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IB extended essay general requirements

Writing academic papers is never actually easy, especially when they can be extremely important for your future. The International Baccalaureate extended essay may not be that difficult to handle (as you may discover in college, there will be academic writing pieces much longer and much more complex than this), but the pressure of the fact that it is important for your future can be quite distressing for many of you out there.

Generally speaking, academic writing follows very strict rules and they are there for a purpose. Many people do not understand exactly why it is that academic writing has to be so “strict”, but the truth is that it is precisely these strict requirements that make academic writing pieces reliable. Furthermore, using a particular academic writing style will give you some guidelines that can be understood by everybody doing research in the same area, which creates a common “language” everyone in your field of study can speak.

Thus, one of the most important things for a good grade on your IB extended essay is to be very careful about following the guidelines. Aside from the actual research and writing part, following the guidelines will make for an important part of your grade. Here are some of the things you should definitely keep in mind regarding your extended essay:

  1. Always read the subject-specific guidelines.
  2. Always choose the subject first and only then settle on a topic.
  3. Always choose a topic you actually have interest in. Otherwise, writing and researching the entire essay will feel very difficult and you risk submitting something that is not complete.
  4. Be very careful about the citations you use. Citations are absolutely crucial because not using them can lead to plagiarism accusations. In the entire academic world, plagiarism is harshly punished and you will not want to attract that upon you.
  5. Choose a citation style you are familiar with since this will lower the chances you forget something.
  6. Be consistent in using your chosen academic writing style and use it both for formatting and for the citations.
  7. Make sure your essay has all the important parts: the title page, the contents page, the abstract, the introduction, the body, the conclusion and the bibliography page.
  8. Make sure to use reliable sources when writing your essay. Use other academic papers, books, reliable documentaries and reliable websites (“.edu” and “.gov”, as well as online encyclopedias do tend to be reliable).