What Is an IB Extended Essay?

The extended essay is the main part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The primary purpose of the International Baccalaureate extended essay is to enable the students to investigate the topic of interest, as well as demonstrate their knowledge and skills obtained beyond the classroom.

Working on the IB extended essay, the student will learn many tips and techniques that will turn out to be very helpful when writing their Bachelor thesis or Master dissertation. No matter what subjects are taken by the students, they will have to work on this essay.

In order to reach the best outcome, the student should start working on the essay in the second term of the first year of their IB Diploma Programme. Such a strategy allows working on all the important parts of the essay thoroughly. If you have to write such an essay, do not forget that you need a supervisor, a person who will guide you and monitor your work. Cooperation with a good supervisor will be very fruitful if you follow their suggestions and listen to their advice. According to the common requirements, you will need to hand in one draft and then, after receiving the supervisor`s feedback, you will submit a final paper. As for the length of your IB extended essay, it should be 4000 words and contain a short viva voce. The whole process of creating the essay may take up to one year.

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Prepare to Writing Your IB Extended Essay

How to Select the Right Topic for an IB Extended Essay?

Though the topic for your essay should be interesting and fit your research interests, it cannot be random. Your topic should be related to one of the six topics that you are taking for your Diploma. Alternatively, you may pick up the interdisciplinary issue that relates to two or more subjects. Choosing such a topic, you will need to look into a global issue narrowing it down to a local lens. For instance, speaking about terrorism, climate change, health trends, and other universal topics, you need to select a pretty narrow perspective. Remember that you will work on your topic for one year. Therefore, you need to choose the subject you are passionate about. One way to work with a good topic is to choose something that has been discussed recently.

For instance, the Physic students, watching the film “The Martian” could find many controversial moments. As such, they could focus their attention on the similarities and differences between the two planets, Earth and Mars. The English students may make a comparative analysis between two or more poems of their favorite poet emphasizing the unique style of the author. A student pursuing his or her degree in Economics may analyze the dynamics of the market that recently appeared using the common theories discussed in class. A History student may compare the ruling of two different dictators pointing to the essential similarities and differences in their styles.

It is absolutely normal if you have a few topics and find it difficult to choose the one. Brainstorming is a particularly interesting and rewarding process that helps generate interesting ideas. As such, taking two or more things from different subjects and trying to relate them by your topic is a good strategy. Finally, do not forget that your topic should be approved by IBO. Your educational institution should assist you with the approval.

How to Choose a Research Question for Your IB Extended Essay?

Once the topic is chosen, you need to choose a good research question. A poorly formulated research question will turn the process of writing the essay into a very stressful one. It is imperative to make your question focused, accurate, and relevant. Pay attention that your question cannot be simply answered yes or no but it should lead to an interesting discussion. It is not obligatory to agree with the hypothesis right away. Disagreeing with the hypothesis at the very beginning is a good model used by many students. The research questions are usually of two types: the ones that aim to solve the problem and the ones that lead to the in-depth research of the topic.

Your question should not necessarily begin with the words “Will,” “Does,” “Is,” or similar ones. Pay attention that your goal is to come to a meaningful conclusion. Therefore, merely stating “yes, it is true” or “no, it is not true” is not enough. The best research questions begin with the words “To what extent,” “How far,” and others.

Will Does Is or To what extent How far -mobile

The common mistake committed by the students is that they often ask questions having no idea if they can answer it. Therefore, it is critically important to understand whether the relevant data can be collected, as it is necessary for supporting your arguments. In some cases, one will be able to gather only secondary data, which is also not bad. However, when doing this, the researcher should clearly explain why the secondary data is used. If you have created the question but you find it very difficult to gather the primary and secondary data for its answering, we recommend you to alter the question with the help of your supervisor.

The Body of the IB Extended Essay

Once the research hypothesis has been set, it is time to investigate your topic gathering both the primary and secondary data. To reach your goal, you need to collect as much information as possible. The most important data will be introduced in your essay in the form of graphs and tables whereas the data that is not that important can appear in the appendix. Once the data is collected, it should be analyzed. It is critically important to write the outline that will contain all the arguments, headings, and subheadings and will ensure that your topic is developed smoothly and logically.

The Introduction and Conclusion

You may write the rough draft of your introduction at the early stage. After the main body is written, you may adjust your introduction so that it could fit the rest of your essay. The introduction should prove that your topic is worth investigating and how your topic relates to your subject. In other words, you need to explain how well does your topic fits the context.

The conclusion of your IB extended essay is, perhaps, its most important part. Pay attention that it should not include additional analysis or research as it should just briefly restate the points that were already discussed in the essay. You should realize that your examiners will probably study your conclusion more thoroughly than other parts. Therefore, it should be flawless.

The Abstract

An abstract helps the people, learning the lengthy paper, understand if it is worth their attention or not. An abstract is usually written when the rest of the paper is ready. Basically, an abstract is a brief summary of the essay that includes the research question, the main points and arguments suggested in the essay, as well as the results received.

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The official deadline for writing the IB extended essay varies in every educational institution. However, it has to be reasonable. We assure you that you will not be able to write a winning essay in just a week to your deadline aspiration. Therefore, if you value your academic reputation, we recommend you to start the preparation early. Forget about procrastination as it will become a great obstacle on your way to academic success. All in all, we advise you to communicate with your professor constantly to make sure each section is written within the deadline.

The Viva Voce Part

The viva voce is a short part that includes an interview with the supervisor in which the supervisor asks the student about the main challenges and achievements in their work emphasizing the things that caused some problems. Also, the supervisor may ask what knowledge, skills, and competencies did the student obtain in the process of research. Finally, the supervisor should ensure the report is not plagiarized.

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IB Extended Essay: Common Tips

The students often make a mistake choosing the familiar and simple topic instead of focusing on the fascinating subject intriguing to them. We assure you that if you want to be successful, you should not search for easy solutions as they will not allow you to broaden the horizons and push the limits. The well-written IB extended essay helps the students solve real-life problems attaining the necessary skills and qualifications. So, do not underestimate this task and consider it as just one more lesson that will make you more mature!