is required in advance.

4) Get organized, way organized

The IB Extended Essay is not something you can crank out the night before it’s due. The essay is meant to be a substantive, in-depth, thoughtful, and thoroughly researched analysis, and Rome simply isn’t built in a day. This might be the longest paper you’ve written to date, and this project might require more research than you’ve been asked to do before. Timelines vary by school, but you’ll likely spend between eight months and a year working on your IB Extended Essay. So, how will you pull it all off? For these 8-12 months, organization will be your guiding light. We recommend you:

  • Get started early. If your essay is due November of your senior year, start generating topic ideas during your junior year right after winter break.
  • Create a long-view schedule for yourself. What will you accomplish each month of your process?
  • Give yourself deadlines. Once you choose a mentor, suggest 2-3 draft deadline dates so that you will be held accountable throughout the writing process.
  • Find a note-taking system that works for you. You’ll be reading many articles and books and it’s hard to keep track of all your sources. Create a document or spreadsheet where you keep track of the sources you’ve found and check them off as you read. As you finish reading a text, type up important quotes and a few notes explaining how it connects to your topic and to your other texts.

5)Write a messy first draft

Writing never comes out perfect the first time, even for New York Times bestselling authors and the most experienced researchers. In your first draft, give yourself permission to get all your thoughts out, no matter how unstructured or rambling they are. Call this your brainstorming draft. When you’re ready to revisit it, see what patterns emerge, what common ideas you can group together, what beginning buds of ideas you can make bloom into full-fledged analysis.

6) Communicate for an audience

When you’re used to producing writing that only your teacher reads, it can be hard to remember to write for an audience. But at the end of the day, writing is communication , and the best writing is clear and thorough communication that anyone could pick up and read. For your IB Extended Essay, you’ll want to remember that many people will be reading your final essay, and not all of them will be experts in the niche topic you choose to study. Ask yourself: how can I explain my research to an audience who doesn’t already agree with my analysis?

To communicate to an audience, you’ll want to:

  • Provide lots of general background information on your topic.
  • Don’t assume your reader is familiar with your sources. Introduce them as if they’re guest speakers about to walk up to a podium and deliver a lecture.
  • After including quotes, facts, and figures, be sure to explain what those sources mean in your own words and how they connect to your bigger-picture argument.
  • Don’t assume your arguments are self-evident. In this essay, communicating for an audience means supplying ongoing interpretation and analysis, even if it feels like you’re explaining the obvious. Your reader isn’t on your research journey with you, so your points might not be so obvious to your reader.

Although your IB Extended Essay provides a report that factors into your grade, your essay will also be assessed by external examiners the IB. Per the IB Extended Essay Rubric , essays are graded on a scale from 0 to 34 based on 5 different criteria:

  • 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)

As you can see, Critical Thinking is the most significant rubric category. This means that the IB wants to see you arrive at your own unique analysis of your topic, drawing connections between sources and data, and making well-supported arguments. This means they want a lot of you: your ideas, your interpretations, your thoughts. Make sure you emphasize that in your essay, but of course don’t forget the other categories.

The score a student receives corresponds to a letter grade scale that is slightly different than what we’re accustomed to in the U.S. Here’s the letter grade to numerical score breakdown:

You must earn a D or higher to receive your IB Diploma. To learn more about the different criteria included in the IB Extended Essay Rubric, you can explore the IB’s full guide to the Extended Essay .

We hope you found our look at the IB extended essay rubric and IB extended essay topics to be helpful. Ready to dive into research? You may want to read our 10 Expert Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension before you hit the books.

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  • High School Course Requirements for College Admission
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  • High School Success

Christina Wood

Christina Wood holds a BA in Literature & Writing from UC San Diego, an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in English at the University of Georgia, where she teaches creative writing and first-year composition courses. Christina has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous publications, including The Paris Review , McSweeney’s , Granta , Virginia Quarterly Review , The Sewanee Review , Mississippi Review , and Puerto del Sol , among others. Her story “The Astronaut” won the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for short fiction and received a “Distinguished Stories” mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology.

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example of extended essay

How To Write The Extended Essay (With Topics and Examples)

This comprehensive guide navigates through every aspect of the EE, from selecting a topic and developing a research question to conducting in-depth research and writing a compelling essay. It offers practical strategies, insights, and tips to help students craft a piece of work that not only meets the rigorous standards of the IB but also reflects their academic passion and curiosity. Join us as we explore the keys to success in the Extended Essay, preparing you for an intellectually rewarding experience.

Posted: 13th February 2024

Section jump links:

Section 1: Understanding the IB Extended Essay

Section 2: the importance of the extended essay, section 3: selecting a topic, section 4: developing your research question, section 5: research methodology and theoretical frameworks, section 6: evaluating sources and data, section 7: integrating evidence and analysis, section 8: writing and structuring the extended essay, section 9: reflection and the rppf, section 10: the significance of academic discipline in the ee, section 11: good practice in extended essay writing, section 12: managing the extended essay process, section 13: collaboration and feedback, section 14: avoiding plagiarism, section 15: emphasising original thought, section 16: final presentation and viva voce, section 17: beyond the extended essay, what is the ib extended essay.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Extended Essay (EE) is a cornerstone of the IB Diploma Programme . It’s an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. This project offers students an opportunity to investigate a topic of their own choice, bridging the gap between classwork and the kind of research required at the university level.

Key Objectives and the Role of the EE in the IB Curriculum

The Extended Essay has several key objectives:

  • To provide students with the chance to engage in an in-depth study of a question of interest within a chosen subject.
  • To develop research, thinking, self-management, and communication skills.
  • To introduce students to the excitement and challenges of academic research.

The EE plays a critical role in the IB curriculum by:

  • Encouraging intellectual discovery and creativity.
  • Facilitating academic growth and personal development through research and writing.
  • Preparing students for the rigours of higher education.

Extended Essay Word Count and Requirements

The EE has a maximum word count of 4,000 words. This does not include the abstract, contents page, bibliography, or footnotes (which must be used sparingly). Here are some essential requirements:

  • Research Question: Your essay must be focused on a clear, concise research question. You should aim to provide a comprehensive answer to this question through your research and writing.
  • Subject : The EE can be written in one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma or in a subject recognized by the IB.
  • Supervision : Each student is assigned a supervisor (usually a teacher in their school) who provides guidance and support throughout the research and writing process.
  • Assessment: The essay is externally assessed by the IB, contributing up to three points towards the total score for the IB diploma, depending on the grade achieved and the performance in the Theory of Knowledge course.

The Extended Essay is not just an academic requirement but a unique opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest in depth. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, providing valuable skills and insights that will serve you well in your future academic and professional endeavours.

example of extended essay

The EE is more than just a requirement for the IB Diploma. It’s an essential part of the IB experience , offering profound benefits for students. Let’s explore why the EE holds such significance.

Academic and Personal Development Benefits

Skill enhancement:.

The EE fosters a range of academic skills crucial for success in higher education and beyond. It teaches students how to:

  • Conduct comprehensive research
  • Develop a coherent argument
  • Write extensively on a subject
  • Manage time effectively

Personal Growth:

Beyond academic prowess, the EE encourages personal development. Students learn to:

  • Pursue their interests deeply
  • Overcome challenges independently
  • Reflect on their learning process
  • Enhance their curiosity and creativity

Contribution to University Admissions

Standout applications:.

The EE can be a significant advantage in university applications . It demonstrates a student’s ability to undertake serious research projects and commit to an intensive academic task. Universities value this dedication, seeing it as indicative of a student’s readiness for undergraduate studies.

Showcase of Skills:

The EE allows students to showcase their research, writing, and analytical skills. It provides concrete evidence of their academic abilities and their capacity to engage deeply with a topic of interest.

Skill Development: Research, Writing, and Critical Thinking

Research Skills:

Students learn to navigate academic literature, evaluate sources, and gather relevant data. This process sharpens their research skills, laying a solid foundation for future academic endeavours.

Writing Skills:

Crafting a 4,000-word essay challenges students to express their ideas clearly and persuasively. It hones their writing skills, teaching them the art of structured and focused academic writing.

Critical Thinking:

The EE encourages students to analyse information critically, assess arguments, and develop their viewpoints. This critical engagement fosters a sophisticated level of thought, beneficial in both academic and real-world contexts.

In conclusion, the Extended Essay is a pivotal element of the IB Diploma Programme. It’s an invaluable opportunity for intellectual and personal growth, preparing students for the challenges of higher education and beyond. With its emphasis on independent research and writing, the EE equips students with the skills and confidence to navigate their future academic journeys successfully.

example of extended essay

Choosing a topic for your Extended Essay is the first step in a journey towards developing a deep understanding of a specific area of interest. It’s crucial to select a topic that is not only academically viable but also personally engaging. Here’s how to navigate this critical phase.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your EE Topic

Interest and passion:.

Select a topic that fascinates you. Your interest will sustain motivation over the months of research and writing.

Availability of Resources:

Ensure there are enough resources available on your chosen topic. Access to libraries, databases, and experts in the field is essential for comprehensive research.

Scope and Focus:

The topic should be narrow enough to allow for in-depth study yet broad enough to find sufficient research material. Balancing specificity with resource availability is key.

IB Subject Areas:

Your topic must align with one of the subjects you are studying in the IB Diploma Programme or an approved subject area. Familiarity with the subject’s methodology and criteria is crucial for success.

How to Align Your Interests with the IB Subjects

Explore the syllabus:.

Review the syllabus of your IB subjects to identify topics that interest you. This can provide a framework for your EE.

Consult with Teachers:

Teachers can offer insights into feasible topics that align with the IB criteria and offer guidance on how to approach them.

Consider Interdisciplinary Topics:

Some of the most engaging EEs explore the intersection between different subjects. If this interests you, ensure your approach meets the criteria for an interdisciplinary essay under the IB’s World Studies EE option.

Extended Essay Topics: Examples Across Various Disciplines

  • Sciences: How does the introduction of non-native plant species affect biodiversity in your local ecosystem?
  • History : What was the impact of Winston Churchill’s leadership on Britain’s role in World War II?
  • English: How does the use of unreliable narrators influence the reader’s perception in Ian McEwan’s novels?
  • Mathematics: Investigating the application of the Fibonacci sequence in predicting stock market movements.
  • Visual Arts: Exploring the influence of Japanese art on Claude Monet’s painting style.

