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International Baccalaureate (IB)

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

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

IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?

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

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

What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?

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

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

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

The IB Extended Essay must include the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :

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

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

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What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Write About Something You Enjoy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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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Guide to the IB Extended Essay in 2024

January 24, 2024

IB extended essay, topics, rubric

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.

And if you’re a high school student in the process of mapping out your pathway to college, take a look at a few other useful guides:

  • IB vs AP—Which Classes are Best for College Admission?
  • How to Earn College Credit in High School
  • High School Course Requirements for College Admission
  • SAT Score Calculator
  • ACT Score Calculator 
  • High School Success

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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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extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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

Introduction:

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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.

extended essay word requirement

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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extended essay word requirement

International Baccalaureate/Extended Essay Tips

  • 1.1 Recommendations
  • 1.2.1.1 Essay Competitions
  • 1.3.1 Citing Sources
  • 1.3.2 Organization
  • 1.3.3 IBO Official Guide

Introduction and Getting Started!

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The Extended Essay (EE) is one of the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme. It provides students with an opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of interest to them. It is written on a freely-chosen topic as long as there is a subject teacher in school, as the candidate must have a subject supervisor.

Recommendations

The IBO recommends that candidates spend approximately 40 hours in total on their extended essays, and if you put it off until that last weekend, your work won't be nearly as good as it can be. Talk to your IB school supervisor, as it is his or her job to set internal school deadlines (i.e. choosing a topic, formulating an outline, rough draft, final draft, etc).

Getting Started

  • Firstly, find a topic you're actually interested in, or you'll never work on it.
  • Don't stress. After doing all your research 4,000 words is nothing (your first draft could be 6,000-8,000 words). While the Extended Essay has the potential to make you hate your own topic (as many academic assignments do), an interest in the topic can motivate you to pull through in the end.
  • Many students are appalled at the sheer number of words that this task requires. But by following the guidelines set out for you, you'll quickly realize how hard pressed you will be to contain your work to the limit.
  • Make sure that your focus is somewhat specific, or that you have a specific topic in mind (instead of just a general subject area).
  • Example : Your final essay title should be somewhat similar to the style used in the Internal Assessments for the 20th Century World Issues course - specific and focused with some form of cause and effect. Check the official Extended Essay guidelines for more on this - it offers sample essay titles (along with title choosing advice and essay titles to avoid) for each subject area.
  • If the above example does not apply to you, perhaps ask your IB Coordinator for examples from students past. Many of them keep a record of every essay, mainly to ensure there is no plagiarism.
  • Make sure you stay on top of the work.
  • Look over the guidelines and the explanations.

To get a diploma, you need to complete the TOK Essay and the Extended Essay. At best, you can achieve 3 bonus points towards your IB diploma, so don't ignore your schoolwork, as your courses are worth much more. The point matrix is outlined in the "Diploma Points Matrix for the Extended Essay and TOK" grid in the IBO form. You can still get your diploma if you get a "Mediocre" on one and an "Elementary" on another. NOTE: As of May 2010, an 'Elementary' on both TOK and Extended essay is an automatic fail, but you may still pass with an 'Elementary' on either one, just not both. An 'Elementary' on either is a so called 'failing condition' which requires a minimum 28 points rather than the usual 24 to obtain your diploma.

However, you can make a very good essay, provided you allot yourself enough time to write about something you are interested in. The IBO knows that you are between 16 and 18 years old and thus does not require a perfect essay or a groundbreaking new discovery. They just want to see that you can work on and complete a big project.

Picking a Topic

You'll want to write about a topic or subject you're fairly familiar with. For instance, if you've nailed the process of writing labs, do a science investigation. It'll be just like a big lab write-up, and writing the method, materials, qualitative/quantitative observations are all part of the word count, and take up a significant amount of words.

Essay Competitions

Find out if there are competitions or scholarship opportunities in which you can enter your essay. Why not kill two birds with one stone and head off to university with a scholarship? If you don't win, at least you'll get feedback, something the IBO neglects to give.

Writing a Good Extended Essay

Everyone wants to write a good Extended Essay, but just remember that it's really not as overwhelming as it sounds. Some candidates will find their first drafts are in the 6,000 to 8,000 range, while others will reach about 2800-3500. In fact, keep in mind that 4,000 words is the maximum word count and not where you must get to. While most essays have a word count in the 3,900 range, it is perfectly acceptable to submit an essay that is 3,500 words. While there is no actual minimum word count, you would probably want to write over 3,000 words, since a short essay might imply that the topic was not investigated thoroughly enough. However, some topics - mathematics among them - may require only 2,000 words to fully investigate them.

Citing Sources

Keep legible, consistent and accurate notes that include bibliographic information. There's nothing more annoying than browsing through a 1200 page book looking for where that key quotation came from. Cite your sources in a consistent manner (either in MLA or APA format, or some other recognized format). IBO is very strict with plagiarism, so remember that the text has to be your own and do not forget to make references. You will have to sign an IBO form certifying that your EE is your own, and has no unsourced material in it, before they will even read your essay. Failure to submit an Extended Essay will result in no diploma being awarded.

Use the internet to find information but do include books in your research especially if your essay is not on the Sciences. Be skeptical in your use of the internet. Anyone can post anything, so read with a critical eye. Generally, university and academic websites are good sources to refer to. News sources are generally reliable, but be sure to stay away from "gossip" media which often contorts the truth.

Keep in mind that a general guide line used in many schools is 5 sources minimum for the IA in History, so if you are doing a History paper aim to have as close to ten sources as possible if not more for the EE.

Organization

Once you have researched your topic, you should spend a lot of time structuring and organizing your essay. Make sure your essay has a clear introduction, research question/focus (i.e. what you will be investigating), body, and conclusion. A poorly organized or unclear essay will hurt the assessment of your essay. You should also spend some time making sure that your 300-word abstract is clear and succinct in summarizing your essay. An unclear abstract will make your essay difficult to understand and will also hurt the assessment of your essay.

Although this is stated in the "General Requirements" for the Extended Essay, I feel it is necessary to repeat: if you are doing a paper in a subject not offered at your school, be very careful , especially if doing your paper in World Religions. You might want to either reconsider your choice of topic, or make sure you have several people with good credibility in that topic reading your paper. If you don't, especially in World Religions, you could end up offending your reader, and I promise you, you do not want to do that.

