EXTENDED ESSAY GUIDELINES
Mr. Crown's Advice Concerning Your Extended Essay
IN ORDER TO DO WELL ON THIS ASSIGNMENT YOU MUST READ THE EXTENDED ESSAY BOOKLET CAREFULLY. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO KNOW ALL OF THE IB GUIDELINES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR YOUR ESSAY DETAILED IN THIS BOOKLET. IN PARTICULAR, EVERYONE MUST CAREFULLY READ PAGES 10-23 (GENERAL GUIDELINES AND GENERAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA) AS WELL AS THE SUBJECT GUIDELINES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR ESSAYS IN YOUR SPECIFIC SUBJECT AREA. FOLLOW THE BOOKLET CAREFULLY WHEN YOU WRITE YOUR ESSAY BECAUSE YOUR ADVISOR AND THE IB WILL REFER TO THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA WHEN YOUR ESSAY IS GRADED.
Also, read and follow the guidelines below.
Title Page - Place the title ¼ of the way down from the top of the page. Remember that the title is not the same thing as your research question or topic. Think of an informative title which conveys the essence of your essay. In the bottom right corner of your paper include the following:
Extended Essay Final Draft
Advisor: Mr. or Ms.________
Word Count: ______________
Abstract - The abstract should be no more than 300 words. It must be written in 3rd person. The
abstract is a formal synopsis of your essay which explains the scope of your investigation and states the research question and conclusion. Include a word count for the abstract at the bottom of the page. The abstract comes directly after the table of contents.
Page Numbers – Page numbers must be included on each page except the title page. Use the “Insert” menu on Microsoft Word.
Table of Contents - The table of contents identifies each section of the paper (Abstract, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Bibliography, Endnotes, Appendix, Illustrations, etc.) as well as topical subsections. Page numbers in the table of contents and the essay must match. Include section and subsection headings labeled in bold throughout the essay to guide the reader and identify the different sections of the essay.
Introduction - Introduce the topic and provide enough information about your topic in order to enable the reader to comprehend the significance of your research question. Each extended essay must have a research question. The research question is the central question you are trying to answer through your research and writing of the extended essay. This question, if properly composed, will enable you to maintain your focus on a topic of narrow and limited scope while also help you to maintain the purpose and orientation of your entire investigation. The research question must be clearly and precisely stated in the early part of your extended essay. It must be sharply focused so that it is susceptible to effective treatment within the 4000 word limit. Your extended essay will be assessed in part according to the extent to which the essay appropriately addresses and develops the specific research question. The reader will also evaluate your success in collecting information relevant to the research question. Include the research question in the introduction stated precisely and focused in such a way that it is susceptible to effective treatment within the 4000 word limit. Establish the significance of the research question and explain why it is worthy of study. You may also briefly discuss why your topic is of significance to you personally. At the end of the introduction state your thesis (or hypothesis for science). Clearly identify the research question and thesis as such. Briefly and concisely preview your body by providing a “game plan” for the rest of the paper. The game plan briefly explains how you intend to answer the research question and support the thesis, that is, how you propose to proceed in the body.
Thesis – This belongs in the introduction, preferably at the end. You must take a position, construct an argument based on evidence, and defend your thesis. The entire essay must be a response to your research question and a coherent, organized, structured, logical, critical, in-depth examination and defense of your thesis.
Body (Methods and Results for science) - The body will differ depending on your subject. However for all essays the body be evaluated based on 1) your approach to the research question, 2) your analysis and interpretation of evidence, including critical analysis and evaluation of sources, and 3) your own argument and evaluation of this argument. SEE PAGES 19-20 of the Extended Essay Booklet and the Assessment Criteria for details. You must convincingly answer the research question and argue for your thesis, presenting evidence to support your arguments. You must evaluate your sources and demonstrate an ability to think and write critically and analytically. You need to plan this section carefully so that you are able to present your arguments in an organized, structured, convincing body which is constructed upon evidence. Evidence includes historical evidence derived from primary and secondary historical sources, textual evidence from a work of literature, and scientific data and the results of experiments and research.
Conclusion - The conclusion must be clearly stated and relevant to the research question. It must also be consistent with the thesis and its explanation and development presented in the essay. Where appropriate the conclusion indicates unresolved questions and new questions that have emerged from your research. This is more than a summary. Review how you have demonstrably and convincingly supported your thesis and answered the research question. Concisely restate your key points and discuss the broader implications of the thesis. How have you satisfactorily answered the research question?
