Original vs. Generic IB Extended Essay Topics

The Extended Essay is an important part of the International Baccalaureate program. It is a research paper of up to 4,000 words that is written by students on an original topic of their choosing. The EE is a crucial part of any IB student’s academic journey as it supports students to develop the necessary skills for success in higher education and beyond.

What is the purpose of the EE?

The main purpose of the EE is to help students gain a deep understanding of a subject of their choice and refine key skills such as critical thinking, research and writing. This knowledge and understanding will then be tested through an individual written essay. The EE must also challenge and extend the student’s capacity to think independently.

What topics can I choose for my EE?

Students may choose any topic from within the IB Diploma Program for their EE, be it in mathematics, literature, philosophy, chemistry, etc. An important factor to remember when selecting a topic is to ensure that there is enough available and reliable resources and research material to support your arguments. It is also possible to write an EE on a multi-disciplinary topic.

What is the structure of the EE?

The extended essay typically follows a structured format consisting of the following elements:
  • An abstract summarizing the findings of the essay
  • An introduction justifying the research topic
  • A body section comprising of the in-depth analysis
  • A conclusion highlighting the importance and relevance of the research
  • A bibliography citing the sources used
The EE must also include a formal referencing system. Most commonly, Harvard or Chicago styles are used.

How is the Extended Essay graded?

The EE is assessed based on a rubric consisting of five criteria. These criteria are assessed across four levels of achievement known as markbands. The fifth criterion, Presentation, is not given a grade but is instead judged as either Sound or Reasonable. The EE is marked out of 36 points and a score of 24 or above is considered a pass. A score of 30 or above indicates an excellent IB Extended Essay.
Original vs. Generic IB Extended Essay Topics

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Exploring the Different Types of IB Extended Essay Topics: Original vs Generic

When it comes to researching and writing an international baccalaureate extended essay (EE), there are two main types of topics you can explore: original and generic. Both of these options have their own set of pros and cons, and it is important to understand both before committing to one.

Original topics require much more in-depth research than generic topics. On the flip side, they also offer the opportunity to be creative and delve into unique aspects of the subject matter. With an original topic, you can also make meaningful connections between your research and your own personal interests and experiences.

Generic topics, on the other hand, are generally easier to research and write, as they are not as in-depth and require less effort to complete. However, they may not allow for as much creativity or exploration of personal connections with the research. That said, there is always the chance that a generic topic could evolve into something more original, depending on how you approach it.

In any case, when it comes to choosing a topic for an EE, it is best to determine which type of topic will give you the best chance of success. You should carefully consider your ability to research and write about the topic and also if it fits with your personal interests.

Benefits of Choosing an Original Topic for an Extended Essay

When you are deciding on a topic for your extended essay, it is important to choose one that will be interesting and engaging. One of the best ways to ensure that your essay is unique is to choose an original topic. An original topic can often lead to more interesting essays, and they may attract more attention from your readers as well.

There are several benefits to selecting an original topic for your extended essay. One of the most obvious benefits is that you will have the personal satisfaction of being able to put a completely new idea to paper. You will be able to explore the topic from a fresh perspective and draw on your own original research. This can be incredibly rewarding, especially if your research helps to further current understanding of the topic.

Additionally, when you take the time to pick a unique topic, you make yourself stand out from the crowd of other essay writers. Original topics can help you to demonstrate depth and complexity in your writing, which can be both a challenge and a joy for you as a writer. Selecting a unique topic can also help you narrow down the scope of your essay and ensure that you are able to explore the subject in depth.

Finally, when you choose an original topic for your extended essay, you will also have the opportunity to practice your critical thinking skills. You will need to think deeply about the issue and use your creativity to come up with the most effective solutions. This type of problem solving will not only help you write a better essay, but it can also benefit you in other areas of your life and help you to become a more creative thinker.

Overall, selecting an original topic for your extended essay is an excellent way to challenge yourself while also creating a truly unique piece of writing. By choosing an original topic, you can gain greater satisfaction from your work, stand out from the competition, and practice your problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

How to Brainstorm Original Ideas for a Topic

Do you want to write an IB Extended Essay on an original topic? Brainstorming can be an effective way to come up with great ideas. Here are some tips for brainstorming original ideas for a topic:

  • Research the topic thoroughly. Before you start brainstorming, it is important to research the topic thoroughly. This will give you a better understanding of the topic and provide you with a starting point. It is also important to note what resources you have available to use for your essay. Knowing these things will help narrow down possible topic ideas.
  • Talk to people from different backgrounds. Get feedback from people who know nothing about your topic. This will help you think about the topic from other perspectives. It is also a great way to get fresh ideas.
  • Keep a journal of ideas. Whenever an idea comes to mind, write it down. No matter how crazy it may seem, keep track of all your ideas. You never know when an idea may grow into something amazing.
  • Start free writing. Free writing is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Start writing down everything that comes to mind related to the topic. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling; just let your thoughts flow out onto the paper. You may be surprised by the great ideas that emerge.
  • Brainstorm in a group. Working with a group can help bring new perspectives to the table. Have each person write down their ideas individually and then go around the circle and share. Brainstorming with others can help generate even more unique ideas.
  • Set aside time for brainstorming. It can be hard to come up with new ideas if your mind is wandering. Dedicate some time every day to brainstorming. Make sure you are in a calming environment and that your mind is clear.

Brainstorming is not an easy task and it may take some time to come up with original ideas for a topic. If you follow these tips, however, you may find yourself coming up with amazing ideas that could make for an interesting extended essay.

Examples of Original Topic Ideas for a Extended Essay

Choosing an original topic for your extended essay can be a daunting task. However, by researching potential ideas and exploring available resources, you can come up with something truly unique. Here are some examples of possible original topic ideas for an extended essay:

  • The History of Ancient Greece – Explore the rich history of Ancient Greece, including its wars, city-states, art, literature, and gods.
  • Rome’s Decline and Fall – Trace the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, from its height in the 2nd century to its eventual collapse in the 5th century.
  • The Spread of Christianity in the Middle Ages – Analyze the spread of Christianity throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and its impact on society.
  • Economic Differences Between the North and South During the American Civil War – Analyze the economic differences between the North and South during the American Civil War and how it impacted the war.
  • The Impact of the Globalization of Media – Look at the impact of the globalization of media on various aspects of society, such as politics, culture, and business.
  • The Effects of Global Warming – Investigate the environmental, social, and economic effects of global warming.
  • The Causes and Consequences of World War I – Examine the causes and consequences of World War I, one of the most devastating conflicts in history.

These are just a few examples of possible original topics that you could explore for your extended essay. By taking the time to research and brainstorm, you can come up with something that is both unique and interesting. Additionally, make sure to consult your advisor or teacher to ensure that your chosen topic is suitable for an extended essay and meets all requirements.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Choosing a Generic Topic for an Extended Essay

An Extended Essay is a type of assignment that students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program may face. It is a long essay of around 4000 words, written on an academic topic of the student’s choice. One of the key decisions when writing an Extended Essay is choosing the right topic. Students can opt for either an original or generic topic. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a generic topic for an Extended Essay.

Advantages of Choosing a Generic Topic

One of the main advantages of choosing a generic topic for an Extended Essay is that it will generally require less research than an original topic. As generic topics are usually more widely known and explored by scholars, there will be plenty of sources available for the student to reference. Additionally, if you choose a generic topic that has previously been done by other students, you can get some insight into what they have already written about it. This can greatly reduce the burden of preparing the essay, as it saves the student some time, and gives them the chance to build on someone else’s research.

Disadvantages of Choosing a Generic Topic

The main downside of choosing a generic topic for an Extended Essay is that it can be harder to stand out from the crowd. Since the topic has been explored by other students, it could potentially be difficult to present a unique perspective or analysis on the topic. Furthermore, generic topics can often be too broad to cover in the allotted word count. Therefore, when researching a generic topic, it is important to narrow it down sufficiently so that you can adequately explore it within the space of an Essay.

Finding a Suitable Generic Topic for an Extended Essay

If you prefer to go with a generic topic for your extended essay, there are plenty of resources available to help you out. One of the best places to begin is by looking through the available literature in your subject area. Look at books, magazines, online articles and journals related to your topic and make notes of any potential topics that appeal to you.

You can also find some great generic topics by talking to your teacher and classmates. Ask them about any interesting problems they are aware of in their studies and see if anything grabs your interest. Another great way to get ideas for a generic topic is to attend lectures or seminars on your subject, as these can often contain a wealth of information.

The internet is another great resource for finding suitable generic topics. There are many websites that offer lists of suggested topics, as well as advice on writing an extended essay. Take some time to look through these resources and see if there is anything that piques your interest. Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative. You may be able to come up with your own unique topic if you take the time to think outside the box.

