Extended Essay Guide: The Conclusion

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Writing Your Research Question
  • Finding Resources
  • Research Plan Ouline
  • Drafting Your Paper
  • The Introduction
  • The Conclusion
  • Citations/Bibliography
  • Proofreading Your Paper
  • IB Assessment Criteria/Subject Specific Guides/Exemplars/Etc

Extended Essay Conclusion

A conclusion is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research question, but a synthesis of key points and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, a two or three paragraph conclusion may be required.

  • A Brief Guide to Writing an EE Conclusion

Checklist for the Conclusion

Another writing tip.

New Insight, Not New Information!

Don't surprise the reader with n ew information in your conclusion that was never referenced anywhere else in the paper. If you have new information to present, add it to the discussion or other appropriate section of the paper. Note that, although no actual new information is introduced, the conclusion is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; it's where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate that you understand the material that you’ve presented, and l ocate your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights or value to that scholarship.

Conclusions . The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion . 

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International Baccalaureate (IB)


IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources you need to get an A on it.

If you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you're an IB student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum .

IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?

I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma, and I happened to receive an A on my IB Extended Essay. Don't believe me? The proof is in the IBO pudding:


If you're confused by what this report means, EE is short for Extended Essay , and English A1 is the subject that my Extended Essay topic coordinated with. In layman's terms, my IB Diploma was graded in May 2010, I wrote my Extended Essay in the English A1 category, and I received an A grade on it.

What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Extended Essay, or EE , is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide) . I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.

For the Extended Essay, you will choose a research question as a topic, conduct the research independently, then write an essay on your findings . The essay itself is a long one—although there's a cap of 4,000 words, most successful essays get very close to this limit.

Keep in mind that the IB requires this essay to be a "formal piece of academic writing," meaning you'll have to do outside research and cite additional sources.

The IB Extended Essay must include the following:

  • A title page
  • Contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • References and bibliography

Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories , or IB subject groups, which are as follows:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

Once you figure out your category and have identified a potential research topic, it's time to pick your advisor, who is normally an IB teacher at your school (though you can also find one online ). This person will help direct your research, and they'll conduct the reflection sessions you'll have to do as part of your Extended Essay.

As of 2018, the IB requires a "reflection process" as part of your EE supervision process. To fulfill this requirement, you have to meet at least three times with your supervisor in what the IB calls "reflection sessions." These meetings are not only mandatory but are also part of the formal assessment of the EE and your research methods.

According to the IB, the purpose of these meetings is to "provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the research process." Basically, these meetings give your supervisor the opportunity to offer feedback, push you to think differently, and encourage you to evaluate your research process.

The final reflection session is called the viva voce, and it's a short 10- to 15-minute interview between you and your advisor. This happens at the very end of the EE process, and it's designed to help your advisor write their report, which factors into your EE grade.

Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :

  • A check on plagiarism and malpractice
  • Your reflection on your project's successes and difficulties
  • Your reflection on what you've learned during the EE process

Your completed Extended Essay, along with your supervisor's report, will then be sent to the IB to be graded. We'll cover the assessment criteria in just a moment.


We'll help you learn how to have those "lightbulb" moments...even on test day!  

What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?

You can technically write about anything, so long as it falls within one of the approved categories listed above.

It's best to choose a topic that matches one of the IB courses , (such as Theatre, Film, Spanish, French, Math, Biology, etc.), which shouldn't be difficult because there are so many class subjects.

Here is a range of sample topics with the attached extended essay:

  • Biology: The Effect of Age and Gender on the Photoreceptor Cells in the Human Retina
  • Chemistry: How Does Reflux Time Affect the Yield and Purity of Ethyl Aminobenzoate (Benzocaine), and How Effective is Recrystallisation as a Purification Technique for This Compound?
  • English: An Exploration of Jane Austen's Use of the Outdoors in Emma
  • Geography: The Effect of Location on the Educational Attainment of Indigenous Secondary Students in Queensland, Australia
  • Math: Alhazen's Billiard Problem
  • Visual Arts: Can Luc Tuymans Be Classified as a Political Painter?

You can see from how varied the topics are that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to picking a topic . So how do you pick when the options are limitless?


How to Write a Stellar IB Extended Essay: 6 Essential Tips

Below are six key tips to keep in mind as you work on your Extended Essay for the IB DP. Follow these and you're sure to get an A!

#1: Write About Something You Enjoy

You can't expect to write a compelling essay if you're not a fan of the topic on which you're writing. For example, I just love British theatre and ended up writing my Extended Essay on a revolution in post-WWII British theatre. (Yes, I'm definitely a #TheatreNerd.)

I really encourage anyone who pursues an IB Diploma to take the Extended Essay seriously. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition merit scholarship to USC's School of Dramatic Arts program. In my interview for the scholarship, I spoke passionately about my Extended Essay; thus, I genuinely think my Extended Essay helped me get my scholarship.

But how do you find a topic you're passionate about? Start by thinking about which classes you enjoy the most and why . Do you like math classes because you like to solve problems? Or do you enjoy English because you like to analyze literary texts?

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your Extended Essay topic. You're not more likely to get high marks because you're writing about science, just like you're not doomed to failure because you've chosen to tackle the social sciences. The quality of what you produce—not the field you choose to research within—will determine your grade.

Once you've figured out your category, you should brainstorm more specific topics by putting pen to paper . What was your favorite chapter you learned in that class? Was it astrophysics or mechanics? What did you like about that specific chapter? Is there something you want to learn more about? I recommend spending a few hours on this type of brainstorming.

One last note: if you're truly stumped on what to research, pick a topic that will help you in your future major or career . That way you can use your Extended Essay as a talking point in your college essays (and it will prepare you for your studies to come too!).

#2: Select a Topic That Is Neither Too Broad nor Too Narrow

There's a fine line between broad and narrow. You need to write about something specific, but not so specific that you can't write 4,000 words on it.

You can't write about WWII because that would be a book's worth of material. You also don't want to write about what type of soup prisoners of war received behind enemy lines, because you probably won’t be able to come up with 4,000 words of material about it. However, you could possibly write about how the conditions in German POW camps—and the rations provided—were directly affected by the Nazis' successes and failures on the front, including the use of captured factories and prison labor in Eastern Europe to increase production. WWII military history might be a little overdone, but you get my point.

If you're really stuck trying to pinpoint a not-too-broad-or-too-narrow topic, I suggest trying to brainstorm a topic that uses a comparison. Once you begin looking through the list of sample essays below, you'll notice that many use comparisons to formulate their main arguments.

I also used a comparison in my EE, contrasting Harold Pinter's Party Time with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in order to show a transition in British theatre. Topics with comparisons of two to three plays, books, and so on tend to be the sweet spot. You can analyze each item and then compare them with one another after doing some in-depth analysis of each individually. The ways these items compare and contrast will end up forming the thesis of your essay!

When choosing a comparative topic, the key is that the comparison should be significant. I compared two plays to illustrate the transition in British theatre, but you could compare the ways different regional dialects affect people's job prospects or how different temperatures may or may not affect the mating patterns of lightning bugs. The point here is that comparisons not only help you limit your topic, but they also help you build your argument.

Comparisons are not the only way to get a grade-A EE, though. If after brainstorming, you pick a non-comparison-based topic and are still unsure whether your topic is too broad or narrow, spend about 30 minutes doing some basic research and see how much material is out there.

If there are more than 1,000 books, articles, or documentaries out there on that exact topic, it may be too broad. But if there are only two books that have any connection to your topic, it may be too narrow. If you're still unsure, ask your advisor—it's what they're there for! Speaking of advisors...


Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!

#3: Choose an Advisor Who Is Familiar With Your Topic

If you're not certain of who you would like to be your advisor, create a list of your top three choices. Next, write down the pros and cons of each possibility (I know this sounds tedious, but it really helps!).

For example, Mr. Green is my favorite teacher and we get along really well, but he teaches English. For my EE, I want to conduct an experiment that compares the efficiency of American electric cars with foreign electric cars.

I had Ms. White a year ago. She teaches physics and enjoyed having me in her class. Unlike Mr. Green, Ms. White could help me design my experiment.

Based on my topic and what I need from my advisor, Ms. White would be a better fit for me than would Mr. Green (even though I like him a lot).

The moral of my story is this: do not just ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor . They might be a hindrance to you if they teach another subject. For example, I would not recommend asking your biology teacher to guide you in writing an English literature-based EE.

There can, of course, be exceptions to this rule. If you have a teacher who's passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (as my English teacher was about my theatre topic), you could ask that instructor. Consider all your options before you do this. There was no theatre teacher at my high school, so I couldn't find a theatre-specific advisor, but I chose the next best thing.

Before you approach a teacher to serve as your advisor, check with your high school to see what requirements they have for this process. Some IB high schools require your IB Extended Essay advisor to sign an Agreement Form , for instance.

Make sure that you ask your IB coordinator whether there is any required paperwork to fill out. If your school needs a specific form signed, bring it with you when you ask your teacher to be your EE advisor.

#4: Pick an Advisor Who Will Push You to Be Your Best

Some teachers might just take on students because they have to and aren't very passionate about reading drafts, only giving you minimal feedback. Choose a teacher who will take the time to read several drafts of your essay and give you extensive notes. I would not have gotten my A without being pushed to make my Extended Essay draft better.

Ask a teacher that you have experience with through class or an extracurricular activity. Do not ask a teacher that you have absolutely no connection to. If a teacher already knows you, that means they already know your strengths and weaknesses, so they know what to look for, where you need to improve, and how to encourage your best work.

Also, don't forget that your supervisor's assessment is part of your overall EE score . If you're meeting with someone who pushes you to do better—and you actually take their advice—they'll have more impressive things to say about you than a supervisor who doesn't know you well and isn't heavily involved in your research process.

Be aware that the IB only allows advisors to make suggestions and give constructive criticism. Your teacher cannot actually help you write your EE. The IB recommends that the supervisor spends approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.

#5: Make Sure Your Essay Has a Clear Structure and Flow

The IB likes structure. Your EE needs a clear introduction (which should be one to two double-spaced pages), research question/focus (i.e., what you're investigating), a body, and a conclusion (about one double-spaced page). An essay with unclear organization will be graded poorly.

The body of your EE should make up the bulk of the essay. It should be about eight to 18 pages long (again, depending on your topic). Your body can be split into multiple parts. For example, if you were doing a comparison, you might have one third of your body as Novel A Analysis, another third as Novel B Analysis, and the final third as your comparison of Novels A and B.

If you're conducting an experiment or analyzing data, such as in this EE , your EE body should have a clear structure that aligns with the scientific method ; you should state the research question, discuss your method, present the data, analyze the data, explain any uncertainties, and draw a conclusion and/or evaluate the success of the experiment.

#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!

You will not be able to crank out a 4,000-word essay in just a week and get an A on it. You'll be reading many, many articles (and, depending on your topic, possibly books and plays as well!). As such, it's imperative that you start your research as soon as possible.

Each school has a slightly different deadline for the Extended Essay. Some schools want them as soon as November of your senior year; others will take them as late as February. Your school will tell you what your deadline is. If they haven't mentioned it by February of your junior year, ask your IB coordinator about it.

Some high schools will provide you with a timeline of when you need to come up with a topic, when you need to meet with your advisor, and when certain drafts are due. Not all schools do this. Ask your IB coordinator if you are unsure whether you are on a specific timeline.

Below is my recommended EE timeline. While it's earlier than most schools, it'll save you a ton of heartache (trust me, I remember how hard this process was!):

  • January/February of Junior Year: Come up with your final research topic (or at least your top three options).
  • February of Junior Year: Approach a teacher about being your EE advisor. If they decline, keep asking others until you find one. See my notes above on how to pick an EE advisor.
  • April/May of Junior Year: Submit an outline of your EE and a bibliography of potential research sources (I recommend at least seven to 10) to your EE advisor. Meet with your EE advisor to discuss your outline.
  • Summer Between Junior and Senior Year: Complete your first full draft over the summer between your junior and senior year. I know, I know—no one wants to work during the summer, but trust me—this will save you so much stress come fall when you are busy with college applications and other internal assessments for your IB classes. You will want to have this first full draft done because you will want to complete a couple of draft cycles as you likely won't be able to get everything you want to say into 4,000 articulate words on the first attempt. Try to get this first draft into the best possible shape so you don't have to work on too many revisions during the school year on top of your homework, college applications, and extracurriculars.
  • August/September of Senior Year: Turn in your first draft of your EE to your advisor and receive feedback. Work on incorporating their feedback into your essay. If they have a lot of suggestions for improvement, ask if they will read one more draft before the final draft.
  • September/October of Senior Year: Submit the second draft of your EE to your advisor (if necessary) and look at their feedback. Work on creating the best possible final draft.
  • November-February of Senior Year: Schedule your viva voce. Submit two copies of your final draft to your school to be sent off to the IB. You likely will not get your grade until after you graduate.

Remember that in the middle of these milestones, you'll need to schedule two other reflection sessions with your advisor . (Your teachers will actually take notes on these sessions on a form like this one , which then gets submitted to the IB.)

I recommend doing them when you get feedback on your drafts, but these meetings will ultimately be up to your supervisor. Just don't forget to do them!


The early bird DOES get the worm!

How Is the IB Extended Essay Graded?

Extended Essays are graded by examiners appointed by the IB on a scale of 0 to 34 . You'll be graded on five criteria, each with its own set of points. You can learn more about how EE scoring works by reading the IB guide to extended essays .

  • Criterion A: Focus and Method (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking (12 points maximum)
  • Criterion D: Presentation (4 points maximum)
  • Criterion E: Engagement (6 points maximum)

How well you do on each of these criteria will determine the final letter grade you get for your EE. You must earn at least a D to be eligible to receive your IB Diploma.

Although each criterion has a point value, the IB explicitly states that graders are not converting point totals into grades; instead, they're using qualitative grade descriptors to determine the final grade of your Extended Essay . Grade descriptors are on pages 102-103 of this document .

Here's a rough estimate of how these different point values translate to letter grades based on previous scoring methods for the EE. This is just an estimate —you should read and understand the grade descriptors so you know exactly what the scorers are looking for.

Here is the breakdown of EE scores (from the May 2021 bulletin):

How Does the Extended Essay Grade Affect Your IB Diploma?

The Extended Essay grade is combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade to determine how many points you get toward your IB Diploma.

To learn about Theory of Knowledge or how many points you need to receive an IB Diploma, read our complete guide to the IB program and our guide to the IB Diploma requirements .

This diagram shows how the two scores are combined to determine how many points you receive for your IB diploma (3 being the most, 0 being the least). In order to get your IB Diploma, you have to earn 24 points across both categories (the TOK and EE). The highest score anyone can earn is 45 points.


Let's say you get an A on your EE and a B on TOK. You will get 3 points toward your Diploma. As of 2014, a student who scores an E on either the extended essay or TOK essay will not be eligible to receive an IB Diploma .

Prior to the class of 2010, a Diploma candidate could receive a failing grade in either the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge and still be awarded a Diploma, but this is no longer true.

Figuring out how you're assessed can be a little tricky. Luckily, the IB breaks everything down here in this document . (The assessment information begins on page 219.)

