International Baccalaureate Assistance

How to create an abstract of your IB extended essay

What exactly goes into an IB extended essay?

Before you write your international baccalaureate extended essay, you must first pick a topic area. This can include the hard and soft sciences, social sciences, languages, humanities, literature, or something else within the approved IB educational umbrella. Once you have selected a general topic area, you must select a specific subtopic and form a research hypothesis. Example subtopics might include algebra or imaginary numbers (for math), or personality or mental illness (for psychology). Only after you have selected a topic and subtopic can you define your research question and hypotheses.

What is contained in the written IB extended essay?

In your IB extended essay, you should briefly introduce your reader to the topic and outline some general research findings in the subtopical area you are studying. You should provide definitions of key terms or jargon where necessary, and outline the current state of knowledge and understanding of the topic. From there, you should lead into a specific hypothesis that no previous research in the field has tackled. This is your unique research question. The rest of your essay should be spent locating information that either answers your hypothesis, or supports your central arguments.

All in all, you should have ten or more pages double spaced (or four thousand words), and at least a full page of academic citations from various reputable sources. You should provide a coherent and certain answer to your research question (if doing so is theoretically possible), and make a strong persuasive case for your central claim or argument. You should end your extended essay with a firm conclusion paragraph that reviews your research and what conclusions you have drawn from the research.

What is an IB extended essay abstract?

Not to be confused with an introductory paragraph, an abstract is a short paragraph that summarizes the entirety of your extended essay. The abstract goes at the beginning of the paper, after the title page, and should take up no more than half a page (or about two hundred to five hundred words at the very most). The abstract should let the reader know what the paper is about, what field you are studying, what your research question was, and roughly, what your paper found or concluded.

To write an effective abstract, finish writing your paper and review it. Devote one sentence to describing the state of knowledge in the field, one sentence do your hypothesis, and one to three sentences to your research method and conclusion.

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