How to Write a Remarkable Extended Essay (with Topics and Example)

How to Write a Remarkable Extended Essay

The extended essay is an integral part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). This independent piece of study should appear as a 4,000-word paper with a detailed explanation and analysis of the problem. Teachers assign this assignment to help students develop such skills as time management, research and analysis, developing arguments, and, of course, writing. Pinning down the main question and trying to find the best solution to it is the key to success.

Stick to the instructions recommended in this article written by academic pro writers. Also, keep in mind that our professional service is always at your service if you need urgent help with your assignments


What Is an Extended Essay?

An extended essay is a type of academic paper that represents a study conducted by its author with the goal to cover the specific subject from different aspects.

This type of academic writing provides:

  • Practical preparation for undergraduate study
  • A chance to observe a specific topic in-depth (it should be connected with the student’s DP classes)

On the whole, an extended essay allows analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating knowledge. If you do not take IB courses, you will most probably avoid writing an extended essay, but it’s a useful skill to know how to do it.

Pre-Writing Stages

The primary step in writing an extended essay is to pick the topic. You can get inspired using various sources. They should be fresh and trustworthy.

The primary way to collect ideas is to brainstorm with your friends or family members. Come up with the list of relevant topics.

Then, you can also consult social media: from TV to platforms like Facebook to see what are people talking about now.

You can search in your college library, but, most probably, it would be the longest way. Traditional libraries are full of old archives and databases, and it is impossible to find a book as quickly as on the web. However, you may find some rare resources in your college library.

Finally, students can use online databases to find the most recent trends. Those are ProQuest and Questia, for example.

Selecting the Topic

Picking the right topic might be a consuming process, but you should be lucky to have freedom of choice. Sometimes, you may have no interest in the topic required by your tutor, and it is simpler to cover the one you enjoy. While picking the topic, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid choosing too broad/general or too narrow topics;
  • Select the area of your interest;
  • Choose something you’re more-or-less competent in;
  • Exclude a topic if you cannot find enough related materials;
  • Ask the tutor to approve the final version of your topic.

Once you conduct the preliminary research to collect the sources like scholarly articles (you should have powerful evidence to support your thoughts), move to the process of writing an outline.

Getting Ready with an Essay Outline

Getting Ready with an Essay Outline

An extended essay outline generally looks like an outline for any other essay: intro, body, and conclusion. However, there are some nuances to consider as this paper is longer than 500 words (a standard 5-paragraph format). Teachers are usually looking for an essay which reminds a research paper when it comes to the extended one.

You should know that there are three approaches to creating an outline for the extended essay.

Post-it note: Start small and expand with every new section. Have a summary of every paragraph in a single line.

Make sure to include these bullet points:

  • Evidence like facts, quotes, statistics, etc.
  • Vivid examples to illustrate the problem
  • Suggestions related to the broad point
  • Spreadsheet: Use Excel to come up with the table representing your outline.
  • Flashcards: You may also use flashcards to include all the ideas you plan to include in your essay. Visual elements always work perfectly!

Also, we recommend deciding on the number of words to include in every section based on the required word count (4,000 words). This way, you will avoid some sections to look rather small compared to others.

Creating a Title Page

Unlike many other essays, an extended one should have a title/cover page. You should start with the full title of your work. Then, move to the primary research problem. Mention the course’s name and number. Of course, you should put down your name. Do not forget to include an exact word count for your project!

Sometimes, an instructor’s name is also required. Check the evaluation criteria of your specific institution first.

Developing an Abstract

In some cases, you will have to prepare an abstract. What does it mean? It stands for a summary of the paper’s findings to let the audience understand how the study may be useful and helpful.

Your abstract should be no longer than 1/3 of a page (250-300 words). Highlight the sentences that depict the main findings of your research as well as keywords. Underlines the research question. Use these elements to craft a good abstract.

Crafting an Introduction

Start with an introduction that consists of the basic argument and research query. Explain why the topic is worthy of your audience’s attention. Mind that you will not be able to start writing without defining the target audience first. You should understand what the instructors expect to see as well as the standards of writing demanded by your educational institution. You may list the sources you will apply in your paper, but it’s an optional feature.

In general, just like any other types of essay, the extended essay introduction should always enclose with the thesis statement – the main argument of the entire paper. That is what you will have to analyze and defend in your piece.