Selecting the right topic is foundational to your EE journey. It shapes your research direction, influences your engagement with the essay, and ultimately contributes to the satisfaction and success of your EE experience. Take your time, consult widely, and choose a topic that you are eager to explore in depth.

example of extended essay

Crafting a focused and clear research question is a pivotal element of your Extended Essay. This question not only guides your research but also frames your essay’s entire structure. It’s the question to which your essay will provide an answer, and as such, it requires thoughtful consideration and precision.

A well-developed research question should be specific, relevant, and challenging. It should invite analysis, discussion, and the exploration of significant academic literature. Here’s a deeper look into formulating a robust research question for your EE.

Characteristics of a Strong Research Question

The hallmark of a strong research question is its specificity. It shouldn’t be too broad, as this could lead to a superficial treatment of the topic. 

Conversely, a question that’s too narrow might not allow for comprehensive exploration or significant discussion. Finding a balance is key. The question should also be focused on a particular aspect of a subject area, enabling in-depth analysis within the word count limit.

Another important characteristic is the question’s alignment with available resources. Before finalising your question, ensure that you have access to sufficient data and scholarly research to support your investigation. This might involve preliminary searches in academic databases, libraries, or consultation with your supervisor.

Tips for Refining Your Research Question

Start by brainstorming broad topic areas that interest you. Once you’ve identified a general area of interest, begin narrowing down by asking yourself specific questions about the topic. What aspects of this topic are unexplored or underexplored? What specific angle can I take that will make my research unique?

It’s also beneficial to review past EEs or academic journals for inspiration. Seeing how others have structured their research questions can provide valuable insight into crafting your own. However, ensure your question remains original and tailored to your interests.

Examples of Effective Research Questions

To give you an idea of what a well-formulated research question looks like, here are a few examples:

  • Biology: How does the concentration of a specific nutrient affect the growth rate of plant species X in a hydroponic setup compared to soil-based growth?
  • History: To what extent did the public speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. influence the public’s perception of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States between 1963 and 1968?
  • Economics: How significant is the impact of recent economic policies on small businesses in [specific location] during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • English Literature: How does the use of magical realism in Gabriel García Márquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ reflect the political and social issues of post-colonial Latin America?

Developing your research question is an iterative process. It may evolve as you delve deeper into your research. Be open to refining your question based on the information you discover and discussions with your supervisor. A well-crafted research question will not only guide your research effectively but also engage your interest throughout the writing process, leading to a more meaningful and insightful Extended Essay.

example of extended essay

A critical component of your Extended Essay is selecting an appropriate research methodology and theoretical framework. These elements are foundational to conducting your research and crafting your argument, influencing how you collect, analyse, and interpret data.

Understanding Research Methodologies

Research methodology refers to the systematic approach you take to investigate your research question. It encompasses the methods and procedures you use to collect and analyse data. Your chosen methodology should align with the nature of your research question and the objectives of your essay.

In the sciences, for example, your methodology might involve experiments, observations, or simulations to gather empirical data. In the humanities, you may lean towards content analysis, comparative analysis, or historical investigation, relying on textual or archival sources.

Selecting the right methodology is crucial. It should provide a clear path to answering your research question, considering the resources available and the scope of your essay. It’s also important to justify your choice of methodology in your essay, explaining why it’s appropriate for your research question and how it will help you achieve your objectives.

Applying Theoretical Frameworks

Theoretical frameworks provide a lens through which your research is conducted and interpreted. They offer a structured way to understand and analyse your findings, grounding your study in existing knowledge and theories.

Choosing a theoretical framework involves identifying relevant theories, models, or concepts that apply to your topic. For instance, if you’re exploring media representation of gender, you might utilise feminist theory as a framework to analyse your findings. In economics, you might apply game theory to understand competitive behaviours in a market.

The framework should guide your analysis, providing a coherent basis for interpreting your data. It helps to structure your argument, offering a deeper insight into the significance of your findings within the broader academic discourse.

Integrating Methodology and Frameworks into Your Research

Successfully integrating your chosen methodology and theoretical framework involves a few key steps:

  • Clarify the Scope: Ensure your research question, methodology, and theoretical framework align in scope and focus. They should work together seamlessly to guide your research.
  • Justify Your Choices: Explain the rationale behind your chosen methodology and framework. Discuss why they are suitable for your research question and how they will support your investigation.
  • Apply Consistently: Use your methodology and framework consistently throughout your research and analysis. This consistency strengthens the coherence and academic rigour of your essay.

Reflecting on these components during the planning stage can enhance the quality of your research and the clarity of your argument. Your methodology and theoretical framework are not just academic requirements; they’re tools that shape the direction and depth of your inquiry, enabling a more structured and insightful exploration of your topic.

example of extended essay

In the journey of crafting an Extended Essay (EE), the ability to critically evaluate sources and data stands as a fundamental skill. This evaluation is crucial in establishing the credibility and reliability of the information that forms the backbone of your research. Understanding how to discern the quality and relevance of your sources ensures that your EE is built on a solid foundation of trustworthy information.

Criteria for Selecting Credible and Relevant Sources

Authority: Consider the source’s authorship. Look for works by experts in the field, academic institutions, or reputable organisations. The author’s qualifications and affiliations can significantly impact the reliability of the information.

Accuracy: The information should be supported by evidence, referenced appropriately, and free from factual errors. Reliable sources often undergo a peer-review process, ensuring that the content is scrutinised and validated by other experts in the field.

Currency: The relevance of information can diminish over time, especially in fields that evolve rapidly, such as science and technology. Ensure that the sources you use are up-to-date, reflecting the latest research and developments.

Purpose: Understand the purpose behind the information. Is it to inform, persuade, entertain, or sell? Recognising the intent can help you assess potential biases, which is particularly important when dealing with controversial topics.

Techniques for Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of Data

Cross-Verification: Cross-check information across multiple sources to verify its accuracy and reliability. Consistency among various sources can be a good indicator of the information’s validity.

Statistical Analysis: When dealing with numerical data, consider its statistical significance and the methodology used in its collection. Reliable data should be gathered using sound scientific methods and accurately represent the population or phenomena studied.

Source Evaluation Tools: Utilise tools and checklists designed to evaluate the credibility of sources. These can provide a structured approach to assessing the quality of your research materials.

Incorporating Primary vs. Secondary Sources Effectively

Primary Sources: These are firsthand accounts or direct evidence concerning the topic you’re researching. They include interviews, surveys, experiments, and historical documents. Primary sources offer original insights and data, allowing for a deeper and more personal engagement with your subject.

Secondary Sources: These sources analyse, interpret, or summarise information from primary sources. They include textbooks, articles, and reviews. Secondary sources can provide context, background, and a broader perspective on your topic.

Balancing primary and secondary sources enriches your research, providing both the raw data and the interpretations that help frame your analysis. By rigorously evaluating sources and data, you ensure that your Extended Essay rests on a foundation of credible and relevant information, enhancing the depth and rigour of your investigation.

example of extended essay

The heart of a compelling Extended Essay (EE) lies in the seamless integration of evidence and analysis. This integration not only supports and substantiates your arguments but also demonstrates your ability to critically engage with your research topic. Here’s how to weave evidence and analysis together in a way that enhances the strength and persuasiveness of your EE.

Strategies for Integrating Evidence Seamlessly into Your Argument

Directly Link Evidence to Your Thesis: Every piece of evidence you include should directly support or relate to your thesis statement. This ensures that all the information contributes to building your argument coherently.

Use Evidence to Illustrate Points: Utilise examples, data, quotes, and case studies as concrete evidence to illustrate your points. This makes abstract concepts more tangible and convincing to the reader.

Analyse, Don’t Just Present: For every piece of evidence, provide analysis and interpretation. Explain how it supports your argument, what it demonstrates, and its implications for your research question.

Balancing Descriptive and Analytical Writing

Avoid Over-Description: While some description is necessary to set the context, avoid dedicating too much space to merely describing your evidence. The focus should be on analysis.

Develop a Critical Voice: Cultivate a critical approach to your evidence. This means evaluating its reliability, considering its limitations, and discussing its relevance to your argument.

Synthesise Information: Aim to synthesise evidence from multiple sources to support your points. This demonstrates comprehensive understanding and the ability to draw connections across your research.

How to Critically Analyse Sources and Data Within Your Essay

Question the Source: Consider the source’s origin, purpose, and potential bias. How might these factors influence the information presented?

Evaluate Methodology: If the evidence comes from a study or experiment, evaluate the methodology used. Is it sound and appropriate for the research question?

Consider the Broader Context: Place your evidence within the broader scholarly conversation on your topic. How does it fit with, challenge, or expand existing knowledge?

By thoughtfully integrating evidence and providing in-depth analysis, you can create a nuanced and compelling EE that goes beyond mere description to offer original insights into your topic. This approach not only strengthens your argument but also showcases your critical thinking and analytical skills, essential qualities for success in the IB Diploma Programme and beyond.

The Extended Essay presents an opportunity for IB students to engage deeply with a topic of their choice. However, to effectively communicate your research and insights, your essay must be well-structured and clearly written. 

This section provides guidance on how to write and structure your EE, ensuring your work is coherent, persuasive, and academically rigorous.

Outline of the Extended Essay Structure

A well-organised structure is crucial for the readability and coherence of your EE. Typically, an Extended Essay includes the following components:

  • Title Page: Displays the essay title, research question, subject the essay is registered in, and word count.
  • Abstract: A concise summary of the essay, including the research question, methodology, results, and conclusion (Note: For essays submitted in 2018 and forward, the IB no longer requires an abstract, so check the most current guidelines).
  • Contents Page: Lists the sections and subsections of your essay with page numbers.
  • Introduction: Introduces the research question and your essay’s purpose, outlining the scope of the investigation.
  • Body : The main section of your essay, divided into clearly titled subsections, each addressing specific aspects of the research question. It’s where you present your argument, supported by evidence.
  • Conclusion: Summarises the findings, discusses the implications, and reflects on the research’s limitations and potential areas for further study.
  • References/Bibliography: Lists all sources used in the essay in a consistent format, following the chosen citation style.
  • Appendices: (If necessary) Contains supplementary material that is relevant to the research but not essential to its explanation.

