The Extended Essay is an individual project of 4000 words.
It is a chance to study a topic that interests you which is not covered by the syllabus.
It gives you a chance to study in real depth a topic that you have an interest in.
It can relate to any period and any topic within the last 10 years.
It gives you the chance to work closely with your History teacher to 'fast-track' your historical skills with one-to-one tutoring.
As such it is a great opportunity to produce a mature academic study on something that you might never again have the chance to research.
Both the IA and the EE in History award students who choose an interesting question which they research thoroughly and answer coherently through critical evaluation of evidence.
The IA is only 1500 words long; the EE is 4,000 words.
The EE requires a much heavier emphasis on the use of primary source material than the IA.
The IA is structured into specific sections; the EE is structured more flexibly.
The IA markscheme grades each section separately; the EE markscheme grades each criteria across the essay as a whole.
You will select which of your IB subjects will form the basis of your EE in the Spring Term of the first year of IB. This will usually (although not always) be one of your Higher Level subjects. The supervisor will set a series of internal deadlines and meetings for each student to ensure the completion of the study in a timely fashion.
Start by considering if there is a period / place / person / issue in history that would like to investigate further. Maybe this is something you have read a little about, watched a film about or are interested in from your other studies / hobbies. The only strict rule is that anything that happened in the past 10 years is not allowed.
The three main focuses of study tend to be focused on
- EITHER Causes of an event / situation;
- OR Consequences of an event / situation
- OR Relevance of particular evidence about an event / situation (e.g. a painting, novel, film, biography).
The following resources may help you in your quest for a topic:
- History Department Magazine collection
- History Department DVD collection
Once you have settled upon a topic, you have to then turn this into a question - a problem that your study will solve, in other words.
The following table could help you get started
|To what extent was...||[Event]|
|the most important result of...|
|How useful is...||the Novel...|
|to the historian studying...|
|How successful / significant was...||[Individual] (e.g. politician / sportsperson / entertainer / film director / etc)||in the context of...|
The following list of past Extended Essay questions from the IST will also be helpful:
- How has politics influenced Berlin's architecture over the 20th century? (Predicted 'A')
- To what extent was World War Two a catalyst for British Decolonisation? (Predicted 'B')
- How decisive was Spanish intervention in World War Two? (Graded 'A')
- How far did Nietzsche's ideas influence the Third Reich? (Graded 'B')
- How reliable is Hogarth's 'The Rake's Progress' as evidence of 18th century London? (Graded 'A')
- How and why do Historical sources disagree about the life and career of Bonnie Parker? (Graded 'B')
You are now ready to complete the Initial Proposal Sheet and hand it to your teacher.
Make sure that this is a detailed, considered proposal. Your supervisor will schedule a meeting with you to talk about how you plan to structure your essay in particular.
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Extended Essay Reports and Exemplars
Please read the reports before reading the essays. The reports contain valuable information directly from IB examiners on what was successful and what was not. Also remember that just because something was successful in an exemplar, it does not mean that this is how the essay must be written. There are many different ways to get a good mark on your extended essay and it is important that you find the approach that best suits the paper you are writing. The exemplars below are only meant to clue you in on the type of analysis examiners like rather than providing a stylistic from that you must follow.
Group 1 - English
Extended Essay Report:English
English:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Group 2 - French and Spanish
Extended Essay Report: French (not available), Spanish
French:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Spanish: Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3 (coming soon)
Group 3 - Geography, History, and ITGS
Extended Essay Report:Geography, History, ITGS
Geography:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
History:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
ITGS:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Group 4 - Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
Extended Essay Report:Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Biology:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Chemistry:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Physics:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Group 5 - Mathematics
Extended Essay Report:Mathematics
Mathematics:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2
Group 6 - Art and Music
Extended Essay Report:Art, Music
Art:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2, Exemplar 3
Music:Exemplar 1, Exemplar 2