International Baccalaureate Assistance

IB Extended Essay: How to Conduct a Good Research

Being an IB student isn't easy. It comes with a lot of pressure, a lot of prestige to live up to and, of course, a lot of homework. Of course, any high school student feels as if they have too much homework, but with IB students, that feeling is perhaps better earned and warranted than in any other case. There's simply a huge amount of work and research to be done, and nowhere is this excess of work more apparent than in the case of the IB extended essay.

Here are just a few tips to help you conduct good research when it comes to that all-important IB extended essay.

Don't Shortchange Yourself

The IB extended essay has long been either the boon or bane of an IB student's existence. For those that don't particularly care for writing, any essay can be torturous, any IB essay even more so, and this essay in particular can seem a nightmare. The prospects aren't too more optimistic even for those who enjoy a good few hours writing, because this kind of essay requires more than just a solid all-nighter to pull off.

You don't want to shortchange yourself when it comes to the research process by lumping it all together, or leaving things out as a result of time. Instead, you're going to want to spend days or even weeks collecting research.

Spread it Out

You're not going to be able to adequately tackle this kind of essay in one day, or even a few days, as stated above. Being able to space out the work is just as important as being able to conduct the research for that work. As such, try and schedule 5-6 days a week - leave yourself at least one day free to relax and recharge - for work on this project, and break down your goals accordingly. Say you have Points A, B, C, D, and E to make in your paper. Research one point per day. If you don't have luck with it, move on to Point B and come back to Point A when its day next comes around on your schedule - don't delay your whole research process due to your getting hung up on one or two points.

Narrow Your Focus

This is just good advice for paper writing period. Always try and narrow your focus. Don't make it so narrow it's reductionist or impossible to research, but still, try and narrow you're points down. It'll result in an easier research process and, in the end, a better paper.

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