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Extended Essay for the Diploma Program

Washburn students who plan to be IB Diploma must complete the Extended Essay.  

The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP).  It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

What is the significance of the extended essay?

The extended essay provides:

  • Practical preparation for undergraduate research
  • An opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them
  • Experience writing at a college level

Through the research process for the extended essay, students learn how to:

  • Formulate an appropriate research question
  • Engage in a personal exploration of the topic
  • Clearly communicate complex ideas
  • Develop an argument.
  • Develop the capacity to analyse, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.

How is study of the extended essay structured?

Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school. IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.

How is the extended essay assessed?

All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB.