This comprehensive and unique Extended Essay (EE) guide aims to help you and your tutors learn more about the EE in detail in just one webpage. By reading this guide, you will learn about the steps you need to take, your responsibilities, and the common pitfalls and mistakes. We have written this by consulting dozens of documents. Enjoy!
What is Extended Essay in IB Curriculum?
The extended essay is a compulsory and externally assessed component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, in which candidates are required to present a formal piece of academic writing with a 4,000-word limit and a reflection form with a 500-word limit. The writing process occurs within a span of 2 years and about 40 hours of work (different schools follow different models). Students are guided by an assigned supervisor (generally a teacher in the school).
AIM AND SIGNIFICANCE
The Extended Essay is not the same format and style as an Internal Assessment (IA). Therefore, you should adopt a different strategy for writing your EE. It must be based firmly on published research and, if applicable, your own experiments, while skillfully integrating and evaluating the information you collect and extract from the references and your own interpretive/experimental work.
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition, including classical languages
- Individuals and societies: Business management; Economics; Geography; Global politics; History; Information technology in a global society (ITGS); Philosophy; Psychology; Social and cultural anthropology; World religions
- The Sciences: Biology; Chemistry; Computer science; Design technology; Physics; Sports, exercise, and health science
- The arts: Dance; Film; Music; Theatre; Visual arts
- Interdisciplinary subjects: Environmental systems and societies; Literature and performance; World studies
The Research and Writing Process
1. Choose an approved DP subject.
2. Choose a topic in consultation with your supervisor (first meeting and RPPF entry).
3. Undertake preparatory reading.
4. Formulate a well-focused RQ.
5. Plan the research and writing process.
6. Structure the essay (i.e., outline headings, main arguments).
7. Carry out the research and writing with feedback from your supervisor (second meeting and RPPF entry).
8. Conduct your viva voce with your supervisor (third meeting).
9. Complete the final entry in your RPPF.
Structure of the Essay
The final piece of writing is required to contain the following elements:
1. Title Page
– The title page should include:
- The title of the essay
- Your research question
- The subject the essay is registered under.
- The word count
2. Contents Page
– The introduction should include:
- The focus of the essay
- The scope and methodology of the research
- An indication of the line of argument
4. Body of the Essay (research, analysis, discussion, and evaluation)
a. The body of the essay should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument.
b. Many candidates will include sub-headings to organize and present the evidence supporting the essay’s line of argument.
The conclusion must contain:
i. A final, summative statement/conclusion that clearly answers the RQ
ii. Any limitations or questions that have not been solved (can act as extensions for future research)
6. References and bibliography
The most common citation styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. Visit this website for guidance. In consultation with your supervisor, use the style that is most appropriate for your subject.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1: In the final version of your essay, neither your name nor the name of your school should appear on any page.
2: While the word limit is 4,000, the following are NOT included in the word count: contents page, tables, equations/formula/calculations, citations/references, bibliography, footnotes, maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and headers.
Developing a research question (RQ)
Developing a clear and focused RQ is one of the most important stages of your entire writing process. All students, regardless of the subject, must present their RQ as a question. It’s important to remember that your research question will very likely evolve and develop as you move through each stage of the research and writing process—as you continue to discover new insights into your research, you will likely find that your RQ needs to reflect and adapt to these insights. You will likely begin with a preconceived notion of the question you intend to answer but then discover eventually what question you are actually answering. This is a natural facet of being reflective about and responsive to your essay’s transformation.
Recommended steps for crafting your RQ:
1. Choose a subject and topic of interest.
2. Carry out the preliminary reading while considering the following questions:
- What has already been written about this topic?
- Is there a wide range of sources available (not just website links)?
- Is there a range of views or perspectives on the topic (i.e., is it debatable?)
3. Consider the emerging questions by focusing on the keywords “to what extent”, “how”, and “why” (these words are often present in the RQ).
4. Evaluate the question by asking yourself:
- Will my RQ be specific enough to allow for an exploration with the limited number of words and time available?
- Does my RQ allow for analysis, evaluation, and the development of a reasoned argument?
5. Consider the possible direction(s) and outcomes of your research by asking yourself:
- Based on the evidence available, what is my main argument?
- How will I answer my RQ?
Here are some examples of RQs that are unclear, too broad, or unarguable (URQ) vs clear, focused, and debatable RQs capable of in-depth and focused research and analysis (CRQ):
URQ: What is the history of Chinese theatre?
