IB Extended Essay Topics

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18.08.2020 in Writing Ideas

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is the name of the worldwide educational foundation that was established in 1968. It provides educational opportunities for students up to 19 years of age. One of the programs offered by the foundation is the International Baccalaureate Program which is a diploma program targeted at students aged 16 – 19. Students willing to enroll in this educational program are required to meet some requirements, and one of them is to submit an extended essay, which adds up to the total score. IB extended essay topic choice is decisive for one’s writing success as the topic should not only be interesting to you but also appealing to the target readers. Below you will find some helpful information on how to get started with the task and succeed in choosing extended essay topics.

What Is an IB Extended Essay?

The IB extended essay is one of the parts of the general International Baccalaureate program requirements. This essay should demonstrate how well a student has coped with the independent study of a given topic. Normally, the theme of the research is chosen by a student. The average length of an IB extended essay comprises of 4,000 words, which is why the essay is called extended. At times, 3,500 words can be acceptable for some programs. If one wants to receive an IB Diploma, one is required to get a good score for the paper hence the need to choose original extended essay topics. Excellent and good grades received for the IB extended essay also boost a student`s chances to succeed in the college application process.

Some submission deadlines for IB essays are set by the IB program, whereas others can be defined by the very school. These are called internal deadlines. Therefore, from the moment that a student is aware of the deadline, he/ she should manage the time and preparation process properly to work effectively on the paper. As a rule, the working process on IB extended essays is a rather lengthy one since one has to choose IB extended essay topics, submit research proposals, communicate with academic supervisors, collect the required information from credible sources, write drafts, get feedbacks from the academic supervisor, etc.

IB Extended Essay Writing Guidelines

Structure of an IB Extended Essay

Composing a rough outline or coming up with an extended writing plan can greatly help you within the very writing process. Regardless of the topic or subject that you are writing your IB essay in, be sure that an outline greatly helps you organize the paper, structure your thoughts, and overall ease the writing process. The outline also helps one to create a specific and clear plan for how the topic will be discussed, analyzed, and evaluated.

Take into account the following steps if you want to develop an effective IB extended essay:

  1. Identify the central problem and formulate a research question. To answer questions related to the paper topic, you may need to carry out a brief investigation. So, before writing the paper, you may need to research the topic a bit. Formulating a research question will help you maintain your focus on the paper.
  2. Conduct some preliminary research on the topic in order to delve deeper into the essence of the subject area. Find all the information that you seem to be lacking. Take notes while reviewing some literature. Try to look at the central topic from various perspectives.
  3. Develop the core argument. As soon as you have collected sufficient information and materials on your topic, think of what main message or argument you would like to convey. Remember to support any argument with sufficient supporting evidence, i.e. examples and facts taken from outside sources.
  4. Communicate the main message across. Once you have collected sufficient materials, you can now think of what theme or message unites the topic. Try to convey your main argument in a clear and concise manner. Each aspect of the main argument should be clearly presented in each of the paper sections, chapters, or body paragraphs. When organizing the paragraphs, you need to pay attention to logical transitions and phrases that should link ideas across the paper.

When working on the paper, it is not needed to include each idea or fact that you have gathered from the sources. You need to take only the most important information and make sure that you do not repeat the same ideas repeatedly. When it comes to sentence structure, the sentences should be brief, clear, and concise without any lengthy or flowery structures. As a rule, the average number of words needed for an IB extended essay is 4,000, so make sure you meet this word count limit. Revision and editing after the writing process are a must in order to get a high-quality paper deserving an excellent grade.

How to Choose a Good IB Extended Essay Topic for Students?

Students studying in IB Program are required to pick six subjects from six different groups. Only a subject from the Arts group is not obligatory and it can be substituted by some other subject from the rest of the five groups. As a rule, IB extended essay topics are selected in a way so that they can be related to the subjects picked by students from the abovementioned categories:

Group 1: Language and literature studies. From this category, a student can choose topics dealing with a student’s native language, Literature, as well as Literature and Performance (but this one is interdisciplinary).

Group 2: Language acquisition. Here a student has to focus on an additional language (the one he/ she starts acquiring from zero level or is improving).

Group 3: Societies and individuals. The courses under this category relate to Science courses as well as Liberal Arts courses. As such, a student may pick an IB extended essay topic in Business Management, History, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology, Geography, and others.

Group 4: Experimental sciences. Here the courses include Computer Science, Environmental Systems, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Sport, Design Technology, Nature of Science, and Societies.

Group 5: Mathematics. As such, a student can pick a topic in any realm of Mathematical studies.

Group 6: Arts. The topics chosen from this category may be related to Visual Arts, Cinematography, Dance, Theatre, Music, etc.

