THE IBDP EXTENDED ESSAY
The IB Diploma Programme Extended Essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. The extended essay provides practical preparation for undergraduate research, an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them, which is also related to one of the student's six DP subjects. Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in formulating an appropriate research question, engaging in a personal exploration of the topic, communicating ideas, and developing an argument.
What is the significance of the Extended Essay?
The extended essay provides:
Practical preparation for undergraduate research
An opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them (which is also related to one of the student's six DP subjects)
Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
Formulating an appropriate research question
Engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
Developing an argument
Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyse, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.
An extended essay can also be undertaken in world studies, where students carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, across two IB diploma disciplines.
How is the Extended Essay structured?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.
The IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.
The extended essay and interview can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.