Extended essay

How to write an extended essay.

extended essayThis type of an essay is also called international baccalaureate. An extended essay is what required by Diploma Program. Students develop their skills in conducting a research independently on a topic, which is interesting for them. The research you do needs to be methodological and planned. Therefore, each student is free to choose a topic he/she likes to write an extended essay on. Nearly 40 hours are given to complete such an essay. Though normally talking to a school supervisor will help with deadlines as long as this is what they do, determine the deadlines.

So, think it over what topic you could possibly write an extended essay on so it looked interesting and complete showing you know the subject well enough. You have to be interested in writing what you chose to write about otherwise it will not work out. The topic you choose has to be specific, not something general. If you happen to be good at math, physics, chemistry, psychology, history or biology – give it a shot and write an extended essay on the topic relating to one of these areas.

Pay special attention to the citing sources you take the information for your extended essay from. Your sources have to be legible, accurate containing a biographic information. Also, do not forget to cite the sources accordingly to the chosen writing style whether it is APA or MLA format. Make sure there is no plagiarism as long as the requirements towards this kind of an essay are rather strict and no plagiarism should be found.

Once the topic is chosen, draw your attention to the organization of your extended essay. Every essay, just like a book or a journal entry, begins with an introduction. Then goes a body paragraph (-s) and, of course, a conclusion. The assessment of your extended essay will be hurt in case of an unclear essay and its poor organization.


  • It is highly important to start to work on your extended essay early so you could meet the deadlines.
  • Stay in good relationship with your supervisor and keep in touch with him/her to be able to consult towards your paper on the way of making it done.
  • Work on an argument relating to the researched question.
  • Do not laugh but using the library will be much of a help.
  • Recording the sources is necessary.
  • In case of problems with original topic, choose another one you could write an extended essay on just as well.
  • Make sure you use an appropriate language taking into consideration the peculiarities of the chosen subject.
  • When the essay is ready, write an abstract. It presents an overview of your extended essay. It is a synthesis up to 300 words approximately. It covers a question, which is investigated; the scope of the investigation itself; the conclusion of the essay. It is placed right after the title page.
  • There is also a contents page. It is placed in the beginning of an extended essay and contains the list of the document`s content.
  • It is needless to say, that all the pages of your essay should be numbered.
  • Check on errors reading carefully.
  • Do NOT forget to analyze the question you do a research on;
  • Do NOT ignore the criteria of assessment;
  • Do NOT gather information, which is irrelevant;
  • Do NOT use Internet resources uncritically;
  • Do NOT plagiarize;
  • Do NOT use information merely. Your argument must be supported with the evidence;
  • Do NOT put what you said in the introduction area in the conclusion section. No repetitions are needed. Restate only;
  • Do NOT cite those sources you are not going to use in your paper.

Illustrations might be included. If you decide on using some graphic images, be so kind to explain their usage, what they represent and give sources they were taken from. It goes without saying that each and every picture you use in your extended essay needs to be relevant to the text.

To structure your essay you might also make an outline as a plan to your extended essay. It will serve as a navigation of sorts through the essay and, of course, the last but not least a thesis statement is required. Normally, it is placed in the introduction section to be the first thing a reader sees. It is the purpose of your essay. It also discovers inadequacies and gaps in the argument of your research.

A bit about scoring, you might get “0” in case a question to research is not highlighted in the introduction. You might get “1” in case your researched question is stated but the way it is expressed is unclear. You might get “2” in case your researched question is stated and clearly focused.

A bit on a title page. It should include the title itself, of course, the candidate`s full name, his/her IB number, the extended essay`s subject area, full date, word count and abstract word count. There is also such a thing called vive voce. While presenting your extended essay to the advisor, you will be answering questions to reflect on your essay being completed.