Detailed Breakdown of Each Section


The introduction sets the stage for your research. It should clearly state your research question and explain the significance of the topic. Briefly outline the theoretical framework and methodology, and provide an overview of the essay’s structure.

The body is the heart of your essay. It should be logically organised to build your argument step by step. Each paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence, followed by evidence and analysis. Use subheadings to divide the sections thematically or methodologically, ensuring each part contributes to answering the research question.

  • Developing Arguments: Present and critique different perspectives, systematically leading the reader through your analytical process.
  • Using Evidence: Incorporate relevant data, quotes, and examples to support your arguments. Ensure all sources are appropriately cited.
  • Analysis and Discussion: Go beyond describing your findings; analyse and interpret them in the context of your research question and theoretical framework.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should not introduce new information. Instead, it should synthesise your findings, highlighting how they contribute to understanding the research question. Reflect on the research process, acknowledging any limitations and suggesting areas for further investigation.

Importance of Coherence and Logical Flow

Maintaining coherence and a logical flow throughout your EE is essential. Transition sentences between paragraphs and sections can help link ideas smoothly, guiding the reader through your argument. A coherent structure ensures that your essay is accessible and persuasive, making a strong impression on the reader.

A well-written and structured EE is a testament to your understanding of the research process and your ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. By adhering to a clear structure and focusing on coherence and logical progression, you can craft an essay that is engaging, insightful, and academically rigorous.

example of extended essay

A unique and integral component of the IB Extended Essay (EE) process is the Reflections on Planning and Progress Form (RPPF). The RPPF serves as a personal and academic exploration tool, guiding students through the planning, research, and writing phases of their EE. It encourages students to reflect on their learning journey, documenting insights gained, challenges encountered, and the evolution of their thinking.

The Role of Reflection in the EE Process

Reflection is at the heart of the EE, enabling students to engage critically with their own learning processes. It helps in:

  • Self-Assessment: Encouraging students to consider their strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Skill Development: Facilitating a deeper understanding of the research and writing skills developed during the EE process.
  • Critical Thinking: Promoting an evaluative approach to the research process, allowing students to make informed decisions about their methodologies, sources, and arguments.

How to Effectively Complete the RPPF

Completing the RPPF involves three formal reflection sessions, which are crucial milestones in the EE journey:

  • Initial Reflection: Focuses on the selection of the topic and formulation of the research question. Students should discuss their motivations, initial ideas, and anticipated challenges.
  • Interim Reflection: Occurs midway through the process. Students reflect on the progress made, adjustments to their research plan, and any challenges they’ve faced. It’s an opportunity to reassess the direction of the EE and make necessary modifications.
  • Final Reflection: After completing the EE, students reflect on their overall experience, the skills they’ve developed, and the knowledge they’ve gained. This reflection should also consider the impact of the research process on their personal and academic growth.

In each reflection, students should be honest and critical, providing insights into their learning journey. The reflections are not just about documenting successes but also about understanding the learning process, including setbacks and how they were overcome.

Examples of Reflective Questions and Insightful Responses

Initial reflection:.

Question: “What excites me about my chosen topic?”

Insightful Response: Discuss the personal or academic interest in the topic, any prior knowledge, and what you hope to discover through your research.

Interim Reflection:

Question: “What challenges have I encountered in my research, and how have I addressed them?”

Insightful Response: Describe specific obstacles, such as difficulty accessing resources or refining the research question, and the strategies employed to overcome them.

Final Reflection:

Question: “How has my understanding of the topic evolved through the research process?”

Insightful Response: Reflect on how the research challenged or confirmed initial assumptions and what was learned about the topic and the research process itself.

The RPPF is not just a formal requirement but a valuable component of the EE that enriches the student’s learning experience. By fostering reflection, the RPPF helps students to articulate their journey, offering insights into the complexities of research and the personal growth that accompanies the creation of an extended academic work.

example of extended essay

The Extended Essay allows students to explore a topic of interest within the framework of an IB subject. The choice of academic discipline not only shapes the content and focus of the essay but also influences the methodologies and theoretical frameworks that students may employ. Understanding and adhering to the conventions and requirements of the chosen discipline is crucial for the success of the EE.

Adhering to Disciplinary Conventions and Guidelines

Each academic discipline has its own set of conventions regarding research methodologies, writing styles, and citation formats. For example, a science EE might require empirical research and quantitative analysis, whereas an essay in the humanities might focus on qualitative analysis and critical interpretation of texts.

Key considerations include:

  • Methodology: The choice of methodology should align with disciplinary norms. Science EEs might involve experiments, whereas essays in history might rely on primary source analysis.
  • Structure: While the basic structure of the EE remains consistent across subjects, the presentation of arguments and evidence might vary. Essays in the arts and humanities might follow a thematic structure, while those in the sciences might be organised around experimental findings.
  • Citation Style: Different disciplines prefer specific citation styles. For instance, APA might be favoured in psychology, while MLA is commonly used in literature essays. Adhering to the appropriate style is crucial for academic integrity.

How Different Disciplines Influence the Approach to Research and Writing

The academic discipline not only dictates the formal aspects of the EE but also influences the approach to research and writing. For instance, an EE in Visual Arts would require a different analytical lens compared to an EE in Economics. The former might analyse the impact of cultural contexts on artistic expressions, while the latter could evaluate economic theories through case studies.

Disciplinary perspectives also affect:

  • Argumentation : The way arguments are constructed and evidenced can differ. In the sciences, arguments are often built around data and logical reasoning, while in the humanities, they might be more interpretative, drawing on various theoretical perspectives.
  • Critical Engagement: The extent and nature of critical engagement with sources can vary. In subjects like History or English, a critical analysis of diverse interpretations is fundamental, whereas in the Sciences, the focus might be on empirical evidence and hypothesis testing.

Examples of Disciplinary Perspectives in Extended Essay Examples

  • Biology EE: An investigation into the effects of environmental changes on local biodiversity, employing scientific methods for data collection and analysis.
  • Economics EE: An analysis of the impact of a specific economic policy on a local economy, using economic theories and models to interpret data.
  • English Literature EE: A comparative study of the theme of alienation in two novels, using literary theories to explore the authors’ narrative techniques.

Understanding the significance of academic discipline in the EE ensures that students approach their research with the appropriate methodologies and analytical frameworks. It encourages respect for the depth and breadth of the subject area, contributing to a more nuanced and informed exploration of the chosen topic.

example of extended essay

Writing an Extended Essay involves more than just conducting research and presenting findings; it requires careful planning, effective engagement with your supervisor, and a critical approach to your sources. Here are some best practices to help you navigate the EE writing process successfully.

Time Management and Planning

Time management is crucial in the EE process. The project spans several months, so it’s essential to break down the work into manageable stages. Create a timeline early in the process, including key milestones such as completing the research, drafting sections, and finalising the essay. Allocate time for unexpected challenges and ensure you have buffer periods for revision and feedback.

Planning Tips:

  • Set Goals: Establish clear, achievable goals for each phase of your EE journey.
  • Use Tools: Leverage planning tools or software to organise your tasks and deadlines.
  • Regular Reviews: Periodically review your progress against your plan and adjust as necessary.

Engaging with Supervisors Effectively:Your supervisor is a valuable resource throughout the EE process. They can provide guidance on your research question, methodology, and essay structure, as well as feedback on your drafts.

Maximising Supervisor Engagement:

  • Prepare for Meetings: Come to each meeting with specific questions or sections of your essay you want feedback on.
  • Be Open to Feedback: Constructive criticism is essential for improvement. Listen to your supervisor’s suggestions and consider how to incorporate them into your work.
  • Communicate Regularly: Keep your supervisor informed of your progress and any challenges you encounter.

Critical Engagement with Sources

A critical approach to the sources you use is fundamental to a high-quality EE. Evaluate the reliability, relevance, and bias of your sources to ensure your essay is grounded in credible evidence.

Strategies for Source Evaluation:

  • Source Variety: Use a range of sources, including academic journals, books, and reputable online resources, to provide a balanced perspective on your topic.
  • Critical Analysis : Don’t just summarise sources. Analyse their arguments, identify limitations, and consider how they contribute to your research question.
  • Citation and Paraphrasing: Accurately cite all sources to avoid plagiarism. When paraphrasing, ensure you’re genuinely rephrasing ideas in your own words while still crediting the original author.

Good practice in EE writing is not just about adhering to academic standards; it’s about engaging deeply with your topic, embracing the research process, and developing skills that will serve you well in your academic and professional future. By managing your time effectively, leveraging the support of your supervisor, and critically engaging with sources, you can craft an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also personally rewarding.

example of extended essay

Successfully navigating the Extended Essay process requires more than just academic skill; it demands effective project management. This encompasses planning, organising, and executing your EE from initial conception to final submission. Here are strategies to help you manage the EE process, ensuring a smooth journey and a rewarding outcome.

Planning and Time Management Strategies Specific to the EE

Develop a Detailed Plan: Start by breaking down the EE process into stages: topic selection, research, drafting, and revising. Assign deadlines to each stage based on the final submission date, allowing extra time for unforeseen delays.

Use a Calendar or Planner: Keep track of deadlines, meetings with your supervisor, and other important dates. Digital tools can be particularly useful, offering reminders and helping you stay organised.

Set Regular Milestones: Milestones offer checkpoints to assess your progress. These could be completing the research phase, finishing a first draft, or finalising your citations. Celebrate these achievements to stay motivated.

Milestones and Checklists to Keep You on Track

Create Checklists: For each phase of the EE process, develop a checklist of tasks. This could include conducting initial research, writing specific sections of the essay, or completing rounds of revision.

Regular Progress Reviews: Schedule weekly or bi-weekly reviews of your progress against your plan. Adjust your plan as needed based on these reviews.

Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your plan. Research might take longer than expected, or you might decide to change your focus slightly after discussing with your supervisor.

Dealing with Challenges and Setbacks During the EE Journey

Anticipate Potential Issues: Think ahead about what might go wrong and how you would address it. Having contingency plans can reduce stress and keep you on track.

