Writing the Extended Essay

After sources have been read and notes have been taken, the next step is the actual writing of the paper.  For many students, this is a huge jump.  It is important that you recognize that once you start writing the paper, that doesn't mean you won't have to do any more research.  It also means that as you begin constructing your argument you may find that some of the research that you found is not actually as useful as you once thought.  It is important that one doesn't try to force all the information into the paper just because you feel that "if I took all that time to find it, I need to use it!" 

This section of the site is devoted to materials to help students write the extended essay.

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Comments 21

Hana Majzoub 4 February 2018 - 15:26

Hello John,
With the new EE curriculum, do students need to include the table of contents? If yes, I read that there are no more headings or subheading within the EE paper. Can you please clarify it?
Thank you in advance, Hana.

John Crane 4 February 2018 - 15:56

Dear Hana, on p 83 of the guide it reads: A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered.

Zandra Bibby 26 February 2018 - 19:33

Hi John, thank you for that!
Do you think that it would still qualify as a psychology essay? Seems quite biology based... Initially the student wanted to look at the biopsychosocial model in application to sport yet found that this was beyond the scope of 4000 words. She decided to focus solely on the genetic component as this is what interested her the most...
Thank you, Zandra.

John Crane 27 February 2018 - 05:13

Dear Zandra - yes, that would be fine. Many students do such papers.

Monali Sharma 27 March 2018 - 04:25

Dear John,
I am supervising two extended essays and both the students are exploring the link of personality traits with their topics- Burnout and Leadership effectiveness. They are focussing on different personality traits but the model used is the Big five as it is the latest in the field of personality research. Is it ok for both the kids to be using the same model? They have picked completely different traits from the Big Five for their essay though.

Thank you

Tripti Rathore 9 July 2018 - 09:15

Dear John,
Let me know your feedback on the following questions.
"To what extent does the weight message in 'female' and 'male' magazines influence body image of its readers?"
“To what extent does recognizing the true body size of models portrayed in magazines lead to body dissatisfaction among teenage girls?”
“To what extent do teenage girls from individual society as compared to collectivistic society would have a negative body image?”

Tripti Rathore 11 July 2018 - 04:07

Dear John,
Kindly guide me with the following question:
"To what extent does smartphone addiction negatively affect a person's brain?"

John Crane 11 July 2018 - 17:29

Dear Monali

I fear my response is too late, but it is not a problem. I am sorry but for some readon the feed did not pick up this comment. :(

Tripti Rathore 13 July 2018 - 05:32

Dear John,
Kindly share your feedback for the above RQ's

John Crane 22 July 2018 - 18:07

Dear Tripti

Thank you for waiting.

You had four questions, but the first three all seem to be the same type of question. I am assuming that this is one student trying to narrow down a question, rather than three different students. Otherwise, I would recommend that you not have three students do research that is so closely related.

"To what extent does the weight message in 'female' and 'male' magazines influence body image of its readers?" This is an ok question, but rather broad. I would limit it to either male or female - not both. Secondly, why 'magazines?" If that is what is stated in the question, every piece of research will have to be specifically linked to magazines; this may be limiting. the student may simply want to look at "the media" and then define that term in the introduction based on the findings of his/her research.
“To what extent does recognizing the true body size of models portrayed in magazines lead to body dissatisfaction among teenage girls?” I don't understand this question. what is meant by "recognizing the true body size?" I would discard this question.
“To what extent do teenage girls from individual society as compared to collectivistic society would have a negative body image?” Needs grammatical editing, but acceptable.

The second question is problematic. There is no such thing as "smart phone addiction." The student could look at whether long-term or chronic use of cell phones has an effect on the brain - but it should be more specific than 'effect on the brain." Have the student bring the research to you that he or she finds, and then base the question on that.

Tripti Rathore 23 July 2018 - 08:30

Dear John,
Share your feedback on the following question:
"TWE does physical attractiveness impact teachers expectation

John Crane 24 July 2018 - 14:47

Dear Tripti - once again, ask the student to show you the research. If there is research on the question available, then it would be a good question. If not, then ask them to come up with another question.

Tripti Rathore 2 August 2018 - 16:32

Dear John,
Guide me with how to give justification for the sources used in Introduction of EE. One of my students is using two theories for his EE how to justify. If you could share a sample EE with 6/6 in Introduction.

John Crane 3 August 2018 - 05:28

Dear Tripti

The justification is simply "why is this question important?" Why is it worth studying? The sources are justified when they are relevant to the question. As for a sample with a 6/6 introduction, I do not have one, but the following page should help you.


Sample EEs are rather tricky. I am not allowed to use actual EEs as they are the property of the IB - and also because of EU privacy laws. So, I would have to write an EE in order to get a sample. I have done that so that we have at least one sample, and plan to do more eventually, but right now, we have to work with the one sample which I have provided.

Tripti Rathore 3 August 2018 - 06:36

Dear John,
Thanks a ton

Tripti Rathore 3 August 2018 - 06:51

Dear John,
Is it important to end the Introduction with a clear statement of the thesis of the paper. As my students write worthiness as the last paragraph of their introduction ending it with the RQ

John Crane 4 August 2018 - 03:43

There is no prescribed format for the introduction - so your student may use any format, as long as there is a clear statement of the thesis and an explanation of how it will be argued somewhere in the introduction.

Tripti Rathore 5 August 2018 - 18:02

Dear John,
Thanks a ton

Tripti Rathore 20 August 2018 - 04:25

Dear John,
Share your feedback
"To what extent do placebos produce the same effect as antidepressants in treating depression ?" Is it fine or do I need to focus on age group

John Crane 21 August 2018 - 05:24

Dear Tripti,

The question is poorly worded. Isn't the question simply to what extent are anti-depressants more effective than placebos?

Tripti Rathore 21 August 2018 - 06:30

Alright thanks a ton