Students are strongly recommended to look at the list of extended essay topics and pick the one that makes them feel motivated and willing to research it in depth. The topic should keep one concentrated and interested in it for a few months for sure. As such, when choosing a topic, make sure you are good at it and are passionate about it. Picking a challenging topic may sound interesting and original but it may turn out to be challenging. At times, it may even be hard to find credible sources of information to support the arguments and evidence. When selecting a topic, it is essential to check whether they are narrow enough to properly fit into the paper length of 4,000 words.

If you wonder how to select an interesting topic, keep in mind that a useful thing would be to brainstorm some ideas on your own and also to search for potential topic options online. Sometimes it happens that potential topics make you think of some other one more related to your theme. So, such brainstorming sessions may be simply inspiring for you. All in all, a good point in choosing your topic is to check whether it matches your academic goals and interests.

However, choosing the right topic is not merely the only challenge that you may face throughout the process of IB extended essay writing. Another difficulty that you may have to tackle is how to write clearly and concisely which makes your essay properly structured and organized. Besides, coming up with adequate vocabulary is a must. Editing and proofreading your paper before submission will help you eliminate potential mistakes and typos.

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Original Extended Essay Topics for Students

English Extended Essay Topics

  1. Analysis of the core sources of neologisms in the modern English language: the fields and spheres they come from.
  2. The impact of word order and grammar rules on the way people think.
  3. The influence of French on the evolution of English.
  4. The main differences between the British English and American English variants.
  5. Analysis of English words originating from Sanskrit.
  6. Widely used words taken from other cultures throughout the process of British colonialism.
  7. The most distinctive features of phonetics of American English.
  8. The major semantic groups in which borrowed Spanish words can be classified into within their usage by the Americans.
  9. Contribution of the foreign words in English.
  10. Compare the English learning curve to the other languages: pay attention to the tenses, word order, usage of articles, etc.).

Extended Essay Topics on Literature

  1. Peculiarities of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing style.
  2. Controversy behind Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature.
  3. Postmodernistic analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
  4. Features, statistics, and limitations of the widely known artificial languages in literary works.
  5. Supernatural forces: Its role in Macbeth.
  6. Stylistic innovations were brought into literature by Nobel prize winners.
  7. The human nature description in Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
  8. The topic of intelligence in Flowers for Algernon.
  9. Popular misinterpretations of Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse.
  10. The evolution of the image of an ideal woman throughout different literature periods.

Extended Essay Topics on History

  1. Reasons why USSR fell.
  2. Biases behind witch trials in Salem.
  3. The importance of the Treaty of Versailles.
  4. The success of the Roman Empire over Britain.
  5. Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima: the main causes
  6. Causes and effects of the missile trials on Cuba.
  7. Realization of the pact negotiated between Hitler and Stalin.
  8. Shakespeare’s drama and political themes.
  9. The significance of Pearl Harbor in World War II.
  10. Evolution in perceiving opium as a part of rural culture.

Extended Essay Topics on the World Studies

  1. The impact of the global food crisis on the lives of separate societies.
  2. The significance of the never-ending exchange between different cultures.
  3. Safety precautions needed to know by every traveler.
  4. The necessity of energy security in the context of large communities.
  5. Features that make an issue globally significant.
  6. The impact of local factors on the developing expressions.
  7. Causes and effects of global incidences of terrorism.
  8. The effect of global climate change on people’s outlook and worldview.
  9. What makes individual contributions appreciated globally?
  10. Ongoing consequences of world migration.

Extended Essay Topics on Biology

  1. What are the molecular and metabolic similarities of fungi with animals and plants?
  2. Investigation of the endosymbiotic theory: how chloroplasts and mitochondria appeared?
  3. Traces of Neandertalian DNA in Europeans.
  4. Analyze which adaptive features have recently evolved in humans.
  5. Advantages of modeling living organisms by using computers.
  6. Proof supporting the evolution of life on the planet on the ocean floor.
  7. Modern theories prove that some biological mechanisms are responsible for the allergy rates among people.
  8. The appearance of different blood groups was caused by ancient migration.
  9. Bonding of domesticated dogs with humans with the help of eye contact responses.
  10. Magnetoreception is a biological mechanism of navigation in space.

Extended Essay Topics on Physics

  1. Quantum entanglement is the most spooky experiment.
  2. Why do flashing lights appear before some earthquakes?
  3. How is laminar flow applied in decoration, engineering, and biosecurity?
  4. The detection of gravitational waves on earth and their generation.
  5. Physical analysis of Prince Ruppert’s drops.
  6. Reasons behind recreating nuclear reactions on the Sun.
  7. What physical mechanisms cause the existence of magnetic fields?
  8. How do telescope arrays operate?
  9. What supporting evidence of Big Bang exists?
  10. Is the redshifted light from galaxies a kind of supporting evidence of the expanding universe?

