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Extended Essay: Step 4. Choose a Topic

A guide to the research and writing process required for students completing the IB Extended Essay.

Choosing a Topic

After choosing the subject for your extended essay, the next step in the research process is to define what your research is going to focus on - the topic.

At this stage you need to explore:

  • what are my possible topics?
  • what do I know about those topics?
  • which words would be good search terms and keywords?

See this page for:

Directions for using the Questia Topic Finder

Within this section of the guide you will find ideas for useful resources to help you choose a research topic.  Explore some of the options and find the ones which suit your needs best.  See:

Identifying key words as you begin your research
Finding background information on your topic

And see other pages to get help with how to:

Define your topic
Conduct research in a specific discipline

Questia Topic Finder

Looking for a topic?  Try using Questia's Topic Finder!

Login to Questia School, then:

  • click on MENU in the upper-right 
  • click on WRITING CENTER
  • click on 'Topic Finder' in the menu on the left

Once in Topic Finder, you can either:

  • enter in a keyword, if you have an idea in mind, and see what books and articles Questia has on your topic OR
  • click on the    Topic idea generator     button

Choose one of sixteen general subject areas from the drop-down menu, or for something truly random, leave it at 'All Subjects' and click the big    SPIN     button.  Three topics will come up; click on one to see the related Questia resources.

Questia Topic Idea Generator

Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay - Step 4

4.  Choose a topic and undertake some background reading in it.


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