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How to Write an IB Extended Essay and Why It Is Important




The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an internationally recognized qualification in which students from more than 140 countries participate. The IB is highly renowned and is recognized by top universities across the globe. A major part of the IB diploma program is the extended essay as this can really make or break a student’s final grade. The 4,000 word extended essay can cause students a lot of anxiety so it is always worth taking the time to understand exactly what the extended essay entails as well as how to get the best possible score.

To help all the IB students out there achieve the grades they need for a great future, here is how to write an IB extended essay and why it is important.

Choose a Great Topic

Choosing a great topic for your IB extended essay is the most important decision you will need to make, but don’t let it worry you. The best thing to do is to choose a topic which you are interested in writing about. Not only will this show in your final essay, but as you are going to be spending a lot of time on your extended essay, you may as well enjoy it. 

As well as choosing a topic which you are interested in, it is usually advisable to choose a subject which you are studying at the moment. Having the knowledge fresh in your mind will enable you to write the essay more easily and also provide solid supporting information in your content. This certainly doesn’t mean you have to stick to what you have been learning in class. Follow a different avenue of research and come up with a really unique topic which will make you stand out. The IB grading system, as well as top universities, give major credit to unique and creative fields of study, so feel free to go a little left field.


Format an Intriguing Question

After you have chosen your topic, the next step in writing your extended essay is to format the question in a way which will pique the marker’s interest. The best extended essays approach the question from multiple angles so try and format your question to give yourself that opportunity. Make sure that your question is fully focused on your topic as this will help to guide your research and make your essay more succinct. 

Conduct Your Research

Once you have your question set and have checked it with your supervisor, it’s time to start your research. It doesn’t have to be too thorough to start, and it is often worth doing a little general research in order to write your introduction. Writing an extended essay can be very time and energy exhaustive, particularly in the research phase, so some students choose to buy extended essay from a professional writing service. While, of course, this is not permitted under IB rules, it can free up your time to focus on studying other subjects to ensure that you get the best grades possible. Professional IB writing services will do everything from formatting a winning question to ensuring your essay is written to the highest standards.

If you do choose to write the essay yourself, make sure you use a wide variety of research materials. These can include books, website articles and online journals. Always keep your question front and center in your mind so that your research is always completely focused on your topic.


Write at Least Three Drafts

As your research is progressing you should write the first draft of your essay. As with your introduction, this doesn’t need to be perfect, you just need to get your ideas down to lay the foundations of your essay. 

Your second draft should focus on removing anything which doesn’t answer your question or bring anything interesting to your essay. It is always better to include too much information in your first draft so that you can remove it later on and you may have to be a little ruthless in your second draft. 

Your third draft should focus on the language of your essay to ensure that it is engaging to the marker and that it showcases your writing skills. 4,000 words may seem a lot when you first sit down to think of a topic but you will be amazed at how difficult it can be to stay within the word limit. There may need to be a lot of cutting and pasting in your third draft but the finished product should be very high quality.

Writing your extended essay can seem like such a daunting task but you just need to take it step by step. Follow this simple guide and you will be well on your way to an excellent final grade.