Extended Essay Requirements: Everything to Cover This Year

October 28, 2023

Extended Essay Abstract

Have you read the Extended Essay assessment criteria but find them somewhat confusing? You’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore the extended essay requirements and give you some tips that you can use to make the writing process less stressful from start to finish.

The extended essay assignment gives you a taste of academic freedom by allowing you to decide what to write and how to write it.

By choosing a topic that interests you, or an area you find interesting to explore, you’ll find the process of writing an extended essay not only easy but also enjoyable.

Because writing the essay helps you to develop the writing skills necessary to write academic assignments when you join college or university, it’s important to understand the EE requirement first before you start writing.

Key Takeaways

  • Your essay must not exceed the intended word count. 
  • IB requires you to do your project based on a strict format. 
  • Your EE's topic should fall within one of the subjects approved by IB. 
  • Ensure you attend all the reflection sessions, as they contribute to your final grades. 

So you don't have enough time left to complete your EE project? You can hire the writing service of the team at Help for Assessment to get the task completed in good time. 

Extended Essay Requirements: 4 Most Important Rules to Observe

Every student wishes to score high marks for their extended essays, but only a few ever manage to score 34.

It’s not that IB EE is difficult to write. It’s only that they don’t pay close attention to the requirements of the essay.

Our goal at Help for Assessment is to help you succeed in IB by guiding you as much as we can so you can score top marks for your EE. If you can’t do your best to score a 34, aim for a 25 or a 29.

To make sure you’re on the right track from start to finish, here are some extended essay requirements that you need to take seriously:

1. Pay Attention to the Set EE Word Count

The IB program gives you the liberty to write an Extended Essay on the topic of your choosing. However, it does put a cap on how much you can, even if you find the topic a lot more interesting than you initially did.

As an assignment that requires independent research and compilation of your findings, the Extended Essay should be at most 4,000 words long. Keep in mind that 4,000 is the set maximum and any additional word can cost you some marks.

You might find yourself with more words as you write your first draft, and that’s completely fine. You should come back to your work later and edit to bring the length down to 4,000 words at least.

Some students think that their extended essays have to hit the exact word limit set by IB. That’s not often the case. It’s important to understand that 4,000 is the maximum number of words you can write in an EE, not the exact target.

That means you can write an EE that’s 2,500 words long and do just fine. However, for clarity and comprehensiveness’s safe, we do suggest that you make your essay at least 3,500 words long.

2. Make Sure Your EE Reflects the Right Format

You can have the best ideas for your extended essay assignment, but you will fail if you don’t use the proper format recommended by IB.

Take your time to prepare your outline, and make sure you include all the relevant sections before you start writing.

Your extended essay should have:

  • A title page
  • Contents page
  • An introduction
  • The body section
  • A conclusion
  • References and bibliography

You will notice that we haven’t included an abstract in the outline. That’s because IB no longer requires you to write a 300 words summary of the essay anymore.

You can read more about EE abstract here to learn why it’s no longer necessary and what you should do instead.

3. Your EE Must Be On Topics That Fall into IB Approved Categories

Just because you can write an EE on any topic doesn’t mean you have the freedom to write on anything really. IB does put limitation on the extent to which you can go when it comes to choosing a topic to write.

In other words, your EE can be on any topic provided it falls into one of the six subject groups approved by the IB. The subject groups we’re talking about are as follows:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

As you can see, you do have quite some options when it comes to topic selection. All you have to do is to identify a subject category and then explore as many topics as possible to choose one that you can easily work on.

4. You Must Attend Reflection Sessions

In 2018, IB added a reflection process as part of the extended essay assignment with the intention to ensure every student do the best possible to score high grades. It’s important to note that reflection process is mandatory and will reflect in your final grades.

The rule of the reflection process is simple. You have to meet with your supervisor three times to discuss your extended essay.

During these meetings, you and your supervisor will discuss your engagement with your research process.

By helping to reflect on the elements that matter the most, your supervisor can give you feedback that not only help you to think differently but also encourage you to reevaluate your research process.

The final meeting with your supervisor is the viva voice. It’s usually 10 to 15 minutes long and takes place in the final state of the extended essay.

During the viva voice, your supervisor will focus on plagiarism and malpractice, reflect on your success and failures, and stress on what you’ve learned throughout the process. Also, it’s here that your supervisor writes a report about your essay, which will reflect in your grade.

Final Thoughts on Extended Essay Requirements

As you can see, these extended essay requirements are so simple that’s easy to overlook them.

However, we do suggest that you pay close attention to these so that you have an easy time working on your assignment right from the first day all the way to the end.

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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