How Long Does It Take to Write an IB Extended Essay?

An extended essay is a written research paper of up to 4,000 words that is usually required for international baccalaureate programs. This essay gives students the opportunity to thoroughly research and present a topic of their choice in detail. While each EE will vary in length, emphasis, and subject matter, the goal is always to develop an in-depth understanding of a particular topic.

The length of time it takes to write an EE will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the topic, the amount of research that needs to be done, and the student’s writing skills. A student may find they are able to complete their EE within a few months or they may take up to a year. In this guide, we will explore the general process of writing an EE and the different steps that need to be taken in order to create a successful essay. We will also discuss topics that can be used for an EE, how to structure and outline an EE, how to research and write one, as well as tips for editing and submitting your work.

By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of how long it takes to write an EE and the steps involved in completing one. You should also have an idea of the topics that are appropriate for an EE and the tools and resources available to help you complete your essay.

How Long Does It Take to Write an IB Extended Essay?

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The Overview of Process in Writing an IB Extended Essay

Writing an IB extended essay can be a daunting task, but it’s all about breaking it down into manageable steps. Here’s a brief overview of the extended essay process.

  • Choosing a topic: Brainstorm potential topics that involve meaningful research and will meet the requirements of the IB extended essay guidelines.
  • Understanding requirements: Be sure to have a thorough knowledge of what is expected and required of the paper.
  • Structuring and outlining: Have a clear and consistent structure with an effective outline to guide you when writing.
  • Research and writing: Gather the necessary sources and begin your draft. Use useful tools like the IB extended essay online editor to help you.
  • Editing and revising: Carefully review your work and make changes as needed. Make sure you do the necessary revisions and proofreading before the final submission.
  • Final checks: Before submitting, make sure to check for any formatting errors, typos, and especially plagiarism.
  • Submitting your work: Follow the guidelines for submitting the paper to your instructor or school.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to successfully write your IB extended essay with confidence and ease. The amount of time it takes to effectively write and submit the extended essay will vary depending on the complexity and length of the paper, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Choosing a Topic for Your Extended Essay

When you’re writing an extended essay, the first step is to choose a topic. This can be daunting, as there are so many options! Fortunately, there are certain guidelines to keep in mind when selecting a topic.

An IB extended essay should focus on one of the subjects offered by the International Baccalaureate. This could include science, mathematics, social sciences, language, arts and literature, or history. Your extended essay should reflect the specific subject area that you have chosen.

Your topic must also be researchable. This means you should have access to reliable sources of information, such as scholarly books, articles, and other materials. If you can’t find enough relevant information on your chosen topic, it might not be suitable for a successful essay.

In addition, it’s important to make sure your topic is unique and interesting. If it’s too broad, narrow down your topic until you have a specific focus. If it’s too narrow, broaden it so you have room to explore the topic and draw meaningful conclusions.

Finally, make sure your topic is something that you’re passionate about. Writing an extended essay is a long process, and if you don’t enjoy researching and writing about your chosen topic, it can be difficult to stay motivated.

Understanding Requirements

Writing an extended essay is no easy feat but there are certain criteria it must meet in order to be successful. These requirements vary from school to school, depending on IB policies, but understanding those requirements and how to meet them is key for a great essay.

When you look at the rubric, you will see that it is divided into two sections: Criteria A and Criteria B. Criteria A focuses on the research question and your ability to answer it with evidence gathered from credible sources. It should be focused and specific and provide insight into the research question. Criteria B encompasses the rest of the essay – its structure, clarity, language, and writing style.

When it comes to meeting the requirements for an IB extended essay, the best way to start is to understand the guidelines laid out by the International Baccalaureate (IB). They offer guidance on topics that are accepted, so make sure that the topic you choose falls within the scope of their criteria. They also have specific formatting requirements, such as length, font, margins, paper type, and quotations. You should also make sure to cite any sources appropriately according to their given citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).

As you are writing your extended essay, it is important to keep track of the requirements outlined by the International Baccalaureate. By monitoring your progress and ensuring that your essay meets each and every one of the criteria, you can be confident that your essay will satisfy their high standards. This will help to ensure that you receive the best grade possible for your work.

Writing an IB extended essay can seem overwhelming, but if you keep in mind the requirements and use helpful tools, it does not have to be! Make sure to research, plan, write, edit, and check for errors before submitting your essay. With dedication and hard work, success is within reach!

Structuring and Outlining

Writing an extended essay is a complex process, and so it makes sense to break it down into manageable chunks. One of the most important steps in the process is creating a solid structure and outline. This step is key to ensuring that you are able to meet all of the requirements of the project and present your thoughts in a coherent way.

A great place to start is by creating a thesis statement. This should be a concise statement which sums up the main points of your essay. It should also provide a guide for the rest of the essay, and help you stay focused. Once your thesis statement is in place, it is crucial to draw out a clear and logical outline for your essay. This should include the major points you wish to cover, as well as any sub-points. This will help keep your ideas organized and ensure that your essay flows logically.

It is useful to make sure each section has a purpose and adds something to the overall essay. Make sure there is a clear link between each point, and that the points tie in with your thesis statement. As you create your structure and outline, it is also important to think about the formatting requirements. It is helpful to ensure you are familiar with the formatting guidelines to make sure your essay is presented in the correct way.

Creating a structure and outline is an essential part of writing a successful extended essay. Taking time to do this properly will allow you to present your thoughts in a logical and structured way, helping you to get the best result possible.

Research and Writing

Research is a key component of an IB extended essay. Before you actually begin writing, you need to spend several hours gathering information and data. This can be done through conducting interviews, surveys and online research. Take notes as you go along, to easily find the information when you have to use it later. It is essential that you make sure that all the sources are properly cited, so keep track of the information sources you use.

