Extended Essay Proposal: The Complete Guide for IB Students

June 6, 2024

extended essay proposal

Do you feel like your Extended Essay idea is good enough but you’re not sure if your supervisor will like it? You can pitch it to them in a written proposal.

The question is:

How do you write a comprehensive Extended Essay proposal without staggering in the process?

Well, that’s what this guide aims to teach you. So let’s get to it.

Key Takeaway

It’s easy to write a proposal for your EE project. The steps are as simple as explained below:

  • Choose a topic that you find interesting to explore.
  • Conduct preliminary research to learn more about your topic.
  • Develop a research question.
  • Write, proofread, and submit your proposal.

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How to Write an Extended Essay Proposal 

Follow these steps to write a comprehensive Extended Essay proposal:

1. Choose a Relevant Topic

To begin flexing your intellectual muscles, it’s essential to choose a topic that’s worthy of your brainpower.

You must align your topic with one of the six subject groups provided by the IB program. And remember that the subject group will ultimately determine the outcome of your EE.

Once you’ve chosen a subject group, it’s time to unleash your creativity and let your ideas flow. Don’t be afraid to jot down every possibility, even if it seems unconventional or wild.

As you brainstorm potential Extended Essay topics, keep your eyes on the shining gems hidden in the rubble. These are the ideas that have true potential to bring out your creativity and reflective your critical thinking, analytical prowess, and writing skills.

However, balancing personal interests with academic rigor is essential. While you may be passionate about a particular topic, it’s important to ensure it has the academic substance required to impress IB.

2. Conduct Preliminary Research

Before you dive into your research, it’s important to remember that preparing and planning is crucial. Think of it as laying the groundwork before unleashing your creativity. After all, a well-crafted research plan sets the stage for your extended essay to shine.

While the internet is an abundant source of information, it’s important to use it with caution. Equip yourself with the right tools and resources to sift through valuable information.

Look for information from reputable databases, scholarly journals, and books that are relevant to your topic. A well-researched essay increases your chances of getting the IB’s stamp of approval.

It’s easy to fall prey to sleek websites or impressive-sounding titles, but not all sources are reliable. Be a critical thinker and learn to separate trustworthy sources from the unreliable ones.

Check authors’ credentials, scrutinize publishers, and ensure your sources aren’t just presenting baseless claims or biased opinions. Trustworthy sources are key to a successful Extended Essay.

Be selective as you sift through the vast amount of data available. Remember that not every piece of information will be relevant to your essay. Be rigorous in your pursuit of relevancy and keep only the evidence that contributes to your research question.

3. Develop Your Research Question

Now it’s time to distill all that knowledge into a single, powerful research question. This question will serve as your guiding star as you navigate the challenges of the extended essay.

Your research question should be clear, strong, and focused. It should be specific enough to be manageable but broad enough to allow for in-depth exploration.

A great research question should captivate your reader’s attention and leave them wanting more. Resist the temptation to solve all the world’s problems in 4,000 words. Instead, focus on a specific aspect of your topic that you can explore thoroughly.

Make sure that your research question is firmly rooted in your chosen subject group. You don’t want to venture into the uncharted territory of another subject, leaving your teachers confused. Keep your research question and subject group in harmony instead.

4. Write Your Extended Essay Proposal

The fourth step is to write your Extended Essay proposal, review the document, and submit it to your supervisor.

Your proposal should have the following elements:

  • Introduction: Begin with a brief yet engaging introduction that will spark your supervisor’s interest and leaves them eager for more.
  • Research Question: Reveal your research question. This section should be short and to-the-point.
  • Preliminary Research: Show your supervisor that you have the scholarly aptitude to work on the selected topic by presenting a thoughtfully selected collection of relevant data and information.
  • Methodology: Describe your plan to address the research question, with methods that are as precise and helpful.
  • Essay Structure Outline: Provide a roadmap of your essay’s structure to guide your reader through the journey of your intellectual exploration.

To make your proposal shine, write with purpose and precision. Use clear, concise, and captivating language to persuade your reader that your research question is both fascinating and worthwhile.

Remember, your goal is to make your proposal stand out.  So avoid overly verbose or ornate writing, and instead keep your prose straightforward and to-the-point.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it isn’t difficult to write an Extended Essay proposal. You choose an interesting topic, conduct some preliminary research, develop your research question, write the proposal, and then send the document for review.

It’s as simple as that.

Remember that writing a strong proposal is not only essential for succeeding in your extended essay, but it also helps you cultivate important skills in research, critical thinking, and persuasive writing.

In fact, these are essential because they will help you throughout college or university, not to mention that they will be helpful afterwards.

Through this process, you will become a more skilled and self-assured scholar, well equipped to tackle future academic endeavors with confidence.

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.

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