You can do your extended essay on any topic for which an IB class exists - i.e. something like Islamic History, which only about 100 candidates a year write about. However, you cannot do your extended essay in Theory of Knowledge, most pilot subjects and school-based syllabus subjects (check with your IB coordinator). Bear in mind that getting a good score in your extended essay, combined with your score for your Theory of Knowledge essay, may reward you with up to 3 bonus points. So aim high!

IBO Official Guide

The IBO's official guide to writing the Extended Essay can be found here: http://xmltwo.ibo.org/publications/DP/Group0/d_0_eeyyy_gui_1012_1/html/production-app3.ibo.org/publication/258/part/1/chapter/1.html

The above site is quite useful in perusing tips and hints for writing the essay, in addition to viewing the IBO standards for the essay. Note that the above link is for consideration purposes only.

"three: The Ultimate Student's Guide to Acing the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge" by Alexander Zouev - a book full of tips and time savers for IB EE.

extended essay word requirement

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Quintessential Education. IGCSE IB Tuition Specialists

IB Study Tips

April 22, 2022

IB Extended Essay Guide 2022: Deadlines And Requirements

IB 2022 exams are fast approaching. This means that many IB students around the world are already working double time to be able to study enough for the exams, comply with all the IB requirements, and meet all their deadlines. And one of such is the most important IB component that students need to get ready for – their Extended Essay (EE) .

EE is a component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) that students are required to write and submit before a given deadline. It is a structured essay containing no more than 4,000 words on a particular topic chosen by the student, which assesses their research ability and communication skills. The 4000-word essay is then accompanied by a reflection form that should contain a maximum of 500 words.

If you are currently in the process of writing your extended essay, or if you are an upcoming IB student who wishes to understand more about this IB requirement, this article is right for you. Here are some of the most important pieces of information you should know about the 2022 IB EE.

What should your extended essay include?

The extended essay is basically a mini-thesis that you write with the help of and under the supervision of your IB advisor. To begin your EE, you first need to decide on a research question as your topic, conduct independent research, and then write an essay on the findings of your research.

When writing your EE, you should always keep in mind that the IB requires the essays to be a formal academic piece. This means that you need to do outside research, cite sources properly, and follow the writing requirements set by the IB. Here are the parts that your IB EE should include:

  • A page for your title
  • A table of contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • Bibliography and references

When it comes to formatting, your essay should be written in a readable 12-point font with double spacing. Using an easy-to-read font is important, so you can help the examiners read and evaluate your essay more easily. The IB also does not require any specific citation or referencing format, so you can pick whichever system you are comfortable with. Just make sure to follow your chosen citation style consistently throughout your essay.

What is the process for writing your extended essay?

The first step to writing your extended essay is choosing your research topic, which must fall into one of the six approved IB subject groups or categories: Mathematics, Sciences, Language and Acquisition, Studies in Language and Literature, Individuals and Societies, and the Arts.

Once you have already decided on your research topic, you need to come up with a topic proposal and meet with your IB advisor for approval and consultations. As of 2018, the IB already mandates that the EE supervision process of each student should include a “reflection process,” under which you are required to meet with your advisor in “reflection sessions” at least thrice.

According to the IB, the objective of the reflection meetings is to provide students with an opportunity to contemplate their engagement with the research process and to allow the advisors to offer feedback and evaluation of the students’ research process.

At the end of the EE process, a final reflection session called the “viva voce” will then take place. It is a quick 10- to 15-minute interview between the student and the advisor, which will help the latter write a report that will contribute to the student’s EE grade. The things usually covered in a viva voce are a plagiarism check, a reflection on your success and difficulty, and an overview of your learning during the EE process.

How to prepare a topic proposal for your extended essay?

As mentioned, coming up with a topic proposal is one of the first and most important steps in your EE writing process. Your topic proposal will basically provide an overview of what your essay will look like and how you will go about your research process. It is to be submitted to your advisor and a DP coordinator, who will read your proposal and decide on whether your chosen topic can be used for your extended essay.

Before handing in your topic proposal, it is important to consider every aspect of your research topic first to make sure you will obtain the approval of your academic advisor. Here are some of the questions you should ask when preparing your topic proposal:

  • What is your research area, and why have you selected it?
  • What is your research question all about?
  • What is the importance of your topic?
  • What background information do you know about your chosen topic?
  • What research methods will you use, and what processes will you undergo?
  • What primary and secondary sources are you planning to use for your research?
  • Have you found any reading material for your topic already?

What are the deadlines for the EE submission?

Generally, the due dates for the submission of all extended essays this 2022 are on the 15th of March for the May exam session and on the 15th of September for the November session. However, the IB gives schools the freedom to set earlier due dates and internal deadlines for the various stages of producing the EE.

It is basically the schools’ responsibility to make sure all the works of their candidates are received by the IB on or before the submission date. To learn more about the EE submission deadlines, it is best to contact your IB school directly.

The extended essay is one of the most important components of IB that you should really prepare for. This requirement will not only demonstrate your research, communication, and self-management skills, but it will also reflect how much you have learned from your IB journey. To achieve a grade of D or higher on your IB EE, be sure to always follow the requirements and stick to the deadlines set by the IB and your school.

If the upcoming IB exams (particularly the hard ones like math and chemistry) are stressing you out, do not hesitate to seek the help of an IB maths tutor now. Here at QE, we have expert and experienced IGCSE and IB maths tutors in Singapore who will help you improve your study schedule and prepare better for the upcoming IB exams. To find out more about our reliable programs or tuition classes, get in touch with any of our educators and advisers today.

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Extended Essay: Presentation Requirements

  • 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 Format the Extended Essay

Dollar sign in snake font - Britannica ImageQuest

Font and spacing

Use a readable 12-point font and double spacing. You will be helping your examiners read and assess your essay on-screen.

Referencing and citations

The IB does not specify what referencing/citation format you should use. Whichever system you choose, make sure that you follow it consistently. Check, too, that it meets the minimum requirements for acknowledging both written and electronic sources expected by the IB. See the IB publication:

extended essay word requirement

What Should Be on the Title Page?

St. Louis, Missouri; November, 1948, President Harry Truman - Britannica ImageQuest

The title page should include only the following information:

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

​ Distinguishing Between the Title and the Research Question

Your extended essay can have a title  and  a research question.  The research question is required on the cover page, while the title is optional. 

