Extended Essay

Develop research, thinking, self-management and communication skills that serve students in college and beyond

The extended essay is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research into a topic chosen by the student and presented as a formal piece of academic writing. The extended essay is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity while engaging students in personal research. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of up to 4,000 words in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent, and appropriate manner.

Students are guided through the process of research and writing by Ms. Barret Bell. All students undertake three mandatory reflection sessions, including a short interview, or viva voce, following the completion of the extended essay.

Extended essay topics may be chosen from a list of approved DP subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma or the world studies option. World studies provide students with the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, using two IB disciplines.

The aims of the extended essay are to provide students with the opportunity to:

  • engage in independent research with intellectual initiative and rigor
  • develop research, thinking, self-management and communication skills
  • reflect on what has been learned throughout the research and writing process
  • prepare for undergraduate research

Learn more about the Extended Essay