The Extended Essay (EE), along with Creativity Action Service (CAS) and Theory of Knowledge (ToK), is part of the Core of the IB Diploma Program. It is mandatory for all IB students; students must pass all three components of the Core in order to be awarded the DP Diploma. The Core reflects the IB’s dedication to developing well-rounded students. The Core is a key component in achieving the goals (international mindedness) espoused in the IB Mission Statement.
The EE is an independent, self-directed piece of research, that culminates in a 4,000-word paper. The essay is typically related to one of their six DP courses, but it is not part of any specific course. Students choose a Supervisor to help guide them through the EE process. In addition to the research essay, students are required to have three formal interviews with their Supervisor. Students are also required to submit a Reflection Form with their essay.
The extended essay provides:
- practical preparation for undergraduate research
- an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them
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
- developing an argument.
Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyse, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.
The aims of the EE are for students to:
- engage in independent research with intellectual initiative and rigour
- develop research, thinking, self-management, and writing skills
- reflect on what they have learned throughout the research and writing process
The EE, along with the students’ reflections, is assessed externally by an IB Examiner. The EE is given a mark out of 34. The EE is evaluated based on five criteria:
Criterion A: Focus and method (6 marks)
Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding (6 marks)
Criterion C: Critical thinking (12 marks)
Criterion D: Presentation (4 marks)
Criterion E: Engagement (6 marks)