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Sunday, 26 January 2020

The never ending journey of the IB Extended Essay...


Last Wednesday I introduced the Extended Essay “journey” to our DP1 students. The Extended Essay (EE) is an independent, self-directed piece of research paper of 4000 words. Students will often consider this core component of the IB Diploma as an insurmountable obstacle and it takes a lot of energy to make them believe otherwise…

The process and the research put into the completion of the EE are as important as the actual content of the EE. The most common mistake an IB student will make with the EE is to write a descriptive piece, when the aim is to actually help students to learn the critical thinking skills, the high-level research and writing skills, the intellectual discovery and the creativity associated with carrying out research, enabling them to move more comfortably into the realm of universities, colleges and careers after they graduate.

Students can select an area of research from any Diploma Programme subjects and are expected to complete a major piece of formally presented and structured writing, under the guidance of a supervisor (a school member of staff). The EE should be the result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student and the recommended supervision process is 3-5 hours, including 3 formal mandatory reflection sessions between the supervisor and the student.
The best advice we can give to DP students is to choose a research topic they are interested in, and to complete the EE by the beginning of their second year before applying to university and having to complete Internal Assessments in other subjects.

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