Comprehensive Extended Essay Guide

Date: April 11, 2018

Have you been coming up with topic after topic for your extended definition essay only to cancel it later? Are you a non-starter on your essay? Without proper knowledge of International Baccalaureate essay requirements, the task of doing your essay from scratch can become overbearing. We have created a simple guide to help you create an excellent extended definition essay. Get tips on spotting ‘out of the box’ topic ideas.

What is the Extended Essay definition?

The extended essay is a research paper on any subject taught under IB diploma. It is mandatory for IBO diploma. You are allowed to choose a topic in one of the approved subjects you are taking; then you can independently research and write about it. Your supervisor is required to spend three hours with you discussing aspects of your extended essay.

They may give recommendations but cannot help you write. You should not select a topic at face value. To write this 4000-word paper, you need to find an item that you can extensively discuss. What is an extended definition essay? It is the definition of a complex term/ word. Unlike the extended essay, it should define the word in question before relating it to experience.

What you should learn by the end of this guide:

  • How to brainstorm viable topics
  • The correct structure for an extended essay
  • How to begin and end your essay

Not knowing your work structuring can bane your paper and consequently affect your score.

De Question for Your Extended Essay

The first step to developing your essay is to select a topic. Remember, the topic not only tells you how to start your essay but also affects all other parts of your essay. Be thorough in your topic evaluation. Next, draft your research question. At this point, you don’t worry about how to write an extended essay topic that is perfect since you are still making a draft. Just write what you think is the best title that describes you extended essay focus.

Write three or more version of the question.  Note down the different ways you would like to frame it and examine the kind of response each elicits. The second step is to examine how good your question is; does it cover your focus topic? Is it interesting to discuss? If yes, you can take it as your final question. Let it guide you on how to make an extended definition essay outline.

Tips on How to Structure Your Extended Essay

The extended essay structure of your content forms the skeleton or backbone of the extended essay. Make sure you create a good structure. The first step is to make an outline.

Guide on how to structure an extended essay

  • Come up with a theme: the theme refers to the scope of your research.
  • Create a topic question: also known as a research question; it specifies your focus area further.

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  • Write the thesis statement: the thesis is the heart of your essay. An improperly written thesis can mislead or leave the wrong impression on your reader. In this case, your instructor.
  • Give a brief overview of your topic: this is known as an abstract. It is a short analysis of your essay that should prepare the reader for the content covered in the rest of your essay.
  • Write a fantastic introduction: the introduction should make your reader yarn for more insight.
  • Create subtopics that you will discuss in each paragraph: write down your ideas on a separate paper and decide on which one to start with. Link one idea to the next to bring synchrony to your extended essay.
  • Ending your essay: the way you conclude your essay affects your whole paper. A professional and alluring conclusion can change the reader’s view of your essay regardless of the other parts.

How to Write an Abstract

The extended essay abstract should give a brief overview of your focus. Don’t mistake it for an introduction. Since it touches on key areas in your essay, it is best to write it as the last thing. The proper length of an IB abstract is approximately 300 words. The purpose of an abstract is to tests students’ skills in analyzing an argument or discussion and the conclusion they arrived at. It also assists the reader in understanding the essay contents quickly.

It should state precisely:

  • Your research question
  • The process of your investigation and
  • Your extended essay conclusion

Your Essay Introduction Will Draw Your Reader

How should an extended essay introduction look like? Why should I introduce my essay? Make an essay introduction that is fresh, informative and that invokes readers’ feelings.  The introduction gives the reader background knowledge of the topic. It provides insight on the topic further discussed in your essay. The purpose of an introduction to bring on board readers who have no idea of what you are discussing. It gives your audience prior insight on the essay.

Developing the Body of Your Extended Definition Essay

The extended essay body carries the most significant weight of your entire paper. All other parts revolve around the body. In most essays, you must write the body part before you can write the thesis statement and introduction. The trick here is to ensure all the main ideas are well thought out and organized. Discuss each ideal in a distinct paragraph.

The Perfect Conclusion for Your Extended Essay

Your paper is not complete without an engaging extended essay conclusion. When the reader gets here, he/she should have sufficient understanding of what your essay is talking about. They have made it to the end. The conclusion determines if your reader will recall your essay much later. Therefore, don’t bore the reader by rewriting the essay. Draw the reader’s appetite to know more about the topic.

Be conversant with the IBO criteria for grading an extended essay

You need to know how your extended essay will be graded to know how you should write it. Let us talk about the general grading procedure. Your essay is sent to a diploma examiner at IBO with expertise in your chosen subject for review against the extended essay criteria. Scoring is out of a total 34 points. The score you receive is converted to the corresponding letter grading. For example, 34/34 gives you an A and so on. The lower the score, the lower the grade you get.

Coming Up with Viable Topics

Extended essay topics should neither be too broad nor too narrow. It needs to have adequate information to write about but not too much as to convert your essay into a book. It should be alluring as well. As you create a topic for your extended essay, consider your target audience expectations. For a school paper, your reader is teacher/professor. What minimum expectation does your instructor have for this essay? Asking yourself critical questions about your target audience can help you come up with outstanding IB extended essay topic ideas.

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