Extended Essay Abstract: What You Need to Know in 2023

October 28, 2023

Extended Essay Abstract

One of the major concerns we need to address is the inclusion of an abstract in an extended essay. Should your work include a mini-version of the essay that stands on its own? Or should you not include the abstract in the essay?

For what it’s worth, an abstract in the essay helps a potential reader to determine whether your paper is useful and worth reading.

In other words, it gives them a complete picture of your ideas and expression, and acts as the deciding factor on whether to read the rest of the paper.

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about abstracts in an extended essay with the intention of helping you to structure the essay the right.

Key Takeaways

  • Your extended essay must NOT include an abstract. 
  • You can use the introduction section of your work to give a summary of what you'll discuss in your project. 
  • The structure of the EE hasn't changed that much except for the removal of the abstract section. 

Do you need help with your Extended Essay work? Our expert writers are here to help you get the work completed on time. 

What’s an Abstract in an Extended Essay?

An abstract in an extended essay is a paragraph that gives an overview of the essay.

It clearly expresses the central idea of the assignment and outlines the key points of the essay. Moreover, the abstract indicates the application of the research or its implication thereof.

An abstract should be at most 300 words long. Some are shorter, with the length ranging between 150 and 200 words.

Also, the summary should be concise, so that anyone reading it will know what to expect from the essay even before proceeding to the introduction to the extended essay.

Understand that an abstract is an overview of a paper, not a proposal. In other words, the intention is not to tell a reader what the research will accomplish.

Rather, the goal is to express your ideas in a condensed form to make it easier for your target readers to determine whether the essay will be worth reading in the first place.

Should an Extended Essay Include an Abstract?

In 2018, IB made changes to the extended essay in which they excluded the need to have an abstract in the assignment, so your extended essay should NOT have an abstract regardless of the type of subject group you choose to work on.

Nowadays, including an abstract in an extended essay is a clear expression for lack of engagement.

Also, IB argues that the summary uses up 300 words and it might even make the reader not read to the conclusion of the assignment.

Remember, adding an abstract to your extended essay can cause you many marks, as it’s generally a writing practice based on the old criteria. Use the latest marking criteria instead.

What’s the Current Structure for an Extended Essay?

With the abstract removed from the extended essay format, what should the outline of the assignment look like?

Well, except for the removal of the abstract, everything else remains the same. So your teacher will expect to see a higher level of organization of your argument and evidence for the support of your position.

There are currently six elements that your extended essay must have. These are as follow in their respective order:

Title page

The title page of your extended essay should have the following information:

Note that the word count of your extended essay must not exceed 4,000 words. IB strongly advises examiners NOT to read materials that exceed the word limit.

And don’t forget that writing more words can easily lead to the self-penalization across all criteria. 

Contents page 

Make sure you provide all the contents page right at the beginning of the essay.

Each page should have number. Examiners often disregard the index page and won’t consider it if they see one in your essay.


The introduction of an extended essay shouldn’t be difficult to write, in part because you’re working on a subject of your choice.

However, you need to make sure it clearly explains to the reader what to expect in the essay.

Body of the Essay

This is where a lot of work is, and your presentation should be in the form of reasonable argument.

Although this form will vary depending on the subject, the argument you develop should clearly show the evidence you’ve discovered and demonstrate how it supports your claim in the essay.

As you work on your essay, please consider the expected conventions of the subject you’re working on.

Include as much relevant information in the essay as you possibly can, making sure you don’t include significant information in the footnote because that might make your essay read as incomplete.


In the conclusion, your extended essay should clearly explain what your research has achieved. Also, this is the section where you include questions your research failed to solve and the limitations noted in your work.

Note that the conclusion of your essay must relate to the research question. 

References and bibliography

Use the given style of academic referencing. We strongly recommend that you include references in your essay as soon as you start writing so that you don’t forget the citations.

What Formatting Should I Use for my Extended Essay?

IB recommends that you write your EE in a clear, correct, and formal academic style, without an exception for any subject.

In other words, your extended essay is a formal piece of writing that should sound professional in tone and remain 100% academic in format from the start to the end of the essay. 

Your teacher and supervisor looks forward to seeing the following formatting reflected in your extended essay:

  • Double-spacing
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font
  • Page number positioned at the top right corner
  • No student, school, or supervisor name on the page headers or title page 

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}