  • The  title  is a clear, focused summative statement of the research which gives the reader an indication of the research topic. It should  not  be phrased as a research question.
  • The  research question  indicates the specific topic of research and must be phrased as a question.

What should NOT be on the  first page/title page of your EE?

The title page should NOT include only the following information:

  • the  school's name
  • your  IB candidate number
  • any identifying pieces of information (on the title page, or any other section of the essay, such as headers or footers)

Question mark - Britannica ImageQuest

When work is uploaded, the IB tags each document with the student's digital profiles so personal details like your name, your school, and your candidate number are not required.   Very important:  to make sure that IB assessment is unbiased and fair, IB does not give your name to examiners, so there should be nothing that could identify you in the essay itself.

Which Would Be Better to Send to IB?

Compare and contrast:  which would be better to send to IB?

Submitting a paper in the recommended format will set a serious tone. Take a look at the example text below formatted in two drastically different fonts. Notice the difference in tone and mood—which format would be easier for the examiner to read, assess and comment on?

 Example A (12 point, Arial, double-spaced)

Example B (9 point, Comic Sans, single-spaced)

Presentation Requirements of the EE

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Required Elements of the Extended Essay

extended essay word requirement

  • << Previous: Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Next: Reflection >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 2, 2024 1:39 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.westsoundacademy.org/ee

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Extended Essay: Criteria D - Check your Formatting

  • Introduction to the EE
  • Step 1 - Choose a subject
  • World Studies
  • Step 3 - The Researchers Reflection Space
  • Identify Sources
  • Tools for Note Taking
  • Video Guides
  • Step 5 - Creating Research Questions
  • Step 6 - Outlines and Plans
  • Step 7 - Citing
  • Criteria E - 3 Reflections
  • Know Your Criteria
  • Criteria D - Check your Formatting
  • 4000 words final hand in

Why it is important

Criteria D is giveaway marks time - You get 4 marks for just formatting and citing properly. Do not lose any of these marks for simple errors.

No Abstract required

PLEASE NOTE

3 years ago the syllabus changed. You must not put an abstract in your Extended Essay. If you do you will lose many marks.

a) because it will show your lack of engagement

b) it will use up 300 words at the beginning of the essay. Therefore your conclusion will not be read.

Use only the latest criteria!!! DO NOT WRITE AN ABSTRACT

There are a number of checklists that you can use to ensure that you max out for Criteria D.

1) This is one that I recommend and is in a google doc format -    the checklist.

2) The one below (which you can download here as a pdf ) is taken from the excellent EE course companion by Kota Lekanides that is found in all of your AG classes.

extended essay word requirement

There is also a fantastic check list in the book that you have in your AG classes. It is Simply called Extended Essay by Paul Hoang. 

extended essay word requirement

What you need to do

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.

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. 

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

Note for Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese Essays -  Clarification of word counts in Chinese for EEs. When typing in Chinese, word-processing software is likely to include the number of characters along with punctuation. Teachers and students are asked not to include punctuation in the word count for assessed work. The word count should only take into account the number of characters typed. (IBO Feb 2023)

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

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

extended essay word requirement

source: ibo.org

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.

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Extended Essay: Formatting your EE

Introduction.

  • Finding a Topic
  • Subject Guidance & Proposal Forms
  • Academic Sources of Information
  • Formatting your EE
  • Reflections
  • IB Resources for Students
  • Citations and Referencing - IB REQUIREMENTS
  • In-Text Citations
  • Further information on Citations Styles
  • Researcher's Spaces
  • Ms Sally's Presentations

PLEASE NOTE

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

extended essay word requirement

All essays must follow this format:

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

Table of Contents

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

References and Bibliography

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

Body of the Essay

The body of the essay must:

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

Your conclusion must be:

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

Your References and Bibliography must follow this format:

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

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

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

This page sets out the main requirement of the Extended Essay since 2018. It includes links the IB assessment page and student speak interpretations of the generic extended essay guide set out alongside the geography-specific guide.The following page links you to the IB Extended essay page where you can find the latest documentation that will guide you through the Extended Essay process.Assessment Criteria:

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Extended Essay Requirements Updates for the Years 2024/2025

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  • Writing Metier

The main idea behind the IB extended essay is to promote research and writing skills. While students can choose the research topic themselves, they have to be in touch with a supervisor who guides them throughout. There are many other aspects and criteria for the IB extended essay that students have to follow. We have collected all those key moments you should focus on in this article.

The IB extended essay is an in-depth study of a particular research topic. The student needs to pick up an IB EE topic based on what they are good at or what they have ample knowledge about ad then they can begin working on it.

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We have selected the main features of International Baccalaureate extended essays in one article. Below you will find a list of main requirements for the extended essay format . Let’s start with key features.

Key features of Extended essay

  • For all the students taking the Diploma Program, this extended essay is a must. However, for course students, it is optional.
  • Students need to have a D grade at the very least to be awarded the diploma.
  • The essay is a combination of theory and knowledge, and it contributes up to three points to the total score in the IB diploma.
  • Before students choose a subject for the extended essay , they need to first look at the list of available subjects published in the Diploma Program Assessment procedures for the session in question.
  • The maximum word count for the extended essay is 4000 words . A reflection form also has to be submitted, which has to be around 500 words. The approximate time for writing an extended essay is 40-50 hours
  • The supervision process for this is around 2 to 5 hours, in which there are three mandatory sessions as well. In the final session, the supervisor conducts an interview with the student as well.
  • A bibliography also has to be there right at the end, where students reference all of the sources that they have used for the essay. They have to use an acknowledge reference style like Harvard or APA referencing . The sources that they use need to be very reliable ones.

Aims of the Extended essay

The main aim of the extended essay is to allow students to develop sound research skills, which is something that is very important for their entire lives.

  • They need also to develop communication skills.
  • This essay allows them to polish their analytical skills as well since they have to explore a certain topic in a lot of detail.
  • They learn how to conduct research using a systematic process that begins with an initial literature search first that helps build background right at the start.
  • Students become more intelligent as well when they study a topic in so much detail.

Extended essay rubric

Let’s break down the Extended Essay Rubric in a more conversational style:

Focus and Method [6 points]

This is about how clear and well-defined your topic and research question are. It also considers if your chosen methods for exploring this topic are suitable. In short, are you on point and does your approach make sense?

