Pueblo West High School International Baccalaureate Extended Essay Handbook Updated November 2015

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Pueblo West High School

International Baccalaureate

Extended Essay


Updated November 2015

Dear IB Student,

While the extended essay is a requirement of the diploma, it is much more than just one more hoop that you need to jump through. This essay is first and foremost an ACADEMIC WORK created by YOU. It involves you doing independent research on a topic of your choice and investigating that topic under the supervision of a mentor of your choice. This is a formal academic piece that once produced, you should be very proud of.

You should approach this piece of the diploma program with fervor, rigor, seriousness, discipline, enthusiasm, and academic honesty. Beyond the requirement and the grade that you will receive, the reward will be in the fact that you wrote a 4,000-word college essay with inquisitiveness, investigation skills, and produced an academic work that demonstrates your expertise in a topic of your choice. It will be something that you will be able to carry on to the next phase of your education and lean on when you are asked to write another research paper at the college level.

This paper should not be viewed as just another requirement. It should be fun for you to write since you are the one who gets to choose the topic about which you write. In addition to you electing the topic, you will also be able to choose a mentor whom you enjoy and feel comfortable working with within our building.

According to the Extended Essay Guide First Exams 2013, the extended essay is “intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity.”

Whether you choose to pursue research investigating the use of dance in Jane Austen’s novels, a study of malnourished children in Indonesia and the extent of their recovery after a period of supervised improved nutrition, or how and why the explanations of the Cuban missile crisis have changed since 1962, the goal should be to have fun working through another process of your education.

Please read this booklet carefully, come to the IB office to read through extended essays that have been scored by graders, and let me know what I can do to help you through this process.

Carpe diem,

Rachelle Eastep

IB Coordinator

Questions and Answers about the EE

  1. What is the Extended Essay?

The Extended Essay is a focused piece of research on a topic of the student’s choice. It must be no longer than 4,000 words, and it must reflect approximately 40 hours of work by the student. The 4,000-word requirement does not include the abstract, acknowledgments, the contents page, maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and tables, equations, formulas, and calculations, citations/references (whether parenthetical or numbered), footnotes or endnotes, the bibliography, or appendices.

  1. Do I have to write the extended essay in order to earn the full diploma?

Yes. This, along with the theory of knowledge course, and the creativity, activity, and service piece must be completed in order to earn a full diploma.

  1. Must my mentor be a teacher at the school?

Yes. Your mentor must be a teacher at Pueblo West High School, but he/she does not have to be one of your IB class instructors.

  1. Are there any example papers at which I can look?

Yes. There are exemplar papers, papers that have been scored by IB graders, to look at and review in the IB office. There is also a CD available to use entitled 50 Excellent Extended Essays. This CD contains a collection of essays which all scored a top A grade by senior examiners. You will also be provided with a hard copy of an exemplar essay in your area of study as soon as you have submitted your area of study to me along with your research question and supervisor’s signature.

  1. What are the elements of the extended essay?

According to the Extended Essay Guide First Examinations 2013, the elements of the essay are a title page, an abstract, contents page, introduction, body (development/methods/results), conclusion, references and bibliography, and appendices
6. How will the extended essay be graded?

Each student’s essay will fall into one of the categories listed below:

A Work of an excellent standard

B Work of a good standard

C Work of a satisfactory standard

D Work of a mediocre standard

E Work of an elementary standard

  1. How many points is the extended essay worth towards the diploma?

A maximum of three points are awarded for a student’s combined efforts in theory of knowledge and on the extended essay. The total number of points awarded for this combined effort is outlined in the chart below.

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