Advice for students
1Choose a topic you are interested in.
2 It should ideally be i) in one of your HL subjects & ii) in a subject you wish to study at university.
3 Stick to the deadlines - extended essay progress has to be maintained as you go through the second and third terms. By the time you leave for the summer, your extended essay needs to be at or close to first draft level.
4 Don't be too afraid to pick a topic you have not yet covered in class - this is often the case as extended essays have to be started in term two of the course and completed in term four. Your teachers can advise you about the suitability of a topic for you and the extended essay specifications.
5 Make your title a question that is targeted at a specific problem or issue. The focus has to be suitably narrow to enable you to answer the question within 4,000 words. Starting with, 'To what extent...' is as good a start to an essay title as any.
6 Use the key documents found on this website. You will be issued with a subject specific guide once you have chosen your subject.

Key documents
As you start your research into what makes a good extended essay there are a number of key documents you should consult:

The extended essay guide:




This contains the mark scheme by which ALL extended essays are judged and also subject specific information. Look at the relevant pages for the subject(s) in which you are interested in writing an extended essay.

Exemplar essays
There are also a number of exemplar essays. The more recently added are named in the format SUB M15 22 - subject session and score. You will see how the marks are awarded either on one of the front pages or at the back of the document. Not all of the extended essays here score highly - you should look at a range of them and the marks awarded to see where students got it right and where they got it not quite right - or in some cases just plain wrong. Extended essays are marked out of 36 marks.


Examiner reports
These tell you what the examiner thinks of the overall quality of extended essays in a subject and are therefore essential reading. If you do read a couple of them you will see what students get right and - perhaps more importantly - what they tend to get wrong.