Knowledge and Understanding [6 points]

Here, the focus is on your grasp of the topic. Do you show a good understanding of the theories and concepts related to it? Think of it as showing that you’ve done your homework on the topic.

Critical Thinking [12 points]

This is a biggie. It’s about how well you analyse, evaluate, and create arguments in your essay. It’s not just about presenting facts, but how you engage with them.

Presentation [4 points]

This one’s about the formal stuff. Is your essay well-structured and neatly organized? Are your citations accurate? It’s about making sure your essay is well-packaged and follows all the required guidelines.

Engagement [6 points]

This is all about your personal connection to the topic and the research process. Did you bring something of yourself to the essay? They want to see your personal touch.

Remember, the official IB Extended Essay guide will give you a much more detailed breakdown, so it’s definitely worth a look for all the nitty-gritty details

Main duties of IB student

ib ee grading

  • Students must make sure that they are first fully aware of the regulations outlined in the Diploma Program Assessment procedures so that they can comply with those.
  • They have to make sure that there is academic honesty and integrity when they are working. They cannot use anyone else’s work when doing their essay.
  • Students need to choose a topic that they are enthusiastic about. They need to spend a considerable amount of time doing this research, so they need to make sure that the topic that they choose is one on which they have information to work on.
  • Students need to make sure that they are mindful of the deadline when working so that they don’t lose out on marks. Otherwise, they will need to search for options if they fail their IB extended essay .
  • Every student needs to make sure that they have a supervisor who guides them throughout so that they know what exactly they have to do throughout the process.
  • Students need to make sure that they complete the reflection process as well so that they know what exactly they are doing and how they are supposed to complete it.
  • Students can also go through several exemplars so that they know what needs to be done and how they can work to score higher.
  • The supervisor needs to make sure that they guide students and provide them with all the help that they need to complete their research.

EE grading criteria

Again, it’s crucial to refer to the official IB Extended Essay guide for a complete understanding of the grading process. But this gives you a general idea of the grading scale and what each grade signifies.

Ready to write an extended essay?

With all of these things in mind, students can surely complete their extended essays in the right way and in due time. The extended essay allows students to polish their writing skills and explore their creativity in the best way as well.

If you want to write a good IB EE, you can also check our article on how to write an extended essay with tips and tricks. Enjoy reading 😉

Students should use this to their benefit and make sure that they showcase their skills when working on the extended essay.

Should you need any assistance with writing your IB extended essay, feel free to contact our experts EE writers . They can help you complete any type of extended essay no matter the topic you have chosen.

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Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and how modern technology makes it more accessible. He wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities as an educational specialist. When Vasy is not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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Students across the world always find themselves trying to understand how IB extended essays work because, let’s face it, understanding it can get a little tricky. And that isn’t the case with just the IB EE (International Baccalaureate extended essay); it goes for all academic assignments. But with EE, your International Baccalaureate Diploma depends on it. And what is this extended essay for IB Diploma, you ask?

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Extended Essay Requirements: Everything to Cover This Year

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by  Antony W

October 28, 2023

Extended Essay Abstract

Have you read the Extended Essay assessment criteria but find them somewhat confusing? You’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore the extended essay requirements and give you some tips that you can use to make the writing process less stressful from start to finish.

The extended essay assignment gives you a taste of academic freedom by allowing you to decide what to write and how to write it.

By choosing a topic that interests you, or an area you find interesting to explore, you’ll find the process of writing an extended essay not only easy but also enjoyable.

Because writing the essay helps you to develop the writing skills necessary to write academic assignments when you join college or university, it’s important to understand the EE requirement first before you start writing.

Key Takeaways

  • Your essay must not exceed the intended word count. 
  • IB requires you to do your project based on a strict format. 
  • Your EE's topic should fall within one of the subjects approved by IB. 
  • Ensure you attend all the reflection sessions, as they contribute to your final grades. 

So you don't have enough time left to complete your EE project? You can hire the writing service of the team at Help for Assessment to get the task completed in good time. 

Extended Essay Requirements: 4 Most Important Rules to Observe

Every student wishes to score high marks for their extended essays, but only a few ever manage to score 34.

It’s not that IB EE is difficult to write. It’s only that they don’t pay close attention to the requirements of the essay.

Our goal at Help for Assessment is to help you succeed in IB by guiding you as much as we can so you can score top marks for your EE. If you can’t do your best to score a 34, aim for a 25 or a 29.

To make sure you’re on the right track from start to finish, here are some extended essay requirements that you need to take seriously:

1. Pay Attention to the Set EE Word Count

The IB program gives you the liberty to write an Extended Essay on the topic of your choosing. However, it does put a cap on how much you can, even if you find the topic a lot more interesting than you initially did.

As an assignment that requires independent research and compilation of your findings, the Extended Essay should be at most 4,000 words long . Keep in mind that 4,000 is the set maximum and any additional word can cost you some marks.

You might find yourself with more words as you write your first draft, and that’s completely fine. You should come back to your work later and edit to bring the length down to 4,000 words at least.

Some students think that their extended essays have to hit the exact word limit set by IB. That’s not often the case. It’s important to understand that 4,000 is the maximum number of words you can write in an EE, not the exact target.

That means you can write an EE that’s 2,500 words long and do just fine. However, for clarity and comprehensiveness’s safe, we do suggest that you make your essay at least 3,500 words long.

2. Make Sure Your EE Reflects the Right Format

You can have the best ideas for your extended essay assignment, but you will fail if you don’t use the proper format recommended by IB.

Take your time to prepare your outline, and make sure you include all the relevant sections before you start writing.

Your extended essay should have:

  • A title page
  • Contents page
  • An introduction
  • The body section
  • A conclusion
  • References and bibliography

You will notice that we haven’t included an abstract in the outline. That’s because IB no longer requires you to write a 300 words summary of the essay anymore.

You can read more about EE abstract here to learn why it’s no longer necessary and what you should do instead.

3. Your EE Must Be On Topics That Fall into IB Approved Categories

Just because you can write an EE on any topic doesn’t mean you have the freedom to write on anything really. IB does put limitation on the extent to which you can go when it comes to choosing a topic to write.

In other words, your EE can be on any topic provided it falls into one of the six subject groups approved by the IB. The subject groups we’re talking about 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

As you can see, you do have quite some options when it comes to topic selection. All you have to do is to identify a subject category and then explore as many topics as possible to choose one that you can easily work on.