40+ Sample Extended Essays for the IB Diploma Programme

In case you want a little more guidance on how to get an A on your EE, here are over 40 excellent (grade A) sample extended essays for your reading pleasure. Essays are grouped by IB subject.

  • Business Management 1
  • Chemistry 1
  • Chemistry 2
  • Chemistry 3
  • Chemistry 4
  • Chemistry 5
  • Chemistry 6
  • Chemistry 7
  • Computer Science 1
  • Economics 1
  • Design Technology 1
  • Design Technology 2
  • Environmental Systems and Societies 1
  • Geography 1
  • Geography 2
  • Geography 3
  • Geography 4
  • Geography 5
  • Geography 6
  • Literature and Performance 1
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mathematics 2
  • Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 4
  • Mathematics 5
  • Philosophy 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Philosophy 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Philosophy 5
  • Psychology 1
  • Psychology 2
  • Psychology 3
  • Psychology 4
  • Psychology 5
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 1
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 2
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 3
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 1
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 2
  • Visual Arts 1
  • Visual Arts 2
  • Visual Arts 3
  • Visual Arts 4
  • Visual Arts 5
  • World Religion 1
  • World Religion 2
  • World Religion 3


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The IB extended essay is a paper of up to 4,000 words that is required for students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program. The extended essay allows students to engage in independent research on a topic within one of the available subject areas.

The extended essay should be an original piece of academic writing that demonstrates the following student's abilities:

  • Formulating a research question
  • Conductig independent investigation
  • Presenting key findings in a scholarly format.

Check out this article by StudyCrumb to discover how to write an IB extendend essay properly. We will give you a complete writing guide and critical tips you need for this essay type.

IB Extended Essay: What Is It?

An extended essay is independent research. Usually students choose a topic in consultation with a mentor. It is an integral part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) degree program. This means that you won't receive a degree without a successfully written paper. It requires 4,000-word study on a chosen narrow topic. To get a high score, you should meet all required structure and formatting standards. This is the result of approximately 40 working hours. Its purpose is giving you the opportunity to try independent research writing. It's approved that these skills are critical for student success at university. The following sections explain how to write an extended article with examples. So keep reading!  

Choosing a Mentor for Extended Essay

IB extended essay guidelines require supervisor meetings, totaling 3-5 hours. They include three critical reflections. A mentor won't write a paper instead of you but can help adjust it. So it is important to consult with them, but no one will proofread or correct actual research for you. In general, initially treat an essay as an exclusively individual work. So your role and contribution are maximal.

Extended Essay Outline

Let's take a look at how to write an extended essay outline. In this part, you organize yourself so that your work develops your idea. So we especially recommend you work out this step with your teacher. You can also find any outline example for essay . In your short sketch, plan a roadmap for your thoughts. Think through and prepare a summary of each paragraph. Then, expand annotation of each section with a couple more supporting evidence. Explain how specific examples illustrate key points. Make it more significant by using different opinions on general issues.  

Extended Essay: Getting Started

After you chose an extended essay topic and made an outline, it's time to start your research. Start with a complete Table of Contents and make a choice of a research question. Select the subject in which you feel most confident and which is most interesting for you. For example, if at school you are interested in natural science, focus on that. If you have difficulties choosing a research question, rely on our essay topic generator .

Extended Essay Introduction

In the introduction of an extended essay, present a thesis statement. But do it in such a way that your readers understand the importance of your research. State research question clearly. That is the central question that you are trying to answer while writing. Even your score depends on how you develop your particular research question. Therefore, it is essential to draw it up correctly. Gather all relevant information from relevant sources. Explain why this is worth exploring. Then provide a research plan, which you will disclose further.  

Extended Essay Methodology

In accordance with extended essay guidelines, it's mandatory to choose and clearly state a methodological approach. So, it will be apparent to your examiner how you answered your research question. Include your collection methods and tools you use for collection and analysis. Your strategies can be experimental or descriptive, quantitative or qualitative. Research collection tools include observations, questionnaires, interviews, or background knowledge.

Extended Essay Main Body

Well, here we come to the most voluminous part of the extended essay for IB! In every essay body paragraph , you reveal your research question and discuss your topic. Provide all details of your academic study. But stay focused and do it without dubious ideas. Use different sources of information to provide supporting arguments and substantial evidence. This will impress professors. For this section, 3 main paragraphs are enough. Discuss each idea or argument in a separate paragraph. You can even use supporting quotes where appropriate. But don't overcomplicate. Make your extended essay easy to read and logical. It's critical to stay concise, so if you aren't sure how to make your text readable, use our tool to get a readbility test . Following the plan you outlined earlier is very important. Analyze each fact before including it in your writing. And don't write unnecessary information.

Extended Essay Conclusion

Now let's move on to the final part of IB extended essay guidelines. In conclusion, focus on summarizing the main points you have made. No new ideas or information can be introduced in this part. Use conclusion as your last chance to impress your readers. Reframe your own strong thesis. Here you must show all key points. Do not repeat absolutely every argument. Better try to make this part unique. This will show that you have a clear understanding of the topic you have chosen. And even more professional will be recommendations of new areas for future research. One good paragraph may be enough here. Although in some cases, two or three paragraphs may be required.

Extended Essay Bibliography & Appendices

To write an impressive extended essay, you should focus on appropriate information. You must create a separate page for bibliography with all sources you used. Tip from us: start writing this page with the first quote you use. Don't write this part last or postpone. In turn, appendices are not an essential section. Examiners will not pay much attention to this part. Therefore, include all information directly related to analysis and argumentation in the main body. Include raw data in the appendix only if it is really urgently needed. Moreover, it is better not to refer to appendices in text itself. This can disrupt the narrative of the essay.  

Extended Essay Examples

We have prepared a good example of an extended essay. You can check it by downloading it for free. You can use it as a template. However, pay attention that your paper is required to be unique. Don't be afraid to present all the skills you gained during your IB.


Final Thoughts on IB Extended Essay

In this article, we presented detailed IB extended essay guidelines. An extended essay is a daunting academic challenge to write. It is a research paper with a deep thematic analysis of information. But we have described several practical and straightforward tips. Therefore, we are sure that you will succeed!


If topics seem too complex, turn to our top essay writers. They will accomplish any IB assignment in the best way your professor can evaluate it!  


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


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Gr. 11-12 Extended Essay

  • Reflections
  • Choose a Subject
  • Choose a Topic
  • Draft a Research Question
  • Develop Your Search Strategy
  • Computer Science
  • Visual Arts
  • World Studies
  • Introduction

Writing Your Conclusion

Dos and don'ts for the conclusion.

  • Academic Integrity
  • Common Questions
  • For Supervisors
  • EE Examples

The conclusion of your Extended Essay should reiterate the key findings and main points development in the body of the essay and must answer your research question.

General advice about conclusions

  • When you do summarize, use fresh language.
  • Remind the reader of how the evidence you’ve presented has contributed to your thesis.
  • Reflect upon the significance of what you’ve written.
  • Try to convey some closing thoughts about the larger implications of your argument.
  • A good last sentence leaves the examiner with something to think about. Consider reflecting on a concept that you've somehow illuminated by what you’ve written in your essay.

Here is a list of elements that you can include in your conclusion, as well as writing choices to avoid:

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  • How to conclude an essay | Interactive example

How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example

Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay . A strong conclusion aims to:

  • Tie together the essay’s main points
  • Show why your argument matters
  • Leave the reader with a strong impression

Your conclusion should give a sense of closure and completion to your argument, but also show what new questions or possibilities it has opened up.

This conclusion is taken from our annotated essay example , which discusses the history of the Braille system. Hover over each part to see why it’s effective.

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

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Table of contents

Step 1: return to your thesis, step 2: review your main points, step 3: show why it matters, what shouldn’t go in the conclusion, more examples of essay conclusions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion.

To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument.

Don’t just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Next, remind the reader of the main points that you used to support your argument.

Avoid simply summarizing each paragraph or repeating each point in order; try to bring your points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion is your final chance to show how all the paragraphs of your essay add up to a coherent whole.

To wrap up your conclusion, zoom out to a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of your argument. For example:

  • Does it contribute a new understanding of your topic?
  • Does it raise new questions for future study?
  • Does it lead to practical suggestions or predictions?
  • Can it be applied to different contexts?
  • Can it be connected to a broader debate or theme?

Whatever your essay is about, the conclusion should aim to emphasize the significance of your argument, whether that’s within your academic subject or in the wider world.

Try to end with a strong, decisive sentence, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of interest in your topic.

The easiest way to improve your conclusion is to eliminate these common mistakes.

Don’t include new evidence

Any evidence or analysis that is essential to supporting your thesis statement should appear in the main body of the essay.

The conclusion might include minor pieces of new information—for example, a sentence or two discussing broader implications, or a quotation that nicely summarizes your central point. But it shouldn’t introduce any major new sources or ideas that need further explanation to understand.

Don’t use “concluding phrases”

Avoid using obvious stock phrases to tell the reader what you’re doing:

  • “In conclusion…”
  • “To sum up…”

These phrases aren’t forbidden, but they can make your writing sound weak. By returning to your main argument, it will quickly become clear that you are concluding the essay—you shouldn’t have to spell it out.

Don’t undermine your argument

Avoid using apologetic phrases that sound uncertain or confused:

  • “This is just one approach among many.”
  • “There are good arguments on both sides of this issue.”
  • “There is no clear answer to this problem.”

Even if your essay has explored different points of view, your own position should be clear. There may be many possible approaches to the topic, but you want to leave the reader convinced that yours is the best one!

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  • Argumentative
  • Literary analysis

This conclusion is taken from an argumentative essay about the internet’s impact on education. It acknowledges the opposing arguments while taking a clear, decisive position.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

This conclusion is taken from a short expository essay that explains the invention of the printing press and its effects on European society. It focuses on giving a clear, concise overview of what was covered in the essay.

The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.

This conclusion is taken from a literary analysis essay about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . It summarizes what the essay’s analysis achieved and emphasizes its originality.

By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Your essay’s conclusion should contain:

  • A rephrased version of your overall thesis
  • A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
  • An indication of why your argument matters

The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.

For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.

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September 14, 2021

A Definitive Guide to the IB Extended Essay (EE)

The Extended Essay (EE) is an independent, self-directed academic research, presented in the form of a 4,000-word paper. One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. The final work is given a grade from E to A, and makes up part of each student’s final IB score. These are our thoughts on how to do well in the EE:

Step 1: Choosing a Extended Essay (EE) topic

Choosing a good topic for your extended essay can make a huge difference on your final score. Firstly, you should always choose a topic that you are interested in! The writing process becomes much more engaging, and will also be good content you can write in your personal statement for your university applications.

Always be creative and original when choosing your research topic. Think about how you can make your research question and the way you communicate your academic research unique. In addition, if you wish to explore a multidisciplinary field , you could consider writing a World Studies extended essay . This research is analysed through at least two disciplines, encouraging students to apply their knowledge to a problem with global significance. For example, you may want to consider the effects of an electric vehicle subsidy on climate change. This is an exciting opportunity and provides a good insight to an interdisciplinary university degree such as PPE.

Step 2: Framing your research question

Once you know your extended essay subject, your next step is to choose a question. Often, questions will be framed as “To what extent does…”. Exploring multiple perspectives, and critically analysing each of these, are key to success. Therefore, try and shape your question so that more than one point of view can be explored.

Similarly, make sure your question is specific ! Having a focused question will guide your research and show that you can explore one area in detail. For example, here are 2 examples of Economics extended essay questions:

  • To what extent do smartphone companies compete with each other?
  • To what extent do Apple and Samsung operate in a duopoly in the global smartphone market?

The second research question is more focused, allowing for greater in-depth research into which areas they are competing over. You can use secondary data from both companies’ annual reports, competitor websites, and undertake primary research (such as through an Economic survey or personal interview) – Having a research question that allows you to explore a specific area critically will definitely help you to score highly.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Step 3: Meeting your supervisor to establish specific targets

We recommend meeting with your supervisor as early as possible to check whether your research question is appropriate. If it is, this is a great opportunity to explore potential avenues of research. For example, a Physics extended essay on the path of a bowling bowl may look to incorporate several different features, such as force, weight, and air resistance into a model. Whichever subject area you choose, your supervisor is usually your first port of call for any questions you have.

During the meeting, it will be good to establish a timeline for your extended essay. Although this may only be rough, this will give you deadlines to work towards (much like you will need to do for university essays). Similarly, setting specific targets for your next meeting, such as writing an introduction or doing your survey, will also give you definitive targets to meet. Make sure at the end of this meeting you have clear goals to achieve and by your next meeting.

Furthermore, make sure that you are keeping a record of all of your meetings with your extended essay supervisor. 6 of the 36 marks for the EE are from your Reflections on Planning and Progress Form (RPPF) where you reflect on the meetings you have had with your supervisor. These should show that you are engaged with your topic, so discuss the ideas you have considered in response to setbacks whilst writing your extended essay and make sure to use personal pronouns (I, my) to convey your engagement. Detail any changes you made to your research method and demonstrate how you have taken a creative approach to your topic, as these will highlight what you have done to stand out.

Step 4: Starting your EE research

Following the meeting with your supervisor, it is time to begin researching your topic! This does not have to be too detailed to begin with, and we recommend aiming to research enough to write an introduction to your essay. This introduction should outline the main themes you will explore and your line of argument. To reiterate, your main argument may change as your essay develops, so do not worry if it is not perfect when you begin.

Some useful sources of information are your school library or Jstor. Your school librarian may be able to suggest some good books or articles to start reading, whilst using academic sources like Jstor or Google scholar gives you access to a wide range of academic material. When reading books or journal articles, you do not have to read them cover to cover! In fact, you should only read the sections that are relevant to your topic, and reading the introduction and conclusion will often tell you whether a journal article is relevant.

When reading, consistently keep in mind your essay title as this will help you to focus your reading on key sections of texts. For instance, highlight the key sections of the texts to review later. Alternatively, you could make notes in a separate word document; such as Googledocs; or with pen and paper. It is useful to keep everything you do in the same format, however, so you can easily collate it.

Step 5: Writing the essay’s first draft

The most difficult part with the EE is getting the first draft down. Many students struggle o to write the perfect introduction and methodology, and get stuck for weeks in the process. Your introduction and first draft do not have to be perfect but should form the base of your essay moving forward. It is often good to form a plan from your research that contains the key elements of each paragraph. Once you are confident with this and have filled it in with more research, you can turn this into a fully operational first draft.

We recommend breaking down the writing stage into several paragraphs, setting yourself mini-goals to achieve. This will help you to move along faster and make the seemingly daunting task of a 4,000-word essay a lot simpler. Similarly, you should use the research you have to support your ideas. Your research might consist of facts to back up your analysis or other writers’ opinions that agree with your own. Furthermore, you can also use this research to explore multiple points of view, coming to a conclusion as to which one is most appropriate. However, save yourself time whilst doing this by including links to the original article, rather than full references, as it is likely you may change the content of your essay and the references you use as you progress.

Make sure you save your extended essay frequently and to an accessible platform such Dropbox or Google Drive so that if your computer were to crash your progress will be stored!

