Geography Extended Essay Topics

This guide has been created to help you understand the key concepts and requirements for writing a geography Extended Essay as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. We will lay out definitions for organizing your topic, research methods for gathering evidence, assessment guidelines, and tips for selecting an appropriate topic.

An Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a topic chosen from one of the IB diploma programme subjects, including geography. An EE allows students to explore a specific enquiry, and is usually 4,000 words in length. The EE requires collection and analysis of data to make a conclusive argument.

Key Concepts

To effectively write a geography EE, there are several key concepts to consider:

  • Research methods – primary, secondary, and analytical
  • Sources of information – reliable and valid sources
  • Assessment criteria – focusing on meeting the objectives of the essay
  • Topic selection – choosing a topic relevant to the subject
  • Structure – outlining supporting arguments for a clear conclusion
  • Presentation – presenting evidence in an organized and effective way

By understanding and considering these key concepts, you are well on your way to writing a successful geography EE that meets the criteria of the IB diploma programme.

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Geography Extended Essay

Writing a geography extended essay can be both exciting and challenging. It requires careful thought, research and planning. In this section, we will give you an overview of the different types of geography extended essays, including research methods, sources of information and assessment requirements.

Types of Geography Extended Essays

The type of geography extended essay you choose should depend on your area of interest. Possible topics include:

  • Analysis of geographical data
  • Geographical changes over time
  • Geography of a specific area
  • Environmental issues

Research Methods

For most geography extended essays, you need to use both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are original records or documents created at the time of the event or issue you’re researching. Examples include newspaper articles, interviews, or official reports. Secondary sources are records or documents created after the event or issue. These include academic books and articles, or encyclopedias. When researching, it is important to consider sources from multiple perspectives to gain an accurate understanding.

Sources of Information

When researching for a geography extended essay, it is important to use reliable sources. As well as online sources and those found in libraries, some useful sources of information include:

  • Government websites
  • Newspaper archives
  • Census data
  • Maps and geographical data

Assessment Requirements

Most geography extended essays will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity – Is the essay clear and easy to follow?
  • Analysis – Has the subject been analysed in-depth?
  • Evidence – Are there sufficient examples and sources of evidence?
  • Structure – Is the essay well-structured?
  • Arguments – Are the arguments sound and well-supported?
Selecting an appropriate topic for a geography extended essay can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. To ensure that you select an excellent topic for your essay, take the following tips into consideration:

1. Analyse your interests and strengths

Before selecting a topic, consider what your interests and strengths are. Are there any topics you have studied in the past that you found particularly engaging? If so, this could be a good option to explore further in your essay. If you are still undecided, take some time to research different topics online and see what sparks your interest.

2. Narrow down your topic

Once you have identified a general area of interest, narrow your topic down to something more specific. For example, if your initial topic was ‘the impact of climate change’, narrow it down to ‘the impact of climate change in East Asia’. To avoid too much overlap with other essays, try to find a unique angle that hasn’t been explored before.

3. Research existing literature

Research is key when selecting an appropriate topic for a geography extended essay. Before you decide to write about a certain topic, read already existing material to gauge how much information is out there. If there is not enough existing literature on the chosen topic, then it might be wise to look for a different one.

4. Consider the assessment requirements

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the assessment criteria for the IB geography extended essay, as this will give you an idea of what is expected from your essay. It is also important to note that the geography extended essay markscheme uses specific terminology and criteria which you must meet in order to achieve high marks.

5. Speak to your supervisor

Finally, discuss your chosen topic with your supervisor to ensure that your chosen topic is suitable and likely to receive a good grade. They may have useful advice to help you refine your topic and improve your essay. By following these tips, you should be able to select an appropriate topic for your geography extended essay. Remember to keep your interests in mind, choose a unique angle, research existing material and consider the assessment criteria. Finally, do not forget to discuss your chosen topic with your supervisor.

Examples of Suitable Topics for a Geography Extended Essay

Finding a suitable topic for a geography extended essay can seem daunting. To help make the process easier, here are some examples of topics that could be used for a geography extended essay:
  • The impact of climate change on coastal communities
  • How soil type effects the development of agriculture in a region
  • The development of cities in a particular region over time
  • The impact of tourism on the environment in a given country
  • The role of water conservation in a desert region
  • The impact of urban planning on air quality
  • The causes and effects of deforestation in a tropical region
  • The role of rivers in shaping urban communities
  • The effects of urban sprawl on air pollution
  • The impact of transportation on the distribution of resources in a region
These are just some examples of possible topics for a geography extended essay. When deciding on your own topic, you should try to choose a unique or interesting area that is within your field of study and has not been explored too much in the past. You should also research any potential sources of information that will help you in your research. Finally, make sure that your topic is relevant and current – exploring something that has recently been in the news will give your essay more impact.