CRQ: How does the legacy of Mei Lan Fang contribute to modern Jingju?
URQ: How important is chlorophyll to plant life?
CRQ: What is the effect of different concentrations of kinetin on leaves aging and the biosynthesis of chlorophyll?
URQ: Is Bitcoin the future?
CRQ: “Will Crypto Replace Gold As The Go-To Inflation Hedge In 2025?”
As the examples above indicate, a well-formulated RQ should be specific enough to provide scope for analysis and a reasoned argument within a 4000-word essay.
Additionally, you must directly answer your RQ as a final summary statement in your conclusion. For example:
RQ1: To what extent did the policies and actions of Joseph Stalin improve women’s standard of living?
Final Summary Statement1: Stalin’s policies and actions did not improve women’s standard of living based on the two criteria, liberty and equality, as stated in the introduction.
RQ2: How does Barbara Streisand’s 1983 filmic transformation of Issac Bashevis Singer’s short story ‘Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy’ demonstrate the differing cultural perspectives of modern American Jewry from traditional Yiddishkeit?
Final summary statement2: Streisand’s interpretation of Yentl gives Yentl the opportunity to have a future as a woman and restart her life in a new world. The dichotomy of Streisand and Singer’s Jewish experiences frames this transformation: Singer’s Yiddish status reflected in Yentl’s “outsider”-ness, and Streisand’s ability to maintain her Jewish identity alongside her Hollywood “insider” success—both translating into Yentl’s ability to start a new life by assimilating her womanhood with her desire for study.
You should state your RQ in the introduction verbatim and refer to it throughout the essay to ensure that your analysis is consistently on task.
The Title vs. The Research Question
The title page must contain both a title and a research question (RQ). The title differs from the RQ in that it should be a clear statement summarizing the research, which gives an indication of the research topic. It must not be phrased as an RQ. Here are some examples:
Title: An exploration of evil as a motivating force in drama
RQ: How effectively does Christopher Marlowe present his view of evil in Dr. Faustus?
Title: The feasibility of wireless networking in a city-wide context
RQ: To what extent is wireless networking a feasible alternative to cabled networking within a whole-city context?
Title: An exploration of an aspect of the narrative voice in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita
RQ: How far and to what effect does Humbert’s narration of the erotic vignettes change over the course of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita?
Title: The effects of transnational corporations on urban areas
RQ: To what extent has the influx of technological and financial transnational corporations in the Grand Canal Dock area given rise to disparities between this and the Irishtown-Ringsend area?
Title: Comparative study of availability of public services in Districts of Warsaw
RQ: What is the pattern of availability of public services, measured by access to healthcare, education and public transport in the districts of Warsaw, and does this pattern correlate with the average prices of real-estate properties?
Title: An analysis of J.L. Mackie’s refutal of Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence
RQ: To what extent has J.L. Mackie refuted Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence?
Title: Prediction and investigation of the time required to completely drain a cylindrical tank filled with water
RQ: What is the relationship between the height of water in a cylindrical tank and the time needed to completely drain the tank?
Title: The Mathematics of Musical Consonance
RQ: Why are some Musical Intervals More Consonant than Others?
Title: Assessing government intervention to reduce negative externalities of car use in Moscow
RQ: How effective has state-owned Moscow Metro’s pricing strategy been in reducing the negative externalities of car use in the city?
Title: Calculating the reaction between methyl azide and propyne, with and without homogeneous catalysts
RQ: Can we gain insight on how the rate of the reaction between methyl azide and propyne differs with and without a homogeneous catalyst?
Academic Honesty & Effective Referencing
It is critical that the extended essay reflect the principles of academic honesty; the precise sources of quotations, ideas, and images must be referenced (either using in-text parenthetical citations or numbered footnotes), and a bibliography must be included.
*Inaccurate referencing will be viewed as academic misconduct and will be investigated by the IBO. Inaccurate referencing will be viewed as academic misconduct and will be investigated by the IBO. Plagiarism can result in a failing condition for the EE and thus the entire diploma. *
A bibliography—with each item listed alphabetically—is found at the end of the essay before any appendices you might include (appendices are not required). Separating your primary and secondary sources is recommended in some subjects.
2. In-Text Citations
In addition to a bibliography, you must also include in-text parenthetical citations and/or footnotes to show the specific places in the essay where you either quoted or paraphrased each source listed in the bibliography.
