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Extended Essay

The Nature of the Extended Essay

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 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 if 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 TOK, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB diploma
  • a piece of independent research/investigation on a topic chosen by the student in cooperation with a supervisor in the school
  • chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects, published in the Handbook of Procedures
  • presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words
  • concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher.