The Extended Essay forms an integral part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. The essay is essentially a 4000-word personal research project, which aims to offer students the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
For a diploma to be awarded, all the following regulations must be complied with:
Regulation 1 - The Requirement
Every IB diploma candidate must submit an extended essay.
Regulation 2 - Supervision
It is the school's responsibility to ensure that each candidate submitting an extended essay is supervised by a teacher at the school.
Regulation 3 - Language of the Essay
Extended essays submitted in a group 1 or group 2 language must be written in that language. Extended essays in all other subjects must be written in English, French or Spanish.
Regulation 4 - Malpractice
The IBO defines malpractice as the attempt by a candidate to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment component. Collusion is when a candidate knowingly allows his or her work to be submitted for assessment by another candidate. Plagiarism is defined by the IBO as the submission for assessment of the unacknowledged work, thoughts or ideas of another person as the candidate's own. In order to avoid charges of plagiarism, candidates must always ensure that they acknowledge fully and in detail the words and/or ideas of another person.
The Nature of the Extended Essay
The Extended Essay is defined as an in-depth study of a limited topic, within a subject. Emphasis is placed on the process of engaging in personal research, on the communication of ideas and information in a logical and coherent manner, and on the overall presentation of the Extended Essay in compliance with these guidelines.
The Choice of Subject
It is advisable to choose the subject for the extended essay before deciding what the topic or research question of the Extended Essay will be. Certain topics may not be appropriate for an Extended Essay. The subject chosen is generally one of the subjects being studied by the candidate for the diploma. Candidates should also base the choice of subject on the level of personal interest they have in that subject.
Assessment of Extended Essays
Use of Assessment Criteria
All Extended Essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IBO.
Criterion A: Research Question
Criterion B: Introduction
Criterion C: Investigation
Criterion D: Knowledge and Understanding of the topic studied
Criterion E: Reasoned Argument
Criterion F: Application of analytical and evaluative tools appropriate to the subject
Criterion G: Use of language appropriate to the subject
Criterion H: Conclusion
Criterion I: Formal Presentation
Criterion J: Abstract
Criterion K: Holistic Judgement