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Nature of the extended essay


All Diploma Programme students are required to undertake an independent research/investigation and in-depth study of a chosen topic. The subjects and topics of investigation are chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects— normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). The extended essay is presented as a formal piece of scholarship and is the result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing containing no more than 4000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview, or
viva voce, with the supervisor.

In the Diploma Programme, the extended essay is the prime example of a piece of work where the student has the opportunity to show knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about a topic of his or her choice. In those countries where it is the norm for interviews to be required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university, the extended essay has often proved to be a valuable stimulus for discussion.

Nesbru IB students are frequently entering the
Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists where young people in upper secondary education submit works of scientific research and compete for prizes. For IB students it is natural to enter the contest with their Extended essays.

Assessment

The extended essay is an externally assessed component of the diploma programme and is assessed through separate criteria. The essay is awarded a grade from A-E that counts when calculating the awarding of the three extra points in the programme. The exact number of extra points awarded is calculated by using a matrix that takes into account the student results in extended essay and Theory of knowledge.

Adapted from the IB Extended essay guide © International Baccalaureate Organization