Step 6: Reviewing your first draft

Your aim when meeting with your supervisor this time is to look over your first draft to see which parts are excellent, which can be explored further and which need to be rethought. This can be split into a number of meetings; for example, I looked at my introduction, then at the 4 sections of my main body, and finally at my conclusion. This reshaped the goals that I had moving forward and gave me specific subsections to work on.

Whilst editing your first draft, do not be afraid to delete, reword or move some parts that you have written, as this will help you shape your extended essay into the finished article. You can, if needed, even slightly alter your question. I changed my question at the start of April, with a June deadline for my essay. However, changing my essay question did not leave me with a whole new essay to write, as I was able to use most of what I had already written, adapting it to focus on the new question. Whatever changes you have to make, they are all moving you towards a complete final version, so stay positive!

Step 7: Refining your Extended Essay

After your meeting, review the changes you have to make to your methodology and research process. You should consider whether you have critically investigated the variables in your RQ and whether it is backed up by a solid methodology. For instance, are there any counter arguments you have not considered? Does your research process flow? Always draw links to each paragraph, so that your essay has a logical flow from its introduction to its argument, counter arguments, responses, and conclusion.

When researching areas in more detail, make use of what you have learnt from your current research. For instance, look at the suggested reading or references in books that you have read or look at articles from the same journal. Furthermore, stay up to date with the news in case you can include new research in your extended essay.

When editing, it is useful to save a new copy of your extended essay (for example, EE draft 2) so that you can track any changes that you make. Also, if anything were to happen to your new copy, you always have the previous copy and notes from the meeting to re-do any changes. We recommend doing this on Googledocs whether changes are saved real-time on the servers so you don’t lose precious work if your computer crashes.

Step 8: Final Notes

Once you are done with your initial drafts, ensure that you have professional presentation, consistent formatting, and proper citations. Make sure that you have included page numbers and a bibliography (if required). Additionally, make the layout justified, font and size, as well as double spaced as per IB requirements. You have to include a cover page with a title, your research question, word count and subject. You also have to meet your supervisor the final time to fill out your viva voce (oral) section of the RPPF before the final submission.

Step 9: Final Submission

When submitting your extended essay, ensure that your name, candidate number and your school’s name are not on the document. This will ensure that your EE is marked fairly without prejudice. Your EE is electronically stamped and the IB can track who it belongs to, as is your RPPF.

We wish you the best of luck with your extended essay and hope you enjoy the process. If you would like help with your extended essay, please take a look at our courses or contact us for more information. We also offer IB tuition for various subjects and University applications mentoring and are more than happy to tailor our classes to your needs and requirements!

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How to Write an Extended Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

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by  Antony W

October 10, 2023

how to write an extended essay

In this guide, you’ll learn how to write an Extended Essay that not only explores a research issue comprehensively but also earns top grades.

To write a good Extended Essay, choose a topic you’re interested in, develop a specific research question, do your research, and structure your essay. Plan your writing process, schedule meetings with your supervisor, write the essay, and proofread before submitting.  

An alternative way to write an Extended Essay is to seek for professional academic writing help online. 

At Help for Assessment, we offer the  best EE writing service online   and this writing assistance can go a long way to get your Extended Essay written on time.

To be clear, an Extended Essay isn’t an assignment you should fail unless you purposely intend to do so. A good way to write an EE on any subject is to develop a solid structure and then follow it from start to finish.

How to Write an Extended Essay Step-by-Step

To write a comprehensive Extended Essay on any subject within the 40 hours:

1. Choose a Topic

The first step to write an EE is to choose an Extended Essay topic to explore.

Unfortunately, you can’t scrape a good topic off a book or ask a friend in your IB class to share their thoughts. You have to brainstorm and do some preliminary research to find an interesting topic to work on.

You don’t have to spend so many hours looking for a topic for your EE.

First, determine what your passion outside the classroom is. Then, come up with a list of potential topics that you can explore based on the subject of your choice.

As you do your topic hunting, you might discover that you have an interest in more than one topic.

We recommend that you choose the most interesting of all topic, particularly the one tied to an area you’ve always wanted to explore.

Also, make sure the topic allows you to have something original to write in the essay.

Should the topic be one that doesn’t allow you to share ideas beyond what’s obvious, drop it and look for something else. 

2. Research Your Topic

Researching your topic will help to inform your essay in the writing stage. If you do the research right, the structure, case study, and the experiments will easily fit on their own.

To do your research more effectively:

  • Start by reading the EE guidelines for the subject you’d like to explore. Doing so will help you determine whether you need primary sources, secondary research, or a combination of both.
  • Determine if you have to collect data from someone else, look for facts, create your own data, or use other people’s opinion.
  • Check with your supervisor how recent your research should be.
  • Conduct your research based on the subject, the topic you selected, and the suggestions from your supervisor.

Note that you may have to search multiple sources to identify the most relevant information for your Extended Essay.

You want to make sure your bibliography is detailed enough to show that you have invested enough time to research your topic.

3. Develop a Research Question

You need to develop a clear and concise research question that gives your intended reader a clear focus of the essay.

The Extended Essay Guide requires that your research question be precise, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a question. In addition, your research question should be something worth asking.

If the research issue you’ve developed is concise, detailed, specific, and linked to the topic you would like to explore in 4,000 words, you’re set to start writing the Extended Essay.

4. Structure and Plan Your EE

Your Extended Essay should feature the following format:

  • Your research question
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Bibliography
  • 3 Reflections

Use this outline in the order provided to organize your research and write the Extended Essay.

5. Consult Your Supervisor

One of the advantages of being in an IB program is that you can always choose someone to guide you through the Extended Essay reflection process .

It could be a teacher you're comfortable with or a fellow student.

Ensure you make good use of them by consulting them with your research so they can tell you whether you're on the right path.

6 Write Your First and Last Draft

Once you're comfortable that you've done comprehensive research, use your outline to write your first draft.

Don't worry about grammar or punctuation.

Just give life to your outline; then afterward, you can use this first draft to write the official extended essay you will submit.

7. Proofread and Edit Your Work

When your final extended essay is ready, edit and proofread for grammatical errors or any other errors you may not have noticed while rewriting it from your first draft.

If possible, have your supervisor go through it as well before submission.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how long does it take to write an extended essay.

IB requires you to write your Extended Essay within 40 hours.

That’s enough time to start and complete the writing process if you start working on the EE as early as right now.

2. When Should I Write an EE?

The right approach to tackle an Extended Essay assignment is to start early. Instead of waiting to write a last minute essay , start right away so that you have ample time to do the work.  

Keep in mind that time management is critical to your success.

Once you’ve selected a topic for your Extended Essay assignment, the next task should be to create a schedule you can work with.

Determine how much time you’re willing and able to assign to your research process , break the task into small sections that you can manage, and then assign each section a realistic deadline.

3. How Do You Structure an Extended Essay?

Your Extended Essay must feature your research question, a cover page, table of contents, an introduction, the main body, a conclusion, a bibliography, and 3 reflections.

It’s possible to feel stuck as you continue to work on your Extended Essay, but your supervisor will be there to help you during the reflection sessions.

During these sessions, your supervisor will evaluate your research question, look at your structure and writing plan, and comment on your first draft.

Remember, you have 40 hours to work on the essay, which should be enough to get the assignment completed on time. 

Should you feel stuck in the writing process, you can reach out to the IB team at Help for Assessment and we’ll be happy to help.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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How to Write an Extended Essay: from Outline to Conclusion

write an extended essay

write an extended essay

As a student, especially those pursuing International Baccalaureate (IB), you will be faced with the challenge of coming up with an extended essay. But few students do not know how to write long essays like an extended essay. That is where we come in.

In this comprehensive guide, I will guide you on the 8 steps to follow when writing a good extended essay and provide you with examples of topics you can use.

As noted by one of our top essay writers for hire , extended essays are not like your ordinary essays. As the name suggests, they are extended versions of essays and it may take longer and a unique approach to writing them.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

However, before delving into such details, it is important to first understand what extended essays are.

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What is an extended essay.

An extended essay (EE) is a form of writing that provides learners with a chance to carry out independent research concerning a topic of their interest.

It is part of the requirements for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and its content is based on a freely-selected topic provided that there is an instructor for the subject in school since candidates should have a supervisor for the subjects.

To be more precise, an extended essay can be regarded as a 4000-word structured piece of writing centered on an International Baccalaureate student’s topic and it may take various forms.

What is meant by “it may take various forms” is that the way it looks depends on the topic selected. The next section will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write an extended essay. 

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How to Write an Extended Essay

When writing an extended essay, there 8 steps that should be taken to effectively complete it on time. Carefully read through the 8 steps to fully understand how to write an extended essay.

Step 1: Selecting a Topic and Researching on it

Researching extended essay

This is the first step that you should take before writing your extended essay.

As noted, extended essays will allow you to write on the topic of your interest.

However, various topics are provided by your instructor and it is upon you to select the topic that interests you.

You should keep in mind that the topic selected should have enough material and resources to support your topic and the position of your arguments concerning the topic.

Some topics may have limited resources.

At the same time, select a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. A narrow topic may lack enough material to have a 4000-word extended essay while a broad topic may require a lot of supporting material that may exceed the 4000-word limit.  

If you find the first step confusing or you find it difficult to tackle it on your own, it is advisable to seek a mentor/advisor. You should select an advisor or mentor with whom you will connect well and the one who understands the topic and what is required when writing extended essays.

Such a mentor will help you select the topic that fits your interest. While helping you select a topic that is not too narrow or broad, they should push you to deliver your best. Mentors/advisors can be your instructors or friends who have completed extended essays. 

Once this is done, research extensively concerning your topic and ensure that the sources of your information are peer-reviewed and credible. They should provide the most recent research or information concerning your topic.

Note the sources of your information so that you can cite and reference them in your extended essay. 

Step 2: Coming up With a Research Question

This is an important step because selecting a research question will provide you with a focused and clear summative statement to be used during your research.

It will act as a roadmap or a guideline that will help you during the writing process. It will also help you formulate a clear and concise thesis statement that will summarize your arguments and the position you will take in your extended essay. 

Step 3: Structuring Your Extended Essay

As aforementioned, extended essays should always take an academic format. This means that it should have an acceptable academic structure.

At the same time, since International Baccalaureate (IB) guidelines are constantly updated, you should follow the latest guidelines so that you can utilize the latest format. 

The acceptable format for your extended essay will include an introduction, methodology, main body, conclusion, bibliography, and appendices.

Writing extended Essay

This will be the general structure for your extended essay.

It should be noted that this structure is not an outline.

What this means is that the structure should be considered when coming up with an outline.

Once you have decided the structure of your extended essay, come up with an outline based on your topic, thesis, and arguments.

An outline will act as a guide during the drafting process and it will save a lot of time.

This is because you will have already outlined your extended essay and what you will be doing is to add content to the points you have highlighted. Ensure that individual points translate to a single paragraph. 

You should also note that the extended essay will have a table of contents. Therefore, the outline will be very important when coming up with your table of contents that is located after the cover page of your extended essay. 

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Step 4: Writing the Introduction

Once you have completed the above steps and you have come up with an outline based on the extended essay’s structure, the next step is to introduce your topic and elaborate it to your target readers.

Writing the Introduction

There are various things you should consider when coming up with an introduction.

First of all, the introduction should be catchy and interesting.

This is because your readers will read it before deciding on whether to continue with the rest of the paper.

The best way to do this is to begin your introduction with something catchy or attention-grabbing sentence.

This will arouse the reader’s curiosity to know more about the topic.

The second thing you should know about the introduction is that it should offer a crisp and clear description of what you are going to talk about and the various strategies you will use to explore the topic. It all depends on the topic.

You can decide to highlight the issues that will be explored and the ways of addressing such issues. It is all about proving some brief background of what you will be exploring in the rest of the paper.

Do you remember that you formulated a research question after researching your topic? While introducing the topic of your extended essay, you should provide the context of your research question where you address the situation or the background from which the question comes.

While doing so, you should state the research question and elaborate on why answering the question is important for the paper’s findings. 

The introduction should also tell the readers why the research you present in your extended essay is important, interesting, and/or valuable to the discipline and the audience.

Finally, you should conclude your introduction by writing your thesis statement. This should be the last sentence of your introduction paragraph(s). 

Step 5: Methodology

This is also a very important step when writing an extended essay. To make sure that all the important aspects of the methodology are covered, you should divide this section into two.

extended essay Methodology

The first section of the methodology explains your sources of information and the second section explores the related theories, topics, and arguments that will be used to explore your topic. 

In the first section, you should describe every primary and/or secondary source used, why the sources are important, and their limitations.

Sources of secondary research can include news articles, annual reports for companies, business textbooks, magazine articles, and encyclopedias. The final thing you should do while in section 1 is to state the adjustments made in your research. 

For the second section, you should provide a brief explanation of the theories that are going to be applied and the reason why they are the most appropriate in explaining your arguments.

Also, give the limitations of each theory, topic, or argument applied. Finally, state the changes made during the research and writing process.

Step 6: Drafting the Main Body

This should be the most elaborate part of your extended essay because you will concentrate on the research, analysis of the research, discussion, and evaluation.

You should try to retain the flow of step 5 that has steps 1 and 2. This will demonstrate that you understand the concepts of the International Baccalaureate while still addressing your topic using the relevant sources. 

In the first section, for each of the theories, arguments, and topics used to address your topic, include about 4 examples of each to help you answer the research question effectively. Also, address the qualitative tools applied before the quantitative tools.

The second section goes beyond the course to educate your evaluator and/or readers concerning your topic. Explore the related concepts and theories deeply while providing different perspectives on the topic.

Remember that you should be evaluating the findings here. Use analytical insight to further explain your arguments and points of view. Graphs and other forms of data presentation can be used. However, they should apply to the research.

Step 7: Writing the Conclusion

In this step, you should sum up your arguments from all your sections. It is important to stipulate what has been researched and how it has helped answer the research question.

It should be noted that no new information should be added in the conclusion. Mention some limitations of the research and their impact, and the reasons behind such limitations.

Finally, state the thing(s) you can do differently if you were to write another extended essay.

Step 8: Bibliography and Appendices

On a different page or the next page after the conclusion, reference your sources of information using the correct format (APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard styles). Always remember to arrange the references from A to Z. Bibliography or references are not part of the word count.

The appendices section showcases the extra work you have done such as transcripts of the interviews conducted, additional analysis, and any other data that you found interesting but did not include in the body of your paper. 

Once you are done with writing, thoroughly proofread your work and correct any grammatical or spelling errors made. Make sure that the work is well formatted with all the sections included.

At the same time, make sure that nothing in your paper is copy-pasted because it will be regarded as plagiarism. Always do this before submitting your extended essay. 

People Also Read : Sources of Free Essays Online: Where to Get Free Good Essays

Best Length of an Extended Essay

While there is no universally agreed minimum word count for an extended essay, you should not write less than 3,000 words. This is because lesser than that will demonstrate that you did not adequately research your topic.

Since the acceptable word limit on the upper side is 4,000 words, always strive to write more than 3,500 words. Unlike other types of essays like a GRE Essay that is short, an extended essay is long in terms of word count.