4. You Must Attend Reflection Sessions

In 2018, IB added a reflection process as part of the extended essay assignment with the intention to ensure every student do the best possible to score high grades. It’s important to note that reflection process is mandatory and will reflect in your final grades.

The rule of the reflection process is simple. You have to meet with your supervisor three times to discuss your extended essay.

During these meetings, you and your supervisor will discuss your engagement with your research process.

By helping to reflect on the elements that matter the most, your supervisor can give you feedback that not only help you to think differently but also encourage you to reevaluate your research process.

The final meeting with your supervisor is the viva voice. It’s usually 10 to 15 minutes long and takes place in the final state of the extended essay.

During the viva voice, your supervisor will focus on plagiarism and malpractice, reflect on your success and failures, and stress on what you’ve learned throughout the process. Also, it’s here that your supervisor writes a report about your essay, which will reflect in your grade.

Final Thoughts on Extended Essay Requirements

As you can see, these extended essay requirements are so simple that’s easy to overlook them.

However, we do suggest that you pay close attention to these so that you have an easy time working on your assignment right from the first day all the way to the end.

About the author 

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

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  • How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

The International Baccalaureate Extended Essay is a challenging, independent research project that allows students to explore a topic of their choice within the context of one of the six available subject areas. This essay provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and understanding on an individual topic, and to develop their critical and independent thinking skills.

Extended essays are an essential part of the IB Diploma, since they allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding on a certain topic. Students must be aware of the criteria and guidelines for each subject before starting their research and writing.

  • The main components of an IB Extended Essay are:
  • Formulating a research question
  • Gathering evidence from reliable sources
  • Organizing evidence into a coherent argument
  • Drawing conclusions based on facts
  • Presenting the essay in a structural format

Students should also be aware of the assessment criteria which will be used to grade their work. This includes criteria such as focus and purpose, organization and structure, as well as content, referencing and accuracy.

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How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

Overview of Requirements for Extended Essays

Writing an International Baccalaureate Extended Essay can be a daunting task. This essay is an important part of the IB Diploma Program and can have a significant impact on your overall score. To help you succeed, it’s important to understand the requirements for a successful Extended Essay.

There are certain guidelines and criteria that you must adhere to in order to successfully complete your essay. The most important guideline is the word count limit, which states that the essay should be between 1500 and 4000 words. This includes all text, headings and citations.

It is also important to structure your essay correctly. The essay should include a title page, an introduction and a conclusion, as well as two to four body sections describing and analyzing the topic you’re writing about. Each body section should contain evidence from at least two sources, such as scholarly articles, books or official websites.

When writing the essay, it is important to present your arguments clearly and concisely. Break up your text with headings that clearly identify each section. Additionally, use good grammar, short sentences and paragraphs – no longer than three to five lines.

Last but not least, make sure to cite all sources used accurately and consistently. While MLA format is generally preferred, it is also important to check with your teacher which citation style they prefer.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Extended Essay meets the requirements and stands out from the crowd. Good luck!

Word Count:

An IB Extended Essay should have a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 4,000 words. It is important to stay within the specified word count , as going over the limit can lead to lower grades.

When writing your extended essay, it is important to make sure that each paragraph is well structured and contains only relevant information. Each paragraph should be around 200-300 words in length, and include evidence from reliable sources.

It is also important to keep track of your word count throughout the writing process. This way you can make sure you are not exceeding the limit or leaving out any key points.

Finally, when you have finished writing, make sure to read through your essay one more time and edit it for typos, grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. This will help to ensure that your essay is being assessed according to the correct criteria.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your IB Extended Essay meets the specified word limit and has a clear structure which allows it to be easily understood by readers.

Paragraph Length and Word Count

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be a challenging and complex task. One of the main components is the word count. It is crucial to understand why word count matters, and how long paragraphs should be in order for your essay to be successful.

Word count is necessary because it allows you to stay organized and plan out your ideas. If paragraphs are too short or too long, readers may lose focus and not understand your argument properly. Additionally, having too many short paragraphs can make your essay appear disorganized, while having too many long paragraphs can make it tedious and difficult to read.

The ideal paragraph length is around 5-7 sentences. This will help keep the reader’s attention and provide enough detail to explain your point. However, the length of each paragraph may vary depending on the content, so use your best judgement. Also, make sure that all of your paragraphs are related to the topic, focus on one main idea, and have a clear conclusion.

In conclusion, when writing an IB Extended Essay, it is important to understand why word count matters and how long paragraphs should be. Aim to have paragraphs of around 5-7 sentences, and make sure they are related to each other, focus on one main idea, and have a clear conclusion.

Research for an IB Extended Essay

Conducting research for your IB Extended Essay is a key component of the writing process. The essay should include around 8-12 sources, and they can be either primary or secondary sources. Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event or topic, while secondary sources are accounts written by someone who is not directly involved.

When selecting sources, make sure they are credible and up to date. Consider sources such as academic journals, books, websites, newspaper articles and other reliable sources. Your sources should be balanced, so include a variety of perspectives on your topic.

When citing sources, use the citation format required by your school and the IB. Making sure to cite your sources will help you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious offense that can cost you points on your final grade.

Once you’ve found some good sources, it’s important to use them effectively. Distinguish between facts and opinions in the sources, and ensure that you are using enough evidence to support your thesis. In addition, don’t forget to cross check and verify any claims made in the sources.

Overall, the research process for an IB Extended Essay requires time and effort, but following these tips will help you find the sources that best fit your topic.

Structure of an IB Extended Essay

An IB Extended Essay requires a clear structure for it to be successful and achieve the highest grades. In order to effectively outline the structure of your extended essay, you need to understand what is expected from each component.

The standard structure for an IB Extended Essay comprises four components – introduction, body, conclusion, and bibliography. Each component is important and must be included in the essay.

Introduction

The introduction should provide an overview of the topic and the main argument or thesis statement. It should also introduce the research question and explain any background context or definitions that are relevant.

The body of your extended essay needs to be structured according to your research question. This can vary depending on the focus of your essay, but generally you will use evidence to back up your arguments and assertions throughout the body. Make sure you cite all sources you use in the text in order to avoid any issues with plagiarism.

The conclusion should summarise your findings and provide a brief explanation of the implications of the research. You should also discuss how your essay has addressed the research question and wrap up any loose ends.

