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All About the Extended Essay!

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As a core element of the IB curriculum, the Extended Essay is a task all students, wishing to receive their IB Diplomas, must tackle. The Extended Essay is a research paper which allows each student to further research and investigate a particular topic of their interest. Although the Extended Essay is only in 11th and 12th grade, it is huge task and it doesn’t hurt to think about it no mater what grade you are in.  You are probably wondering, how  you get started with the  it or  what you can write about.

No need to panic! The Quirky Quibbler has been around to ask our very own 12th graders, currently working on their Extended Essays, about their  tips and tricks for writing them. Some of these tips could also be useful  for the personal project or any other essay.

From the 12th graders, we heard about a great variety of topics and research questions  showing just how individual every student’s essay is. Questions ranged ranged from, How has microcredit in Bangladesh empowered women, to What are the effects of the polar bear population and what causes fluctuations in their populations?  Topics are personal and creative. Other areas covered incuded  smoking in relation to microeconomics, and the analysis and dissection of  a poem.  

When asking the students what had gone best for them so far or what they enjoyed about the EE to this point, responses were fairly similar.  Most students mentioned how you get to pick a topic that interests you and which is fun to research about.

For all the readers who want to know the best tips, they are: 

  • start early(!)
  • work over the summer
  • research early
  • pick a topic that you are interested in, but also think strategically to be able to get the best possible grade

We also asked how to brainstorm ideas. Some said you should look through your subject-specific textbooks to get ideas on topics you could write your essay on within a subject. Others suggested that picking a topic, preferably in an Higher Level  subject,  about something that interests you. (For those not familiar with the DP – students take 3 subjects at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level).

However, everything doesn’t always go smoothly when researching and writing  extended essays. All of the 12th graders we asked said that finding reliable as well as relevant data was the hardest challenge, so it is a good idea to properly look at primary sources and updated data before settling with a topic to prevent having to switch question completely.

Another problem that a student had was making time to communicate with their supervisor. They stressed the fact that if you have questions, even about the smallest of doubts, it is vital to ask them. Remember find time to communicate with your supervisor!

Although some of these tips might seem obvious, the 12th graders could not stress enough how essential these things are in order to remain levelheaded and positive towards the Extended Essay. 

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The student news site of Stockholm International School
All About the Extended Essay!