In other cases, the minimum word count is 1,500 words, and the maximum word count is 4,000 words. It is up to the student to decide what their word count should be. It is important not to go over or under the prescribed word count by more than 10%. The upper limit of 4000 words should be a guideline rather than a firm rule.

Can the extended essay be over 4000 words?

Yes, the extended essay may be up to 4000 words in length. The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. This upper limit includes the introduction, the body, the conclusion, and any quotations, but does not include:

  • the abstract
  • the contents page
  • acknowledgments
  • any diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs
  • the bibliography

How Many Pages is an Extended Essay?

4000 words is 8 pages single spaced, and 16 pages double spaced. The number of pages changes depends on the number of words, the font, and the font size. Usually, the extended essay is 4000 words in length, so it is quite a bit longer than your average essay. Double-space, Times New Roman 12 is pretty much universal, in college anyway.

What are the extended essay minimum and maximum word count?

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12 Examples of Extended Essay Topics

  • What is the effect of age and gender on the photoreceptor cells in the human retina?
  • How is climate change impacting the appearance of coral reefs?
  • An evaluation of how antioxidants work in our bodies?
  • Is there an association between viewing violence on television and the display of violent acts?
  • What motivational climate should a coach employ to achieve optimal performance in athletes?
  • How does the X hormone affect human behavior?
  • How were women treated differently in the 1920s and 1950s Great Britain?
  • What role did economics play in the unification of Germany from 1834 to 1871?
  • How does the sugar concentration affect the refractive index of water?
  • What factors influence the location of industries in country/city X?
  • An investigation into the significance of preserving the quality of water in a continent/country/city?
  • What effect does the coating of aspirin tablets have on the hydrolysis of aspirin?

People Also Read : Get Non-plagiarized and Untraceable Essays by top writers

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you redo an extended essay.

Yes. You can redo an extended essay if you appeal to the relevant institution about the reason(s) why you failed on the first try. You should provide credible and sensible reasons for you to be considered. It is only then that you are granted a retake. 

Can You Fail an Extended Essay?

Yes. You can fail an extended essay if you do not follow the essay’s requirements, instructions, or rubric. 

What Happens if You Fail an Extended Essay?

If you fail an extended essay, you will not graduate with a diploma. Therefore, if you fail, you should request a retake and do your best to write a good extended essay. 

How many points is the extended essay worth?

The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word essay that you write on a topic of your choice. This counts towards your IB Diploma and it’s worth 3 points of your overall score.

The Extended Essay is often the most rewarding part of the IB Diploma. It gives you the chance to study something that you want to learn about in-depth, and it can be on any topic you choose – as long as there’s an expert to supervise it!

Can I publish my extended essay?

You may publish your extended essay. There are some things to consider before you do though: • Check that the subject of your essay is appropriate for publishing. Some subjects, such as science and math, may not be appropriate for publication because of how quickly the field develops. Also, check that your advisor approves of publishing the essay. • Check that you have gotten all the necessary permissions you need before you publish. • Check with your advisor if you have any doubts about these things.

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Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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The Extended Essay Step-by-Step Guide 6: How to Write It

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

With summer either already here or very near, it’s time for our next step in the Extended Essay Step-by-Step Guide. This one will help give you that push to put all of that essay preparation to use. Yes, it’s time to bite the bullet and write the thing.

To recap, this is the stage that comes after:

Topic Choice Topic Research Finalising a Question Outlining/Planning

If you don’t feel you’ve quite nailed something in that list above, have a read of our previous blogs in the series for a comprehensive breakdown of what you can do to get there. If on the other hand you do feel you’ve done all of this, you should know WHAT you’re going to say. The real question is HOW. This isn’t a post about how to write. I know you’ve written things before. This blog is about how to make yourself get that writing for this Extended Essay on the page in front of you.

1. Know When You’ll Write Your Essay

It should be obvious that the key to making sure you write your extended essay is to find the time to write it. But you’d be surprised how easily the time can slip away without a single word getting typed or written. Especially in summer, that pesky thing called procrastination can disguise itself as everything from the new season of Orange is the New Black to a trip to a lake to swim with pelicans.

To make sure you get the writing done when you want it done, take half an hour to get organised. Work out when, objectively, you will have the time to devote some love and care and sweat and blood to this essay. And do it in chunks. Half a day at a time is ideal. Start by scheduling a few at a time near the start of your holiday so that you can see how much time this will actually take you and adjust your schedule accordingly.

To be extra efficient, don’t just decide when you will work on your essay, but decide what you will work on. Set deadlines for finishing different stages of the essay throughout the summer. For a Language, Literature, or Group 3 essay you might set deadlines for completing the introduction, body, conclusion, and proofreading. For a Group 4 Science essay your deadlines could be more detailed, separated for completing sections on background information, methods and materials, and data analysis, for example.

Exercise 1: Take out your calendar, work out what plans you already have for the summer which you’ll need to work around, and mark out your devoted Extended Essay time. Don’t have a calendar? No problem! Download our own printable Extended Essay time planner by clicking here !

2. Getting the Words on the Page

Now you’ve organised yourself and found time to do the writing, it’s time to sit down and put the words on the page. The biggest tip I can possibly give you is to remind that getting any words on the page at all is more important, at this stage, than getting ‘the right words’. This is only a first draft, and at this point it’s only a draft of a first draft. So do whatever you can to help yourself put pen to paper/hands to keyboard.

If you feel like you can launch straight into writing that essay, great! Sit down and do that. On the other hand if you’re still unsure where you start there are a bunch of techniques you can try to help get you started.

  • There’s nothing to say you have to write the essay in chronological order! Instead you could take each paragraph of your essay one at a time, and start with the section you feel most confident, or excited about.
  • A lot of people find it easier to write things by hand before typing it. If you’re experiencing what I like to call ‘keyboard fear’, ditch the laptop, take a pen and a piece of paper, and write your essay as if you are answering the question in an exam.
  • If you’re struggling to turn your outline into full sentences, forget about eloquence for a while and just write it in whatever way you like. No need for good words. Just write. No one will see it but you.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

3. Perfect Your Extended Essay Language

Perfect language doesn’t matter at the beginning of your writing process. But making sure that your writing is clear, well-paced and polished is essential for the final product. You’ll get a chance to fix up the writing later in the process, but paying attention to your language, tone and style as you go along will save you a lot of time in the long-run. More importantly, it will help you to see what is and isn’t making sense now.

A great way to get into the right frame of mind for writing a formal essay is to read other examples. Have a look at our free resources page to see how other successful IB students have written their essays in the past. Alternatively you could remind yourself of general guidelines to academic writing like this guide here .

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

In general it’s better to be simple. Avoid the temptation to write as many long, complicated words as you possibly can so that you reach the 4000 word limit faster! I promise you that the most common Extended Essay problem of all IB students is fitting their words into the word limit at the end. So take some time to relax, breathe, and only write what you need to write.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Case in point: Which sentence makes more sense to you?

  • It is arguable that during the nineteenth century, and in the latter half of the century in particular, many people perceived a growth in what can be termed the mass market for novels and literature.
  • The later nineteenth century saw an increase in the literary mass market.

Exercise 3: Paste one of your completed paragraphs onto a new document and cut out the unnecessary words and phrases. Aim to cut words down by 10%. Do this for each one of your paragraphs either as you go along or at the end.

The only thing left to say now is to just do it. It will be tough, but you won’t have a better time to work on it than this summer*. If you’d like more help from us have a look at our assignments package for online private tuition, or our Mid-IB Extended Essay workshop .

(*And if you hate the idea of doing it now, think about doing it next term when you have 10 other deadlines to meet as well!)

Happy writing!

Read Part 7: Refine your draft

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The Extended Essay Step-By-Step Guide 3: The Research

The Easter Break is nearly upon us. Ten years ago this might have been a cue to eat more chocolate than you can handle. But if you’re in DP1 of the IB that small thing called the Extended Essay will be hovering on the horizon. You know that you should think about it over the […]

So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection,  Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
  • Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like  60 Minutes .
  • Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
  • Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel  Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

How To Write The Extended Essay (With Topics and Examples)

This comprehensive guide navigates through every aspect of the EE, from selecting a topic and developing a research question to conducting in-depth research and writing a compelling essay. It offers practical strategies, insights, and tips to help students craft a piece of work that not only meets the rigorous standards of the IB but also reflects their academic passion and curiosity. Join us as we explore the keys to success in the Extended Essay, preparing you for an intellectually rewarding experience.

Posted: 13th February 2024

Section jump links:

Section 1: Understanding the IB Extended Essay

Section 2: the importance of the extended essay, section 3: selecting a topic, section 4: developing your research question, section 5: research methodology and theoretical frameworks, section 6: evaluating sources and data, section 7: integrating evidence and analysis, section 8: writing and structuring the extended essay, section 9: reflection and the rppf, section 10: the significance of academic discipline in the ee, section 11: good practice in extended essay writing, section 12: managing the extended essay process, section 13: collaboration and feedback, section 14: avoiding plagiarism, section 15: emphasising original thought, section 16: final presentation and viva voce, section 17: beyond the extended essay, what is the ib extended essay.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Extended Essay (EE) is a cornerstone of the IB Diploma Programme . It’s an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. This project offers students an opportunity to investigate a topic of their own choice, bridging the gap between classwork and the kind of research required at the university level.

Key Objectives and the Role of the EE in the IB Curriculum

The Extended Essay has several key objectives:

  • To provide students with the chance to engage in an in-depth study of a question of interest within a chosen subject.
  • To develop research, thinking, self-management, and communication skills.
  • To introduce students to the excitement and challenges of academic research.

The EE plays a critical role in the IB curriculum by:

  • Encouraging intellectual discovery and creativity.
  • Facilitating academic growth and personal development through research and writing.
  • Preparing students for the rigours of higher education.

Extended Essay Word Count and Requirements

The EE has a maximum word count of 4,000 words. This does not include the abstract, contents page, bibliography, or footnotes (which must be used sparingly). Here are some essential requirements:

  • Research Question: Your essay must be focused on a clear, concise research question. You should aim to provide a comprehensive answer to this question through your research and writing.
  • Subject : The EE can be written in one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma or in a subject recognized by the IB.
  • Supervision : Each student is assigned a supervisor (usually a teacher in their school) who provides guidance and support throughout the research and writing process.
  • Assessment: The essay is externally assessed by the IB, contributing up to three points towards the total score for the IB diploma, depending on the grade achieved and the performance in the Theory of Knowledge course.

The Extended Essay is not just an academic requirement but a unique opportunity to explore a topic of personal interest in depth. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, providing valuable skills and insights that will serve you well in your future academic and professional endeavours.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The EE is more than just a requirement for the IB Diploma. It’s an essential part of the IB experience , offering profound benefits for students. Let’s explore why the EE holds such significance.

Academic and Personal Development Benefits

Skill enhancement:.

The EE fosters a range of academic skills crucial for success in higher education and beyond. It teaches students how to:

  • Conduct comprehensive research
  • Develop a coherent argument
  • Write extensively on a subject
  • Manage time effectively

Personal Growth:

Beyond academic prowess, the EE encourages personal development. Students learn to:

  • Pursue their interests deeply
  • Overcome challenges independently
  • Reflect on their learning process
  • Enhance their curiosity and creativity

Contribution to University Admissions

Standout applications:.

The EE can be a significant advantage in university applications . It demonstrates a student’s ability to undertake serious research projects and commit to an intensive academic task. Universities value this dedication, seeing it as indicative of a student’s readiness for undergraduate studies.

Showcase of Skills:

The EE allows students to showcase their research, writing, and analytical skills. It provides concrete evidence of their academic abilities and their capacity to engage deeply with a topic of interest.

Skill Development: Research, Writing, and Critical Thinking

Research Skills:

Students learn to navigate academic literature, evaluate sources, and gather relevant data. This process sharpens their research skills, laying a solid foundation for future academic endeavours.

Writing Skills:

Crafting a 4,000-word essay challenges students to express their ideas clearly and persuasively. It hones their writing skills, teaching them the art of structured and focused academic writing.

Critical Thinking:

The EE encourages students to analyse information critically, assess arguments, and develop their viewpoints. This critical engagement fosters a sophisticated level of thought, beneficial in both academic and real-world contexts.

In conclusion, the Extended Essay is a pivotal element of the IB Diploma Programme. It’s an invaluable opportunity for intellectual and personal growth, preparing students for the challenges of higher education and beyond. With its emphasis on independent research and writing, the EE equips students with the skills and confidence to navigate their future academic journeys successfully.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Choosing a topic for your Extended Essay is the first step in a journey towards developing a deep understanding of a specific area of interest. It’s crucial to select a topic that is not only academically viable but also personally engaging. Here’s how to navigate this critical phase.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your EE Topic

Interest and passion:.

Select a topic that fascinates you. Your interest will sustain motivation over the months of research and writing.

Availability of Resources:

Ensure there are enough resources available on your chosen topic. Access to libraries, databases, and experts in the field is essential for comprehensive research.

Scope and Focus:

The topic should be narrow enough to allow for in-depth study yet broad enough to find sufficient research material. Balancing specificity with resource availability is key.

IB Subject Areas:

Your topic must align with one of the subjects you are studying in the IB Diploma Programme or an approved subject area. Familiarity with the subject’s methodology and criteria is crucial for success.

How to Align Your Interests with the IB Subjects

Explore the syllabus:.

Review the syllabus of your IB subjects to identify topics that interest you. This can provide a framework for your EE.

Consult with Teachers:

Teachers can offer insights into feasible topics that align with the IB criteria and offer guidance on how to approach them.

Consider Interdisciplinary Topics:

Some of the most engaging EEs explore the intersection between different subjects. If this interests you, ensure your approach meets the criteria for an interdisciplinary essay under the IB’s World Studies EE option.

Extended Essay Topics: Examples Across Various Disciplines

  • Sciences: How does the introduction of non-native plant species affect biodiversity in your local ecosystem?
  • History : What was the impact of Winston Churchill’s leadership on Britain’s role in World War II?
  • English: How does the use of unreliable narrators influence the reader’s perception in Ian McEwan’s novels?
  • Mathematics: Investigating the application of the Fibonacci sequence in predicting stock market movements.
  • Visual Arts: Exploring the influence of Japanese art on Claude Monet’s painting style.

Selecting the right topic is foundational to your EE journey. It shapes your research direction, influences your engagement with the essay, and ultimately contributes to the satisfaction and success of your EE experience. Take your time, consult widely, and choose a topic that you are eager to explore in depth.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Crafting a focused and clear research question is a pivotal element of your Extended Essay. This question not only guides your research but also frames your essay’s entire structure. It’s the question to which your essay will provide an answer, and as such, it requires thoughtful consideration and precision.

A well-developed research question should be specific, relevant, and challenging. It should invite analysis, discussion, and the exploration of significant academic literature. Here’s a deeper look into formulating a robust research question for your EE.

Characteristics of a Strong Research Question

The hallmark of a strong research question is its specificity. It shouldn’t be too broad, as this could lead to a superficial treatment of the topic. 

Conversely, a question that’s too narrow might not allow for comprehensive exploration or significant discussion. Finding a balance is key. The question should also be focused on a particular aspect of a subject area, enabling in-depth analysis within the word count limit.