Extended Essay Assessment Criteria
The Extended Essay is assessed out of 34 marks; here are the 5 specific criteria that contribute to your score:
Criterion A: Focus and method (maximum mark: 6)
This criterion focuses on the development of the topic, RQ, and methodology. According to IBO, to achieve full marks in this criterion, candidates must ensure that:
1. The topic is communicated accurately and effectively.
a. A title is present.
b. The purpose and focus of the research are clear and explicitly outlined in the introduction.
c. There is an explanation of WHY the topic is worthy of investigation.
2. The research question (RQ) is clearly stated and focused.
a. It is clearly stated, focused, and allows for in-depth investigation and evaluation.
3. Methodology of the research is complete.
a. An appropriate AND sufficient range of sources is used.
“Appropriate” refers to using sources that align with the academic standards for the subject of concern. That does not include popular magazines or newspapers for science essays!
Example) For a biology essay, it would be expected to include more scientific reports, but in a history essay, secondary and primary sources should be used more often instead.
“Sufficient” refers to the amount of each type of source that should be used.
Ex) In an economics EE, it would not be sufficient to use textbooks only; you should include reports and data based on specific case studies. In a literature or music EE, your secondary sources should include a combination of monographs (published books) as well as a range of peer-reviewed journal articles.
EEs in the sciences should discuss the theory behind the techniques and methods they have used and why they chose them to demonstrate their understanding of the science. They should use correct units and a correct number of significant figures. You should write your methodology in a way that others could replicate it.
EEs in the humanities should explain how the arguments voiced among the main secondary sources inform your own individual interpretation/line of argument. Be careful not to make your EE into a mere survey of what others have already said—you need to explain how the main critics you are using either support, qualify, or refute your own position regarding the primary source(s).
Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding (maximum mark: 6)
This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay uses appropriate terminology and concepts specific to the subject. According to IBO, to achieve full marks in this criterion, candidates must ensure that:
1. Knowledge and understanding are excellent.
• There is a demonstration of relevant selection and application of a wide range of sources. If a range of sources has not been used, the students should justify choosing the limited selection.
• The context of the research is relevant and accurate.
2. Use of terminology and concepts is good.
- Understanding is demonstrated through appropriate subject-specific terminology.
Ex) In an economics essay, using terminology such as “subsidies”, “negative externality”, “welfare loss”, etc. In a literature essay, using terminology such as “representation”, “transformation”, “symbolism”, etc.
Poor selection of reliable references and/or lack of effective use of sources, especially in the discussion, is one of the most common problems that leads students to receive lower scores.
Using too many quotations from the references instead of integrating them selectively and strategically into their discussions is another put-off for examiners.
In science EEs, consistent terminology—including symbols, variables, units, scientific notations, uncertainties, and annotated diagrams—is vital to getting a high mark in this criterion.
In humanities EEs, ensuring a consistent differentiation between the interpretations among the secondary critics, whether in paraphrase or embedded quotes, and your own argumentative through-line is the foundation for your success in Criterion B.
Criterion C: Critical thinking (maximum mark: 12)
This criterion is the most important criterion and assesses the extent to which critical and analytical thinking skills have been applied to evaluate the chosen research question. According to IBO, to achieve full marks in this criterion, candidates must ensure that:
1. The research is excellent.
a. Research undertaken is focused on the research question.
b. The research is sufficient enough to allow the examiner to understand the topic and analysis.
2. Analysis is excellent.
a. The analysis of the research is effective and focused on the research question.
b. All analysis is supported by evidence.
3. Discussion/evaluation is excellent.
a. A reasoned argument is formulated from the research.
b. The argument is well-structured and coherent, demonstrating evidence of critical thinking.
c. The conclusion is supported by the evidence and analysis.
In science EEs, if students are using their own practical methods of experimentation, they not only need to explain the reasons for choosing this specific method but also to demonstrate awareness of alternative techniques/methodologies and how these may have affected the findings.
In humanities EEs, students should follow the ‘Four Is of Evidence’ in each body paragraph after the topic sentence: Introduction of evidence, Integration of evidence, Interpretation(s) of evidence, and Implication(s) of evidence.
Losing focus on the research question often leads students toward writing a descriptive essay rather than an analytical and critical one, especially in English A.
In their conclusion, students should assess the limitations of their work and the areas that could be improved, changed, or built upon. It is not a summary of the whole text but a synthesis of it. In science EEs, experimental errors are inevitable; students should explain their significance and the possibility of avoiding or correcting them either in future works or in the current EE. In humanities EEs, conclusions offer an opportunity to explore the global relevance or impact of the analysis.
