The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look.
To help achieve this, the following formatting is suggested.
The title page should include the:
DO NOT include any personal information like your name, the name of the school, or your candidate number. The IB wants each EE to be anonymous and assessed without bias.
Illustrations appear directly embedded in the document. Each illustration must include a label, a number, a caption and/or source information.
Some readers found Harry’s final battle with Voldemort a disappointment, and recently, the podcast, MuggleCast debated the subject (see fig. 2).
Figure caption (below an embedded podcast file for a document to be viewed electronically):
Fig. 2. Harry Potter and Voldemort final battle debate from Andrew Sims et al.; “Show 166”; MuggleCast; MuggleNet.com, 19 Dec. 2008, www.mugglenet.com/2015/11/the-snape-debate-rowling-speaks-out.
Appendices are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within them, in the assessment of the essay. Students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it. Appendices should therefore be avoided except in the following instances:
Students should not continually refer to material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay and examiners are not required to refer to them.
The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.
Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria.
Please refer to the following guidance on what content should be included in the word count.
|Included in the word count||Not included in the word count|
|The introduction||The contents page|
|The main body||Maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations|
|Quotations||Equations, formulas and calculations|
|Footnotes and/or endnotes that are not references||Citations/references (whether parenthetical, numbered, footnotes or endnotes)|
|The Reflections on planning and progress form|
Please refer to the document entitled Assessment principles and practices—Quality assessments in a digital age for further clarification of word count requirements.
A note for students writing in Chinese, Korean and Japanese:
Students writing their extended essay in Japanese, Korean or Chinese should use the following conversions.
When typing in Chinese, Korean or Japanese word processing software is likely to include the number of characters and punctuation in the word count. Students are asked to not include punctuation in the word count for assessed work. The word count should only take into account the number of characters typed.
A note about acknowledgments and dedications:
An acknowledgment/dedications page may be included in the EE if this is important to the student, but it must contain no “identifiers”, for example, people should not be detailed in any way that makes the student’s school identifiable. An acknowledgment/dedications page is not a formal requirement of the EE, so it does not contribute to either the word count or assessment.
Students may wish to use the header function for their research question, so that it appears on each page. This may help retain focus.
Footnotes and endnotes may be used for referencing purposes and if this is the case will not be included in the word count of the essay. If information is contained in a footnote or endnote and is not a reference, this must be included in the word count. In order to avoid confusion and unwittingly exceed the word limit, students are advised to avoid using footnotes or endnotes other than for referencing purposes unless it is appropriate.
One appropriate use of footnotes is for the placement of the original quotation (where the original quotation is in a language other than the language of registration). This use of footnotes would not need to be included in the word count.
As footnotes and endnotes are not an essential part of the extended essay students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it.
An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in footnotes or endnotes will be compromised across the assessment criteria. Please note that footnotes and endnotes are added to the word count as they are encountered.