Seek Support When Needed: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor, peers, or other mentors if you encounter obstacles. They can offer advice, support, and perspective.

Maintain a Positive Attitude: Challenges are part of the learning process. View setbacks as opportunities to improve your problem-solving and resilience skills.

Managing the EE process effectively is about more than just completing a requirement for the IB Diploma; it’s an exercise in self-management and personal growth. By carefully planning your work, setting and celebrating milestones, and being prepared to tackle challenges, you can navigate the EE process with confidence and achieve a result that reflects your hard work and dedication.

example of extended essay

Mastering the art of collaboration and effectively incorporating feedback are pivotal aspects of crafting a high-calibre Extended Essay (EE). These processes enrich your work, offering new perspectives and insights that can significantly enhance the depth and quality of your research and writing. Let’s delve into how to navigate these collaborative interactions and integrate feedback productively.

Effective Collaboration with Your Supervisor

Your supervisor is a key ally in your EE journey, providing guidance, support, and expert insight into your chosen topic. Building a productive relationship with your supervisor involves clear communication, active engagement, and receptiveness to their advice.

  • Prepare for Meetings: Maximise the value of your meetings by preparing questions and topics for discussion. This shows initiative and helps you focus on areas where you need the most guidance.
  • Be Open to Suggestions: Your supervisor brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. Being open to their suggestions can unlock new avenues of inquiry and refine your research focus.
  • Follow Up: After meetings, review the guidance provided and take action. Following up on suggestions and demonstrating progress is key to a fruitful collaboration.

Incorporating Feedback Constructively

Feedback is a gift, offering you fresh eyes on your work and highlighting areas for improvement. Whether it comes from your supervisor, peers, or other mentors, constructive feedback is instrumental in elevating the quality of your EE.

  • Critically Evaluate Feedback: Not all feedback will be equally applicable or helpful. Assess suggestions critically and decide which ones align with your research goals and vision for your EE.
  • Implement Changes Thoughtfully: When integrating feedback, do so thoughtfully and systematically. Consider how each piece of advice enhances your argument or strengthens your analysis.
  • Maintain Your Own Voice: While it’s important to consider feedback, your EE should ultimately reflect your ideas, analysis, and voice. Balance the input from others with your own scholarly insights.

Balancing Independent Research with Guidance

Navigating the balance between independent research and the guidance received is a delicate aspect of the EE process. While the EE is your project, drawing on the expertise and feedback of others can significantly enhance its depth and scope.

  • Value Independence: Embrace the opportunity to conduct independent research, making your EE a true reflection of your interests and intellectual curiosity.
  • Seek Guidance Wisely: Utilise your supervisor and other resources judiciously. They can provide clarity, offer new perspectives, and help you navigate complex aspects of your research.
  • Synthesise Input: Integrate the guidance and feedback you receive in a way that complements your research, ensuring that your EE remains a coherent and cohesive piece of scholarly work.

The interplay between collaboration, feedback, and independent research is central to the EE process. By engaging effectively with your supervisor, thoughtfully incorporating feedback, and maintaining a balance between guidance and your own scholarly pursuits, you can craft an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also a true testament to your growth as a learner.

Plagiarism is a critical concern in academic writing, including the Extended Essay. It involves using someone else’s work without proper acknowledgment, which can compromise the integrity of your essay and result in severe penalties. Understanding what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it is essential for maintaining academic honesty and ensuring the credibility of your research.

Understanding What Constitutes Plagiarism

Plagiarism can take many forms, from directly copying text without quotation marks to paraphrasing someone else’s ideas without proper citation. It also includes using images, charts, or data without acknowledging the source. Even unintentional plagiarism, where sources are not deliberately misrepresented but are inadequately cited, can have serious consequences.

How to Properly Cite Sources and Paraphrase

Citing Sources : Every time you use someone else’s words, ideas, or data, you must cite the source. This not only includes quotes and paraphrases but also data, images, and charts. Familiarise yourself with the citation style recommended for your subject area, whether it be APA, MLA, Chicago, or another, and apply it consistently throughout your essay.

Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing involves rewording someone else’s ideas in your own words. It’s essential to do more than just change a few words around; you need to completely rewrite the concept, ensuring you still cite the original source. Good paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the material and integrates it seamlessly into your argument.

Using Plagiarism Detection Tools

Many schools and students use plagiarism detection tools to check the originality of their work before submission. These tools compare your essay against a vast database of published material and other student submissions to identify any matches. Utilising these tools can help you identify areas of your essay that need better paraphrasing or citation.

Avoiding plagiarism in the EE involves diligent research, careful writing, and thorough citation. It’s about respecting the intellectual property of others while demonstrating your own understanding and analysis of the topic. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your EE is both original and academically honest, reflecting the hard work and integrity that define the IB learner profile.

example of extended essay

In the Extended Essay, showcasing original thought is not just encouraged; it’s a cornerstone of what makes an EE stand out. Originality in this context means more than just avoiding plagiarism; it involves presenting unique perspectives, developing novel arguments, or exploring new areas within a subject. Here’s how you can emphasise original thought in your EE.

The Value of Originality and Creativity

Originality and creativity in the EE demonstrate your ability to think independently and engage critically with your subject. It shows that you’re not just capable of summarising existing knowledge but also contributing to the conversation in your discipline. This level of engagement is what the IB looks for in assessing the EE, as it reflects a deeper understanding and application of the subject matter.

Balancing Academic Rigour with Personal Voice and Analysis

While it’s important to ground your EE in academic research and follow disciplinary conventions, finding a balance with your personal voice and analysis is key to originality. Here are ways to achieve this balance:

  • Personal Insight : Inject your essay with your insights, interpretations, and conclusions based on the research. This personal engagement with the topic distinguishes your EE from a mere literature review.
  • Critical Analysis: Go beyond describing what others have said. Critique the arguments, identify gaps in the research, and propose new ways of understanding the subject.
  • Innovative Approach: Consider addressing less explored aspects of your topic or applying theories and methodologies from other disciplines to bring fresh perspectives.

Strategies for Developing and Showcasing Original Thought

Question Assumptions: Start by questioning the prevailing assumptions or widely held beliefs in your subject area. This critical stance can open up avenues for original analysis.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Drawing connections between different disciplines can reveal new insights and approaches that enrich your essay.

Reflect on Your Learning: Use the insights gained from your coursework and personal interests to inform your approach. Often, your unique educational and life experiences can inspire original perspectives.

Emphasising original thought in your EE is about striking a balance between demonstrating your mastery of the subject and pushing beyond the boundaries of existing knowledge. It involves a blend of thorough research, critical thinking, and creative engagement with the topic. By fostering a unique perspective and injecting your personal voice into your analysis, you can create an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also distinctly yours, leaving a lasting impression on your readers.

example of extended essay

The culmination of the Extended Essay process includes the final presentation and the Viva Voce, a concluding interview between the student and their supervisor. These components serve not only as a summation of your EE journey but also as an opportunity to reflect on your learning and the skills you’ve developed. Understanding the significance and how to prepare for these elements is crucial for a successful EE completion.

Preparing for the Final Presentation

The final presentation is an opportunity to share the highlights of your EE journey, including your research question, methodology, key findings, and any challenges you overcame. It’s a moment to showcase the depth of your research and the personal growth you experienced throughout the process.

Key Elements to Include:

  • Overview of Your Research: Briefly summarise your research question and why you chose it, highlighting your methodology and the scope of your investigation.
  • Significant Findings: Share the key insights and discoveries you made during your research. This is a chance to underscore the original contributions of your EE.
  • Challenges and Solutions : Discuss any significant obstacles you faced and how you addressed them. Reflecting on these challenges shows your problem-solving skills and resilience.
  • Reflections on the Process: Share what you’ve learned about yourself as a learner, the skills you’ve developed, and how the EE has impacted your academic and personal growth.

Tips for a Successful Viva Voce

The Viva Voce is a short interview with your supervisor after you’ve submitted your EE. It’s an integral part of the reflection process, allowing you to discuss the successes and challenges of your research journey.

To Prepare for the Viva Voce:

  • Review Your EE: Be familiar with your essay’s content, as you’ll discuss your work in detail. Be ready to explain your research decisions and reflect on your learning process.
  • Anticipate Questions: Your supervisor might ask about how you selected your topic, the development of your research question, your approach to research and writing, and the skills you’ve developed.
  • Reflect on Your Learning: Think about the entire EE process, including what you learned, how you’ve grown, and how the experience might influence your future academic or career goals.

How the Viva Voce Contributes to Your Overall EE Assessment

While the Viva Voce doesn’t directly affect your EE grade, it plays a crucial role in the holistic assessment of your IB Diploma. It demonstrates the authenticity of your work and your engagement with the EE process, providing insights into your approach, dedication, and intellectual growth.

The final presentation and Viva Voce are essential milestones that mark the completion of your EE journey. They offer a platform to reflect on the challenges you’ve navigated, the knowledge you’ve gained, and the skills you’ve honed. Preparing thoroughly for these elements ensures you can confidently articulate your research journey, showcasing the depth of your inquiry and your development as an IB learner.

example of extended essay

The journey through the Extended Essay is more than an academic exercise; it’s a transformative experience that equips IB Diploma students with skills and insights that extend far beyond the programme.

Reflecting on how the EE prepares you for future academic and professional endeavours can highlight the lasting value of this rigorous project.

How the Skills Developed During the EE Can Benefit You in Future Academic and Professional Endeavours

Research and Analytical Skills: The EE demands a high level of research and analysis, teaching students how to gather, assess, and interpret data. These skills are invaluable in higher education and many professional fields, where evidence-based decision-making is crucial.

Critical Thinking: Crafting an EE requires students to evaluate sources critically, consider multiple perspectives, and develop well-reasoned arguments. This ability to think critically is highly sought after in both academia and the workplace.

Project Management: Completing an EE involves planning, organisation, time management, and problem-solving. Managing such a long-term project successfully can boost your confidence in handling complex tasks and projects in the future.

Communication: Writing the EE enhances your ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively, a skill that is essential in any professional setting. Additionally, the final presentation and Viva Voce develop your verbal communication and presentation skills.