Another important characteristic is the question’s alignment with available resources. Before finalising your question, ensure that you have access to sufficient data and scholarly research to support your investigation. This might involve preliminary searches in academic databases, libraries, or consultation with your supervisor.

Tips for Refining Your Research Question

Start by brainstorming broad topic areas that interest you. Once you’ve identified a general area of interest, begin narrowing down by asking yourself specific questions about the topic. What aspects of this topic are unexplored or underexplored? What specific angle can I take that will make my research unique?

It’s also beneficial to review past EEs or academic journals for inspiration. Seeing how others have structured their research questions can provide valuable insight into crafting your own. However, ensure your question remains original and tailored to your interests.

Examples of Effective Research Questions

To give you an idea of what a well-formulated research question looks like, here are a few examples:

  • Biology: How does the concentration of a specific nutrient affect the growth rate of plant species X in a hydroponic setup compared to soil-based growth?
  • History: To what extent did the public speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. influence the public’s perception of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States between 1963 and 1968?
  • Economics: How significant is the impact of recent economic policies on small businesses in [specific location] during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • English Literature: How does the use of magical realism in Gabriel García Márquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ reflect the political and social issues of post-colonial Latin America?

Developing your research question is an iterative process. It may evolve as you delve deeper into your research. Be open to refining your question based on the information you discover and discussions with your supervisor. A well-crafted research question will not only guide your research effectively but also engage your interest throughout the writing process, leading to a more meaningful and insightful Extended Essay.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

A critical component of your Extended Essay is selecting an appropriate research methodology and theoretical framework. These elements are foundational to conducting your research and crafting your argument, influencing how you collect, analyse, and interpret data.

Understanding Research Methodologies

Research methodology refers to the systematic approach you take to investigate your research question. It encompasses the methods and procedures you use to collect and analyse data. Your chosen methodology should align with the nature of your research question and the objectives of your essay.

In the sciences, for example, your methodology might involve experiments, observations, or simulations to gather empirical data. In the humanities, you may lean towards content analysis, comparative analysis, or historical investigation, relying on textual or archival sources.

Selecting the right methodology is crucial. It should provide a clear path to answering your research question, considering the resources available and the scope of your essay. It’s also important to justify your choice of methodology in your essay, explaining why it’s appropriate for your research question and how it will help you achieve your objectives.

Applying Theoretical Frameworks

Theoretical frameworks provide a lens through which your research is conducted and interpreted. They offer a structured way to understand and analyse your findings, grounding your study in existing knowledge and theories.

Choosing a theoretical framework involves identifying relevant theories, models, or concepts that apply to your topic. For instance, if you’re exploring media representation of gender, you might utilise feminist theory as a framework to analyse your findings. In economics, you might apply game theory to understand competitive behaviours in a market.

The framework should guide your analysis, providing a coherent basis for interpreting your data. It helps to structure your argument, offering a deeper insight into the significance of your findings within the broader academic discourse.

Integrating Methodology and Frameworks into Your Research

Successfully integrating your chosen methodology and theoretical framework involves a few key steps:

  • Clarify the Scope: Ensure your research question, methodology, and theoretical framework align in scope and focus. They should work together seamlessly to guide your research.
  • Justify Your Choices: Explain the rationale behind your chosen methodology and framework. Discuss why they are suitable for your research question and how they will support your investigation.
  • Apply Consistently: Use your methodology and framework consistently throughout your research and analysis. This consistency strengthens the coherence and academic rigour of your essay.

Reflecting on these components during the planning stage can enhance the quality of your research and the clarity of your argument. Your methodology and theoretical framework are not just academic requirements; they’re tools that shape the direction and depth of your inquiry, enabling a more structured and insightful exploration of your topic.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

In the journey of crafting an Extended Essay (EE), the ability to critically evaluate sources and data stands as a fundamental skill. This evaluation is crucial in establishing the credibility and reliability of the information that forms the backbone of your research. Understanding how to discern the quality and relevance of your sources ensures that your EE is built on a solid foundation of trustworthy information.

Criteria for Selecting Credible and Relevant Sources

Authority: Consider the source’s authorship. Look for works by experts in the field, academic institutions, or reputable organisations. The author’s qualifications and affiliations can significantly impact the reliability of the information.

Accuracy: The information should be supported by evidence, referenced appropriately, and free from factual errors. Reliable sources often undergo a peer-review process, ensuring that the content is scrutinised and validated by other experts in the field.

Currency: The relevance of information can diminish over time, especially in fields that evolve rapidly, such as science and technology. Ensure that the sources you use are up-to-date, reflecting the latest research and developments.

Purpose: Understand the purpose behind the information. Is it to inform, persuade, entertain, or sell? Recognising the intent can help you assess potential biases, which is particularly important when dealing with controversial topics.

Techniques for Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of Data

Cross-Verification: Cross-check information across multiple sources to verify its accuracy and reliability. Consistency among various sources can be a good indicator of the information’s validity.

Statistical Analysis: When dealing with numerical data, consider its statistical significance and the methodology used in its collection. Reliable data should be gathered using sound scientific methods and accurately represent the population or phenomena studied.

Source Evaluation Tools: Utilise tools and checklists designed to evaluate the credibility of sources. These can provide a structured approach to assessing the quality of your research materials.

Incorporating Primary vs. Secondary Sources Effectively

Primary Sources: These are firsthand accounts or direct evidence concerning the topic you’re researching. They include interviews, surveys, experiments, and historical documents. Primary sources offer original insights and data, allowing for a deeper and more personal engagement with your subject.

Secondary Sources: These sources analyse, interpret, or summarise information from primary sources. They include textbooks, articles, and reviews. Secondary sources can provide context, background, and a broader perspective on your topic.

Balancing primary and secondary sources enriches your research, providing both the raw data and the interpretations that help frame your analysis. By rigorously evaluating sources and data, you ensure that your Extended Essay rests on a foundation of credible and relevant information, enhancing the depth and rigour of your investigation.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The heart of a compelling Extended Essay (EE) lies in the seamless integration of evidence and analysis. This integration not only supports and substantiates your arguments but also demonstrates your ability to critically engage with your research topic. Here’s how to weave evidence and analysis together in a way that enhances the strength and persuasiveness of your EE.

Strategies for Integrating Evidence Seamlessly into Your Argument

Directly Link Evidence to Your Thesis: Every piece of evidence you include should directly support or relate to your thesis statement. This ensures that all the information contributes to building your argument coherently.

Use Evidence to Illustrate Points: Utilise examples, data, quotes, and case studies as concrete evidence to illustrate your points. This makes abstract concepts more tangible and convincing to the reader.

Analyse, Don’t Just Present: For every piece of evidence, provide analysis and interpretation. Explain how it supports your argument, what it demonstrates, and its implications for your research question.

Balancing Descriptive and Analytical Writing

Avoid Over-Description: While some description is necessary to set the context, avoid dedicating too much space to merely describing your evidence. The focus should be on analysis.

Develop a Critical Voice: Cultivate a critical approach to your evidence. This means evaluating its reliability, considering its limitations, and discussing its relevance to your argument.

Synthesise Information: Aim to synthesise evidence from multiple sources to support your points. This demonstrates comprehensive understanding and the ability to draw connections across your research.

How to Critically Analyse Sources and Data Within Your Essay

Question the Source: Consider the source’s origin, purpose, and potential bias. How might these factors influence the information presented?

Evaluate Methodology: If the evidence comes from a study or experiment, evaluate the methodology used. Is it sound and appropriate for the research question?

Consider the Broader Context: Place your evidence within the broader scholarly conversation on your topic. How does it fit with, challenge, or expand existing knowledge?

By thoughtfully integrating evidence and providing in-depth analysis, you can create a nuanced and compelling EE that goes beyond mere description to offer original insights into your topic. This approach not only strengthens your argument but also showcases your critical thinking and analytical skills, essential qualities for success in the IB Diploma Programme and beyond.

The Extended Essay presents an opportunity for IB students to engage deeply with a topic of their choice. However, to effectively communicate your research and insights, your essay must be well-structured and clearly written. 

This section provides guidance on how to write and structure your EE, ensuring your work is coherent, persuasive, and academically rigorous.

Outline of the Extended Essay Structure

A well-organised structure is crucial for the readability and coherence of your EE. Typically, an Extended Essay includes the following components:

  • Title Page: Displays the essay title, research question, subject the essay is registered in, and word count.
  • Abstract: A concise summary of the essay, including the research question, methodology, results, and conclusion (Note: For essays submitted in 2018 and forward, the IB no longer requires an abstract, so check the most current guidelines).
  • Contents Page: Lists the sections and subsections of your essay with page numbers.
  • Introduction: Introduces the research question and your essay’s purpose, outlining the scope of the investigation.
  • Body : The main section of your essay, divided into clearly titled subsections, each addressing specific aspects of the research question. It’s where you present your argument, supported by evidence.
  • Conclusion: Summarises the findings, discusses the implications, and reflects on the research’s limitations and potential areas for further study.
  • References/Bibliography: Lists all sources used in the essay in a consistent format, following the chosen citation style.
  • Appendices: (If necessary) Contains supplementary material that is relevant to the research but not essential to its explanation.

Detailed Breakdown of Each Section


The introduction sets the stage for your research. It should clearly state your research question and explain the significance of the topic. Briefly outline the theoretical framework and methodology, and provide an overview of the essay’s structure.

The body is the heart of your essay. It should be logically organised to build your argument step by step. Each paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence, followed by evidence and analysis. Use subheadings to divide the sections thematically or methodologically, ensuring each part contributes to answering the research question.

  • Developing Arguments: Present and critique different perspectives, systematically leading the reader through your analytical process.
  • Using Evidence: Incorporate relevant data, quotes, and examples to support your arguments. Ensure all sources are appropriately cited.
  • Analysis and Discussion: Go beyond describing your findings; analyse and interpret them in the context of your research question and theoretical framework.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should not introduce new information. Instead, it should synthesise your findings, highlighting how they contribute to understanding the research question. Reflect on the research process, acknowledging any limitations and suggesting areas for further investigation.

Importance of Coherence and Logical Flow

Maintaining coherence and a logical flow throughout your EE is essential. Transition sentences between paragraphs and sections can help link ideas smoothly, guiding the reader through your argument. A coherent structure ensures that your essay is accessible and persuasive, making a strong impression on the reader.

A well-written and structured EE is a testament to your understanding of the research process and your ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. By adhering to a clear structure and focusing on coherence and logical progression, you can craft an essay that is engaging, insightful, and academically rigorous.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

A unique and integral component of the IB Extended Essay (EE) process is the Reflections on Planning and Progress Form (RPPF). The RPPF serves as a personal and academic exploration tool, guiding students through the planning, research, and writing phases of their EE. It encourages students to reflect on their learning journey, documenting insights gained, challenges encountered, and the evolution of their thinking.

The Role of Reflection in the EE Process

Reflection is at the heart of the EE, enabling students to engage critically with their own learning processes. It helps in:

  • Self-Assessment: Encouraging students to consider their strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Skill Development: Facilitating a deeper understanding of the research and writing skills developed during the EE process.
  • Critical Thinking: Promoting an evaluative approach to the research process, allowing students to make informed decisions about their methodologies, sources, and arguments.

How to Effectively Complete the RPPF

Completing the RPPF involves three formal reflection sessions, which are crucial milestones in the EE journey:

  • Initial Reflection: Focuses on the selection of the topic and formulation of the research question. Students should discuss their motivations, initial ideas, and anticipated challenges.
  • Interim Reflection: Occurs midway through the process. Students reflect on the progress made, adjustments to their research plan, and any challenges they’ve faced. It’s an opportunity to reassess the direction of the EE and make necessary modifications.
  • Final Reflection: After completing the EE, students reflect on their overall experience, the skills they’ve developed, and the knowledge they’ve gained. This reflection should also consider the impact of the research process on their personal and academic growth.

In each reflection, students should be honest and critical, providing insights into their learning journey. The reflections are not just about documenting successes but also about understanding the learning process, including setbacks and how they were overcome.

Examples of Reflective Questions and Insightful Responses

Initial reflection:.

Question: “What excites me about my chosen topic?”

Insightful Response: Discuss the personal or academic interest in the topic, any prior knowledge, and what you hope to discover through your research.

Interim Reflection:

Question: “What challenges have I encountered in my research, and how have I addressed them?”

Insightful Response: Describe specific obstacles, such as difficulty accessing resources or refining the research question, and the strategies employed to overcome them.

Final Reflection:

Question: “How has my understanding of the topic evolved through the research process?”

Insightful Response: Reflect on how the research challenged or confirmed initial assumptions and what was learned about the topic and the research process itself.

The RPPF is not just a formal requirement but a valuable component of the EE that enriches the student’s learning experience. By fostering reflection, the RPPF helps students to articulate their journey, offering insights into the complexities of research and the personal growth that accompanies the creation of an extended academic work.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The Extended Essay allows students to explore a topic of interest within the framework of an IB subject. The choice of academic discipline not only shapes the content and focus of the essay but also influences the methodologies and theoretical frameworks that students may employ. Understanding and adhering to the conventions and requirements of the chosen discipline is crucial for the success of the EE.

Adhering to Disciplinary Conventions and Guidelines

Each academic discipline has its own set of conventions regarding research methodologies, writing styles, and citation formats. For example, a science EE might require empirical research and quantitative analysis, whereas an essay in the humanities might focus on qualitative analysis and critical interpretation of texts.

Key considerations include:

  • Methodology: The choice of methodology should align with disciplinary norms. Science EEs might involve experiments, whereas essays in history might rely on primary source analysis.
  • Structure: While the basic structure of the EE remains consistent across subjects, the presentation of arguments and evidence might vary. Essays in the arts and humanities might follow a thematic structure, while those in the sciences might be organised around experimental findings.
  • Citation Style: Different disciplines prefer specific citation styles. For instance, APA might be favoured in psychology, while MLA is commonly used in literature essays. Adhering to the appropriate style is crucial for academic integrity.

How Different Disciplines Influence the Approach to Research and Writing

The academic discipline not only dictates the formal aspects of the EE but also influences the approach to research and writing. For instance, an EE in Visual Arts would require a different analytical lens compared to an EE in Economics. The former might analyse the impact of cultural contexts on artistic expressions, while the latter could evaluate economic theories through case studies.

Disciplinary perspectives also affect:

  • Argumentation : The way arguments are constructed and evidenced can differ. In the sciences, arguments are often built around data and logical reasoning, while in the humanities, they might be more interpretative, drawing on various theoretical perspectives.
  • Critical Engagement: The extent and nature of critical engagement with sources can vary. In subjects like History or English, a critical analysis of diverse interpretations is fundamental, whereas in the Sciences, the focus might be on empirical evidence and hypothesis testing.

Examples of Disciplinary Perspectives in Extended Essay Examples

  • Biology EE: An investigation into the effects of environmental changes on local biodiversity, employing scientific methods for data collection and analysis.
  • Economics EE: An analysis of the impact of a specific economic policy on a local economy, using economic theories and models to interpret data.
  • English Literature EE: A comparative study of the theme of alienation in two novels, using literary theories to explore the authors’ narrative techniques.

