IB Extended Essay Tips

Many students dread IB essays. But with the right approach, you can make the procedure exciting. Read how to draft an IB extended essay below

Writing Strategies for an Extended Essay in the International Baccalaureate Program

IB is a rigorous two-year project for personal and academic development. In the end, you receive a globally recognized IB diploma. But like all educational qualifications, it involves various intricate processes. One of them is the extended essay. It is mandatory for all students and is an independent piece of research that culminates into a 4,000-word paper. The paper provides an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest. However, more importantly, it contributes to the overall diploma grade. Let us show you some tips to help you draft a well-written piece.

Understanding the Requirements as a Key to Success in IB Extended Essay Writing

One of the mistakes university students make is ignoring the extended essay brief or paying little attention to the requirement. It is worse for distance learning since no one is around to offer guidance. But even the pros and cons of remote learning are intertwined. So, right off the bat, avoid this pitfall. The IB sets criteria and guidelines for the write-up. The requirements guide discussions to ensure the article meets the standards for successful research. Some of them include citation guidelines, research question formulation, word count, etc.

Effective Research and Analysis in Extended Essay Writing

After reading the requirement, the next thing is to begin the research process. Consult various online and physical sources to improve comprehension. We recommend you choose a narrow topic and explore free essay examples at StudyDriver.com where you’ll find valuable ideas and techniques for effectively developing your writing style and creating persuasive arguments. The independent, self-directed piece of research is a 4,000-word article. Hence, you need all the help you can get. The paper sample collection is a comprehensive database of popular essay categories. Use them to compose and format the article. Apart from this, format straightforward research questions and note authors to avoid duplication.

Plagiarism ranges from not citing or quoting a source in the bibliography to taking bulk texts from other texts. Use different materials and analyze them to gather relevant and reliable data. Then, organize the information to develop a clear defense and use evidence to support the discussion.

The Writing Process: From Drafting to Finalizing your IB Extended Essay

The procedure for drafting an IB essay is the same, although the tone varies from one writer to another. If you’re preparing for college, start early. Below are some tips to help you produce a well-argued article from the draft to the final stage.

Start With an Outline

An outline helps you organize thoughts and structure the essay. Start by picking an interesting topic that has enough resources and material. It should not be too broad or narrow to facilitate easy research. Draft a table of content to include the following:


This section contains a brief overview of the research question, the scope, the thesis statement, and the methodology. Use it to describe what you will explore and how you will do so, and provide context for questions after stating them.


This is a detailed description of the methods used to gather and analyze data. In this section, explain references and related topics or theories you will use to explore the subject. The essence is to provide insight into the subject.

Main body

Use the body to elaborate and concentrate on research, investigation, discussion, and evaluation. Talk about related arguments from your course and use another section to educate readers beyond the course. Relate each paragraph to the research question and combine analytical and descriptive insights.


This section summarizes talking points and how the research answered the question. But don’t include a recommendation section in your essay.


Use the bibliography to provide insight into primary and secondary references. Note that the content of the bibliography will not be included in the extended IB article word count.


The appendices showcase the effort you put into the project. Include transcripts from interviews and other data you would like to refer to in the body.

Write and Revise Drafts

Start with a rough draft that includes all the vital information you wish to add to the final piece. Then, revise it multiple times to improve the flow of the IB article. Check the information for correctness and provide evidence to support your argument.

Edit and Finalize the Essay

Read and edit the paper for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Use manual and online tools to check the formatting and language consistency, and have a mentor evaluate the text. Then, finalize it by checking the word count, correctness of citations, and formatting requirements set by the IB.


Extended essays are not as overwhelming as they sound. The secret is usually in the details. Hence, pay attention when you write. Bear in mind the 4,000 words maximum word count and other instructions. Also, keep consistent and accurate reference information during research, and don’t plagiarize. Start early and organize the paper into sections for a logical flow. IBO recommends candidates spend approximately 40 hours on their IB diploma essays, so don’t put it off until the last moment. The exercise provides an opportunity to perform independent research and develop critical thinking skills. Follow the tips above to produce a high-quality article demonstrating your intellectual curiosity and learning potential.

Copyright ©2023 askatechteacher.com – All rights reserved.

Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

4 thoughts on “IB Extended Essay Tips

    1. My daughter followed the IB program in HS. Because its emphasis is international, she learned a lot she wouldn’t have otherwise. That–I’m sure–serves her well in her current job.

Comments are closed.