This guide explains the process required to complete the IB Extended Essay - from the initial step of choosing a research topic, through effectively searching for information and organizing your sources to presenting your findings with accurate references and citations.
On this page you can find information on:
What is the Extended Essay?
Extended Essay Timeline - Class of 2021 (REVISED for March-June, 2020)
Extended Essay Forms, Contracts, Readings and Assignments - Class of 2021
How to Get Started - the Twelve-step Plan for Researching the EE
IB Extended Essay Guide, first exams 2018
Fall, 2019 Juniors in Advanced Music or Study Hall during 6th Period go to the Conference Room for five
sessions with the EE Coordinator, Susan Trower.
Class time will be devoted to:
December 3, 2019
January 7, 2020 Extended Essay supervisors assigned
January 9 - 31, 2020
As preparation for their first advisory session, students should be prepared to discuss the following:
February 3, 2020
February - March, 2020 Meet with supervisor at least two more times (10-20 minute sessions) Due to school closure and health authorities’ recommendations on social distancing, meetings after March 16 will need to be done remotely.
April 20, 2020 Extended Essay Café presentations emailed to Supervisor and Susan Trower
April 27, 2020 DUE: 'Writing Readiness Form' emailed to Susan Trower, initialed by student and supervisor, by 3:30 PM on 4/20/2020
May 4-8, 2020
Meet with Supervisor (10-20 minute session)
May 18, 2020
June 4, 2020
June 8-11, 2020 Meet with Supervisor to discuss:
June - August, 2020 Students work on first draft of their Extended Essay
August 31, 2020
September 8-11, 2020
Meeting with Supervisor regarding the quality of preliminary draft (no editing)
As preparation for the interim reflection session, students should have:
September 14, 2020
October 19, 2020
Week of October 26-30, 2020
November 30, 2020
December 7-11, 2020
Final session with supervisor, scheduled by student in advance at discretion of Supervisor
Students should bring the following to this session:
December 14, 2020
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:
Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.
How is study of the extended essay structured?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.
The IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.
The extended essay and interview can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.
How is the extended essay assessed?
All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. The total marks available are 34. However, when your supervisor marks your essay in order to arrive at a predicted grade, the grading will be based on the qualitative grade descriptors for the EE, not a translation of a number score into a letter grade.
Students are evaluated on five criterion:
Find out how points awarded for the extended essay contribute to a student’s overall diploma score.
Need tips on how to get started? Follow these steps to get going on the research for your Extended Essay.
1. Choose an available Diploma Programme subject for the extended essay for the session in question.
2. Educate yourself. Read the following materials: the assessment criteria, relevant subject-specific chapter of the Extended Essay guide, the IB's ethical guidelines and other associated policies where relevant, such as those relating to animal experiments
3. Set up the Researcher's Reflective Space (RRS) and use this as the key planning and reflection tool for the extended essay process.
4. Choose a topic and undertake some background reading in it.
5. Formulate a preliminary research question. Try to incorporate an IB command term in the research question if possible.
6. Draw up and outline plan for the research and writing process. This should include a timeline.
7. Begin to identify how and where you will gather source material for your research.
8. Identify which system of academic referencing they will use, ensuring that this meets the minimum requirements for the IB.
9. Set deadlines for yourself that are realistic and take into consideration WSA's internal EE deadlines.
10. Plan a structure for the essay. This may change as the research develops but it is useful to have a sense of direction from the start.
11. Undertake some preparatory reading in light of the proposed research question. NOTE: If you discover that it will not be possible to obtain the evidence needed in the time available, the research question should be changed. This is better done sooner rather than later; do not lose time waiting and hoping that something will turn up. Go back to step 3, 2, or 1, and choose a new research question that can be answered.
12. Carry out the research. The material collected should be assembled in a logical order, linked to the structure of the essay and clearly focused on the research question posed. Only then will you know that you have enough evidence for each stage of the argument so that you can proceed to the next. You should be prepared for things to occasionally go wrong. Sometimes you may discover something later in the research that undermines what you thought had been established earlier. If that happens, your research plan needs to be revised.
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