Examples of How the EE Has Helped Alumni in Their Post-IB Journeys

Many IB alumni attribute their success in university and their careers to the foundation laid by their EE experience. For instance, alumni often report that the EE made the transition to university-level research and writing much smoother. Others have found that the skills developed through the EE, such as critical thinking and project management, have set them apart in job interviews and workplace projects.

Encouragement to View the EE as a Stepping Stone to Lifelong Learning

The EE is not just a requirement for the IB Diploma; it’s an introduction to a lifelong journey of inquiry and discovery. It encourages a mindset of curiosity and a habit of continuous learning that can enrich both your personal and professional life. Viewing the EE through this lens can transform it from a daunting task into an exciting opportunity to explore your passions and develop essential skills for the future.

The Extended Essay is a hallmark of the IB Diploma Programme, embodying the essence of inquiry, critical thinking, and scholarly engagement. From selecting a topic and formulating a research question to conducting in-depth research and presenting findings, the EE challenges students to transcend the boundaries of traditional learning, fostering skills and insights that extend far beyond the confines of the classroom.

This comprehensive guide has navigated the critical aspects of the EE process, offering strategies for managing time, engaging with supervisors, and ensuring academic integrity. It has underscored the importance of original thought, the role of academic discipline, and the value of reflection, aiming to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in this rigorous academic endeavour.

The Extended Essay is a testament to your dedication, intellectual curiosity, and academic prowess. Embrace this opportunity to shine, to explore, and to make your mark on the world of knowledge.

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example of extended essay

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2016-2017 IB Extended Essay: Sample IB EE's

  • Workshop 1: Getting started
  • Workshop 2: EE Options
  • Workshop 3: Selecting a topic
  • Workshop 4:Research Questions
  • Workshop 5: Supervisors and Reflections
  • Finding Books & Ebooks
  • Primary Sources
  • Citation Guide
  • Subject guidance
  • Sample IB EE's
  • Biology (2018 new rubric)
  • Biology Light Intensity
  • Does Age Have an Effect on Short-term Memory of 6 to 18 Year Old Students?


  • Chemistry 1
  • What are the Alternative Fuels for the Depleting Fossil Fuels and which is the Best Fuel in Accordance with the Energy Output?
  • A Copper Ions
  • Chemistry 3

Design Technology

  • Does Hull Trim and Balance Affect the Speed of a Boat?

Individuals & Society:

  • Market Form of the Retail Petroleum Supply Industry in Parklands
  • Economics 1
  • Economics 2
  • Economics 3

I have an exemplar but the file is too big to upload.  If you are interested in this topic I can share the essay with you.

  • Geography 2
  • History EE (2018 new rubric)
  • To What Extent was the Establishment of the State of Israel in Palestine in 1948, Influenced by Theodor Herzl?

Information Technology in a Global Society

  • Philosophy 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Philosophy 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Psychology EE (2018 new rubric)
  • Applied Behavior Analysis and Early Intervention: The Extent of Recovery from Autism
  • Psychology 1
  • Psychology 2
  • Psychology 3

Social & Cultural Anthropology

  • Social & Cultural Anthropology 1
  • Social & Cultural Anthropology 2

World Religions

  • To What Extent do the Core Scriptural Teachings of Sikhism Permit them to Marry Outside of the Religion?
  • World Religions 1
  • World Religions 2

Language Acquisition:

  • French: Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Literature & Language 

  •   Journeys in the Inferno and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz   
  •   Toni Morrison 


  •   Cryptography and Rubik's Cube: An Investigative Analysis   
  •   Pascal's Triangle 

Visual Arts: 

  •   How Does the work of Yinka Shonibare Illustrate the Changing Role of African Art in a Global Society? 
  • Ballet's Accessibility and Costumes Affecting Society's View of the Art Form
  • Visual Arts 1
  • Visual Arts 4

Interdisciplinary Essays:

Environmental Systems & Societies

  • ESS Extended Essay (2018 new rubric)

World Studies

  • World Studies EE History, Economics, & Politics  (2018 new rubric)
  • Does the Production of Dairy and Meat from Dairy Cows in the United States affect the Environment and Well Being of Animals and Humans?
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Extended Essay (First Exams 2018): Examples of Extended Essays

  • EE Intro to Inquiry
  • Examples of Extended Essays
  • Recommended Research Tools
  • How-to: Research Help

Samples from the IBO

The IBO publishes two volumes of  50 Excellent Extended Essays , covering all Diploma Programme groups -- and all scored a top A grade.

Click on the link below to access PDFs of the essays. 

50 Excellent Extended Essays

All 50 essays are also available in electronic form in the QD Library on the iPads.  Look for the display at the circulation desk. The essays are found in the iBooks app. The iPads are available for check out at the circulation for periods of 30 minutes at one time.

Recently, the IBO has produced another list of exemplars with marks. Click on the link below to access this:

  • Assessed Student Work  
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  • Last Updated: Nov 26, 2021 12:34 PM
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100 IB Extended Essay Topic Ideas!

example of extended essay

One of the biggest keys to the Extended Essay is choosing which subject you want to write your work in and developing that crucial research question. Read on to find inspiration for topics across a wide range of subjects.

Extended Essay: The Love/Hate aspect of the IB

One of the biggest keys to the Extended Essay is choosing which subject you want to write your work in and developing that crucial research question. Annoyingly, coming up with that idea and research question can be the toughest part of the entire process. Writing 4,000 words about something you are interested in is a big ask and it often feels impossible to narrow down your thoughts. To make everything super clear, here are 100 Extended Essay Topics for you to draw inspiration from! Use these as a springboard to create your own research question !

Get Support from A Top Tutor Today

At Lanterna we have over 300 tutors who smashed their Extended Essay. They know exactly how to get an A in your EE and can give you tips and tricks on how you can do the same. What are you waiting for? Get your own tutor today !

How to Begin Your IB Extended Essay

To make everything super clear, here are 100 Extended Essay Topics for you to draw inspiration from! Use these as a springboard to  create your own research question !

Get Support from a Top Tutor Today

At Lanterna, we have over 300 tutors who smashed their Extended Essay. They know exactly how to get an A in your EE and can give you tips and tricks on how you can do the same. What are you waiting for? Get your own tutor today!

10 Steps to Writing an Extended Essay

Before we look at specific topics for your essay, let’s recap the 10-steps you’ll need to follow to complete your extended essay.

1. Define the Topic and Draft the Research Question

2. Create a Timeline

3. Identify and gather Sources

4. Set Deadlines

5. Plan the structure according to the total word count

6. Evaluate

7. independent Research

8. Write the extended essay draft

10. Present

By following the steps above, you should be able to produce a logical and coherent rationale to follow when writing the extended essay for your IB diploma programme.

By starting with a solid research question, you’ll be able to put an extended essay of global significance together, from the research and writing process all the way through to your final submission with a favourable extended essay grade.

Below, we’re sharing 10 topics across 10 subjects to inspire your next IB extended essay.

1. How the change of habitat affects an X organism?

2. How does climate affect the growth of X plant?

3. Can photosynthesis take place without sunlight?

4. What is the effect of age and gender on the photoreceptor cells in the human retina?

5. How is climate change impacting the appearance of coral reefs?

6. An evaluation of how  antioxidants  work in our bodies?

7. Does hand sanitizer, hand soap or antibacterial wipes have the greatest ability to inhibit the growth of E. Coli?

8. To what extent do live cultures in yogurts/milk/other dairy products reduce the concentration of lactose present over the course of a 2 hour incubation period at x°C?

9. What is the relationship between  population density  between X and population size of X?

10. What is the relationship between indoleacetic acid, a growth hormone, and the growth of X (a crop)?

11. How does human influence impact an aquatic ecosystem?

12. How can one organize a pollution check along a X canal in X?

13. What is the effect of the increased ecological footprint in the  Amazon ?

14. What are the forest and woodland restoration in Siberia, Russia and which one is most effective?

15. How does human interference cause ecological imbalances in an X city/country/continent?

16. What is the impact of urban development on the  bee population  in X city?

17. What are the differences in the conversation efforts in Yosemite National Park (California, USA) and the Lake District National Park (UK)?

18. To what extent have healthcare policies in X country influenced their human population curve?

19. How have changes in environmental systems influenced the value system of X country?

20. How has X landfill site affected the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem?

21. What is the profitability of  airline companies ?

22. How does unemployment affect the market?

23. Why did X recession occur?

24. How did the financial Policy affect the economy in X?

25. How effective are government policies in reducing overconsumption of alcohol (specifically hard liquor)?

26. To what extent are public buses and subways substitute goods in a country?

27. How did the tax reform in country x affect its growth and development? (many countries to choose from)

28. To what extent was weak government policy responsible for the Latin American financial crisis of 1997?

29. How effective is the  Big Mac Index  in measuring purchasing power parity?

30. To what extent would the UK suffer from leaving the European Customs Union if Brexit happens?

31. Is there an association between viewing violence on television and the display of violent acts?

32. What motivational climate should a coach employ in order to achieve optimal performance in athletes?

33. How does  X hormone affect human behavior ?

34. Compare theories explaining altruism in human behaviour

35. Discuss short-term and long-term consequences of exposure to violence

36. Why do relationships change or end?

37. Discuss how  social variables (poverty, parenting, educational environment) may the affect cognitive environment.

38. To what extent do mirror neurons play a role in empathy? (2014)

39. To what extent does Mindfulness help people cope with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

40. To what extent is drug therapy effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder?

41. Does the British Parliamentary reforms act of 1832 deserve its title as the great reform act?

42. To what extent are there similarities in Hitler and Mussolini’s Rise to Power?

43. To what extent did Mao’s tackle the problems which he faced?

44. Was Tsar Alexander II of Russia reforms a success or failure?

45. To what extent was the bombing of Dresden in 1945 justifiable?

46. To what extent can  Sweden be considered neutral during WWII ?

47. The impact of structural economic weakness on the collapse of the Soviet Union.

48. How were women treated differently in 1920s and 1950s Great Britain?

49. Why did Israel win the  Six Day War  of 1967?

50. What role did economics play in the unification of Germany from 1834 to 1871?

English Literature

51. What are the Compare and Contrast Jane Austen Books?

52. How does Joseph Conrad’s portray Racism in A Heart of Darkness?

53. How does Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman critique today’s capitalist society? The American Dream?

