The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects or World Studies. World Studies provides students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, utilizing two IB disciplines. The Extended Essay requirement is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity, engaging students in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent, and appropriate manner.
The Extended Essay, including the World Studies option, is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research/investigation. Presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than four thousand words, it is the result of approximately forty hours of student work, and is concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher (recommended).
The aims of the Extended Essay, including the World Studies option, are to provide students with the opportunity to:
- Pursue independent research on a focused topic
- Develop research and communication skills
- Develop creativity and critical thinking
- Engage in a systematic process of research
- Experience the excitement of intellectual discovery