Criterion D: Presentation (maximum mark: 4)
This criterion assesses the extent to which the structure of the essay allows for effective communication and whether it follows the standard format expected for academic writing. According to IBO, to achieve full marks in this criterion, candidates must ensure that:
1. Presentation is good.
a. Structure: structure of the essay is compatible with the expected conventions of the research paper and its subject.
Example: In a history essay, the section “Background Information” may be required.
b. The EE’s layout—title page, contents page, introduction, the body of essay, conclusion, references & bibliography—is present (see “Structure of Essay” section for more details).
c. The appropriate bibliography format is used consistently (see “Academic honesty & Effective Referencing” section for more details).
d. Word limit: The EE has not exceeded the maximum word limit of 4,000. It should be noted that examiners are instructed to ignore any parts of the essay that exceed 4,000 words. Some students tend to put some material in the appendix that belongs in the body; examiners penalize students who attempt to evade the word limit this way.
Here are some reasons why students receive lower scores in Criterion D:
• splitting a table over two pages
• ending a page with a heading
• breaking an equation into two lines
• not using appropriate mathematical notations
• not integrating/embedding quotations properly
• exceeding 4000 words
• putting essential or irrelevant/unnecessary material in the appendices
• not labeling or captioning figures/diagrams/data tables/graphs/images
Criterion E: Engagement (maximum mark: 6)
This criterion assesses the student’s engagement with the research process and their ability to reflect upon the successes and challenges they encountered.
According to IBO, to achieve full marks in this criterion, candidates must ensure that:
1. Engagement is excellent.
a. The student has evaluated decisions made throughout the process.
Example: Explaining why they chose the topic and specific primary and/or secondary sources.
b. Improvements and alternative pathways are suggested based on the challenges experienced.
c. There is evidence of intellectual initiative and a creative approach to the essay’s planning and structure.
d. The student’s own unique voice, rather than the supervisor’s and tutors’, is present in the reflections.
Example: Explaining in their reflections HOW they became interested in their topic.
Assessment Grade Descriptors
All extended essays are externally assessed by an examiner appointed by the IB, and every student will receive a grade from A-E based on their total score out of 34.
A — work of an excellent standard.
B — work of a good standard.
C — work of a satisfactory standard.
D — work of a mediocre standard.
E — work of an elementary standard.
The mark boundaries changes every year depending on candidates’ performance; for example, in 2018, the mark boundaries were:
Grade A: 27-34
Grade B: 21-26
Grade C: 14-20
Grade D: 7-13
Grade E: 0-6
* Note: A student must receive a D or higher to be awarded the Diploma.
Researcher’s Reflection Space (RRS)
The Researcher’s Reflections Space (RRS) can be compared to a journal, where students record reflections on what they are reading, writing and thinking. While the IB will not be able to see what was written in the RRS, it is highly recommended that students take advantage of this space as it will help them track their ideas and progress. Many supervisors will also encourage the use of the RRS as it facilitates the formal reflection sessions by helping students remember details of the various stages throughout their writing process. Some supervisors may even mandate students to share excerpts from their RRS to stimulate meaningful discussion and authenticate the student’s writing. Some recommended tools are Avidnote, Evernote, bubbl.us, Miro, Stormboard, Managebac.
Check-in sessions are informal and often consist of an occasional 10–15-minute meeting with the supervisor to clarify a question or solve a problem. However, in rare cases, it may also be longer, involving discussion on a specific issue, such as getting access to resources. Ultimately, the frequency and length of the check-in sessions are dependent on the supervisor’s schedule and the amount of help that the student needs and they have no effect on the final assessment of the essay.
Formal Reflection Sessions:
All students are required to have three formal meeting sessions (first, interim, and viva voce) with their supervisor. After each session, the student is required to write a short reflection on the writing process and what was discussed during the meeting, as well as the challenges they encountered, and the important decisions and changes they made. These reflections must be recorded on the RPPF, and the maximum limit for all three reflections is 500 words (see below for an example).
The meetings typically last 20-30 minutes, and students should be prepared to actively engage in dialogue and answer any questions posed by their supervisor. The meetings happen at different times based on the internal deadlines set by each individual school.
The purpose of the reflections is to:
● Help you with the development of your essay, from planning to research to writing.
● Allow you to re-examine the rationale behind your actions and choices, and to decide whether changes are necessary.
● Allow your supervisors to confirm the authenticity of the your writing.
