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Extended Essay

Click here for the link for the new IB guidelines for the IB Class of 2018 and onward

Extended Essay—Independent Student Research Paper

  • The extended essay is an independent, self-directed 4,000 word research paper that prepares for undergraduate research.
  • Students complete 40-60 plus hours of research in a subject area of their choice that relates to one of the six diploma subjects.
  • Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate knowledge.
  • Students analyze credible sources, develop a research question/ thesis statement, form conclusions, and properly cite sources.

Extended Essay Process

Selecting Your Topic (1st Nine Weeks of Junior Year)

  •  It is highly recommended that when selecting a research topic you choose one in which you had a previous IB course
  • Select a topic in which you are truly interested
  • Consider multiple topics, research these to gauge your interest level and availability of creditable sources
  • Talk to subject area teachers to select a proper topic

Process of the Supervision: (Total of 3 to 5 hours)

  • Meet with your advisor at least twice per month to briefly discuss subtopics, revision of your research questions, guidance for resources, and other suggestions
  • Meetings will vary based on the needs and the progression of your extended  essay
  • The concluding interview with your advisor will take place senior year when you are finished with your extended essay
    • Please be ready to discuss your paper in depth with your advisor.

Development/Narrowing of Your Research Question

  • Through research, develop sub-topics based on a broad area
  • Be sure you have a specific subject guide you are following (e.g. History)
  • Avoid:
    • Topics that do not lend themselves to a successful argument
    • Topics that are not scholarly
    • Topics where you have a strong personal conviction which may prevent you from forming an objective argument

Proposal (2nd Nine Weeks of Junior Year)

  • Narrow your research question
  • 3 Sub-topic questions
  • Produce an outline of your research based on your research question (including thesis and main arguments)
  • Written statement of why your research question is worthy of the investigation
  • A copy of all of your primary and secondary sources pertaining to your research question
    • Talk with your advisor about how many sources are appropriate per your subject area

Writing Process (1st Half of 3rd Nine Weeks of Junior Year)

  •  Click here for two rubrics for the first five pages and ten pages of your extended essay.

First Draft (4th 9 weeks of Junior Year)

  • Due: TBA in TOK 1 class
  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Text (Body of the Essay)
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix (if appropriate)

–Review extended essay assessment criteria by clicking here which includes the extended essay grading scale.

Revision of First Draft: 1st Day of the Senior Year

  • Due date: First day of school: Dismissal of the program if not submitted
  • Turn-in to TOK 2 class
  • Disseminated to advisors by IB Office
  • Meeting with supervisor to discuss and receive final feedback

–Review extended essay assessment criteria by clicking here which includes the extended essay grading scale.

Final Extended Paper

  • Due date: TBA
  • Schedule concluding interview with advisor

For additional information about the extended essay process, please click here:

If students do not hand in an acceptable EE on the first day of school, they can be dismissed from the IB program.

The following rubric is for Extended Essay:

E-Elementary (Fail-No Diploma Awarded)
N-No Grade

Students can earn bonus points towards their diploma for their Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge by being awarded certain scores by IB examiners.  Bonus points can assist students who are lacking to total number needed for the IB diploma. Please see the matrix below: