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Crafting An Ib Extended Essay In History: Basic Writing Guidelines


The extended essay. Although the thought might make students immediately think about the five paragraph essay, the extended essay is actually a research paper that students aged 16 to 19 must complete for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

The extended essay is best known as a mandatory assignment for the IB Diploma Programme. The essay is a research paper, of at least 4,000 words, that allows students an opportunity to independently research their chosen topic, provided the topic corresponds with their subject of study.

Extended essays generally require at least 40 hours of work, especially since they must thoroughly express the chosen topic at hand, such as history. The vast body of history across the globe makes it a popular topic for students assigned to write IB extended essays.

Crafting An IB Extended Essay About History ~ Basic Writing Guidelines


History may be comprised of countless subjects, but students ultimately have to pick one as a focus for their IB extended essay. Fortunately, there are several guidelines for students to follow before, during and after they work on the first draft of their essay.

Before Starting The Essay


  1. Find a topic that you like.
  2. It's impossible to write an interesting paper about a subject that doesn't interest you. Truly interesting topics can and will motivate students to complete their essay.

  3. Get used to the word count.
  4. Believe it or not, the required 4,000 word count isn't much when it comes down to it. Many extended essays end up well over 4,000 words after the completion of the first draft - from there, the essay can be revised down to 3,500-4,000 words.

  5. Read through the essay's instructions and keep track.
  6. Preparing for the workload required of an extended essay means keeping track of the essay's guidelines and other instructions.

The Essay ~ Tips For Completing Your Extended Essay

Writing an extended essay is straightforward. Here's a brief overview of some of the steps that students go through when they write their extended essays:

  1. Select a topic.
  2. This topic should be a topic that you're interested in or already familiar with.

  3. Research the topic.
  4. Extensively research the topic before writing; this typically involves taking notes, saving sources and organizing the information.

  5. Start writing.
  6. Free writing or writing with references are the most common ways to start the writing process. Don't forget to cite sources.

  7. Editing and revising.
  8. The extended essay should be 3,500 to 4,000 in its completed form, so it should be revised down to that range, generally involving removing extraneous information that doesn't contribute to the essay.

  9. Get feedback.
  10. Have peers and family review the essay for readability before having a teacher review it.

**Tip: Students are encouraged to enter their completed extended essays in essay competitions for feedback or even scholarship opportunities for college and university.



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