The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. It is recommended that completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview, or viva voce, with the supervisor.
The extended essay is assessed against common criteria, interpreted in ways appropriate to each subject. The extended essay is:
• Compulsory for all Diploma Programme students
• Externally assessed and, in combination with the grade for theory of knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB diploma
• Select a piece of independent research/investigation on a topic chosen by the student in cooperation with a supervisor in the school Introduction 2 Extended essay guide
• Topic to be chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects, published in the Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme
• Presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words
• The result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student
•Concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher (recommended).
The aims of the extended essay are to provide students with the opportunity to:
• Pursue independent research on a focused topic
• Develop research and communication skills
• Develop the skills of creative and critical thinking
• Engage in a systematic process of research appropriate to the subject
• Experience the excitement of intellectual discovery.