Experts recommend developing an intro after writing the rest of the essay to make it simpler.

What about the Body of Your Paper?

Now, this part is absolutely different from an ordinary essay body. An extended essay may have much more body paragraphs. Each of them has a specific goal.

  1. Make sure the body of your essay contains:
  2. Research analysis
  3. Discussion
  4. Evaluation

In a Research section, a writer should first talk about the equipment and tools that were used to conduct research and evaluate the subject. The idea is to let the readers know which tools they may need to keep on studying the offered issue. It may remind of the How-to guide.

Next, the writer should list the findings in chronological order. In the Discussion part, one should interpret those findings (explain what they stand for). As for the Evaluation section, a student should decide whether the obtained outcomes are useful and in what way. How can society benefit from learning the information?

Writing a Conclusion for Your Extended Essay

Writing a Conclusion for Your Extended Essay

In the concussing section, a student should list the things that have been achieved. Take notes of any research limitations or questions left without answers or particular solutions. Be ready that you will have such issues in almost all cases.

Prepare a summary of the results of your study. The last sentence should either offer a way to implement the findings or forecasts for the future. You should motivate the readers to keep on researching the chosen question and finding new ways out.

Extras to Add

Just before the introduction, you may add a table of contents like this post has to help the readers navigate through your paper. It may look like an outline but should have specific titles of the separate sections and corresponding page numbers.

Next, you should add a references page or annotated bibliography after the concussing paragraph. List the full references to the sources used and cited in the paper. In annotated bibliography, also add short annotations.

If you use any graphs, tables, or images, you will need a so-called appendix to reference and interpret these visual elements as well.

The optional part is footnotes/endnotes – they depend on the citation format you use, so use them only when citing projects in Chicago or Turabian, for instance.

Formatting Your Paper

You should always pick 12pt. Times New Roman when writing an extended essay. The entire paper should be double-spaced. The page numbers in the top-right corners are needed. In other words, choose APA or Chicago style in most cases when the citation format is not specified.

10 Good Extended Essay Topics

In most cases, you will have to select the topic on your own, as we discussed it below. We decided to come up with the list of several nice ideas to get you inspired!

  • The nature of humanism
  • Renaissance art and its major masterpieces
  • A thorough analysis of cloud-based platforms
  • Plants used as the medical treatment
  • The effects of climate change
  • Description of the photosynthesis process
  • Racial conflict issues in the 20th century
  • Analysis of British Darwinism impact on Cecil Rhodes
  • Evaluation of the MP3 data compression algorithms
  • An analysis of African impact on Michael Jackson’s music

10 Good Extended Essay Topics

Extended Essay Example

Having an example of the essay in front of your eyes will be useful.

“As a loyal fan of soccer in Costa Rica, I developed an interest in this type of sport as well as football coming from the United States. The research I’ve conducted demonstrate that the origins lay in the second half of the nineteenth century. By that time, the world’s community was facing severe socio-political issues. The primary contradictions between Catholics and Liberalists turned into small battles and even war conflicts in Costa Rica. This essay’s purpose is to answer a few questions: the way various people perceive soccer over the world varies, but, at the same time, it unites nations. Almost every civilized nation in the world contributed to the development of football. On the whole, both games reveal the contemporary policies.”

“Is memory related to human age? Are older adults really less sane than younger? My paper is trying to explore the connection between age and memory stats. The studies I observed as well as my own research tested whether age had an influence on the short-term and long-term memory in children of 7-16 years old. The International School of Geneva is the primary source I plan to use in my study. In its recent studies, more than 200 students took part. It was a random selection. Every student had approximately half an hour to remember and recall various pics, graphs, tables, and other visual elements. The following half an hour were spent on composing the papers describing what the examined pupils noticed in the images. The results demonstrated that students of the middle school, for instance, managed to memorize up to 13 pictures and the average of ten words in the process of experiment.”

Last Things to Consider

The last thing you may wonder about is the grading rubric. The IB gardens assess extended papers with the help of 0-36 scale. Here is the interpretation of the available marks:

  • A – excellent job;
  • B – good work;
  • C – satisfactory writing;
  • D – mediocre standard;
  • E – elementary (poor-quality essay).

The final grade involves both pre-writing stages like research and the content itself. The tutors also evaluate formatting and overall organization.

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