Extended Essay

  • The extended essay is an academic-style research paper.  The extended essay; theory of knowledge (TOK); and creativity, activity, and service (CAS) combine to form the core of the IB Diploma Program.

    A student-led endeavor, the extended essay allows for personal expression and creative thinking in the choice of subject and the formation of a research question, as well as critical thinking in the analysis and synthesis of the research. Self-management is an important skill that is cultivated throughout the process.  

    Essay Requirements

    Externally assessed:

    • An essay of no more than 4,000 words
    • A bibliography
    • Reflections throughout the process

    Additionally, there will be periodic, school-based assignments of a formative nature, designed to ensure students are maintaining forward momentum and are on track to successfully complete the extended essay by the deadline.

    How is it assessed?

    The extended essay is externally assessed by the IB.  Students are given a letter grade based on marks received.  As part of the DP core, TOK, the EE, and CAS are compulsory; students must achieve a D grade or higher in the EE to be awarded a Diploma.  Additionally, TOK and the EE are awarded individual grades and can contribute up to three additional points toward the overall Diploma score.  

    How is it supervised?

    Each student is assigned an essay supervisor who is trained in the same IB DP subject as the essay topic.  Supervision will include three formal meetings and informal check-ins. Time spent working directly with the supervisor should range from 3-5 hours over the course of one year.  Supervisors are assigned in December, after topic subjects have been confirmed.




    Junior Year

    Senior Year




    EE information night for students and parents

    First draft due & submitted for supervisor feedback


    Core skills workshops/competency check



    Core skills workshops/competency check

    Final draft due

    Viva voce interview


    EE feasibility report (5-10 correctly referenced sources)

    Subject confirmation

    Supervisors assigned

    1st meeting with supervisor



    EE thesis and preliminary research due





    Research due



    Outline due

    2nd meeting with supervisor



    EE colloquium