Understanding the significance of academic discipline in the EE ensures that students approach their research with the appropriate methodologies and analytical frameworks. It encourages respect for the depth and breadth of the subject area, contributing to a more nuanced and informed exploration of the chosen topic.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Writing an Extended Essay involves more than just conducting research and presenting findings; it requires careful planning, effective engagement with your supervisor, and a critical approach to your sources. Here are some best practices to help you navigate the EE writing process successfully.

Time Management and Planning

Time management is crucial in the EE process. The project spans several months, so it’s essential to break down the work into manageable stages. Create a timeline early in the process, including key milestones such as completing the research, drafting sections, and finalising the essay. Allocate time for unexpected challenges and ensure you have buffer periods for revision and feedback.

Planning Tips:

  • Set Goals: Establish clear, achievable goals for each phase of your EE journey.
  • Use Tools: Leverage planning tools or software to organise your tasks and deadlines.
  • Regular Reviews: Periodically review your progress against your plan and adjust as necessary.

Engaging with Supervisors Effectively:Your supervisor is a valuable resource throughout the EE process. They can provide guidance on your research question, methodology, and essay structure, as well as feedback on your drafts.

Maximising Supervisor Engagement:

  • Prepare for Meetings: Come to each meeting with specific questions or sections of your essay you want feedback on.
  • Be Open to Feedback: Constructive criticism is essential for improvement. Listen to your supervisor’s suggestions and consider how to incorporate them into your work.
  • Communicate Regularly: Keep your supervisor informed of your progress and any challenges you encounter.

Critical Engagement with Sources

A critical approach to the sources you use is fundamental to a high-quality EE. Evaluate the reliability, relevance, and bias of your sources to ensure your essay is grounded in credible evidence.

Strategies for Source Evaluation:

  • Source Variety: Use a range of sources, including academic journals, books, and reputable online resources, to provide a balanced perspective on your topic.
  • Critical Analysis : Don’t just summarise sources. Analyse their arguments, identify limitations, and consider how they contribute to your research question.
  • Citation and Paraphrasing: Accurately cite all sources to avoid plagiarism. When paraphrasing, ensure you’re genuinely rephrasing ideas in your own words while still crediting the original author.

Good practice in EE writing is not just about adhering to academic standards; it’s about engaging deeply with your topic, embracing the research process, and developing skills that will serve you well in your academic and professional future. By managing your time effectively, leveraging the support of your supervisor, and critically engaging with sources, you can craft an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also personally rewarding.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Successfully navigating the Extended Essay process requires more than just academic skill; it demands effective project management. This encompasses planning, organising, and executing your EE from initial conception to final submission. Here are strategies to help you manage the EE process, ensuring a smooth journey and a rewarding outcome.

Planning and Time Management Strategies Specific to the EE

Develop a Detailed Plan: Start by breaking down the EE process into stages: topic selection, research, drafting, and revising. Assign deadlines to each stage based on the final submission date, allowing extra time for unforeseen delays.

Use a Calendar or Planner: Keep track of deadlines, meetings with your supervisor, and other important dates. Digital tools can be particularly useful, offering reminders and helping you stay organised.

Set Regular Milestones: Milestones offer checkpoints to assess your progress. These could be completing the research phase, finishing a first draft, or finalising your citations. Celebrate these achievements to stay motivated.

Milestones and Checklists to Keep You on Track

Create Checklists: For each phase of the EE process, develop a checklist of tasks. This could include conducting initial research, writing specific sections of the essay, or completing rounds of revision.

Regular Progress Reviews: Schedule weekly or bi-weekly reviews of your progress against your plan. Adjust your plan as needed based on these reviews.

Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your plan. Research might take longer than expected, or you might decide to change your focus slightly after discussing with your supervisor.

Dealing with Challenges and Setbacks During the EE Journey

Anticipate Potential Issues: Think ahead about what might go wrong and how you would address it. Having contingency plans can reduce stress and keep you on track.

Seek Support When Needed: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor, peers, or other mentors if you encounter obstacles. They can offer advice, support, and perspective.

Maintain a Positive Attitude: Challenges are part of the learning process. View setbacks as opportunities to improve your problem-solving and resilience skills.

Managing the EE process effectively is about more than just completing a requirement for the IB Diploma; it’s an exercise in self-management and personal growth. By carefully planning your work, setting and celebrating milestones, and being prepared to tackle challenges, you can navigate the EE process with confidence and achieve a result that reflects your hard work and dedication.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Mastering the art of collaboration and effectively incorporating feedback are pivotal aspects of crafting a high-calibre Extended Essay (EE). These processes enrich your work, offering new perspectives and insights that can significantly enhance the depth and quality of your research and writing. Let’s delve into how to navigate these collaborative interactions and integrate feedback productively.

Effective Collaboration with Your Supervisor

Your supervisor is a key ally in your EE journey, providing guidance, support, and expert insight into your chosen topic. Building a productive relationship with your supervisor involves clear communication, active engagement, and receptiveness to their advice.

  • Prepare for Meetings: Maximise the value of your meetings by preparing questions and topics for discussion. This shows initiative and helps you focus on areas where you need the most guidance.
  • Be Open to Suggestions: Your supervisor brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. Being open to their suggestions can unlock new avenues of inquiry and refine your research focus.
  • Follow Up: After meetings, review the guidance provided and take action. Following up on suggestions and demonstrating progress is key to a fruitful collaboration.

Incorporating Feedback Constructively

Feedback is a gift, offering you fresh eyes on your work and highlighting areas for improvement. Whether it comes from your supervisor, peers, or other mentors, constructive feedback is instrumental in elevating the quality of your EE.

  • Critically Evaluate Feedback: Not all feedback will be equally applicable or helpful. Assess suggestions critically and decide which ones align with your research goals and vision for your EE.
  • Implement Changes Thoughtfully: When integrating feedback, do so thoughtfully and systematically. Consider how each piece of advice enhances your argument or strengthens your analysis.
  • Maintain Your Own Voice: While it’s important to consider feedback, your EE should ultimately reflect your ideas, analysis, and voice. Balance the input from others with your own scholarly insights.

Balancing Independent Research with Guidance

Navigating the balance between independent research and the guidance received is a delicate aspect of the EE process. While the EE is your project, drawing on the expertise and feedback of others can significantly enhance its depth and scope.

  • Value Independence: Embrace the opportunity to conduct independent research, making your EE a true reflection of your interests and intellectual curiosity.
  • Seek Guidance Wisely: Utilise your supervisor and other resources judiciously. They can provide clarity, offer new perspectives, and help you navigate complex aspects of your research.
  • Synthesise Input: Integrate the guidance and feedback you receive in a way that complements your research, ensuring that your EE remains a coherent and cohesive piece of scholarly work.

The interplay between collaboration, feedback, and independent research is central to the EE process. By engaging effectively with your supervisor, thoughtfully incorporating feedback, and maintaining a balance between guidance and your own scholarly pursuits, you can craft an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also a true testament to your growth as a learner.

Plagiarism is a critical concern in academic writing, including the Extended Essay. It involves using someone else’s work without proper acknowledgment, which can compromise the integrity of your essay and result in severe penalties. Understanding what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it is essential for maintaining academic honesty and ensuring the credibility of your research.

Understanding What Constitutes Plagiarism

Plagiarism can take many forms, from directly copying text without quotation marks to paraphrasing someone else’s ideas without proper citation. It also includes using images, charts, or data without acknowledging the source. Even unintentional plagiarism, where sources are not deliberately misrepresented but are inadequately cited, can have serious consequences.

How to Properly Cite Sources and Paraphrase

Citing Sources : Every time you use someone else’s words, ideas, or data, you must cite the source. This not only includes quotes and paraphrases but also data, images, and charts. Familiarise yourself with the citation style recommended for your subject area, whether it be APA, MLA, Chicago, or another, and apply it consistently throughout your essay.

Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing involves rewording someone else’s ideas in your own words. It’s essential to do more than just change a few words around; you need to completely rewrite the concept, ensuring you still cite the original source. Good paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the material and integrates it seamlessly into your argument.

Using Plagiarism Detection Tools

Many schools and students use plagiarism detection tools to check the originality of their work before submission. These tools compare your essay against a vast database of published material and other student submissions to identify any matches. Utilising these tools can help you identify areas of your essay that need better paraphrasing or citation.

Avoiding plagiarism in the EE involves diligent research, careful writing, and thorough citation. It’s about respecting the intellectual property of others while demonstrating your own understanding and analysis of the topic. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your EE is both original and academically honest, reflecting the hard work and integrity that define the IB learner profile.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

In the Extended Essay, showcasing original thought is not just encouraged; it’s a cornerstone of what makes an EE stand out. Originality in this context means more than just avoiding plagiarism; it involves presenting unique perspectives, developing novel arguments, or exploring new areas within a subject. Here’s how you can emphasise original thought in your EE.

The Value of Originality and Creativity

Originality and creativity in the EE demonstrate your ability to think independently and engage critically with your subject. It shows that you’re not just capable of summarising existing knowledge but also contributing to the conversation in your discipline. This level of engagement is what the IB looks for in assessing the EE, as it reflects a deeper understanding and application of the subject matter.

Balancing Academic Rigour with Personal Voice and Analysis

While it’s important to ground your EE in academic research and follow disciplinary conventions, finding a balance with your personal voice and analysis is key to originality. Here are ways to achieve this balance:

  • Personal Insight : Inject your essay with your insights, interpretations, and conclusions based on the research. This personal engagement with the topic distinguishes your EE from a mere literature review.
  • Critical Analysis: Go beyond describing what others have said. Critique the arguments, identify gaps in the research, and propose new ways of understanding the subject.
  • Innovative Approach: Consider addressing less explored aspects of your topic or applying theories and methodologies from other disciplines to bring fresh perspectives.

Strategies for Developing and Showcasing Original Thought

Question Assumptions: Start by questioning the prevailing assumptions or widely held beliefs in your subject area. This critical stance can open up avenues for original analysis.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Drawing connections between different disciplines can reveal new insights and approaches that enrich your essay.

Reflect on Your Learning: Use the insights gained from your coursework and personal interests to inform your approach. Often, your unique educational and life experiences can inspire original perspectives.

Emphasising original thought in your EE is about striking a balance between demonstrating your mastery of the subject and pushing beyond the boundaries of existing knowledge. It involves a blend of thorough research, critical thinking, and creative engagement with the topic. By fostering a unique perspective and injecting your personal voice into your analysis, you can create an EE that is not only academically rigorous but also distinctly yours, leaving a lasting impression on your readers.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The culmination of the Extended Essay process includes the final presentation and the Viva Voce, a concluding interview between the student and their supervisor. These components serve not only as a summation of your EE journey but also as an opportunity to reflect on your learning and the skills you’ve developed. Understanding the significance and how to prepare for these elements is crucial for a successful EE completion.

Preparing for the Final Presentation

The final presentation is an opportunity to share the highlights of your EE journey, including your research question, methodology, key findings, and any challenges you overcame. It’s a moment to showcase the depth of your research and the personal growth you experienced throughout the process.

Key Elements to Include:

  • Overview of Your Research: Briefly summarise your research question and why you chose it, highlighting your methodology and the scope of your investigation.
  • Significant Findings: Share the key insights and discoveries you made during your research. This is a chance to underscore the original contributions of your EE.
  • Challenges and Solutions : Discuss any significant obstacles you faced and how you addressed them. Reflecting on these challenges shows your problem-solving skills and resilience.
  • Reflections on the Process: Share what you’ve learned about yourself as a learner, the skills you’ve developed, and how the EE has impacted your academic and personal growth.

Tips for a Successful Viva Voce

The Viva Voce is a short interview with your supervisor after you’ve submitted your EE. It’s an integral part of the reflection process, allowing you to discuss the successes and challenges of your research journey.

To Prepare for the Viva Voce:

  • Review Your EE: Be familiar with your essay’s content, as you’ll discuss your work in detail. Be ready to explain your research decisions and reflect on your learning process.
  • Anticipate Questions: Your supervisor might ask about how you selected your topic, the development of your research question, your approach to research and writing, and the skills you’ve developed.
  • Reflect on Your Learning: Think about the entire EE process, including what you learned, how you’ve grown, and how the experience might influence your future academic or career goals.

How the Viva Voce Contributes to Your Overall EE Assessment

While the Viva Voce doesn’t directly affect your EE grade, it plays a crucial role in the holistic assessment of your IB Diploma. It demonstrates the authenticity of your work and your engagement with the EE process, providing insights into your approach, dedication, and intellectual growth.

The final presentation and Viva Voce are essential milestones that mark the completion of your EE journey. They offer a platform to reflect on the challenges you’ve navigated, the knowledge you’ve gained, and the skills you’ve honed. Preparing thoroughly for these elements ensures you can confidently articulate your research journey, showcasing the depth of your inquiry and your development as an IB learner.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The journey through the Extended Essay is more than an academic exercise; it’s a transformative experience that equips IB Diploma students with skills and insights that extend far beyond the programme.

Reflecting on how the EE prepares you for future academic and professional endeavours can highlight the lasting value of this rigorous project.

How the Skills Developed During the EE Can Benefit You in Future Academic and Professional Endeavours

Research and Analytical Skills: The EE demands a high level of research and analysis, teaching students how to gather, assess, and interpret data. These skills are invaluable in higher education and many professional fields, where evidence-based decision-making is crucial.

Critical Thinking: Crafting an EE requires students to evaluate sources critically, consider multiple perspectives, and develop well-reasoned arguments. This ability to think critically is highly sought after in both academia and the workplace.

Project Management: Completing an EE involves planning, organisation, time management, and problem-solving. Managing such a long-term project successfully can boost your confidence in handling complex tasks and projects in the future.

Communication: Writing the EE enhances your ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively, a skill that is essential in any professional setting. Additionally, the final presentation and Viva Voce develop your verbal communication and presentation skills.

Examples of How the EE Has Helped Alumni in Their Post-IB Journeys

Many IB alumni attribute their success in university and their careers to the foundation laid by their EE experience. For instance, alumni often report that the EE made the transition to university-level research and writing much smoother. Others have found that the skills developed through the EE, such as critical thinking and project management, have set them apart in job interviews and workplace projects.

Encouragement to View the EE as a Stepping Stone to Lifelong Learning

The EE is not just a requirement for the IB Diploma; it’s an introduction to a lifelong journey of inquiry and discovery. It encourages a mindset of curiosity and a habit of continuous learning that can enrich both your personal and professional life. Viewing the EE through this lens can transform it from a daunting task into an exciting opportunity to explore your passions and develop essential skills for the future.

The Extended Essay is a hallmark of the IB Diploma Programme, embodying the essence of inquiry, critical thinking, and scholarly engagement. From selecting a topic and formulating a research question to conducting in-depth research and presenting findings, the EE challenges students to transcend the boundaries of traditional learning, fostering skills and insights that extend far beyond the confines of the classroom.

This comprehensive guide has navigated the critical aspects of the EE process, offering strategies for managing time, engaging with supervisors, and ensuring academic integrity. It has underscored the importance of original thought, the role of academic discipline, and the value of reflection, aiming to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in this rigorous academic endeavour.

The Extended Essay is a testament to your dedication, intellectual curiosity, and academic prowess. Embrace this opportunity to shine, to explore, and to make your mark on the world of knowledge.

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Extended essay

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students.

Read about the extended essay  in greater detail.

You can also read about how the IB sets deadlines for the extended essay , find examples of extended essay titles from previous DP students and learn about the world studies extended essay .

Learn more about the extended essay in a DP workshop for teachers . 

DP subject briefs

Find out about what each subject offers within the Diploma Programme (DP).

Our DP subject briefs—for both standard and higher level—contain information about core requirements, aims and assessment.

  • Explore the DP subject briefs


how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

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Extended Essay Writers

extended essay blog

How to Write a Conclusion for Your IB Extended Essay? Tips and Tricks

how to write ee conclusion

Luke MacQuoid

Hello there! As a seasoned IB writer, I can tell you that wrapping up your Extended Essay (EE) with a compelling conclusion is crucial. Not only does it leave a lasting impression, but it also encapsulates your hard work. Let’s get into the art of writing an effective extended essay conclusion.

The Role of a Conclusion in Your Extended Essay

A conclusion isn’t just a summary; it’s your final chance to make your point and show the impact of your research. It’s where your hours of investigation and analysis pay off.

A conclusion serves several vital functions. Firstly, it allows you to reinforce your thesis statement. It is crucial because, after going through the body of your essay , your reader needs to be reminded of the central theme that guided your research. It’s like coming full circle — starting with a hypothesis and ending with a confirmation of your findings.

Secondly, the conclusion lets you synthesize your thoughts. Throughout your essay, you’ve presented facts, arguments, and analyses. In the conclusion, you bring these strands together into a cohesive narrative. It’s your chance to show how each piece of evidence contributes to the bigger picture. Doing this demonstrates your ability to think critically and holistically.

Moreover, a great conclusion also provides a moment for reflection. Here, you can ponder the broader implications of your work. Ask yourself, what does your research contribute to the field? How does it expand on existing knowledge? It may open up new questions or challenge established ideas. This kind of introspection requires analytical skills and engagement with the subject matter.

Key Elements of an Effective Extended Essay Conclusion

Before we discuss how to write extended essay conclusion, let’s look at a few critical points. Remember, a great conclusion is more than rehashing your thesis. It’s about leaving your reader with something to think about. According to general IB criteria, your conclusion should reflect what you found and why it matters. So, we need to include several elements in it.

Summary of Main Points

Begin by briefly summarizing the key points of your essay. But here’s the trick: do it freshly and insightfully. As I know from experience, your reader should nod along, thinking, “Ah, that makes sense!”

Restating the Thesis

Restating the thesis in your conclusion is like reaffirming a promise. You’re reminding the reader of the core of your research . However, put it in the context of your evidence and analysis. A little twist here makes it more engaging.

Implications of the Research

Now, this part is exciting. Discuss the broader implications of your findings. What do they mean for the field you’re studying? As someone who’s been through this process, I find that connecting your work to a bigger picture adds depth to your conclusion.

Personal Reflection and Insights

Remember to add a personal touch. Reflect on your path, the challenges, and the eureka moments. It adds a unique flavor to your conclusion, making it more relatable and memorable.

Writing the Perfect Opening for Your EE Conclusion

Writing the perfect opening for your extended essay conclusion is a crucial step in cementing the impact of your entire piece. As someone who has written and guided many through this process, I can attest to the importance of this final flourish.

To ensure your conclusion starts on a high note, consider these strategies:

  • Reflective Hook . Begin with a statement reflecting on your essay’s path. For instance, “As this research of [your topic] draws close, the profound insights and revelations encountered along the way bring us to a moment of understanding.”
  • Quotations . A well-chosen quote can provide a powerful start. It could be from a primary source you discussed or a relevant figure in your field of study. The quote should encapsulate the essence of your argument or the broader implications of your findings.
  • Rhetorical Question . Pose a thought-provoking question related to your thesis. This approach re-engages the reader’s curiosity and encourages them to ponder the significance of your findings. For example, “What does the future hold for [your topic], and how does our understanding of it shift the paradigm?”
  • Connecting to the Introduction . Refer back to the hook or a key point you made in your introduction . It creates a full-circle moment for your readers, enhancing the cohesiveness of your essay.
  • Bold Statement . Begin with a bold, impactful statement highlighting your essay’s primary conclusion or revelation. It grabs attention and sets the stage for your final arguments.

Remember, the opening of your conclusion is your final opportunity to engage your readers and prepare them for the closure of your argument. It should resonate with the themes and insights you’ve developed throughout your essay, providing a segue to your concluding remarks.

Seamlessly Connecting Your Essay Body to the Conclusion

The goal is to create a natural progression where each part of your essay contributes to a unified whole. To master this transition, consider the following strategies:

  • Summarizing Key Points . Start by summarizing your essay’s main arguments or findings. It helps to remind the reader of the road they’ve been on and sets the stage for your concluding remarks.
  • Reflective Statements . Use reflective statements to transition into your conclusion. Phrases like “Having researched the various facets of [your topic]” or “As we have seen through this investigation” help in bridging the gap between analysis and conclusion.
  • Linking Back to the Thesis . Reconnect with your thesis statement. This can be achieved by demonstrating how the evidence and arguments support your initial hypothesis or research question .
  • Foreshadowing the Conclusion . Use foreshadowing phrases to hint at what’s to come. For example, “This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that…” or “In light of these points, we are drawn to a compelling final observation.”
  • Transition Words and Phrases . Employ transition words and phrases like “therefore,” “thus,” “consequently,” and “as a result” to guide the reader smoothly from the body to the conclusion.

Incorporating these techniques ensures that your transition isn’t abrupt but a smooth passage, leading the reader to your final insights. This section serves as a bridge and starts to wrap up your narrative.

Personalizing Your Extended Essay Conclusion

I’ve seen firsthand how adding a personal touch can transform a standard conclusion into something memorable and impactful. It’s your opportunity to summarize research findings and reflect on the path and its significance to you as an individual.

To effectively personalize your conclusion, consider these approaches:

  • Personal Growth . Reflect on how the research process contributed to your personal growth. Did it challenge your preconceptions? Did it enhance your problem-solving or critical-thinking skills?
  • Connection to Future Goals . Discuss how the findings or the EE writing process have influenced your future academic or career aspirations. Has this essay helped clarify your interests or opened up new areas of curiosity?
  • Challenges Overcome . Be bold in mentioning the challenges you faced during your research and how you overcame them. It can be inspiring and relatable for readers, showcasing your resilience and dedication.
  • Eureka Moments . Share any “eureka” moments you experienced during your research. These insights can often be the most exciting part of your project and add a lively, engaging element to your conclusion.
  • Personal Relevance . If your topic has personal significance, explain why you chose it and what it means to you. It can create a more profound connection with your reader.

Including these elements in your conclusion does more than just fulfill the requirements of the Extended Essay. It brings your paper to life, giving it a unique voice that resonates with the reader. It shows that there’s a passionate student behind the academic rigor and the structured analysis.

EE Conclusion Tips: Practical Advice for Students

As an experienced IB writer, I understand that the conclusion is where you tie everything together and leave a lasting impression. Here are some practical EE conclusion tips that I’ve found invaluable.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Need help with your IB extended essay?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you write an exceptional extended essay that meets the word count and stringent IB criteria and reflects your passion for the selected IB group .

1. Be Concise but Comprehensive

Your conclusion should be brief, avoiding unnecessary details. However, it should also encapsulate the essence of your arguments and findings. Aim to strike a balance between brevity and substance.

2. Stay True to Your Voice

Throughout your essay, you’ve developed a unique voice. Keep this in the conclusion. Your personal touch is what makes your essay stand out. Reflect on your personality and perspectives as they relate to the topic.

3. Make Your Final Argument Count

Think of your conclusion as your last chance to convince your reader. Reinforce your thesis and the strongest points of your argument. It is your moment to underscore the importance of your research and findings.

4. Synthesize, Don’t Summarize

Avoid simply summarizing the main points of your essay. Instead, synthesize the information to show how your arguments come together to support your thesis. Also, leave your reader with something to ponder. It could be a provocative question, a quote, or a call to action related to your topic.

The Bottom Line

As we conclude, remember that your EE conclusion is your final chance to impress and express. Reflect on your path, affirm your findings, and leave your reader thinking, “This student has done something remarkable.”

Writing an effective extended essay conclusion is about striking the right balance between summarizing your work, adding personal insights, and highlighting the significance of your research. I hope these tips and insights from my experience help you write a conclusion that meets and exceeds expectations. Good luck, and remember that Extended Essay Writers are always ready to help! 😉

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Luke MacQuoid has extensive experience teaching English as a foreign language in Japan, having worked with students of all ages for over 12 years. Currently, he is teaching at the tertiary level. Luke holds a BA from the University of Sussex and an MA in TESOL from Lancaster University, both located in England. As well to his work as an IB Examiner and Master Tutor, Luke also enjoys sharing his experiences and insights with others through writing articles for various websites, including blog

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How to Write an Extended Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alisha Rayes

Writing an extended essay can be daunting, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience with the right approach. To write a successful extended essay, you will need to choose a topic you are passionate about, research it, and plan your essay carefully. With a little hard work and dedication, you can write an excellent extended essay that will impress your teachers and earn you an excellent grade. So, where do you begin? Let’s discover!

Table of Contents

What is the ib extended essay (ee).

The IB Extended Essay (EE) is a 4,000-word research paper required for all IB Diploma candidates. The EE is an opportunity for students to engage in independent research on a topic of their choice. The research process involves formulating a research question, conducting a literature review, designing and conducting experiments (if applicable), and writing a research paper.

The Extended Essay is a flexible component of the IB Diploma that can be written either as an individual or group project.

Students have up to six months (or longer for Science students) to complete their EE. They are expected to spend at least 20 hours per week on their essay during this period. Although some students may choose to spend more time on it, others only have a little time left to search for an extended essay writer online to write their papers.

The IB EE is similar in format and style to an undergraduate research paper but with some differences that reflect the nature of the IB program. For example, the IB EE must contain an introduction, a body comprising several paragraphs or sections, and a conclusion.


What Are the Requirements?

The IB Extended Essay assignment has some requirements that must be met to complete the assignment successfully. The requirements are:

  • A minimum of 4000 words is required for this assignment.
  • Your IB supervisor must approve a research question to ensure it is feasible and aligns with the IB curriculum.
  • An in-depth exploration of your chosen topic could involve looking at the history of the topic, examining different interpretations, and considering how it has been addressed in different contexts.
  • The incorporation of at least 12 sources is required for this assignment, including at least 6 academic sources. All sources must be properly cited in APA format.
  • An extended essay should include a detailed bibliography with at least 3 peer-reviewed sources. The bibliography should be formatted according to the style guide of the essay’s discipline.
  • The essay must include a research question that the student will answer throughout their essay. The question must be specific and clearly defined, and the student must provide evidence to support their answer.

Submitting your first draft to the supervisor you have chosen is recommended. This will help ensure that you are on the right track and that your supervisor can provide useful feedback.

How to Choose Your Advisor?

When choosing an advisor for your extended essay, it is essential to choose someone knowledgeable about the topic you are interested in and who can provide helpful feedback. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right advisor for your project:

Your advisor should be an expert in the topic you are writing about and who can help you achieve your academic goals. Make sure you talk to them about your plans and ask for their advice.

Look for someone approachable and helpful. They should be willing to provide feedback and suggestions and be willing to answer any questions you have.

Look for someone who has experience with extended essays. An advisor with experience with extended essays will help you navigate the process and understand the expectations of the essay format. In addition, they will provide feedback and guidance on the best way to approach your project.

Consider their availability and availability schedule. Make sure your advisor is available during the times that are best for you, and check their availability schedule to see if they are available for Skype or in-person meetings.

What Are Extended Essay Categories?

The Extended Essay (EE) is a research paper of up to 4,000 words on a topic of the student’s choice within one of the six prescribed EE thematic categories. The EE is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their research and writing skills and their ability to think critically about a topic.

The main categories are studies in mathematics, language and literature, sciences, language acquisition, individuals and societies, and the arts.

Suggested reading – 4 Advice on How to Study Sociology .

How to Write an Extended Essay?

Extended essays can be tricky to write, but with the right approach, they can be both informative and engaging. To write a successful extended essay, you must choose a topic you are passionate about, thoroughly conduct research, and develop a strong argument. 

Additionally, your extended essay should be well-written and well-organized to engage your reader and communicate your ideas effectively . Let’s look closer at the main steps of writing an extended essay.

Choose a Topic

The first step to writing any successful extended essay is finding the right topic. You’ll want to pick a subject that intrigues you because you will spend a lot of time researching and writing this paper. Once you’ve found your topic, make sure it can be covered in 4,000 words.

If you try to cover too much information in your extended essay, it will end up feeling very thin – like an introduction with no substance. This can make the reader feel like they’ve wasted their time reading your paper, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Research Information

Once you’ve chosen your topic, get researching! You’ll want to gather as much information as possible about the subject at hand. Make sure that the sources of information you’re using are reliable and unbiased; if not, this could skew the tone of your extended essay in a way that makes it appear biased or unfair towards certain groups or people.

Develop a Research Question

This step aims to help you narrow down the amount of information that will be included in your extended essay. If you’re writing an argumentative paper, for example, then your research question should be something like “Should students be required to wear school uniforms?” After you’ve come up with a research question, ensure that everything else you include in your extended essay supports this idea.

Develop Structure and an Outline of EE

The structure of your paper should include a brief introduction and conclusion as well as three main sections: body paragraphs (usually about 1-3 per topic), subheadings, and tables or figures. Your introduction should set up the reader for what they will be reading in the rest of your extended essay; don’t just repeat information from your introduction in the body paragraphs.

Write the First Draft

After you’ve created your outline, write the first draft of your extended essay. This should be a rough draft that doesn’t adhere to any particular structure or format; just get down all your ideas on paper at this point. After you have finished writing your first draft, go over it carefully and make edits as necessary. Then, submit your revised draft to your mentor for review and suggestions.

Write the Final Draft of Your EE

When you’ve received feedback from your mentor and made any necessary changes, it’s time to write the final draft of your extended essay. You want to ensure that this is a finished product that’s free from any spelling or grammatical errors. If it doesn’t look professional, it won’t get graded!

Proofread the Work

After you’ve finished writing your extended essay , proofread and check for any errors before submitting it to the professor. It’s also a good idea to have someone else read over your work in case they find mistakes you missed; this can help prevent any problems with grading down the line.

Now You Know How to Write a Good IB EE

In summary, if you’re like most students, you’ve probably been assigned an extended essay as part of your coursework. Whether you’re writing about a topic of your choice or responding to a question, writing an extended essay can be challenging.

The first step is to gather your research. Writing an extended essay is about providing your readers with insights they didn’t already have, so it’s essential to do your research thoroughly. Go beyond reading the assigned article or watching the video; take the time to read other related sources, gather data, and interview experts. This will not only give you a more comprehensive understanding of the topic, but it will also make you more credible as an essay writer.

Once you understand the topic well, it’s time to develop a thesis statement. This statement will be the backbone of your argument and help guide your writing. Make sure that your thesis is well-supported by your research and that it is logically consistent with the rest of your essay.

