5 Factors To Consider In Choosing Topics For An Extended Essay


An Extended essay is the preferred writing format that a student is pursuing studies in International Baccalaureate Diploma program. It is a kind of thesis paper where students need to complete writing a topic of 4000 words. By this, the students gain an opportunity to conduct further independent research on any topic of their choice.

Importance of Extended Essay

Writing this kind of paper with full success is proof that the student is eligible to pursue future research in the field of his/her choice. This type of thesis helps the students in:

  • Developing appropriate hypothesis or research question
  • Exploring different areas of knowledge
  • To raise questions and finding answers for them
  • To communicate and share the ideas developed with others

A student who can write a 4000-word dissertation paper without flaw and have the above qualities in him/her is capable of synthesizing, analyzing and evaluating knowledge.

Basic guidelines

In case an IB student is about to write his/her first piece, some guidelines shall be followed in this case. They are:

  1. One must not choose a topic that is too broad or too short for writing it within 4000 words.
  2. The topic is recommended to be selected from the IB diploma program.
  3. The subject for the topic must deal with one subject only unless he/she is writing under the World Topic category.
  4. The student must know about MLA citation which they will be required to maintain throughout their work.

Apart from the above guidelines a student shall also maintain the proper structure of the writing, like fonts, the double spacing in between two sentences and proper margin.

Now while choosing a topic for this type of writings, a student must consider some important factors.

  1. The first and foremost is the research question. The student must think over the hypothesis to see whether the proposition is in sync with the research topic.
  2. Has the student selected the topic from the IB syllabus as per mentioned in the guideline?
  3. Whether the student has access to adequate information on the given topic for the literature review section.
  4. Does the student know well about the academic format that he/she needs to maintain all through the texts?
  5. Has the student defended the research question in well-known research magazine and journals? This proves that the work the student has undertaken shall be well received in future.

These are some of the factors to be considered while writing an extended essay.

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