54. To what extent does Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild escape familial influence?

55. What are the similarities and differences between J.K. Rowling’s characterization of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

56. How does Yaa Gyasi use structure in her novel Homegoing to portray the evolution of time?

57. What is the impact of the social context on Holden Caufield and Huckleberry Finn?

58. How does Sylvia Path’s use of Inanimate objects in Bell Jar?

59. How is the empowerment of Feminine portrayed in the Lord of the Rings?

60. Compare the political rhetoric as used in the inaugural addresses of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

61. The design, construction and calibration of an apparatus for measuring lipid concentration in milk.

62. What is the effect of a change in the optimal lift on the horizontal gliding distance of an aircraft?

63. How does the sugar concentration affect the refractive index of water?

64. How does temperature affect the viscosity of X juice/soda?

65. Is the relationship between temperature and conductivity and insulators and conductors?

66. What is the Oberth Effect?

67. What is the temperature dependence of work performed on an AA battery?

68. How can the rotational frequency of a fan driven by a flame measure distance?

69. Do wine bottles of different shapes behave as Helmholtz resonators?

70. How does the diameter of a wheel affect stability in different weather conditions?

71. What factors influence the location of industries in country/city X?

72. An investigation into the significance of preserving the quality of water in a continent/country/city?

73. An investigation into the degree to which City X can be considered a Sustainable City/Community.

74. To what extent is Biodiversity being managed successfully in city X?

75. To what extent does the education and employment of women affect Country x’s fertility rate?

76. To what extent do gender, educational attainment, and working parameters influence obesity risk?

77. To what extent has urban development affected human thermal comfort levels in Country/city x (a country/city that has developed in a rapid rate over the past decades)?

78. To what extent is the Company x corporate waste management program effective, demonstrating environmental sustainability?

79. To what extent is biodiversity being managed successfully at National Park X?

80. What types of urban design encourage high rates of vandalism in X neighbourhoods?

81. The kinetics of Enzymatic Reactions.

82. How do Iron Intake Diets differ in X country?

83. What are the different factors that affect the iodine values in cooking oils?

84. What is the effect of standing time and temperate on the acid content in X juice or soda?

85. Can caffeine in tea or coffee be reduced?

86. What is the effect of temperature on the souring of milk?

87. What are the sources of error in calorimetry?

88. Does brushing your teeth affect the pH in your mouth after eating?

89. How does changing the concentration of the reagents affect the formation and spacing between Liesehang rings in the reaction between X chloride and X when conducted in a test tube?

90. What effect does the coating of aspirin tablets have on the hydrolysis of aspirin?

Social and Cultural Anthropology

91. How clothing relates to the cultural anthropology of X culture.

92. The extent to which social media networks affect different societies.

93. The relationship between ritual, myths and faith in an X society.

94. The history of rituals in X culture.

95. How different marriage rituals inform the cultural anthropology of X culture.

96. Climate change and its impact on the evolution of different creatures on the planet.

97. Understanding the social and cultural anthropology of the supernatural in X culture.

98. An analysis of body modification in relation to social and cultural anthropology.

100. Chaste systems and social ranks in societies.

There are so many class subjects that can form the basis of your extended essay, including these popular six subjects:

– Information technology

– Computer science

– Health science

– World studies

– Visual arts

– Business management

Extended essays are a great way to improve your writing skills in academic writing. Essays of a high standard that demonstrate critical thinking and in depth analysis can be submitted to academic journals. These have the potential to reach the global society.

Start Writing Your Extended Essay Topic

We hope this gave you some great inspiration for the variation of topics available for your Extended Essay . The research question you select is what will carry you through the entire process, so be sure to choose wisely!

Remember, if you are looking for more help with your Extended Essay, make sure to check out our guide which will tell you exactly how to plan, structure, research and write your Extended Essay!

Grab Free Extended Essay Resources!

No matter the subject groups in your diploma program, we’re here to help all of our IB students. Whether you’re writing about social and cultural anthropology, business management, design technology, or scientific methods for your IB diploma, Lanterna has you covered.

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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?

example of extended essay

  • 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,

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. 

example of extended essay

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 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.

example of extended essay

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Extended Essay: Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay

  • 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

How to Write an Outline

One way to plan a structure for your essay is by writing an outline.  An outline breaks down the parts of your thesis in a clear, hierarchical manner. Most students find that writing an outline before beginning the paper is most helpful in organizing one's thoughts. If your outline is good, your paper should be easy to write. Use this worksheet from the Learning & Advising Center at  Philadelphia University to help with writing your own outline.

example of extended essay

The basic format for an outline uses an alternating series of numbers and letters, indented accordingly, to indicate levels of importance. Here is an example of an outline on a paper about the development of Japanese theater from the Universtiy at Albany, State University of New York:

"How to Write an Outline." U at Albany, State U of New York. U at Albany, State U of New York, 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2012 <>. 

example of extended essay

Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay - Step 10

10.  Plan a structure for the essay.  This may change as the research develops but it is useful to have a sense of direction from the start.

example of extended essay

  • << Previous: Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Next: Step 11. Read, Read, Read! >>
  • Last Updated: May 8, 2024 3:48 PM
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US - Extended Essay Guide: Examples of Extended Essays

  • Class of '25 EE Deadline Calendar
  • 2024 EE Deadline Calendar
  • Examples of Extended Essays
  • Computer Science
  • Design Technology
  • Global Politics
  • Studies in Lang. and Lit. (Group 1)
  • Studies in Lang. and Lit. (Group 2)
  • Mathematics
  • Sports, Exercise, and Health Science
  • World Studies
  • Print and eBooks
  • Web Resources
  • Searching Tips
  • Referencing and citing
  • Notetaking Advice
  • Tools and Strategies to Narrow Your Topic
  • Supervisor Support

ZIS Sample Essays 2018

  • Sample ZIS Extended Essays 2018 These ZIS student essays from 2018 scored either an A or B. Access is only given to anyone with the link at Zurich International School. Use them to analyse style and formatting as well to brainstorm ideas for topics. However, be aware that these are not research questions to be reused.

Extended Essay & RPPF Exemplars

  • (Language B) Studies in language and literature: Punk music in the UK How did the punk movement influence certain aspects of the British culture did in the 20th century?
  • (Language B) Language acquisition: Linguistic Strategies in the United States Presidential Election Debates 2016 How did the language used by Clinton and Trump in the first, the second and the third presidential debate influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in the United States?
  • (Business management) To what extent is it a good idea for Escan ltd to end a strategic alliance with Qupid? To what extent is it a good idea for Escan ltd to end a strategic alliance with Qupid?
  • (Information technology in a global society) The growing digital divide in financial markets To what extent has algorithmic trading led to an increased digital divide in financial markets?
  • (Philosophy) Accidents in driverless cars What is the most appropriate ethical framework for the programming of driverless cars?
  • (Social and cultural anthropology) An investigation of secondary education having an impact on divorce rates: a comparison between Caribbean-born women and African-American women Does secondary education have an impact on divorce rates: a comparison between Caribbean-born women and African-American women.
  • (World religions) Christian and Islamic eschatology What do Islamic and Christian followers believe about the endtimes and how does each belief influence the religion?
  • (Design Technology) Plants in modern architecture. The future of sustainability. To what extent could the implementation of plants in modern building design be a feasible method for future construction, to fight pollution and improve well-being in and around the building environment?
  • (Literature and performance) The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A moving novel and a stigmatized film Why might Charlie's mental illness be portrayed differently in the movie adaptation of the Perks of Being a Wallflower than it is in the book?
  • (Economics) The impact of demonetization on agriculture and farmers in Sultanganj To what extent has India's 2016 demonetization act impacted farmers, Kharif sale and Rabi sowing in Sultanganj?
  • (Environmental systems and societies) Developing a model to evaluate the sustainability of marine turtle conservation organisations What are the criteria that may be used to evaluate the sustainability of marine turtle conservation projects and why?
  • (Geography) The effects of transnational corporations on urban areas To what extent has the influx of technological and financial transnational corporations in the Grand Canal Dock area given rise to disparities between this and the Irishtown-Ringsend area?
  • (Global politics) Violation of human rights: incompatibility of harmful traditional practices and human rights What are the major hindrances in Tanzania and Pakistan to the achievement of human rights and how can they be tackled?
  • (History) Battle of Stalingrad To what extent did German tactical mistakes affect the outcome of the Battle of Stalingrad?
  • (Philosophy) Artificial General Intelligence: a modern pursuit of the Platonic “good life” No stated research question
  • (Psychology) The copycat effect: An analysis of suicides emulated from non-fictional and fictional media To what extent does the “copycat effect” explain similar suicide occurrences subsequent to mass media coverage on non-fictional and fictional suicides?
  • (Biology) Effects of different calcium salts in growth solutions on the growth of the stems of basil (Ocimum basilicum) plants grown hydroponically What effects do different calcium salts in growth solutions have on the growth of the stems of basil (Ocimum basilicum) plants grown hydroponically?
  • (Chemistry) An investigation into the synthesis of Aspirin in accordance with the principles of green chemistry To what extent can the industrial method of synthesis of aspirin be altered to best comply with the principles of green chemistry?
  • (Computer science) An evaluation of malware How does the ILOVEYOU virus compare to the Koobface worm in terms of damage infliction and methods of duplication?
  • (Physics) Aerodynamics What is the relationship between frequency and surface area against lift of the propeller of a toy helicopter?
  • (Sports, exercise and health science) What can influence a better reaction time in martial artists? Does the warm-up of martial artists influence their reaction time in contrast to not warming up?
  • (Mathematics) The use of hyperbolic cosine function in catenary bridge structure The analysis of the relationship between force and other variables in different bridge supporting scenarios.
  • (Dance) Ballet Dance: The influence of choreographer George Balanchine on the style worldwide How has George Balanchine's creativity influenced the style of ballet dance worldwide?
  • (Film) In depth study of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders (1983) and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) Sympathy in film: To what extent does the portrayal of graphic violence in film impart the ability to sympathize with real world situations?
  • (Music) Sibelius' Seventh To what extent did Sibelius write his Seventh Symphony as a one movement compression of traditional symphonic form?
  • (Theatre) Character Development Within Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years How do motifs, patterns and tones in Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years contribute to the character development and subtext throughout the musical?
  • (Visual arts) Parallels in fashion To what extent did Japanese aesthetics and fashion have an influence on contemporary Danish fashion?
  • (World Studies) Analyse the effects and impacts of the 2003 invasion of Iraq How and to what extent did the Iraq invasion and occupation between the years 2003 and 2005 impact the rise of radical Islamic terrorism?
  • (Language and literature) Criticism towards expectations of masculinity and the idea of patriotism used in the Great War How does All Quiet on the Western Front reveal the expectations of masculinity and patriotism during the early 20th century?
  • << Previous: 2024 EE Deadline Calendar
  • Next: Subject Specific Guides >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 30, 2023 11:30 AM
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Extended Essay

Extended Essay Examples

Cathy A.