Bibliography

The bibliography is the final component of your extended essay and should include full citations for all sources used in the body and conclusion. Make sure you follow the guidelines of your citation style (e.g. Harvard) when listing the sources.

By outlining the structure of your essay, you’ll ensure that it flows logically and can be easily understood by readers. This will help you make sure that your essay is effective and achieves the highest possible grade.

Time Management for IB Extended Essay Writing

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be an intimidating endeavor, but with the right planning and organization, students can effectively manage their time and produce a quality essay. Creating a timeline, setting deadlines, and following a structure are key components of writing a successful extended essay.

Setting a Timeline & Deadlines

Creating a timeline for completing your essay is critical for staying on track and meeting deadlines. Start by determining how much time you need to do the research, write, and proofread your essay. Break it down into smaller chunks of time so that you can focus on one task at a time. Set realistic deadlines that you can meet and document them somewhere you can reference them.

Staying Within the Word Limit One of the main requirements of the IB Extended Essay is that it must be within a certain word limit. This limit is between 1,500 and 4,000 words depending on the subject you choose. To ensure that you stay within the word limit, you should refer back to the limit regularly and adjust your essay accordingly.

Structuring & organizing.

Structuring your essay in advance gives you a blueprint for the essay which should help you avoid getting off track and make sure that each of the necessary components is included. A good essay should include an introduction, a body with multiple paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be mindful to use topic sentences, transitions, and other writing techniques to organize your thoughts effectively.

Proofreading & Editing

  • Allow sufficient time to proofread and edit your essay.
  • Reread your essay several times and make revisions as necessary.
  • Make sure that your essay is organized and flows well.
  • Look for typos, incorrect grammar, punctuation errors, and awkward phrasing.
  • Ensure that all sources are correctly cited.

Completing an IB Extended Essay on time is possible with careful planning and organization. Establishing a timeline, setting deadlines, and organizing your work are essential steps in writing a successful extended essay.

Resources to Help Structure and Write Extended Essays

Writing an extended essay can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available online to help you get started.

Using a template can be a great way to ensure that your extended essay follows the IB standards. Templates provide structure to an extended essay, making it easier for students to organize their thoughts. Many websites offer a variety of templates for extended essays, which can be edited to suit the specific requirements of your essay.

Sample Essays

An excellent way for students to learn about the structure and writing process of an extended essay is by reading sample essays. These essays can provide invaluable insight on the expectations of a quality extended essay. By reading samples written by peers, or viewing examples from international baccalaureate assessment sites, students can get an idea of what a successful extended essay looks like.

Mentorship can be invaluable when it comes to completing an extended essay. Organizations like the International Baccalaureate have advisors that can provide help and guidance on the structure of your essay. Additionally, depending on your school, you may have access to teachers or peers who have already completed the extended essay, and who can share their experiences and ideas.

Writing an extended essay can be a daunting task, but with the right resources and support, it can become a rewarding experience. By using templates, reading sample essays, and seeking mentorship, students can develop a successful extended essay that meets the IB standards.

Technical Considerations

Writing an IB Extended Essay is a task that requires precision and accuracy. It is critical to not just be aware of the requirements for your particular topic and school, but also to pay attention to technical details. This includes proofreading, formatting, and plagiarism awareness.

Proofreading

Proofreading is the process of reading and correcting errors in written work. It is important to carefully review all writing for mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. It is helpful to read your essay out loud to check for awkward phrasing or run-on sentences. Additionally, it is important to have someone else look over your essay and provide feedback.

Formatting plays an essential role in any extended essay. Every school has different specifications regarding font size, alignment, layout, and page number placement. It is important to check the instructions and adhere to the approved format. Additionally, it is beneficial to double-check that all elements such as hyperlinks and images are placed properly.

Plagiarism Awareness

Plagiarism is a serious issue, and can have serious consequences if found in an IB Extended Essay. It is essential to give credit to any sources used, and ensure that all quotes are indicated with quotation marks. Additionally, it is important to paraphrase information instead of copying word-for-word. If unsure, it is best to check with your school to make sure that your essay is free from plagiarism.

By paying close attention to technical details such as proofreading, formatting, and plagiarism awareness, you can ensure that your extended essay is professional and accurate. As a result, you will be well on your way to achieving a high score!

Grading Criteria for an IB Extended Essay

When it comes to writing an IB extended essay, it is important to remember that it is not just about how much you write, but how well you write. Your extended essay will be graded based on various criteria, and your grade will depend on how well you meet these criteria.

Below are the key components of an extended essay that graders look for:

  • Organization: Does the essay have a clear structure and logical flow?
  • Content: Does the essay have sufficient evidence or research to support its argument?
  • Style: Is the essay written in a formal and academic tone?
  • Language: Is the essay free from spelling and grammar mistakes?
  • Punctuation: Does the essay use punctuation correctly?
  • Formatting: Is the essay formatted correctly in accordance with the requirements?

Remember that meeting these criteria is essential for passing your extended essay. In addition to being aware of the grading criteria, it is also important to make sure that you proofread your essay multiple times and cite all sources correctly to avoid plagiarism issues.

By following these tips and understanding the grading criteria, you can rest assured that your extended essay will get the grade you deserve!

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be a daunting task. You need to understand the requirements of the paper and make sure you meet the criteria in order to get a good grade. Luckily, you now have all the information you need to start writing your essay!

The most important points to remember are that an IB Extended Essay must have a minimum of 1500 and a maximum of 4000 words, must include research from at least 8 sources, must have a clear structure, and should be proofread and formatted correctly. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you manage your time well and stay within the word limit.

To help you with your essay, there are several resources available online such as templates and sample essays. By understanding the grading criteria, you’ll know exactly what you need to focus on in order to achieve a good grade.

We hope this guide has been informative in helping you write the best IB Extended Essay possible. Good luck, and don’t forget to get help if you need it

  • Last Edit 11 May 2023

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's " Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization ," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

📚🔍 Explore a Wide Range of IB Extended Essay Topics! 🔍📚

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ib ia rubric

IB Internal Assessment Rubric and Grading Criteria

The IB IA rubric is carefully structured to assess students’ understanding, skills and application of subject matter in a nuanced and comprehensive manner. Each subject rubric, whether for sciences such as Biology and Chemistry, humanities such as History and Psychology, or Mathematics, emphasizes a unique set of criteria tailored to assess specific competencies and skills.