Extended Essay Topics on Mathematics

  1. 1. General functions of the partition theory.
  2. The importance of Egyptian fractions for the development of arithmetics.
  3. The role of spirograph in relation to curves.
  4. How can color polynomials be used to identify knots?
  5. General relativity concept within the realm of cosmology.
  6. Plane tessellations and the necessity of symmetries.
  7. Arithmetics and Egyptian forces.
  8. Fairness of constitution and voting polynomials.
  9. The role of statistics in methodology.
  10. Reasons that planets move in their regular way.

Extended Essay Topics on Economics

  1. How do trade policies vary across countries?
  2. The necessity of the personal income tax.
  3. The regulating functions of the industrial policy.
  4. The major impact of fiscal policy on the economy rates.
  5. Spheres of expansionary fiscal policy usage.
  6. How is it possible to make spending patterns and taxes more effective?
  7. The main reasons why the recessionary gap appears.
  8. How can the scale of the governmental sector in a country’s economy be justified?
  9. Transfer payments: what makes it possible for them to operate?
  10. The correlation between labor market instability and business cycle operation.

Appealing Topics for IB Extended Essays

  1. The efficiency of the most widespread ways of propagation of begonia (Biology topic).
  2. Compare and contrast Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians in terms of their religious practices, beliefs, and values (Classic Greek and Latin).
  3. Outcomes of continuous usage of laundry chemicals, detergents, and enzymes (Chemistry).
  4. The role of dance improvisation in choreography (Dance).
  5. The impact of the Internet on the interaction among doctors and medical staff (Technology).
  6. The required changes for diabetics getting insurance policies (Economics).
  7. Tim Burton’s works within the context of Expressionism: emotions in the movies, colors, and the concept of distortion (Cinematography).
  8. The current-day excessive usage of pathos in the media (English).
  9. The influence of Stalin’s rule on Russian art (Art).
  10. Women’s position in the 19th and 20th centuries in European countries (History).

Extended Essay Topics on Geography

  1. The significance and role of seabed exploration.
  2. The evolution of knowledge of the terrestrial crust.
  3. The role of oceanography studies in saving water quality.
  4. The difference between nations with and without access to the sea.
  5. The way continents ended up in their modern-day locations.
  6. The relation between geography and gendered economy.
  7. The influential factors relating to the industry location.
  8. The influence of prosperous economic development on the deteriorating environmental conditions.
  9. The impact of geography on the relations that people have.
  10. Cultural interaction quality between neighboring countries.

Extended Essay Topics on History

  1. Discovering the Rosetta stone. Why is it so significant?
  2. Human-piloted torpedoes usage in World War II.
  3. Terracotta Army as a page of Chinese society.
  4. Invasion of Poland in 1939 by both the USSR and Nazi Germany.
  5. Roosevelt’s political campaign within the context of World War II events.
  6. What do the oldest settlements of humans tell us about the society?
  7. Reconstruction period and property rights that the black people had.
  8. Deception and corruption were used by Abe Lincoln.
  9. Historical and other reasons why Western European countries tend to dominate.
  10. Spanish colonizers’ arrival in South America was the cause of epidemics.

Extended Essay Topics on Psychology

  1. Comparison and contrast of the diffuse and focused learning styles.
  2. PTSD in humans vs. PTSD in animals.
  3. Spaced repetition is a productive tool for memorizing and learning.
  4. Psychological traumas and imaginative character as prerequisites of multiple personality disorder.
  5. Lucid dreaming: does the technique help one get control of dreams?
  6. The effectiveness of self-help suggested by CBT.
  7. Modern methods of treating phobias.
  8. False memories as a depiction of unstable memory.
  9. Maslow’s pyramid is a means of interpreting motifs of different historic personalities.
  10. Relation between one’s suffering from child abuse and his/ her oppressive behaviors in adult years.

Extended Essay Topics on Cinematography

  1. Charlie Chaplin’s films depicted social protests.
  2. Guy Ritchie’s cinematographic techniques and effects.
  3. Righteous revenge is the underlying feature of Tarantino’s movies.
  4. How are international film rewards and IMDM ratings related?
  5. Reasons why films stay at 24 frames per second.
  6. The capabilities of computer graphics in modern cinematography.
  7. Masculinity metamorphosis in movies.
  8. Science portrayal in sci-fi movies.
  9. Cinematographic timeline manipulation.
  10. Innovative techniques of moving camera effects.

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