Extended Essay International Baccalaureate Course Overview

The Extended Essay is an opportunity for students to delve further into an area of personal interest, honing their research and writing skills as part of an intellectually stimulating and creative study of their chosen topic. All students produce an externally assessed essay outlining their discoveries and conclusions in a coherent and informative manner. The essay is both academically absorbing and allows students to really showcase their understanding of a topic that has gripped their attention or they believe is important to understand.

Students are supported through the teaching of research approaches and via an assigned supervisor (a teacher in the school), with whom they have three mandatory reflection sessions, including a short interview, or viva voce, following the completion of the extended essay.

The Extended Essay is split into phases:

  • Research phase: In this phase students choose a subject and topic, reading around it to form an inquiry question and the outline structure of their essay before undertaking research in depth to answer the question.
  • Writing and formal presentation phase: This is the actual write up of the essay, including conclusions and references.
  • Reflection phase: Mandatory reflection sessions with their supervisor that form part of the formal assessment and allow students to reflect on their engagement with the research process. This culminates in the final reflection session – the viva voce, a short interview (10-15 minutes) between the student and the supervisor used to aid the supervisors report and the learner’s self-reflection.

Extended essay topics normally come from one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma, with students participating in the independent research, self-management, the redrafting and communication of ideas that are hugely valuable in undergraduate study at university. The essay is externally assessed.

Sample questions:

  • What is the most appropriate ethical framework for the programming of driverless cars?
  • To what extent Is Hip-Hop a form of resistance among youths in Hong Kong?
  • To what extent did German tactical mistakes affect the outcome of the Battle of Stalingrad?
  • To what extent could the implementation of plants in modern building design be a feasible method for future construction?
  • How does changing the initial amount of water in a water rocket affect the flight of the rocket?
  • What factors should novice climbers take into account when choosing their first rope?
Extended Essay
International Baccalaureate
Online, real-time classrooms, 24/7 access to curriculum
September

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