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Visual Arts IA Topics: The Best Topic Ideas

In the vast world of art, the possibilities for your IA topic are nearly limitless. Yet, this abundance of choice can sometimes feel overwhelming. Whether you’re drawn to traditional painting techniques, the avant-garde movements of the 20th century, or the intersection of digital media and art, your chosen topic should ignite a spark of curiosity and passion within you.

extended essay word requirement

Theatre IA Topics: SL and HL Topic Ideas

Choosing the right topic for IA in the IB Theatre course is a crucial step that significantly influences your research process and overall learning experience. Whether in the Standard Level or Higher Level track, selecting your topic requires careful thought and consideration, aiming to balance personal interest with academic rigor. This guide offers a rich array of topic ideas and research questions to spark your creativity and intellectual curiosity in the vast world of theatre.

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Music IA Topics for SL and HL Students

When selecting a topic for your IB Music Internal Assessment, both SL and HL students face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. As a seasoned IB educator with years of experience guiding students through this process, I’ve come to recognize the importance of choosing a topic that aligns with the IB criteria and resonates with your musical interests and strengths.

Film IA Topics

Film IA Topics: SL and HL Topic Ideas

Choosing a topic for your IB Film Internal Assessment (IA) can be exciting and daunting. Whether you’re enrolled in the Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL), the key is to select an option that not only intrigues you but also meets the criteria of the IB Film course. In this article, we dig into a variety of creative and thought-provoking ideas for both SL and HL Film IA topics.

IB Dance IA

IB Dance IA Topics: SL and HL Ideas

When it comes to the IB Dance Internal Assessment (IA), students face the exciting challenge of exploring a topic that resonates with their interests and meets the academic rigor of the IB curriculum. I’ve seen how choosing the right topic can set the stage for an enriching learning experience. In this article, I’m thrilled to share some engaging topic ideas for both SL and HL students aimed at sparking creativity and intellectual curiosity.

extended essay word requirement

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Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

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

The Assessment Crtiteria in Detail!

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

extended essay word requirement

  • Criterion C: Critical thinking

Notes from the IB

RE: Research Question and Title of Extended Essay

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

Hi Kathy, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Citation in Thai [English translation]

Works Cited Example:

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

Format of the Extended Essay

Required Formatting

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

To help achieve this, the following formatting is  required:

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

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

Required S tructure

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

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

Six required elements of the extended essay:

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

1. Required Title Page  

The title page should include  only  the following information: 

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

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

extended essay word requirement

2. Required Contents Page

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

3. Required Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Required Conclusion

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

6.  Required References & Bibliography

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

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

Extended Essay - Examples & Exemplars

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

Past CIS Extended Essays

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

extended essay word requirement

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ExtendedEssayWriters

Extended Essay Writers

extended essay blog

IB Extended Essay Word Count: How to Succeed and Exceed Expectations?

extended essay word count

Luke MacQuoid

The IB Extended Essay is the pinnacle of academic writing for students pursuing the IB Diploma Progeame. This research-based essay requires students to dive deep into a topic of their choice and present a well-developed argument. However, there is one essential aspect of the essay that students must master: meeting the IB EE word count requirement.

So, Extended essay word count is what I will focus on in this read.

How Many Words is the Extended Essay?

The IB Extended Essay word count requirement is 4000 words, including the abstract, main body, footnotes, and quotations. It is a vital aspect of the essay because it is a testament to a student’s research, analytical, and writing skills. 

As stated previously, the extended essay maximum word count of 4000 words is typically divided into several sections, each with a recommended number of words. 

The approximate word limit for each section of IB extended essay may vary depending on the subject area , research question, and approach taken by the student. However, the following is a general breakdown of the recommended word count for each section:

  • Title page and abstract – 300 words
  • Introduction – 300-500 words
  • Main body – 2,500-3,000 words
  • Conclusion – 200-400 words
  • References and bibliography – 100-300 words

It is important to note that the word count for each section is not set in stone, and students should use their own judgment to determine how much space each part of their essay requires. 

What counts towards your word count in IB extended essay is explained in the video above:

What is the Minimum Word Count for Extended essay?

Extended essay minimum word count is 3,500 words. This includes the main body of the essay but does not include the abstract, contents page, bibliography, or any appendices. 

However, it is important to note that meeting the minimum word count is not necessarily sufficient to produce a high-quality Extended Essay. Therefore, students should strive to meet the full 4,000-word requirement in order to fully develop their research and analysis and write a comprehensive essay .

The most critical aspect of the essay is to produce a well-researched, well-argued, and well-written piece that addresses the research question in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

What if I Fail IB Extended Essay Word Limit?

Crafting an IB Extended Essay is like building a house – every brick counts towards the final result. However, failing to meet the minimum word count requirement of 3,500 words can act like a wrecking ball to your efforts. It can lead to a heartbreaking disqualification, leaving your essay collecting dust on the shelf instead of being awarded a well-deserved grade .

On the other hand, exceeding the 4,000-word limit can have consequences as well. Like a gatekeeper standing at the word limit threshold, the examiner may stop reading your essay at 4,000 words and not consider any content that spills over the limit. This can be a crushing blow if critical information is tucked away in that portion, rendering it invisible in the grading process.

Therefore, it’s crucial to find a balance and use the right amount of words to paint a clear and concise picture of your research, analysis, and ideas. Remember, the goal of the Extended essay is not to write as many words as possible, but to demonstrate your research and writing skills and present a compelling argument. 

ib ee word limit

So, take care to plan your essay carefully, express your thoughts effectively, and adhere to the word count guidelines to ensure your essay is a strong and successful one.

How Can IB Students Meet the Extended Essay Word Count?

Students need to plan and organize their essay to meet the word count requirement. Therefore, starting early is essential to give oneself enough time to research, draft, and revise the essay. 

Creating an outline is another important step, ensuring that the essay covers all relevant aspects of the topic. 

Using concise and relevant writing is also crucial to keep the essay focused and on track. This will help students avoid using unnecessary jargon or repetitive phrases that can bloat the essay and cause it to exceed the word count limit. 

Lastly, peer review and editing are essential to help students identify areas that need improvement and ensure that the essay meets the word count.

Common Mistakes Leading to Failure

While meeting the word count is critical, students need to avoid common mistakes that can lead to falling short or exceeding the word limit. Repetitive writing is one of these mistakes that students make when they use the same phrases or expressions multiple times. 

Irrelevant information is another mistake to avoid because it does not add value to the essay and can cause it to exceed the word count. Strike a balance between depth and breadth of analysis and ensure that the essay provides enough detail to support your arguments without going off-topic .

The Extended Essay can be a daunting task for any IB student. With so many criteria to meet and a strict word count limit, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost in the process. But lucky you! ExtendedEssayWriters.com is here to guide you through and help you craft an essay that shines bright like a diamond.

Our team of writers is not only knowledgeable in the IB curriculum, but also passionate about helping students achieve their academic goals. We understand that every student is unique, and we work closely with you to tailor our services to fit your individual needs. So whether you need help brainstorming ideas, researching, or simply adhering to the word count guidelines, we’ve got you covered.

extended essay word requirement

Need help with your IB EE?

You can also use our extended essay writers team’s services if you need assistance selecting a topic. Furthermore, we can also help you write your IB extended essay from scratch or edit your draft following the IB criteria.

We take pride in providing high-quality and well-researched extended essays that meet all the necessary criteria, while still showcasing your own unique style and voice. 

With our help from ExtendedcEssaycWriters, you can submit an essay that not only meets the word limit and criteria but also stands out from the rest. Let’s help you take the stress out of the Extended essay and make the journey a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Now You Are Ready to Follow the IB EE Word Count

Hence, the IB Extended Essay word count requirement is an essential aspect of the essay that students must master. Effective planning and organization, using concise and relevant writing, and avoiding common mistakes are the keys to meeting the word limit requirement. 

By mastering the word count, students can produce an essay that demonstrates their research and analytical skills, making it a valuable contribution to their academic studies.

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Luke MacQuoid has extensive experience teaching English as a foreign language in Japan, having worked with students of all ages for over 12 years. Currently, he is teaching at the tertiary level. Luke holds a BA from the University of Sussex and an MA in TESOL from Lancaster University, both located in England. As well to his work as an IB Examiner and Master Tutor, Luke also enjoys sharing his experiences and insights with others through writing articles for various websites, including extendedessaywriters.com blog

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write an Extended Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

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  2. Extended Essay Structure Guide

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  3. What is an Extended Essay? Requirements, Subjects, Reflections

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  5. FREE 8+ Extended Essay Samples in MS Word

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  6. Extended Essay

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  1. 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.

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

    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.

  3. PDF A Student Guide To Writing the Extended Essay

    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 ... Though only three meetings with your supervisor are required, see them regularly to discuss your progress or any questions you may have. 3.

  4. Guide to the IB Extended Essay in 2024

    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.

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

    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 ...

  6. Extended Essay: Extended Essay- The Basics

    The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. What is the significance of the extended essay? The extended essay provides: practical preparation for undergraduate research

  7. PDF 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.

  8. PDF Diploma Programme Subject Brief

    In addition, three core elements—the extended essay, theory of knowledge, and creativi-ty, activity, service—are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the programme. These DP subject briefs illustrate four key course components. I. Course description and aims II. Overview of the extended essay process.

  9. International Baccalaureate/Extended Essay Tips

    The Extended Essay (EE) is one of the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme. It provides students with an opportunity to conduct independent research on a topic of interest to them. ... After doing all your research 4,000 words is nothing (your first draft could be 6,000-8,000 words). While the Extended Essay has the potential to make you ...

  10. IB Extended Essay Guide 2022: Deadlines And Requirements

    The 4000-word essay is then accompanied by a reflection form that should contain a maximum of 500 words. If you are currently in the process of writing your extended essay, or if you are an upcoming IB student who wishes to understand more about this IB requirement, this article is right for you.

  11. PDF Extended essay guide

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

  12. Extended Essay: Presentation Requirements

    the word count (required) the subject for which the essay is registered (required) if it is a language essay it should also state which category it falls into; if it is a world studies essay it should also state the theme and the two subjects utilized Distinguishing Between the Title and the Research Question. Your extended essay can have a ...

  13. LibGuides: Extended Essay: Criteria D

    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. ... The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that ...

  14. LibGuides: Extended Essay: Formatting your EE

    All essays must follow this format: Labelled "Table of Contents" in 12-point, readable font (Arial is recommended) Headings and page numbers for required components of the essay include: Introduction. Body of the essay: Headings and subheadings within the body of the essay may be included. Conclusion.

  15. What is an Extended Essay? Requirements, Subjects, Reflections

    As an obligatory requirement for all IB students, the Extended Essay necessitates a demonstration of your expertise in the chosen field beyond what you've learned in the classroom. ... Present your findings in a well-structured essay of approximately 4,000 words. Considering that the Extended Essay is a formal piece of writing, it is ...

  16. DP Geography: Extended Essay

    This page sets out the main requirement of the Extended Essay since 2018. It includes links the IB assessment page and student speak interpretations of the generic extended essay guide set out alongside the geography-specific guide.The following page links you to the IB Extended essay page where you can find the latest documentation that will guide you through the Extended Essay process ...

  17. Extended Essay Requirements For The Years 2024/2025

    The maximum word count for the extended essay is 4000 words. A reflection form also has to be submitted, which has to be around 500 words. The approximate time for writing an extended essay is 40-50 hours. The supervision process for this is around 2 to 5 hours, in which there are three mandatory sessions as well.

  18. Extended Essay Requirements: Everything to Cover This Year

    If you can't do your best to score a 34, aim for a 25 or a 29. To make sure you're on the right track from start to finish, here are some extended essay requirements that you need to take seriously: 1. Pay Attention to the Set EE Word Count. The IB program gives you the liberty to write an Extended Essay on the topic of your choosing.

  19. PDF Student Guide to the Extended Essay

    Extended Essay, a compulsory requirement of the IB Diploma Programme Core, is an independent research-based essay of maximum 4,000 words written under the guidance of a supervisor, a teacher taught in the school. The EE may be written in one of the many IB Subject Areas, though students are

  20. How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

    By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Extended Essay meets the requirements and stands out from the crowd. Good luck! Word Count: An IB Extended Essay should have a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 4,000 words. It is important to stay within the specified word count, as going over the limit can lead to lower grades.

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

    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. ... The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that ...

  22. How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

    The IB Extended Essay word count requirement is 4000 words, including the abstract, main body, footnotes, and quotations. It is a vital aspect of the essay because it is a testament to a student's research, analytical, and writing skills.