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How to select the Perfect Topic for your IB Extended Essay



Step 1: Fix Your Mindset

The Extended Essay is an important piece of assessment to nail, but trust me, you do not want to think of it as an assessment. Instead, try to view this assessment piece as a project that you are passionate about and something that if done right, you can show off to universities all over the world! Remember, the earlier you start thinking about the EE and begin a plan, the more likely you will be able to maintain a positive outlook. It is important to approach each stage of your EE as if it is a goal to achieve, do not overwhelm yourself by thinking about the final essay in the early stages. Students who effectively manage to think of their EE as an opportunity and goal, often are more successful when it comes to the final grade for your essay.

Step 2: What Are You Interested in Writing About?

Start this part early! Take out your phone and write notes every time you are doing, reading, listening, or talking about something that you are interested in. What is something that you do where time seems to fly by? The best technique is to pick a topic you love because it will help you to view the EE as less of an assignment and more as a passion project. Still cannot decide what your EE topic should be about? We are here to help! Consult one of our tutors here.

Step 3: Choose A Category & Keep in Mind Who Your Supervisor Could Be

Make sure that choosing a subject category comes after you decide what you’re interested in, this will ensure that you are not choosing something that fits into a ‘box’. Be creative in step 2, and you can easily fit your idea into an IB subject group, for example, baking can relate to Chemistry! Remember – you do not have to write your EE on a subject you are currently undertaking.

Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature

Group 2: Language Acquisition

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Group 4: Sciences

Group 5: Mathematics

Group 6: The Arts

Unsure what your topic could fit into? Reach out to one of our Concept IB tutors here.

Step 4: Have Something Original to Say

Arguably, this is the most important part of achieving a high grade in your EE. Examiners and markers are looking for your original thoughts and ideas. Of course, supporting your original research question and thesis with research is essential, it is vital that first, you establish what it is you want to say. This can be a little tricky, but often it helps to run it by someone. If that is something you want to do, feel free to reach out to Concept IB J.


Step 5: Preliminary Research

Before coming up with a research question, I encourage you to do some research! This part does not have to be extensive, but something preliminary will assist you in forming an effective research question. The key to preliminary research is to ensure that the sources you are reading are reliable, unbiased, and supported by strong research. An informed and effective research question will enable you to write an informed and effective EE, resulting in the grades you want!


Step 6: Research Question

This part is simple if the earlier steps are done right! Write down a few variations of your potential research question and get your supervisor to approve it. If you’re stuck on wording/ articulating your research question, reach out to us here.

Congratulations! You now have your EE topic!


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