The most successful candidates will produce a reflection that shows a high level of engagement with the learning process, highlighting challenges they may have experienced and showing evidence of intellectual and personal growth.
It is important to complete the reflections with effort because they contribute to Criteria E: Engagement (see above for detailed criteria description).
Here is a summary of what typically happens in each reflection session:
2. The Interim Reflection Session
The interim reflection session is a continuation of the discussion from the initial session. Topics discussed in this session often include:
● feedback on a section of sustained writing from your draft essay to ensure you are meeting basic academic research and writing standards
● whether you are using an appropriate range of reputable sources
● whether you are referencing/citing your sources accurately
● whether you are critically evaluating the reliability and origin of your sources
At the end of this session, you should have a clearly refined RQ, a sufficient range of appropriate sources, and a viable argument.
– Presentation of a Draft Version of Essay
Supervisors are allowed to view and comment on one completed draft of the essay prior to the final version and the final reflection session. However, supervisors are limited in the level of support that they can give; they are allowed to add open-ended comments, but they will not correct spelling/punctuation, rewrite any parts of the text, proofread the essay for errors, or correct citations.
After commenting on one full draft, the next version of the essay must be the final version that is submitted to IBO. It must not contain any comments from anyone, and once you submit the final version to your supervisor and discussed it in the final reflection session, you are not permitted to make any other amendments.
3. The Final Reflection Session (viva voce)
- The final reflection session, also known as the viva voce, is a mandatory interview between you and your supervisor. It is viewed as a celebration of the completion of the essay and an opportunity for you to reflect on the skills you acquired through the process. Questions your supervisor will pose in the viva voce might include:
- What was the most valuable skill that you learned?
- What is one thing that you would do differently next time?
- What is one piece of advice you would offer to future IB students?
The viva voce also provides an opportunity for your supervisor to authenticate your ideas and sources—and for you to reflect on the successes and difficulties you encountered.
You should avoid writing RPPFs that are either too short or too long. A well-written RPPF will show your motivation for choosing the topic and your growth over the sessions. Students usually make the mistake of treating the RPPF like a diary and risk losing scores in Criterion E. EE examiners see the RPPF as a chance for students to reflect on the skills they have developed during the research and writing process and solidly show their motivation and growth during the three sessions.
An Example of an RPPF:
Below is an example of a well-written reflection by one of our tutors at Hack Your AP and IB Tutoring Service, who received an A on her final essay.
Warning: please do not attempt to copy any parts of the reflection shown below as they belong to individuals; the reflection is only meant to act as a guide and example.
(Feminism Under Joseph Stalin. RQ: To What Extent did the Policies and Actions of Joseph Stalin Improve Women’s Standard of Living?)
For my essay, I wanted to focus on the role woman played in society because I think gender analysis gives insight into the environment people were living under during different time periods. Aside from being interested in Russia’s history, I chose to focus on women during Stalin’s regime because with the rise of Stalinism and Communism, women’s lives changed. I narrowed my scope by focusing on policies implemented by Stalin and evaluating to what extent they improved women’s lives. I initially planned to focus on one group, like peasant women, but I realized this would give an incomplete outlook. After, I decided that I would focus on 3 categories: women in workforce, household, education because this will allow me to address women with different occupations in my essay. As I researched, the first challenge was that some sources gave conflicting information; going forward, I will utilize multiple sources for confirmation.
During my EE writing process, I had a difficult time balancing between the “right” amount of background information and evaluation. I found it hard choosing whether or not a piece of information should be included; however, my supervisor cleared my doubts by telling me to only include information that are important to the evaluation of my RQ. Another challenge I had was with sources: it was initially difficult evaluating the credibility of sources because I was solely commenting on the origin/author of the source. However, afterwards, I realized that reliability should be extended to the work itself and talking about how those limitations influence the topics of my discussion. Another big change I made mid-way through my paper was deciding to compare Stalin’s policies & actions with those of Vladimir Lenin. I started to realize that I had no “measurement” to say whether Stalin improved women’s lives— but by comparing Stalin with Lenin, 2 figures that had different outlooks towards women, I can clearly show how women’s lives changed drastically after Stalin took over.
Overall, I am very pleased with my final essay, and I was surprised by how fascinated I was with my topic! Throughout the process, I have learned valuable skills, including how to reference sources and find background information, that have helped me strengthen my researching skills. Another valuable skill I have gained is the ability to synthesize various pieces of information into a coherent argument. I learned that the process of research not only entails simply finding information, but also considering the weaknesses and strengths of the sources where the information came from. I think the biggest strength of my essay was that the purpose and structure of my essay remained clear throughout, which really helped me focus my paper and enabled me to distinguish between the kind of sources I needed. However, I think that if I were to write the essay again next time, I would choose to narrow down my research topic even more – perhaps only focusing on women in a specific group: this would allow for a more in-depth investigation.