Writing your extended essay involves organizing your thoughts into a well-structured essay. Read through any guidelines or instructions provided by the school, as well as the IB evaluation criteria. This will help you create an essay that meets the necessary criteria. Start by writing a thesis statement and then plan out the essay by making a list of key points. Each point should be supported by evidence from research.

Once you have written the body of the essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion. Here, you should summarize the main points of the essay while providing your own opinion and analysis on the subject. Make sure to check spelling and grammar before submitting. There are many online tools that can help you with this, such as Grammarly or Hemingway App.

Writing an IB extended essay requires a lot of work, but with the right tools and resources, it can be made much easier. Use online research tools to find relevant materials, online writing tools to perfect your grammar and punctuation, and online citation generators to ensure that all sources are properly attributed. Following the tips in this guide should help you craft an essay that meets the International Baccalaureate requirements.

Editing and Revising

When writing your extended essay, it is important to go through the editing and revising process. Editing and revising can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can create an amazing essay.

The first step in the editing and revising process is to read through your essay. Take the time to read through your essay a few times, make sure to take notes. Look for any errors in grammar or spelling and make sure the structure and flow makes sense. Do you need to add any more detail or remove any unnecessary parts?

The second step is to revise your essay. Revising includes making any changes based on your notes from the previous step. It is also important to collaborate with others to review your essay. Perhaps it is helpful to have someone whose opinion you trust provide honest feedback. Incorporate any changes or feedback they have. You may also want to enlist help from an online editing service, such as Grammarly, to help with the editing process.

The third and final step is to proofread your essay. This is the last chance to make any changes before you submit your essay. Once again, take the time to read through your essay. Look for any errors in grammar or spelling and make sure the structure and flow makes sense. You should be able to catch any mistakes that you may have missed during the editing and revising process.

Editing and revising your essay can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools you can make your essay shine. By reading through your essay, revising based on feedback, and then proofreading your essay, you will have gone through the editing and revising process. Good luck!

Final Checks Before Submission

When it comes to submitting your Extended Essay, there are a few important steps that you need to take care of in order to make sure that everything is in order. This includes formatting and making sure that you haven’t accidentally plagiarized any part of your work. It’s essential that you do this correctly, otherwise it could cost you dearly.

So what should you be checking for? Here are a few of the main points:

  • The formatting must be consistent throughout the essay – check that the margins, font size, line spacing and any other formatting features are all the same.
  • Make sure that all the sources you used are correctly referenced. This means double checking all your in-text citations and the overall bibliography at the end of your paper.
  • Run your work through a plagiarism checker to make sure that you haven’t included any unoriginal text or forgotten to cite a source.
  • Finally, read through the essay several times to make sure that everything adds up and reads well.

It’s always a good idea to ask someone else to read through your essay as well, to catch any errors that you may have missed. Remember that your Extended Essay is an important part of your IB Diploma, so taking the time to do these final checks can really pay off in the long run!

Submitting Your Work

Submitting your extended essay for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program can be a daunting task. It’s important to make sure that your work is properly formatted and ready to be assessed. Here are some tips on how to submit your work:

  • Check The Guidelines: Make sure to check the IB guidelines thoroughly before submitting your work. These guidelines include information such as formatting, length, and topics covered. Pay special attention to any specific instructions included in the guidelines.
  • Check For Plagiarism: Before submitting, it’s important to check for plagiarism. Use a plagiarism checking tool to make sure that all of your content is original. It’s also a good idea to cite any sources used within the essay.
  • Organize Your Paper: Make sure that your paper is organized and easy to read. All sections should be clearly labeled, and there should be an introduction, body, and conclusion. Additionally, check for any grammar and spelling errors.
  • Proofread: Spend some time proofreading your work to make sure it’s free from errors. You may want to ask a friend or family member to read your essay to get a second opinion. This can help you catch any errors that were overlooked.
  • Submit On Time: Make sure that you submit your work on time. Check the submission timeline to make sure that your paper is received before the deadline. If there are any delays, contact the IB office to explain the situation.

It’s important to follow these steps when submitting your work in order to ensure that it’s accepted. With some careful planning and organization, you should have no problem submitting your extended essay to the IB program. Good luck!

Common Mistakes Made in Extended Essays

Writing an extended essay can be a daunting task, and it’s easy to make mistakes along the way. To ensure your essay is successful, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not following guidelines: Make sure to read and understand the essay’s requirements and any guidelines laid out by your school or professor. Not following these could result in you losing points or your essay being rejected.
  • Not doing enough research: It’s incredibly important to do comprehensive research for your essay, as it will provide you with evidence and content to use in your writing. Failing to research adequately could result in your essay being incomplete.
  • Incorrect documentation: You must accurately cite any sources that you have referred to within your essay, both within the text and on a reference page. If citing incorrectly, you could be accused of plagiarism.
  • Formatting mistakes: Ensure that your essay follows the specified format and style. This includes things such as font size, line spacing, and margins. Not paying attention to these details could result in you losing points.
  • Poor proofreading: It is essential to read through your essay carefully before submitting it. This will help you spot spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as any factual inaccuracies. It is also important to have another person check your essay before submission, as they may spot errors that you missed.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your extended essay is successful and that you score the grade you deserve.


Writing an IB Extended Essay can be a lengthy process but the outcome is worth it. The steps involved include choosing a suitable topic, understanding the requirements, structuring and outlining the essay, researching and writing the essay, revising and editing the essay, and submitting your work. It is important to be aware of potential pitfalls when completing an extended essay such as plagiarism and failing to meet the requirements.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to complete your extended essay efficiently and successfully. Good luck and keep up the hard work!

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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