26 Best Extended Essay Examples for Inspiration

Published on: May 3, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

Extended essay examples

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A Step-by-Step Guide For Writing an Extended Essay

Extended Essay Outline Made Easy: Components, Writing Steps, & Tips

Get Inspired: 110 Unique Extended Essay Topics and Ideas

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Are you struggling to choose a topic or develop a research question for your Extended Essay? Or are you looking for examples to help guide your writing process? 

Look no further! 

In this blog, we will provide you with a variety of extended essay examples across different subject areas. By examining these examples, you can gain a better understanding of what a well-written extended essay looks like. 

So, without further ado, let's start the blog!

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What is an Extended Essay?

An extended essay is a research paper that students write as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program . This type of essay aims to allow students to dig deeply into a topic, and develop their writing skills.

The Extended Essay must be between 3,500 and 4,000 words. It is typically written in one of the six subject areas: 

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Mathematics

Want to learn more about Extended essay writing? Check out his video!

Let's explore extended essay examples categorized by subject to better understand various topics and research questions within each discipline.

IB Extended Essay Examples

Here are some IB Extended Essay Examples:

IB Extended Essay Example Biology

IB Extended Essay Example World Religions

English Extended Essay Examples

English Extended Essay Example 1

English Extended Essay Example 2

History Extended Essay Examples

History Extended Essay Example 1

History Extended Essay Example 2

Psychology Extended Essay Examples

Psychology Extended Essay Example 1

Psychology Extended Essay Example 2

Economics Extended Essay Examples 

Economics Extended Essay Example 1

Economics Extended Essay Example 2

Physics Extended Essay Examples -H3

Physics Extended Essay Example 1

Physics Extended Essay Example 2

Math Extended Essay Examples -H3

Math Extended Essay Example 1

Math Extended Essay Example 2

Business Extended Essay Examples -H3

Business Extended Essay Example 1

Business Extended Essay Example 2

Chemistry Extended Essay Examples

Chemistry Extended Essay Example 1

Chemistry Extended Essay Example 2

Global Politics Extended Essay Examples

Global Politics Extended Essay Example 1

Global Politics Extended Essay Example 2

Music Extended Essay Examples

Music Extended Essay Example 1

Music Extended Essay Example 2

Visual Arts Extended Essay Examples

Visual Arts Extended Essay Example 1

Visual Arts Extended Essay Example 2

World Studies Extended Essay Examples -H3

World Studies Extended Essay Example 1

World Studies Extended Essay Example 2

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Tips for Writing Extended Essays

Here are some tips for writing extended essays:

  • Choose a topic that interests you and aligns with your strengths.
  • Create a research question that is specific, manageable, and has enough depth to explore in detail.
  • Develop a clear outline and structure for your essay, including an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • Use a variety of sources, including academic journals, books, and primary sources, to support your arguments.
  • Maintain a critical and analytical approach throughout your essay, examining various perspectives and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments.
  • Avoid plagiarism by citing your sources correctly and using your own words to explain your ideas.
  • Revise and edit your essay thoroughly, ensuring that it is coherent, logical, and well-written.
  • Seek feedback from your supervisor or teacher, as well as peers or family members, to improve your essay further.

In conclusion, extended essay writing is an essential part of academic life, and it requires a lot of dedication and practice. However, with the right guidance and inspiration, anyone can excel in writing a compelling extended essay. 

The examples we have explored in this blog have provided valuable insights into the process. We hope they have inspired you to start your own journey toward excellence.

But if you need any additional assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to Our extended essay writing service consists of professional writers who are always ready to help you with your writing assignments.

We provide the best essay writing service to meet your specific needs and requirements.

So, get in touch with us today, and let our essay writer help you achieve your academic goals!

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example of extended essay


Extended Essay: Criterion E: Engagement (Reflection)

  • Kick Off Day
  • Define Topic
  • Locate Resources
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Integrating Quotes
  • Citations & Referencing
  • Evaluation Criteria & Examiner Reports
  • Criterion A, B, C: Assessment of Research
  • Criterion D: Presentation
  • Criterion E: Engagement (Reflection)
  • The Viva Voce
  • EE Draft Feedback Template for Supervisors
  • Language of Analysis
  • Approaches to Learning (ATL)
  • Roles and Responsibilities

Criterion E: Reflection (6 pts max)

example of extended essay

Remember to include discussion of the Approaches to Learning (ATL's) in your reflections. This discussion needs to be specific and well-illustrated with clear examples. For specific language related to each of the ATL's, please click here .

Reflection One- Initial Stage

This will be after one of the early sessions with your supervisor where you outline:

  • Your ideas regarding the topic in general
  • The research question you have in mind
  • Initial background reading or research you may have conducted
  • Possible approaches
  • Initial thoughts about the answer to your research question
  • Roughly 100 words in length

Guiding Questions:

What exactly do you want to find out?

What resources do you plan to use?

What problems do you anticipate in your research?

What writing and research have you done since last session?

Have you found any sources with conflicting viewpoints?

Have you been able to find relevant sources from different eras?

What challenges did you encounter in finding relevant sources?

How do you think you might use your sources?

Have you collected sufficient data?

Have you finished note taking from your text?

  • What am I interested in researching and why?
  • What are my motivations for undertaking research in this area?
  • How will I begin the research process?
  • Is my chosen topic appropriate for the subject I have chosen to complete it in?
  • Do I have sufficient knowledge of the subject area to fulfill the criteria of an EE?
  • What possible question(s) might I research?
  • How might I go about undertaking this research?
  • Do I have access to appropriate sources?
  • Are my chosen research methods appropriate for the subject I have chosen to complete it in?
  • Are there any ethical issues I need to consider before pursuing this area of research?
  • Is there sufficient focus to my research area?

Examples of Reflection One

  • Sample History EE Reflection

I was attracted to Anna Comnena's The Alexiad as a result of some extra readings which formed part of my IB History course (Crusades). As the first female historian, she stands in a unique place in terms of historiography, something which appealed to me as both a woman and budding historian. I was initially considering writing about her accounts of the First Crusade but quickly found the topic to be far too wide in scope. A reading of Paul Magdalino's article "The Pen of the Aunt" helped refocus me on the issue of historical purpose, i.e., why she wrote the history she did. I have now allocated time to reading historical accounts of Manuel I's reign to decide how closely the events Anna mentions in her history of her father's reign (Alexius) so as to validate my current hypothesis-  that Anna intended the work as a celebratory account of her father so as to cast a negative light on the rule of her nephew Manuel I. My current list includes Runciman, France, Macrides, Christomides, and Hill.

Reflection Two- Interim Stage

This reflection session will usually fall somewhere in the middle to latter half of your EE process, usually before the first draft is completed.

  • Discuss how the research question has become more refined.
  • Comment on any challenges you have encountered & what solutions you have attempted.
  • Discuss how your thinking on your topic has evolved.
  • Roughly 200 words in length

Where was I? Where I am now? Where am I going?

What sources do you find helpful?

How have you evaluated your sources?

Have you adopted a structure for writing based on what the IB requires?

What do you need to do next?

Examples of Reflection Two

I was finding it hard to come up with a satisfactory counter to the question of accuracy and authenticity which feature prominently in modern readings of her work. Historians ranging from Edward Gibbon and John France to the more direct Howard-Johnson paper which completely challenges her authorship effectively negated my hypothesis entirely. Using Magdalino and Hill as a focus point, I re-read key sections of The Alexiad and mapped out her account against the policital events of Manuel I's reign and quickly discovered some interesting overlaps (building works, military campaigns, relations with the West, etc.). Though occasionally obscure and subtle, the criticisms emerge by means of an unspoken comparison which Byzantine readers of her account would have well understood. This approach is providing me with a suitable counter to the aforementioned criticisms. I have also begun structuring my work accordingly with sections devoted to historical context followed by a section on The Alexiad which compares and contrasts events from Alexius' time with those of Manuel's. I am considering a chapter on the historiographical tradition of Byzantium but may integrate it into the main body in the end.

Reflection Three- Looking Back

This final reflection should be written BEFORE the Viva Voce meeting. It should:

  • Offer your final reflections on the process
  • Discuss any achievements realized or challenges overcome
  • Discuss elements that allowed you to complete the task that may not be readily apparent in the essay itself.
  • Discuss any relevant ATL's (Approaches to Learning) that you have developed through the process & be ready to provide good examples.

Guiding Questions

What did you discover that surprised you?

Is writing the EE mainly about process or product AND why?

What would you have done differently and why?

What advice would you give to a student just beginning this process?

What have been the high and low points of the research and writing processes?

What would you have done differently?

What is the most important thing that you learned?

What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

What would you change if you did another EE?

What was the most valuable experience that you took away from the process?

What was your greatest challenge and what did you do to overcome it?

What IB learner profile attribute would you say helped you through the process (communicator, risk-taker, etc.)?

Would you like to continue reading on this topic?

What questions did this process raise?

What conclusions have you drawn about the topic?

Examples of Reflection Three

I am very pleased with how the essay has turned out. Skills wise, I had no problems with referencing which I picked up quickly though integrating source analysis did prove a challenge at times due to my narrative tendencies. I believe I've been able to challenge the orthodox interpretations of Anna's work as a piece of fantasy fiction at the hands of a disgruntled woman by showing that Anna was effectively using one of the few weapons still permitted her in her diminished political state- the power of words- to criticize the existing leadership. Hill's works proved of particular use to me as they examined female power in a broader context and thus gave me a framework for interpreting what Anna was able to do within the context of her time.