Generic Topic Ideas for an Extended Essay

When choosing a generic topic for your IB extended essay, it’s important to come up with something that has enough evidence and data points to support the research. Here are some examples of generic topics that could work for your extended essay:

  • The Impact of Media on Youth Culture
  • The Role of Technology in Healthcare
  • Exploring the Social and Economic Impact of Climate Change
  • Gender Issues in the Workplace
  • The Effects of Globalization on Education
  • The History of Music and its Influence on Society
  • The Relationship between Religion and Political Power
  • Exploring the Nature of Language and its Impact on Communication
  • How Does Government Policy Impact the Environment?
  • The Impact of Social Media on Society

Any of these topics could be developed into an effective and powerful extended essay. Just make sure you have enough research material available before starting, as this will save you time in the long run. It’s also important to choose a topic that you’re passionate about, otherwise, the writing process can become a drag.

Tips for Writing a Good Extended Essay, No Matter What the Topic

Writing an extended essay can be difficult, regardless of the topic that you have chosen. Here are some tips to help you craft a successful extended essay:

Choose a Topic You are Passionate About

The best way to write a good extended essay is to choose a topic that you are passionate about. This will allow you to write an essay that offers accurate and well-thought-out arguments. It will also make it easier for you to stay focused and motivated to keep writing.

Start Planning Out Your Essay Early

Before you start writing your essay, take some time to create an outline. This will act as a roadmap for your essay, making it easier for you to organize your thoughts and create a logical structure.

Do In-Depth Research on Your Topic

Once you’ve chosen a topic and created an outline, it’s time to dig into some research. Make sure to read up on the subject you’re writing about, and draw from multiple sources to gain a well-rounded understanding.

Create a Clear Argument

As you write your essay, make sure to formulate a clear argument and support it with evidence. This can be done by including quotes and references from your research, as well as your own arguments and impressions on the topic.

Proofread and Edit Your Work

Once you’ve finished writing your essay, proofread it thoroughly and edit any mistakes. This will help to ensure that your essay is error-free and reads clearly.

By following these tips, you will be able to craft an engaging and successful extended essay no matter what the topic is. Good luck!


Choosing the right topic for an extended essay can be a daunting task. It is essential that you consider all the different options available, and weigh up the efficacy and suitability of each choice. Original topics are great if you have a clear focus and know what you want to achieve. On the other hand, generic topics are helpful if you need a starting point and don’t know where to begin.

When it comes to picking a topic, the most important thing is to make sure it is one that interests you and that you feel passionate about. This will help you write an effective and engaging essay. Remember, the extended essay is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and impress your reader.

By following the ideas presented in this guide, you should be able to pick a suitable topic for your extended essay. So, take the time to do your research, consider all the options and come up with the best topic for you. Good luck!

Referenced Works Cited

When writing an extended essay, it is important to reference your sources of information in order to avoid plagiarism. This means that you need to include the source of any information that you use in your paper. To do this correctly, you should make sure to include an accurate list of references at the end of your paper.

This list of references should include all of the sources that you used while writing your paper. This includes books, articles, websites, videos, interviews, and other sources. It is important to include the title of the work, the author or creator, the publication or website URL, and the date when you accessed the material. Depending on your formatting style, you may also need to include other information like page numbers or volume numbers.

When citing sources, it is important to use a standard format such as APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association). This ensures that all of the sources are clear and consistent. When creating your reference list, make sure to include all of the necessary information for each source that you use.

When citing sources, it is also important to be honest and accurate. You should not try to pass off someone else’s work as your own. Plagiarism is an academic crime and can result in severe penalties. By making sure that you properly cite your sources, you can avoid any issues with plagiarism.

Referencing your sources correctly is an important part of writing a good extended essay. Be sure to read the instructions for your formatting style and create a complete and accurate list of references. This will ensure that your essay is accurate and original.

Choosing the Right Extended Essay Topic is Essential to Success!

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Extended Essay is an important part of many students’ educational journey. A successful Extended Essay can open up a world of opportunities, so it is important for students to carefully consider their topic choice. There are two primary types of Extended Essay topics: original topics and generic topics.

Original topics are custom-created topics developed by the student, while generic topics are more general topics available from various sources. Each type of topic has its own benefits and drawbacks, depending on the student’s particular project and interests. Ultimately, the best topic for an Extended Essay is one that is interesting to the student and has an appropriate level of difficulty.

When choosing a topic for an Extended Essay, students should carefully assess their skills and interests in order to select a topic that they will be able to write a well-crafted paper about. Additionally, students should be aware of their teacher’s preferences and any extra considerations such as formatting requirements or specific research guidance that may be needed.

Choosing the right topic is essential to writing a successful Extended Essay. The topic should be engaging to the student and should be within their area of study. Students should take their time to select the best option for them and choose a topic that they are comfortable with and passionate about.

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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