International Baccalaureate Assistance

Prompts for structuring an IB extended essay

Writing an International Baccalaureate extended essay may not be the easiest thing you have done until now and even much less with all the pressure hanging on your shoulders. However, as you will later on discover, it will not be impossible to handle and as long as you start working on it as soon as possible, everything will go smooth and you will be able to score a good grade on it. Furthermore, you should try to eliminate all trace of stress from your life and simply focus on doing a good job because otherwise you risk letting the pressure of such an important essay ruin all the effort you have actually put into writing it.

Why is there so Much Emphasis on Structure?

When it comes to academic writing of all kinds, structure is absolutely crucial. Many people do not understand exactly why is it that they should limit their creativity and only write within very strict guidelines. However, the truth is that the structure of any academic writing style out there (be it MLA, APA or anything else) is there for a reason. Both structure and strict guidelines create a "common language" and a "common way of thinking" between various researchers, making it easier for everyone in the field to make sense out of a research paper, article or extended essay.

Which Are the Main Guidelines Regarding the IB Extended Essay Structure?

Once you thoroughly read the official guidelines regarding the IB extended essay, it is important that you keep them in mind because they can mean a lot for the final grade. Related to the structure, keep in mind the following things:

  1. Every extended essay out there should have the following parts: the title page, the abstract, the contents page, the introduction, the body (make sure to include here methods of research), the conclusion and the bibliography page. Optionally, you can choose to include an appendices page as well.
  2. Read the subject specific guidelines for the subject you have chosen because the rules can differ a lot. For instance, Physics guidelines may not be so similar to English guidelines and you definitely have to keep that in mind.
  3. Your introduction should definitely contain a research question. Do keep in mind the fact that this should be an actual question and not a statement and this is very important for the extended essays.
  4. Your body should clearly develop your research and you should always make sure to use citations (also, do make sure that you use the same kind of citation style throughout the entire paper).
  5. Both your introduction and your conclusion should be clear and they should not be repetitive.

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