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World Studies Extended Essay: Examples

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

Examples of interdisciplinary research

Interdisciplinary research projects can vary extensively in content and extent of material covered.  Here are two examples:

WSEE Example 1 - IB Subjects: ESS (Environmental systems and societies) and Economics
WSEE Example 2 - IB Subjects: Economics, Biology, Political science

WSEE Example 1 - IB Subjects: ESS (Environmental systems and societies) and Economics


A student assesses the effectiveness and viability of the environmentally friendly method of "cleaner production".

He focused on a specific ceramic tile manufacturer in China, placing this local case in the context of global environmental sustainability.

He used concepts from environmental systems and societies such as “end-of-pipe protection” and “cyclonic separation”, as well as tools such as a “water balance flow diagram” and an “analysis of pollution or inefficiency” to assess the potential environmental advantages of adopting a cleaner production approach.

He also incorporated the financial tool of “net present value” (NPV) to appraise the viability of a long-term project such as pollution control.

Through his study, he convincingly demonstrated that cleaner production makes environmental as well as financial sense for companies.

WSEE Example 2 - IB Subjects: Economics, Biology, Political Science


A student studied the economic and cultural causes of infant malnutrition in the rural district of Maharashtra and considered the public health policies needed to tackle the problem.

Her wide-ranging study incorporated knowledge and concepts from a range of disciplines including economics, the humanities, biology and political science.

She developed a complex explanation of some of the causes and effects of malnutrition in this Indian state, taking into          account the interconnection between low maternal literacy levels, decreased government health spending and poor child nutrition when considering elevated levels of child malnutrition.
She then applied this understanding to come up with policy recommendations.

WSEE Documents

WSEE Subject Guide and worksheets

RRS (Researcher's Reflection Space)

RPPF (Researcher's Planning and Progress Form) examples:

IB Extended Essay Guide & Timeline

Check the Extended Essay guide for specific guidance on completing the various steps in the research and writing process of the EE, and these documents:


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