Next, it’s important to develop your argument. This section of your essay should provide readers with insights they didn’t already have and should be based on your research and thesis statement. Be sure to articulate your points clearly and use concrete examples to illustrate your points. 

Finally, it’s important to structure your essay logically. By following these tips, you can develop an effective extended essay that will amaze your professors and earn high marks.

Use the guide wisely and get the best possible grade for your IB extended essay. Good luck, my friend 😉


1. How to write ee?

Writing an extended essay involves selecting a topic, conducting research, creating a thesis statement, outlining the essay, writing the body paragraphs, and concluding with a reflection. It’s crucial to gather credible sources, organize your ideas logically, and adhere to the required formatting style. Additionally, revising and proofreading are essential to ensure clarity and coherence in your writing.

2. How to start an extended essay?

Starting an extended essay involves selecting a topic that interests you deeply, conducting thorough research to gather relevant information, and formulating a clear and focused research question. Once you have your topic and question, create an outline to organize your ideas and structure your essay effectively. Finally, make sure to consult with your supervisor or teacher throughout the process to receive guidance and feedback.

3. How to write a good extended essay?

Writing a strong extended essay involves selecting a topic of personal interest, conducting thorough research, and organizing ideas effectively. It’s crucial to develop a clear thesis statement and structure your essay with a logical flow. Make sure to support your arguments with evidence and critically analyze your sources. Lastly, revise and edit your essay carefully to ensure clarity, coherence, and proper formatting.

4. How to start an ee?

Beginning an extended essay involves selecting a topic that interests you deeply and aligns with your academic pursuits and passions. This topic should be sufficiently narrow to allow for in-depth exploration while also being broad enough to provide scope for research and analysis.

5. What is the first procedure used when writing an extended essay?

When starting an extended essay, the initial step involves selecting a topic that genuinely interests you and aligns with your academic pursuits and personal passions.

6. What is an extended essay in ib?

An extended essay in IB is a research project that students undertake to explore a specific topic within one of the subjects they’re studying. It’s an opportunity for them to delve deeply into a subject they’re passionate about, demonstrating their analytical and critical thinking skills while producing a substantial piece of academic writing.

7. What is the product of the seventh procedure of writing an extended essay?

The product of the seventh procedure of writing an extended essay involves drafting the body paragraphs with relevant evidence and analysis to support your thesis statement.

8. What are the skills needed in the fourth procedure of writing an extended essay?

In the fourth step of writing an extended essay, you’ll need to employ critical thinking skills, analyze your research findings, and demonstrate a clear understanding of your chosen topic. Additionally, effective communication skills are crucial for conveying your arguments and ideas concisely and persuasively.

9. How to structure an ee?

Structuring an extended essay involves organizing your ideas into clear sections, such as introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, ensuring coherence and logical progression throughout the essay. Each section serves a specific purpose, from introducing the topic to presenting arguments and evidence, culminating in a concise summary of your findings. This structured approach helps readers follow your reasoning and enhances the overall effectiveness of your essay.

10. How to write an extended essay conclusion?

Crafting an extended essay conclusion involves summarizing key points. Restate your thesis and main arguments. Reflect on the significance of your findings. Avoid introducing new ideas. Aim for clarity and closure.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay


Extended Essay: Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay

  • Extended Essay- The Basics
  • Step 1. Choose a Subject
  • Step 2. Educate yourself!
  • Using Brainstorming and Mind Maps
  • Identify Keywords
  • Do Background Reading
  • Define Your Topic
  • Conduct Research in a Specific Discipline
  • Step 5. Draft a Research Question
  • Step 6. Create a Timeline
  • Find Articles
  • Find Primary Sources
  • Get Help from Experts
  • Search Engines, Repositories, & Directories
  • Databases and Websites by Subject Area
  • Create an Annotated Bibliography
  • Advice (and Warnings) from the IB
  • Chicago Citation Syle
  • MLA Works Cited & In-Text Citations
  • Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay
  • Evaluate & Select: the CRAAP Test
  • Conducting Secondary Research
  • Conducting Primary Research
  • Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Presentation Requirements
  • Evaluating Your Work

How to Write an Outline

One way to plan a structure for your essay is by writing an outline.  An outline breaks down the parts of your thesis in a clear, hierarchical manner. Most students find that writing an outline before beginning the paper is most helpful in organizing one's thoughts. If your outline is good, your paper should be easy to write. Use this worksheet from the Learning & Advising Center at  Philadelphia University to help with writing your own outline.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

The basic format for an outline uses an alternating series of numbers and letters, indented accordingly, to indicate levels of importance. Here is an example of an outline on a paper about the development of Japanese theater from the Universtiy at Albany, State University of New York:

"How to Write an Outline." U at Albany, State U of New York. U at Albany, State U of New York, 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2012 <>. 

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Twelve-step Plan for Researching the Extended Essay - Step 10

10.  Plan a structure for the essay.  This may change as the research develops but it is useful to have a sense of direction from the start.

how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

  • << Previous: Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Next: Step 11. Read, Read, Read! >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 2, 2024 1:39 PM
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Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

Tips for writing an effective college essay.

College admissions essays are an important part of your college application and gives you the chance to show colleges and universities your character and experiences. This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay.

Want free help with your college essay?

UPchieve connects you with knowledgeable and friendly college advisors—online, 24/7, and completely free. Get 1:1 help brainstorming topics, outlining your essay, revising a draft, or editing grammar.


Writing a strong college admissions essay

Learn about the elements of a solid admissions essay.

Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes

Learn some of the most common mistakes made on college essays

Brainstorming tips for your college essay

Stuck on what to write your college essay about? Here are some exercises to help you get started.

How formal should the tone of your college essay be?

Learn how formal your college essay should be and get tips on how to bring out your natural voice.

Taking your college essay to the next level

Hear an admissions expert discuss the appropriate level of depth necessary in your college essay.

Student Stories


Student Story: Admissions essay about a formative experience

Get the perspective of a current college student on how he approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about personal identity

Get the perspective of a current college student on how she approached the admissions essay.

Student Story: Admissions essay about community impact

Student story: admissions essay about a past mistake, how to write a college application essay, tips for writing an effective application essay, sample college essay 1 with feedback, sample college essay 2 with feedback.

This content is licensed by Khan Academy and is available for free at

The Play “Poof!” by Lynn Nottage Essay

Poof! is a play written by Lynn Nottage that tells a fictionary story of a person’s sudden combustion in certain circumstances. Particularly, a husband and a wife had an argument that almost turned into violence, causing the husband to combust before he could do any harm. The central theme explored in this situation is domestic abuse (Perkins et al. 296). The theme is explained and illustrated in the context of guilt, female friendship, patriarchy, and the failure of police and justice systems.

Loureen is a victim of abuse, and the question of how to respond and react to it is posed within the play. At the very beginning, a note states: “Nearly half the women on death row in the United States were convicted of killing abusive husbands. Spontaneous combustion is not recognized as a capital crime” (Nottage 91). This note prematurely raises a philosophical concern – how can society convict women who were harmed in the first place? The play then suggests that Loureen has committed no crime, and anyone who defends themselves from the abuse has not committed it either.

The fact that Loureen turned her husband, Samuel, to ash with her voice shows that silencing is one of the abusers’ greatest tools for keeping power. As a partial reason for keeping silent, the play explores guilt as an entrapping and nonproductive emotion. Before Loureen realizes Samuel is gone, she experiences guilt – for instance, she apologizes for not picking up his shirt (Nottage 94). Moreover, she feels guilty and afraid of Samuel’s mother (Nottage 98). Such thoughts perpetuate Samuel’s power over Loureen, which is evident even after his death. In this context, the issue of suffering in silence defines Loureen’s friend Florence as well. The play emphasizes the importance of these female friendships, as the women quite literally kept each other alive. This deep trust is demonstrated from the beginning when Loureen calls her friend to come after Samuel’s death. Furthermore, it is shown that Florence spent many nights with Loureen when Samuel was violent, and they had been preparing a getaway plan together.

The play showcases a traditional patriarchal structure in the family, where the men hold all the power while the women are placed in subordinate positions. We can see this in the way that Loureen and Florence cook dinner for their husbands or iron their clothes – it is not an act of care but an obligation. Despite these examples seeming harmless, they originate from the same place that allows and encourages their husbands’ violence and neglect. By living within such a structure, Loureen and Florence have learned to be silent while mistreated. Moreover, Nottage also shows that society many times rejected their pleas for help, commenting on calling the police: “Why? What are you gonna tell them? About all those times they refused to help… ?’” (102). Unsurprisingly, the only way for Loureen to be free is for the whole system to explode. Unfortunately, Florence still remains stuck within it, believing her duty is not to herself but to her family.

Nottage illustrates how domestic abuse can ruin people’s lives and families. She highlights that victims often remain silent due to the sense of guilt and seeming helplessness due to the absence of systematic support from society. The only relief they can find rests in people who share the same problem, but it is only enough to prolong the suffering, not to break the cycle. Hopefully, with sufficient attention to the topic, sudden combustion would stop being the sole solution to the issue of domestic abuse.

Works Cited

Nottage, Lynn. Crumbs from the Table of Joy and Other Plays . Theatre Communications Group, 2004.

Perkins, Kathy A. et al., editors. The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance . Routledge, 2019.

  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, April 4). The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage.

"The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage." IvyPanda , 4 Apr. 2024,

IvyPanda . (2024) 'The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage'. 4 April.

IvyPanda . 2024. "The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage." April 4, 2024.

1. IvyPanda . "The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage." April 4, 2024.


IvyPanda . "The Play "Poof!" by Lynn Nottage." April 4, 2024.

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how to write a conclusion for an extended essay

Teachers are using AI to grade essays. But some experts are raising ethical concerns

W hen Diane Gayeski, a professor of strategic communications at Ithaca College, receives an essay from one of her students, she runs part of it through ChatGPT, asking the AI tool to critique and suggest how to improve the work.

“The best way to look at AI for grading is as a teaching assistant or research assistant who might do a first pass … and it does a pretty good job at that,” she told CNN.

She shows her students the feedback from ChatGPT and how the tool rewrote their essay. “I’ll share what I think about their intro, too, and we’ll talk about it,” she said.

Gayeski requires her class of 15 students to do the same: run their draft through ChatGPT to see where they can make improvements.

The emergence of AI is reshaping education, presenting real benefits, such as automating some tasks to free up time for more personalized instruction, but also some big hazards, from issues around accuracy and plagiarism to maintaining integrity.

Both teachers and students are using the new technology. A report by strategy consultant firm Tyton Partners, sponsored by plagiarism detection platform Turnitin, found half of college students used AI tools in Fall 2023. Meanwhile, while fewer faculty members used AI, the percentage grew to 22% of faculty members in the fall of 2023, up from 9% in spring 2023.

Teachers are turning to AI tools and platforms — such as ChatGPT, Writable, Grammarly and EssayGrader — to assist with grading papers, writing feedback, developing lesson plans and creating assignments. They’re also using the burgeoning tools to create quizzes, polls, videos and interactives to up the ante” for what’s expected in the classroom.

Students, on the other hand, are leaning on tools such as ChatGPT and Microsoft CoPilot — which is built into Word, PowerPoint and other products.

But while some schools have formed policies on how students can or can’t use AI for schoolwork, many do not have guidelines for teachers. The practice of using AI for writing feedback or grading assignments also raises ethical considerations. And parents and students who are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on tuition may wonder if an endless feedback loop of AI-generated and AI-graded content in college is worth the time and money.

“If teachers use it solely to grade, and the students are using it solely to produce a final product, it’s not going to work,” said Gayeski.

The time and place for AI

How teachers use AI depends on many factors, particularly when it comes to grading, according to Dorothy Leidner, a professor of business ethics at the University of Virginia. If the material being tested in a large class is largely declarative knowledge — so there is a clear right and wrong — then a teacher grading using the AI “might be even superior to human grading,” she told CNN.

AI would allow teachers to grade papers faster and more consistently and avoid fatigue or boredoms, she said.

But Leidner noted when it comes to smaller classes or assignments with less definitive answers, grading should remain personalized so teachers can provide more specific feedback and get to know a student’s work, and, therefore, progress over time.

“A teacher should be responsible for grading but can give some responsibility to the AI,” she said.

She suggested teachers use AI to look at certain metrics — such as structure, language use and grammar — and give a numerical score on those figures. But teachers should then grade students’ work themselves when looking for novelty, creativity and depth of insight.

Leslie Layne, who has been teaching ChatGPT best practices in her writing workshop at the University of Lynchburg in Virginia, said she sees the advantages for teachers but also sees drawbacks.

“Using feedback that is not truly from me seems like it is shortchanging that relationship a little,” she said.

She also sees uploading a student’s work to ChatGPT as a “huge ethical consideration” and potentially a breach of their intellectual property. AI tools like ChatGPT use such entries to train their algorithms on everything from patterns of speech to how to make sentences to facts and figures.

Ethics professor Leidner agreed, saying this should particularly be avoided for doctoral dissertations and master’s theses because the student might hope to publish the work.

“It would not be right to upload the material into the AI without making the students aware of this in advance,” she said. “And maybe students should need to provide consent.”

Some teachers are leaning on software called Writable that uses ChatGPT to help grade papers but is “tokenized,” so essays do not include any personal information, and it’s not shared directly with the system.

Teachers upload essays to the platform, which was recently acquired by education company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which then provides suggested feedback for students.

Other educators are using platforms such as  Turnitin  that boast plagiarism detection tools to help teachers identify when assignments are written by ChatGPT and other AI. But these types of detection tools are far from foolproof; OpenAI shut down its own AI-detection tool last year due to what the company called a “low rate of accuracy.”

Setting standards

Some schools are actively working on policies for both teachers and students. Alan Reid, a research associate in the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University, said he recently spent time working with K-12 educators who use GPT tools to create end-of-quarter personalized comments on report cards.

But like Layne, he acknowledged the technology’s ability to write insightful feedback remains “limited.”

He currently sits on a committee at his college that’s authoring an AI policy for faculty and staff; discussions are ongoing, not just for how teachers use AI in the classroom but how it’s used by educators in general.

He acknowledges schools are having conversations about using generative AI tools to create things like promotion and tenure files, performance reviews, and job postings.”

Nicolas Frank, an associate professor of philosophy at University of Lynchburg, said universities and professors need to be on the same page when it comes to policies but need to stay cautious .

“There is a lot of danger in making policies about AI at this stage,” he said.

He worries it’s still too early to understand how AI will be integrated into everyday life. He is also concerned that some administrators who don’t teach in classrooms may craft policy that misses nuances of instruction.

“That may create a danger of oversimplifying the problems with AI use in grading and instruction,” he said. “Oversimplification is how bad policy is made.”

To start, he said educators can identify clear abuses of AI and begin policy-making around those.

Leidner, meanwhile, said universities can be very high level with their guidance, such as making transparency a priority — so students have a right to know when AI is being used to grade their work — and identifying what types of information should never be uploaded into an AI or asked of an AI.

But she said universities must also be open to “regularly reevaluating as the technology and uses evolve.”

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Leslie Layne teaches her students how to best use ChatGPT but takes issue with how some educators are using it to grade papers. - Courtesy Leslie Layne


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