How to Structure Your Geography Extended Essay

When working on a geography extended essay, it is important to structure your essay properly. Doing so will help ensure that your essay is organized and easy to follow for the reader. A strong structure will also strengthen your argument and increase the essay’s overall impact.

There are three main components of a geography extended essay: the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Each of these components should be structured in a specific way, as outlined below:


The introduction of your essay should be brief yet comprehensive. Start with an engaging statement that will encourage the reader to learn more about the topic. Explain the primary argument, or purpose, of the essay, and provide any background information or definitions that are necessary for readers to understand your essay. Finally, include a thesis statement that summaries the main idea of your essay.


The body of your essay should be where you break down and explain the primary argument. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that summarises the point you will be arguing in that section. Provide evidence, statistics, quotes, and references to support your statements and draw more attention to your point. Use transitions that flow between each paragraph, to make the essay easier to read.


Your conclusion should be a summary of the major points and evidence you have presented in the essay. Summarise the key themes and arguments, and provide examples to support them. Finish with a statement that leaves the reader with an overall impression of your essay.

By following the structure outlined above, you can ensure that your geography extended essay is well organised and flows smoothly. This will make your essay more engaging for the reader and will demonstrate to the examiner that you have put thought into your essay.

Advice on Researching and Presenting Evidence in a Geography Extended Essay

Researching and presenting evidence in a geography extended essay can seem daunting for students. But with the right resources, research techniques, and organisation, this task can be made much easier.

A great place to start is by understanding what type of research is required for your geography extended essay. You’ll need to access academic sources such as books, journal articles, reliable websites and reports from organisations. It’s also important to keep your research relevant – make sure that your sources are related to the topic you’ve selected.

Once you’ve identified your sources, it’s useful to create an organisational system to keep track of them. This could include tracking the source information, summaries of the key points and quotes. Additionally, the use of citations and footnotes will ensure your sources are correctly referenced.

When it comes to presenting your evidence, it’s important to focus on only the most relevant information. Make sure that your sources support the argument and ideas that you are highlighting. If possible, try to present the evidence in an interesting and engaging way – use visual elements like charts and diagrams to support your points.

By following these steps, researching and presenting evidence for a geography extended essay doesn’t have to be a stressful process. With careful planning and organisation, you can successfully incorporate the evidence and sources into your work.

Examples of Well-Structured, Successful Geography IB Extended Essays

The International Baccalaureate (IB) extended essay is an important part of the geography curriculum and can be the difference between success and failure. To ensure that your essay is fully successful, it is essential to ensure that it is well-structured and coherent. There are many examples of successful extended essays out there, and you can use them as a reference when writing your own.

Research and Planning

A successful geography IB extended essay requires strong research and planning. This starts with narrowing down your topic and finding sources of information. Once you have read through the relevant material, you need to create an outline for your essay. Make sure each main point is clearly defined and backed up with evidence.


Your essay should have a logical flow and structure. This is why it is important to create an outline before starting to write. It ensures that your essay is made up of a series of connected arguments and evidence, rather than being a jumble of disconnected thoughts.


The most successful geography IB extended essays are those that are well-researched and contain a wealth of evidence. Whenever possible, include facts, figures, and quotes from experts to back up your points. This makes it easier for the reader to understand and appreciate your argument.


Your IB extended essay must have three distinct yet connected sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction should introduce the topic and explain your position. The body should present your argument, using evidence to support each point. And the conclusion should summarise the points made in the body and restate your position. By following these basic guidelines, any student should be able to write an effective and successful IB extended essay in geography. By reading through some successful examples of IB extended essays, you will be able to gain a better understanding of the overall structure and conventions of the essay. This will help you when it comes to writing your own essay.


This guide has provided all the information you need to get started on your Geography IB Extended Essay. We’ve discussed how to select a suitable topic, research methods and sources, tips for structuring your essay, and examples of well-structured essays.

We’ve also signposted further resources that you can use to supplement your research, such as textbooks, online articles, and documentaries. Remember, researching for an extended essay may take some time and effort, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

By now, you should have a clear idea of what’s required to produce an excellent geography extended essay; you just need to put in the hard work now to make it happen! So take the tips and advice from this guide, and make sure your extended essay stands out from the crowd.

Valerie Green

Valerie Green

Valerie Green is a dedicated educator who spends her time helping high school and college students succeed. She writes articles and guides for various online education projects, providing students with the tools they need to excel in their studies. Friendly and approachable, she is committed to making a difference in the lives of students.

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