What is the Extended Essay?
The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of
available Diploma Programme subjects for the session in question. This is normally
one of the student’s six chosen subjects for those taking the IB diploma, or a
subject that a course student has a background in. It is intended to promote
academic research and writing skills, providing students with an opportunity to
engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of
a supervisor (an appropriately qualified member of staff within the school). This
leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas
and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to
the subject chosen. It is mandatory that all students undertake three reflection
sessions with their supervisor, which includes a short, concluding interview, or
viva voce, with their supervisor following the completion of the
Spring of 11th Grade - Topic selected, mentor assigned, research and composition begins.
Fall of 12th Grade - Composition and revision is completed with support from mentors.
Mentorship for the Extended Essay
Mentorship for the Extended Essay begins in the spring of the 11th grade, when each Anticipated IB Diploma Candidate is assigned a teacher to guide him/her through the process. The selected teacher will not be one of the student’s classroom teachers. By definition, the Extended Essay is an extra-curricular, independent research paper; thus, the responsibilities of composition and communication lie primarily on the shoulders of the student. Strong Extended Essay candidates keep steady communication with their mentors via email, telephone, and scheduled meetings. When the students reconvene in the fall of the 12th grade, the revision process winds to its conclusion by winter break.