Illustrations, data, charts, graphs, etc. - If you plan to include these make sure they are labeled and listed in the table of contents, and make sure you discuss their significance and relevance in the text of the essay.
Appendix - Please note that IB readers are not required to read the appendix thoroughly, so all essential information must be in the body of your essay.
Documentation - You must include footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations. You also must include a bibliography. Documentation must be completed with meticulous concern for accuracy. Use your Guide to Writing Research Papers or the online Chicago Style Guide and make sure everything is in the correct style and format. Avoid accusations of plagiarism by treating documentation with the seriousness it deserves. In the bibliography include only sources you have cited in the essay. You need at least 15 sources, five of which must be articles from scholarly journals. The bibliography must be alphabetical by the author’s last name. Literature essays need six sources and may use in-text citations. Good history essays will have 30 to 40 footnotes and 15 sources. All history essay footnotes must follow the Chicago Style Guide.
This draft must be typed double spaced in 12 pt. Font and be as close to 4000 words as possible without going over the limit. The 4000 words includes the Introduction, Body, Conclusion, and any quotations. It does not include the Abstract, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, Illustrations, Bibliography, Footnotes, Endnotes, or Appendices. Use Times New Roman or Courier font or a similar font; nothing fancy, flashy, or difficult for the eyes. Use black ink.
The essay must look neat and not sloppy. Do not use run-on sentences and paragraphs that are too long and attempt to treat too many topics. Do not allow careless grammatical and spelling errors to lower your grade. Paragraphs must be topical, readable, and of reasonable length. The essay must be structured and organized logically with all arguments and analysis presented and developed in a systematic fashion and order. Use smooth transitions between paragraphs to link the paragraphs, arguments, and sections of your paper. Use a spelling checker and make sure several competent people proofread your essay.
Your extended essay must address each of the following questions.
What is your research question?
Why is the research question significant and worthy of study?
Why is the research question significant to you personally?
What is your thesis?
What is your game plan for the rest of the essay?
What is the background information needed in order to understand your research question and thesis?
What are the distinct elements of your thesis? How can the thesis be divided and broken down into parts?
What are the central arguments you will make to defend your thesis?
What are the topical subsections of your body? Outline each subsection of the body.
How does each subsection build upon the previous subsection and lead up to the next? How does each subsection contribute to your defense of your thesis?
What evidence will you present to support your arguments and thesis?
What are your key sources? How will you integrate the evaluation of your sources in the Body?
How will you integrate critical analysis into your Body?
How have you sufficiently answered the research question and defended your thesis?
What are the major strengths of your thesis and your analysis and defense of it in your essay?
What could you have done better in the essay? Evaluate your own work critically.
What are the new questions and unresolved questions which have arisen from your research and analysis?
Include only those sources you have cited in the essay.
Formal presentation of the extended essay
The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. The use of word processors is encouraged.
The length of the extended essay
The upper limit is 4.000 words for all extended essays. Essays containing more that 4.000words are subject to penalties and examiners are not required to read material in excess of the word limit.
- the introduction
- the body
- the conclusion
- any quotations
This 4000 word limit does not include:
- the abstract
- the contents page
- maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and tables
- equations, formulas and calculations
- parenthetical citations/references
- footnotes or endnotes
- the bibliography
Title - The title should provide a clear indication of the focus of the essay. It should be precise and not necessarily phrased in the form of a question.
An abstract not exceeding 300 words must be included with the essay submitted. It is not an introduction, but presents an overview of the extended essay, and should, therefore, be written last. The inclusion of an Abstract is intended to encourage students to examine closely the development of an argument within the extended essay and the pertinence of any conclusions that are reached. It is also designed to allow readers to understand quickly the content of the extended essay.
The minimum requirements for the abstract are for it to state clearly.
- The research question being investigated
- The scope of the investigation
- The conclusion(s) of the extended essay
The abstract should be typed or word processed on one side of a sheet of paper, and placed immediately after the title page.
Contents Page - A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. An index is not required.
Introduction – This opens the main body of your essay. It must contain your thesis statement. The introduction can be included as a separate section of as the first part of your essay.
Body (development/methods/results) – This must be logically structured and can contain sections if appropriate.
Conclusion – Your conclusion must be clearly linked to your research question/thesis statement and should point out the important aspects that you have discovered through your research. If appropriate, you can indicate new questions or issues that have emerged through your work or questions that have remained unresolved. The conclusion should be clearly stated and substantiate by the evidence presented.
