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Extended Essay: Step-by-Step Guide and Efficient Tips

What is an extended essay? It is a four-thousand-word essay that you have to write for the International Baccalaureate program under the supervision of an advisor. To be honest, Extended Essay is like a long-term relationship. There is a honeymoon phase at the beginning where everything seems romantic and fun, eventually, it might get a little fat but you still love it though, and at the final stage this “relationship” might seem insufferably boring. However, you got to keep putting in work and love, you have to grow with it.

The extended essay gets a lot of hate for being the bane of every student. However, if you do things in an organized manner and follow the tips that Coolessay team about to give, there is definitely nothing stopping you from achieving a good score alongside having as much free time as you want. So, here is a step-by-step guide for you to make the whole process a lot easier.

Step 1: Choose a Topic for Your Extended Essay


Extended Essay


You will spend a vast amount of time doing this piece of work. So, it is crucial to pick a topic which will sustain your interest for that period of time. At some point, you will get tired from endless reading. But once you find a topic you are passionate about; you will not notice the time passing by while you are researching for an Extended Essay and composing it.

It is highly recommended that you write your Extended Essay in a subject that you are already studying as a part of your IB Program as you are more familiar with the tools and content of the subject.

There are two ways to find research paper topics for high school – to create your own or to pick a suitable one from the list of the topics on the Internet. If there is nothing you can come up with, searching on the web is not such a bad idea. If you ask students around, you will understand that there is no limit for topics. Your Extended Essay can be about Walt Disney World and Disneyland, how he was the first person who had a theme park; about running shoes and how the structure of the running shoes helped to fight the obesity; about the mercury levels and fish in local environment; about impacts that Che Guevara has had on a Spanish culture today; or about Samuel Beckett, how World War 2 influenced his writing and how in turn his writing influenced France.

Step 2: Define a Research Question of Your Extended Essay

To begin, you need a workable research question which is a question with a clear focus that can be successfully answered within the given word limit. An example of a topic can be: How perceptions of Shakespearean plays have changed over time. Phrasing it into a workable research question: In what ways does Shakespeare display his attitudes of love and death in Romeo and Juliet towards the contemporary audience?

The question should allow you to undertake research, it should not be a hypothetical question (If Apple started selling water, would it be successful?), but be based on some materials.

Step 3: Locate Relevant Sources to Support Research into the Chosen Topic of Extended Essay


Writing Extended Essay


Use secondary sources supported by primary ones. An A grade can be achieved without the use of primary sources. Use contemporary data (if submitting extended essay April 2019, try not to use articles from 2009, aim for April 2013 onwards if possible) and University databases for research.

A lot of research you can find in a local library is better than the information you can find on a lot of internet websites. Moreover, you know that it will definitely be reliable. So, go to a university, spend a day in a library and look at lots of databases: thesis, magazines, book, all those types of things to get the best research that you can get.

Step 4: Organize the Information into a Workable Format

We are talking about keeping an updated document with all of your research in it. This would be all the information you got from your science experiment, all of the quotes you got from your book or different pieces of information you got out from reading a research paper. Do not forget to jot down the page numbers so you can reference back to it, as well as links and the comments so you can go back to where you found the actual source.

Step 5: Take Care of the Structure of Your Extended Essay

What does the extended essay consist of? The title page, contents page, introduction, body of the essay (headings, subheadings), conclusion, references and bibliography of only the works cited in the essay itself using an acknowledged referencing style in either APA or MLA. Your layout is worth about four marks. So, make sure you got all those pieces and give yourself at least one day for checking the page numbers, references, grammar, and punctuation.

And do not forget about the assessment criteria of each extended essay: knowledge and understanding, focus and method, critical thinking, presentation, engagement. Does your Extended Essay meet all the requirements?


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