IB-provided exemplars of "Reflections on Planning and Progress"

  • Lang. Lit. Examplar #1
  • Lang. Lit. Exemplar #2
  • Lang. Lit. Exemplar #3
  • History Exemplar #1
  • History Exemplar #2
  • Psychology Exemplar
  • Biology Exemplar
  • Math Exemplar #1
  • Math Exemplar #2
  • Visual Arts Exemplar #1
  • Visual Arts Exemplar #2
  • World Studies Exemplar #1
  • World Studies Exemplar #2

example of extended essay

Reflection Sentence Starters and Key Words

Click here or on the image below to go to the list of sentence starters you can use to help you write up your reflections. Regarding word count, we recommend 100 words for first reflection, 200 words for second reflection, and 200 words for third reflection (roughly).

example of extended essay

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IB Business and Management EE examples

Filter exemplars, to what extent can four seasons hotel’s success be attributed to its corporate culture and isadore sharp’s leadership style, to what extent does vivienne westwood's sustainable fashion initiatives provide it with a competitive advantage over other luxury brands, want to get full marks for your ee allow us to review it for you 🎯, to what extent has the change in corporate leadership at apple inc. from steve jobs to tim cook impacted the company's innovation and product development, how has apple used sustainable innovation to gain a competitive edge, to what extent has zoom’s freemium business model influenced its market leadership position in the north american video conferencing market from 2020 to 2021, fast track your coursework with mark schemes moderated by ib examiners. upgrade now 🚀, how have amazon's market strategies contributed in successfully growing its e-commerce business internationally, to what extent has google's diversification into the wearables industry increased its profitability, to what extent was amazon’s decision to expand into the physical grocery retail industry a successful change management strategy, to what extent can the growth of disney+ be sustained as the pandemic’s effects begin to wear off, to what extent can robert iger's leadership style influence the organisational culture and creative success of the walt disney company, to what extent have tesla’s distinct marketing strategies been effective at promoting its automotive business”, to what extent have the corporate social responsibility (csr) policies of the body shop (tbs) have increased its customer base in the united kingdom (uk) cosmetic market since 2018-2020, to what extent has spotify’s podcast innovation been an effective growth strategy to increase its profitability, to what extent has innovation and product development contributed to apple being a market leader, how successful has netflix inc.’s content strategy been at ensuring market and financial growth, how has total quality management at louis vuitton contributed to its success as the market leader, to what extent does google's corporate culture contribute to its productivity, to what extent is the implementation of fuliza service profitable towards the safaricom company through the years of 2019-2022, to what extent does market-oriented approach give netflix, inc. a competitive advantage in the streaming entertainment industry, to what extent has facebook’s market position been affected by the rename to meta in 2021, how significant is the external environment in influencing amazon corporations' operations and csr policies, to what extent will toyota’s diversification help increase business revenues and market share, to what extent can amazon's market share in australia be attributed to their distinct marketing mix, to what extent did the sustainability of nike affect their profitability in the sports apparel industry, to what extent can the forever21 bankruptcy of 2019 be accredited to its over-expansion and supply-chain mismanagement, to what extent has youtube helped sidemen build successful businesses, to what extent implementing effective product strategies have led hp inc. to increase the market share in the indian market in the last 5 years, to what extent does the success of mcdonald's in the real estate business compared to the fast-food business in united states, to what extent has the launch of disney+ proven successful in advancing disney’s digital presence and establishing market dominance in the subscription-based video on demand (svod) market, to what extent will the merger between psa and fca increase their market share in china, to what extent has corporate social responsibility affected petron's philippine brand positioning between 2014-2018, through which strategies can patagonia’s ethical business model best translate to increased sales revenue, to what extent can the decline in profitability of jet airways be attributed to its ineffective organisational culture, to what extent was at&t’s acquisition of time warner an effective growth strategy, how effective have the strategies used by coca cola been in ensuring it remains competitive in the beverage industry in india, to what extent will ikea’s pursuit of its 2030 goals and achieving them allow them to contribute to a more circular economy, to what extent has netflix's decision to incorporate games into their apps helped in maintaining customer loyalty and acquiring new customers, to what extent does adidas’s career development ‘talent carousel’successful in improving employee’s motivation and thus affecting their financial status, to what extent can elon musk’s twitter acquisition affect different stakeholder groups, to what extent were starbucks’ marketing strategies effective in increasing its growth in revenue between 2015-2022 in india.


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

    Conclusion. 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.

  2. Examples

    These highlight the diverse range of topics covered by International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students during their extended essays. Some examples are: "An analysis of costume as a source for understanding the inner life of the character". "A study of malnourished children in Indonesia and the extent of their recovery ...

  3. Past Essays

    IB Extended Essay; Past Essays; Search this Guide Search. IB Extended Essay: Past Essays. EE Home; Lessons Toggle Dropdown. Research Questions ; Past Essays ; ... Renaissance Library Past Essays: Links to all subject area examples; Music EE Examples. Music EE Example 1 Music EE Example 2 Music EE Example 3 Music EE Example 4 Psychology EE ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    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.

  7. Guide to the IB Extended Essay in 2024

    IB Extended Essay—Sample Essays. Wondering what an outstanding IB Extended Essay looks like? The International Baccalaureate provides quite a few sample student essays online. Here are five essays that earned A grades. Language and literature: An exploration of an aspect of the narrative voice in Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.

  8. How To Write The Extended Essay (With Topics and Examples)

    The Extended Essay has several key objectives: To provide students with the chance to engage in an in-depth study of a question of interest within a chosen subject. To develop research, thinking, self-management, and communication skills. To introduce students to the excitement and challenges of academic research.

  9. John R. Lewis Library: 2016-2017 IB Extended Essay: Sample IB EE's

    2016-2017 IB Extended Essay; Sample IB EE's; Search this Guide Search. 2016-2017 IB Extended Essay: Sample IB EE's. Home; Workshops Toggle Dropdown. Workshop 1: Getting started ; ... Class of 2025 - Sample Extended Esssays; Science. Biology. Biology (2018 new rubric) Biology Light Intensity

  10. Extended Essay (First Exams 2018): Examples of Extended Essays

    The IBO publishes two volumes of 50 Excellent Extended Essays, covering all Diploma Programme groups -- and all scored a top A grade. Click on the link below to access PDFs of the essays. 50 Excellent Extended Essays; All 50 essays are also available in electronic form in the QD Library on the iPads. Look for the display at the circulation desk.

  11. IB EE examples for all subjects

    Advertise with Clastify. To what extent does varying the duration (0 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins, 20 mins, 25 mins) at which a 25% solution consisting of ethanol-dissolved ayurvedic spices (curcumin and black cumin) is maintained at 60°C affect the antimicrobial activity of these spices against a K12 strain of Escherichia coli? EE Biology B.

  12. PDF A Student Guide To Writing the Extended Essay

    Award of Diploma Points - the role of The Extended Essay, and TOK The extended essay contributes to the overall diploma score through the award of points in conjunction with theory of knowledge. A maximum of three points are awarded according to a student's combined performance in both the extended essay and theory of knowledge.

  13. PDF A Student Guide To Writing the Extended Essay

    extended essay and theory of knowledge will fall into one of the five bands previously described in the criterion for each assessment. The total number of points awarded is determined by the combination of the performance levels achieved by the student in both the extended essay and theory of knowledge according to the following matrix.

  14. 100 IB Extended Essay Topic Ideas!

    An analysis of body modification in relation to social and cultural anthropology. 100. Chaste systems and social ranks in societies. There are so many class subjects that can form the basis of your extended essay, including these popular six subjects: - Information technology. - Computer science. - Health science.

  15. IB English A (Lang & Lit) EE examples

    EE English A (Lang & Lit) B. Effects of Parallels and Divergence in Mythological Retellings. EE English A (Lang & Lit) B. High scoring IB English A (Lang & Lit) Extended Essay examples. See what past students did and make your English A (Lang & Lit) EE perfect by learning from examiner commented examples!

  16. How To Write IB Extended Essay Reflections

    How To Write IB Extended Essay Reflections. 1:30. As you already know, the new extended essay criteria include 6 marks for " Engagement .". That's 6 marks out of 35, meaning these reflections are worth 17.6% of your EE mark! Those 6 marks are almost enough to bring you from a C to an A. This is a lot of marks for just 500 words.

  17. LibGuides: Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

    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. ... "Student sample extended essays, corresponding marks and comments from ...

  18. IB ESS EE examples

    High scoring IB ESS Extended Essay examples. See what past students did and make your ESS EE perfect by learning from examiner commented examples!

  19. Extended Essay: Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay

    Outlining is best done as a middle stage in the writing process, not at the very beginning. Follow these steps in the order given before attempting an outline: 1. Read, gather information, and think about your essay topic. 2. Take notes, jot down ideas, use your Researcher's Reflection Space. 3.

  20. Find out how to write an extended essay excellently

    Step 1: Always start with your extended essay requirements. It will help you to narrow things down and take notes to use further in your writing. Step 2: Define your subject and draft your research outline. Submit up to three ideas to determine the best one. Step 3: Create your writing timeline.

  21. US

    Extended Essay & RPPF Exemplars. (Language B) Studies in language and literature: Punk music in the UK. How did the punk movement influence certain aspects of the British culture did in the 20th century? (Language B) Language acquisition: Linguistic Strategies in the United States Presidential Election Debates 2016.

  22. 26 Excellent Extended Essay Examples You Need to See!

    An extended essay is a research paper that students write as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. This type of essay aims to allow students to dig deeply into a topic, and develop their writing skills. The Extended Essay must be between 3,500 and 4,000 words. It is typically written in one of the six subject areas:

  23. Extended Essay: Criterion E: Engagement (Reflection)

    Reflection Two- Interim Stage. This reflection session will usually fall somewhere in the middle to latter half of your EE process, usually before the first draft is completed. Discuss how the research question has become more refined. Comment on any challenges you have encountered & what solutions you have attempted.

  24. IB Business and Management EE examples

    EE Business and Management B. High scoring IB Business and Management Extended Essay examples. See what past students did and make your Business and Management EE perfect by learning from examiner commented examples!