The main idea behind the IB extended essay (EE) is to promote research and writing skills. While students can choose the research topic themselves, they must be in touch with a supervisor who guides them throughout. There are many other aspects and criteria for the IB extended essay that students must follow, and we will look at them in this article.
The IB extended essay is an in-depth study of a particular research topic. The student needs to pick up an IB EE topic based on what they are good at or what they have ample knowledge about ad then they can begin working on it.
For all the students taking the Diploma Program, this extended essay is a must. Students need to have a D grade at the very least to be awarded the diploma.
The essay is a combination of theory and knowledge, and it contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB diploma. Before students choose a subject for the extended essay, they need to first look at the list of available subjects published in the Diploma Program Assessment procedures.
Here is a section-wise breakdown of the extended essay.
Introduction - This is where you set the tone for the entire essay, making the examiner aware of what exactly they are going to read about in the essay. You also need to spike their interest here. So, you need to make sure that this is very well planned because first impressions are often the most lasting. The introduction part of an extended essay should be around 250 words approximately. You need to use this word count to ensure that you add value to what you are writing and make it as interesting as possible. You need to make sure that it is as intriguing as possible as well.
Methodology - This is the section where you write about how and where you got all the information that you used for this essay. Not only do you need to highlight what these sources are, but you also need to talk about why you are using them. Alongside that, you need to hint at their limitations and weaknesses as well. These sources need to be authentic so that you can add as much value as possible to your research.
Furthermore, you should also highlight the tools that you will be using in this research for purposes of analysis. The approximate word count for the methodology section of IB EE needs to be around 350 words.
Main Body - This is the main part of the research where you analyze everything and discuss your findings, using all the analytical tools that you find helpful. In this part, you are supposed to conduct a thorough analysis and shed light on all the research that you have done. The idea is to answer the research question as clearly as you can in this part. It sets the context for the work you are doing. If you are doing some financial analysis too, then this is the part where you need to highlight all of that.
In case you do not want to fail the extended essay, make sure to work on this part as it will be under the scrutiny of your supervisor and IBO. Remember that this is the section that helps you get the major chunk of the marks, so make sure that this is the most well-researched and well-written part of the essay. The approximate word count for the body section of the extended essay needs to be around 2800 words. With this kind of expansive limit, you can go into as much detail as you want.
Conclusion - This is the part where you close the essay and coherently analyze your thoughts. The idea is to summarize the main points and answer the research question concisely. Give several useful insights in this part. Also, highlight the shortcomings of your research. Finally, show what the essence of the research is and summarise it here. This section should add a lot of value to your research. The approximate word count for the conclusion section of the IB extended essay is 600 words.
Bibliography and Appendices - The bibliography section can be around three to four pages; the same goes for the appendices section. Students must reference all the sources that they have used for the essay. They must use an acknowledged reference style like Harvard or APA referencing. The sources that they use need to be very reliable. These sections do not add to the word count. So that is not something you should be worried about.
The maximum word count for the extended essay is 4000 words. A reflection form also must be submitted, which has to be around 500 words. The approximate time for writing an extended essay is 40-50 hours.
The supervision process for this is around 2 to 5 hours, in which there are three mandatory sessions as well. In the final session, the supervisor conducts an interview with the student as well.
Remember the main aim of the extended essay is to allow students to develop sound research skills, which is something that is very important for their entire lives.
They need also to develop communication skills. This essay allows them to polish their analytical skills as well since they must explore a certain topic in a lot of detail. They learn how to conduct research using a systematic process that begins with an initial literature search that helps build background right at the start. Students become more knowledgeable as well after they study a topic in so much detail.
Students must make sure that they are first fully aware of the regulations outlined in the Diploma Program Assessment procedures so that they can comply with all of them. They need to make sure that they are always working with academic honesty and integrity. They cannot use anyone else’s work when doing their essay.
Students need to choose a topic that they are enthusiastic about. They need to spend a considerable amount of time doing this research, so they need to make sure that the topic that they choose is one that they have sufficient information to work on.
Students need to make sure that they are mindful of the deadline when working so that they do not lose out on marks. Otherwise, they will need to search for options if they fail their IB extended essay.
Every student needs to make sure that they have a supervisor who is willing to guide them throughout so that they know what exactly they must do throughout the process. Students need to make sure that they complete the reflection process as well so that they know what exactly they are doing and how they are supposed to complete it.
Students can also go through several exemplars so that they know what needs to be done and how they can work to score higher. The supervisor needs to make sure that they guide students and provide them with all the help that they need to complete their research.
With all these things in mind, students can surely complete their extended essays in the right way and in due time. The extended essay allows students to polish their writing skills and explore their creativity in the best way as well. Students should use this to their benefit and make sure that they showcase their skills when working on the extended essay. Students should try to make their extended essays as expansive and as analytical as possible.
Finally, be prepared to leave enough time to write the IB EE, as it will give you time to conduct your research thoroughly. This will help you secure a good grade.
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