The above reflection is well-written and shows evidence of personal engagement because:
1. The student explains the reasons for choosing her topic & RQ.
Ex) She finds gender analysis to be important to historical analysis, and she has always been interested in Russian history.
2. The student explains the challenges that she encountered and how she resolved them.
Ex) She had a difficult time deciding which information she should include, but at the end, sought help from her supervisor, who told her to only include information relevant to the analysis of her RQ.
3. The student mentions changes that she made to her essays and explains WHY she did so.
Ex) In the initial reflection, she planned on focusing on one group of women, but realized that this approach would give an incomplete outlook.
Ex) In the interim reflection, she realized that she had no measuring criteria to evaluate whether Stalin’s policies improved women’s lives, so she decided to compare Stalin’s policies with those of Lenin.
4. The student makes clear the skills that she learned from this process (evidence of intellectual and personal growth).
a) She learned how to reference sources and find background information, which strengthened her research skills.
5. The student reflects on the strengths AND weaknesses of her essay.
Ex) The strength was that the purpose and structure of her essay remained clear. However, if she were to write the essay again, she would choose to narrow down her RQ further to allow for a more in-depth investigation.
COMMON MISTAKES IN WRITING THE EXTENDED ESSAY
Most of the common mistakes in relation to specific criteria have been added as comments at the end of every criterion above. Here are a few additional problems students have made that you can avoid:
1. Formulating a RQ that is overly broad or narrow.
2. Using inappropriate sources.
Many examiners will check the credibility of the sources. In general, scientific journals, articles, and novels are preferred over websites. However, it is important to have a range of sources to show the examiners that you are capable of in-depth research!
3. Incorrect and/or inaccurate referencing
Correct referencing is especially important to avoid plagiarism. Remember that IDEAS also need to be referenced even if they are not quoted.
4. Writing an informative rather than argumentative
The entire purpose of the extended essay is to develop a reasoned argument. Thus, avoid sounding like Wikipedia in your essay—only provide background information that is necessary to the analysis of your RQ.
Tips & Advice
1. Set personalized and realistic deadlines!
A common problem that many students struggle with is time management. Allocating yourself abundant time to write the essay AND proofread it is important to ensuring the quality of the final version.
2. Establish a good relationship with your supervisor.
Ultimately, your supervisor is the one who will be assessing your essay to determine a predicted grade, and their comment is important to the examiners who will give you the final grade. Therefore, regular communication with your supervisor is to your advantage—“Ghosting” your supervisor is not recommended!
3. Spend time (re)formulating your research question.
To some extent, your RQ will determine the final success of your essay. Therefore, making sure the RQ is focused, clear, and arguable is extremely important. Ensure that your RQ is approved by your supervisor first.
4. Keep track of your sources.
Do this as soon as possible to avoid issues with plagiarism. It is also very easy to spend hours finding the source that you have used and yet forgotten the origin. You can use some helpful software or websites like Zotero, Mendeley, Qiqqa, Jabref to keep track of your sources and put them automatically in order according to your chosen style guide (APA, MLA, Harvard,…).
5. Do not lose easy marks
It is surprising to see how many students lose their marks on easily avoidable mistakes.
● Make sure to have all the 6 required elements required by IBO (see “Structure of Essay” section).
● Make sure you adhere to the 4,000-word limit.
● Make sure you have a title.
The Role of External Mentors and tutors
According to IBO, ideally, students should write the Extended Essay only under the guidance of their supervisor; however, in circumstances that the school deems to be appropriate, students may seek the help of an external mentor (like a tutor). If this is the case, the external mentor must understand and sign this letter.
Students are required to:
1. Develop their own RQ.
2. Develop their own appropriate and ethical research methods
3. Collect and process their own data.
4. Show critical understanding of approaches used.
5. Demonstrate academic integrity.
The external mentor must not:
1. Provide the student with an RQ or focused topic
2. Provide ready-to-use techniques and protocols
3. Provide advanced or extensive support
4. Provide a ready-to-use data analysis tool
5. Read, edit, or comment on any written work
If the external mentor and student do not follow any of the above regulations, it is considered malpractice and will be investigated by IBO.
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