Presentations and overall neatness are important, and it is essential that illustrative material, if included, is well set out and used effectively. Graphs, diagrams, tables and maps are effective only if they are clearly labeled and can be interpreted with ease. All such material that is incorporated into the extended essay must be directly related to the text and acknowledged where appropriate. The use of photographs and other image is acceptable if they are captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate specific point made in the extended essay.
Bibliographic references and citations
An extended essay must be reflect intellectual honesty in research practices and provided the reader with the exact sources of quotations, ideas and points of view through accurate bibliographies and referencing. Producing accurate citations, referencing and a bibliography is a skill that students should be seeking to perfect. Documenting the research in this way is vital: it allows readers to evaluate the evidence for themselves, and it shows student’s understanding of the importance of the source used.
Failure to comply with this requirement will be viewed as plagiarism and will, be treated as a case of malpractice.
also see Citing Resources Section for more information about references and citations.
CBE teaches the APA style and it is recommended that you use this style as there are many helps available on the school’s Extended Essay website and in the Media Centre.
What is a bibliography? (called References in APA style)
A bibliography is an alphabetical list of every source used to research and write essay. Sources that are not cited in the body of the essay, but were important in informing the approach taken, should be cited in the introduction or an acknowledgment. The bibliography should list only those sources cited. There are a number of different documentation styles available for use when writing research paper; most are appropriate is some academic disciplines but not others. (The CBE teaches APA style and this would be the best to use because of this.) The supervisor should help student decide on a style for the particular subject of the essay. It is important to remember that, whatever style is chosen, it must be applied consistently. When choosing the documentation style, the student needs to have a clear understanding of how it is to be used before embarking on the research task. The documentation style should be applied in both the final draft of the essay and in the initial research stages of taking notes. This is good practice, not only for producing a high quality final product, but also for reducing the opportunities and temptation to plagiarize.
What is a Reference?
A reference is a way of indicating to the reader, in an orderly form, where information has been obtained. A reference provides all the information needed to final the source material. References must be cited because they acknowledge the source used an enable the reader to consult the work and verify the data that has been presented.
References must be given whenever someone else’s work is quoted or summarized. References can come from many different sources, including books, magazines, journals, newspaper, emails, internet sites and interviews.
Internet references should include the title of the extract used as well as the web site address, the date it was accessed and if possible, the author. Caution should be exercised with information on web sites that do not give references or that cannot be cross-checked against other source. The more important a particular point is to the essay, the more the quality of its source needs to be evaluated.
Any references to interviews should state the name of the interviewer, the name of the interviewee, the date and the place of the interview.
What is a citation?
A citation is a shorthand method of making a reference in the body of an essay, which is then linked to the full reference at the end of the essay. A citation provides the reader with accurate references so that he or she can locate the source easily. How sources are cited varies with the particular documentation style that has been chosen. Page numbers should normally be given when referencing printed material: in some styles this will be in the citation, in others in the full reference. Once again, it is important to emphasize that there must be consistency of method when citing sources.
Appendices, footnotes and endnotes
Appendices, footnotes and endnotes are not essential section of the extended essay and examiners are not required to read them, so care should be taken to include all information of direct relevance to the analysis and argument in the main body of the essay. An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in notes or appendices, risks losing marks under several criteria.
Unless considered essential, complete list of raw data should not be included in the extended essay.
Students should not constantly refer to a material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay. For example, charts and graphs should be included in the body of the essay.
The use of other media and materials
Apart from graphic material, materials in other media may be submitted only as supporting appendices and should not detract from the written content of the extended essay.
The use of computers is encouraged where they are appropriate as tools for any analyzing data relevant to the subject of the extended essay. Material such as hard copy of computer output may be included the extended essay, but any associated program should be referred to our reproduce, if original, only as an appendix.
Computer programs may only be included (in particular circumstances) in computer science and physics essay. (See the “computer science” and “physics” section for further details).
CDs, DVD’s and audio- visual materials
The model for the extended essay is a paper in an academic journal. Hence, materials such as these should not normally be included. They are liable to be lost or damaged and the examiner will probably not have time to look at them.
Specimen materials used in, or produced by, investigations do not form part of the extended essay and must not be submitted. Photographic evidence may be submitted in place of such material.
From:International Baccalaureate Organization. (2007). formal presentation of the extended essayt. In IBO Extended essay guide, First examinations 2009, (pp. 15-18). New York: International Baccalaureate Organization.