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ARC IB Extended Essay

Organizing Your Essay
EE Deadlines
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing a Subject
Choosing a Topic
The Role of the Supervisor
Contact EE Coordinator
Supervisor's Agreement
Organizing Your Essay
Plagiarism Info
Useful Links
Diploma Points Matrix for the EE and TOK Essays

All Extended Essays must be laid out as follows:


Your title page must contain:

  • Your Name
  • Your Candidate Number
  • The Title of your Extended Essay


The Abstract should be:

  • Not more than 300 words long
  • Typed or word processed
  • Placed immediately after the title page


A contents page MUST BE PROVIDED at the beginning of the Extended Essay.

All pages must be numbered.



The main body of your essay should be word processed and 1.5 spaced. To obtain this spacing go into:

  • Format
  • Paragraph
  • Line Spacing
  • 1.5

       5. Bibliography



It is advisable to include your name and candidate number as a header in the top left hand corner of every page of your essay. This way if your essay becomes separated in anyway it can be easily identified.


Here is some additional information regarding the layout of the Extended Essay.


The introduction should include:

  • an indication of why the topic is interesting, important or worthy of study (so make sure that it is). In other words why you chose to write about your particular topic.


  • some background information and an attempt to place the topic in an appropriate context. In other words a brief outline of anything that will give the examiner some idea of what your essay is going to address.


  • an indication of whether the topic has been narrowed to a focus of more manageable proportions. Roughly translated did you start off trying to write an essay on "The History of the British Isles" and end up focusing on "The Role of the Labour Party in the 1984/5 miners' strike." If so state this, subtley of course, in your introduction.


  • a clearly and precisely stated research question. Don't waffle! State your question clearly and understandably.


  • a clear concluding statement of the thesis and argument. In other words a response to your question that you will develop further in your essay.



The body of your essay should be:

  • a systematic development of a convincing answer to the research question. In plain English - make sure that your essay is put together logically, that points follow on in a logical progression. Make sure that your answer makes sense and that your argument is solid.


  • Some essays will be shaped by the conventions of the subject in which you are writing. For example sub-headings may be required in some subjects, such as science, which may require you to have separate sections for method and results. However other subjects, such as English, must never have sub-headings, simply because they interrupt the flow of the essay.



The conclusion of your essay must be:

  • clearly stated - this does not mean writing "The End" it means you must clearly bring your essay to a conclusion by bringing all your points together and clearly stating your final argument.


  • relevant to the research question being investigated - ensure that your conclusion relates to your original question. In a piece of writing of this length it is easy to get sidetracked, so while you may have started off discussing the "Life Cycle of the Giant Turtle", you may end up writing on "The Ecological Effects of Tourism in The Galapagos Islands."


  • substantiated by the evidence presented - make sure that the points you have presented in support of your question actually are in support of your question! If you are trying to prove that the USA is the world's greatest democracy then using the election of George W Bush is probably not the most effective case study with which to prove your point!


In addition to all the above your conclusion should also indicate any unresolved issues or questions that your essay has raised. Remember this is simply a 4000 word essay it is not a solution to the meaning of life! IB do not expect you to know every single thing about the topic on which you are writing, it is perfectly acceptable to admit to not being able to find answers to all the issues raised as long as you have put forward a convincing case on your central question. Likewise your conclusion should also mention any new questions that have arisen as a result of your essay.