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Extended Essay: Extended Essay- The Basics

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

The Extended Essay - the Basics

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.

Extended Essay Timeline, Class of 2021 (Fall, 2020: Mods A, B, and C)

Mod A: August 17 – September 23

 

August 17 - September 23, 2020

Use 7th period during Mod A to work on your Extended essay and homework

Occasionally, there may be meetings in Susan Trower's Zoom meeting room during Mod A for announcements related to Extended Essay and/or College Counseling.  

The URL for the meeting room is posted in the Extended Essay Google Classroom.

August 31, 2020

DUE: First 10 pages of draft due to Susan Trower and Supervisor
  • Document submitted to Google Classroom and emailed to Supervisor (cc Susan Trower) by 8:30 AM on 8/31/2020
  • Worth 100 points towards EE grade posted in Mod E

September 8-11, 2020

SECOND REFLECTION SESSION WITH SUPERVISOR (INTERIM SESSION)

Meeting with Supervisor regarding the quality of preliminary draft (no editing)

Scheduled by the student in advance at the discretion of Supervisor

Meeting should take place in the Supervisor’s Zoom Meeting Room

As preparation for the interim reflection session, students should have:

  • Attempted to refine a focused and appropriate research question
  • Significantly deepened their research and recorded pertinent evidence, information or data in the Researcher’s reflection space
  • Reviewed and consolidated the methodologies they are using
  • Formulated arguments based on the evidence that they have collected
  • Added to the working bibliography for their research

September 14, 2020

DUE:    Interim reflection (150-175 words) due to Susan Trower 
  • Reflection submitted to Google Classroom by 3:30 PM on 9/14/2020
  • Worth 50 points towards EE grade posted in Mod E

 

Mod B: October 1 – November 6

 

October 19, 2020

DUE: Complete draft due to Susan Trower and Supervisor by 3:30 PM
  • Document submitted to Google Classroom and emailed to Supervisor (cc Susan Trower) by 3:30 PM on 10/19/2020
  • Draft must conform to IB Formal Presentation Guidelines as provided to Candidate
    • Required components: Title Page, Table of Contents, Introduction, Body of Paper, Conclusion, Works Cited 
    • Required Format: Arial font, 12 point font size, double-spaced text, numbered pages, indented paragraphs, appropriate margins (1" on all sides is acceptable)
    • Acceptable file type: DOC, DOCX or PDF
  • Worth 100 points towards EE grade posted in Mod E

Week of October 26-30, 2020

Mandatory draft (revision) conference with supervisor
  • Scheduled by student in advance at discretion of Supervisor   
  • Meeting should take place in the Supervisor’s Zoom Meeting Room  
  • Set aside minimum of one hour for meeting

 

Mod C: November 12 – December 18

 

November 30, 2020

 FINAL COPY DUE to Susan Trower and Supervisor by 3:30 PM
  • Document submitted to Google Classroom and emailed to Supervisor (cc Susan Trower) by 3:30 PM on 11/30/2020
  • Final copy must conform to IB Formal Presentation Guidelines as provided to Candidate (see note above)
  • Worth 100 points towards First Semester EE grade

December 7-11, 2020

FINAL REFLECTION SESSION WITH SUPERVISOR (VIVA VOCE)

Final session with supervisor, scheduled by the student in advance at the discretion of Supervisor

Meeting should take place in the Supervisor’s Zoom Meeting Room 

Students should bring the following to this session:

  • extracts from their Researcher's Reflection Space (RRS) that illustrate how they have grown as learners through the process of reflection
  • a willingness to share their personal experience and to discuss the skills and development of conceptual understandings that they have acquired through the completion of the extended essay.

December 14, 2020

DUE:   Final reflection (150-175 words) due to Susan Trower
  • • Reflection submitted to Google Classroom by 3:30 PM on 12/14/2020
  • Worth 50 points towards ‘20-‘21 EE grade posted in Mod E

Extended Essay Forms, Contracts, Readings and Assignments - Class of 2021

Extended Essay Coordinator

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Susan Trower
Contact:
West Sound Academy
16571 Creative Drive NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370
360-598-5954
Website

What is the Extended Essay?

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
  • an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them, which is also related to one of the student's six DP subjects. 

Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:

  • formulating an appropriate research question
  • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
  • communicating ideas
  • developing an argument. 

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:

  • Criterion A – focus and method.
  • Criterion B – knowledge and understanding.
  • Criterion C – critical thinking.
  • Criterion D – presentation.
  • Criterion E – engagement.
See: 

Find out how points awarded for the extended essay contribute to a student’s overall diploma score.

Source:   International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme website

Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay

Open door with stairway - Britannica ImageQuestNeed 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.

IB Extended Essay Guide (first exams 2018)

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