Guide on How to Write an Extended Essay + Examples and Topics

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Guide on How to Write an Extended Essay + Examples and Topics
Table of Contents
  1. Guide on How to Write an Extended Essay + Examples and Topics
  2. What is an Extended Essay?
  3. IB Extended Essay Guidelines
  4. Good Extended Essay Topics: How to Choose
  5. IB Extended Essay Topics
  6. History Extended Essay Topics
  7. Biology Extended Essay Topics
  8. Psychology Extended Essay Topics
  9. English Extended Essay Topics
  10. Physics Extended Essay Topics
  11. Geography Extended Essay Topics
  12. Visual Arts Extended Essay Topics
  13. Computer Science Extended Essay Topics
  14. Final Thoughts

Expect nothing less than a tasty collection of IB extended essay topics and research paper topics as you read this article.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a globally recognized educational program established to offer studying opportunities to high-school students. Most applicants mostly choose the IB Diploma Program. One of its mandatory requirements is to compose an extended essay that adds to the final score. In this article, we provide valuable insights on choosing ideas wrapped up by the ultimate list of decent extended essay topics.

What is an Extended Essay?

Before we move on to the essay topics, let's discuss extended essay definition. In a nutshell, an extended essay is a mandatory academic assignment representing an independent piece of research. It ends with a 4,000-word essay. Such extensive research is an integral part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DB). Thus, a student needs to complete detailed research on the narrow topic to obtain a Bachelor's degree.
An extended essay is more than a lengthy university essay — it requires you to analyze, assess, and integrate gained knowledge. In-depth research for IB Diploma helps to master a set of skills:

  • Developing a research question
  • Investigating a narrow topic
  • Conveying core ideas
  • Building a compelling argument 

The section below gives tips for extended essay structure. Take into account the guidelines to come up with the best idea for your project.  

IB Extended Essay Guidelines 

An extended essay will only be successful if it meets all the necessary structure and formatting standards. Make sure that your IB Diploma essay includes the following components:

  • Title page: You need to know to how to title an essay: presents a project's full title, central research problem, word count and course your essay is registered in. For example, if it's an English language extended essay, tell which category it belongs to. In case it's a world studies essay, name the theme and the 2 subjects used.
  • Table of contents: Introduces a list of all headings and subheadings used in your IB extended essay. Remember to include the page numbers accordingly.
  • Introduction: Explains what a target audience can expect from your extended essay. The introductory paragraph should clearly state the primary goal of your writing, the study's scope (sources a writer plans to apply), and insight into the argument.
  • Essay body: Presents results, discussion, and assessment of key findings. Students may feel free to structure the body part in the way that best demonstrates your research. However, it's crucial to provide clear arguments and supporting examples in chronological order.
  • Conclusion: Briefly sums up the outcomes based on the study's results. It should be tied to the thesis statement and address the central question posed in the introduction. A good IB extended essay conclusion should also cover possible restrictions and further implications.
  • Reference and bibliography: Provides a list of sources used within the study. Make sure you choose the appropriate formatting style and stick to the citation requirements accordingly.

Now that you know what crucial elements to include in your extended essay, it's time to learn how to pick a topic.

Good Extended Essay Topics: How to Choose

To select a great extended essay topic for your academic project, there are several rules you need to follow. First of all, you should choose a topic that falls into one of the categories offered to complete the IB diploma program. All courses are divided into the 6 groups:

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


Secondly, prioritize those topics that you are genuinely interested in. After all, it takes several months to complete your extended essay. You don't want to end up studying a soul-crushing research question. Additionally, pick a narrow subject so that you can focus on a single issue and find a unique angle.
Thirdly, you should avoid trivial topics. Give preference to novel subjects that touch upon hot issues. Still, you should be familiar with the chosen IB extended essay topic. Unique subjects allow you to catch the reader's attention. For this reason, you should consider the interests of your audience.

IB Extended Essay Topics

Below you can find an ultimate list of topics arranged by subject for your convenience. Scroll down to find the course you need to explore the fascinating topic ideas.

History Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Influence of European colonization on Native Americans
  2. Gold Rush in California and westward expansion
  3. Nationalism: Major social issue in the 20th century
  4. Slavery abolishment in the United States
  5. US involvement in Syria
  6. Homestead Act in the US Civil War
  7. Role of the US in World War II
  8. Women's rights movement: Key achievements in the 20th century
  9. Dominance of Asian countries in the modern history
  10. Hurricane Katrina: US government response

Biology Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Active and passive transportation in cells
  2. Genetics: Insertion of human artificial chromosomes
  3. Marine biology and its significance in ecosystem
  4. Evolution of immune system in humans
  5. Natural selection: Key principles and typical stereotypes
  6. Significance of plants in environmental control and evaluation
  7. Use of modern technology in plant treatment
  8. Biological aspect of bipolar disorder
  9. Neuroscience: Advancements in Neuro-Robotics Systems
  10. Immortality in the living beings: Creatures that never die

Psychology Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Negative effect of peripheral neuropathy on brain ability
  2. Panic attacks in children and adolescents as a result of phobias
  3. Social factors that cause anxiety disorder
  4. Use of high-tech tools in memory loss recovery
  5. Psychological factors that damage mental development in children
  6. Importance of subconscious in the decision-making process
  7. Assessment of face and voice processing in identifying psychopathic traits
  8. Impact of self-centered parents on a child's mental health
  9. Child maltreatment as a cause of oppressive behaviour in the future
  10. Constant stress as a reason for insomnia disorders

English Extended Essay Topics 

  1. English vs. French: Similar words and expressions
  2. Position of the English language in the international context
  3. British English vs. American English: Major differences
  4. Derivation of neologisms in English
  5. A critical evaluation of the English language and ethnicity
  6. English language dominance among the native speakers
  7. English: written communication vs. spoken language
  8. English language acquisition in ESL learners
  9. Linguistic ambiguity in English
  10. Is English a gender-neutral language?

Physics Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Quantum tunneling in composite systems
  2. Natural cataclysms analysis in a laboratory
  3. Use of coherent control for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule
  4. Creating quantum involvement for better gravity measurement
  5. Nanowire arrays solar cell performance and photovoltaics application
  6. Use of Triangulation in Remote Acoustic Sensing
  7. Optical Sensors: Creating inertial navigation
  8. Defects in 2D materials as a consequence of energetic ion irradiation
  9. Composite nanopore membranes: Creation
  10. Signs of Supernova observed on the Earth

Geography Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Urban change in China
  2. Economic and environmental factors on the oil industry
  3. Impact of microclimate on badland processes
  4. Human activities that trigger soil erosion
  5. Migration as an agent of globalization
  6. Climate change as a threat to biodiversity
  7. Volcanic eruption effects on abiotic components
  8. Impact of coral decline on fish biodiversity in marine reserves
  9. Alternative fuel technology and its impact on the environment
  10. Carbon sequestration in forests and soils

Visual Arts Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Renaissance Art and its representatives
  2. An analysis of African impact on Henry Moore
  3. Gustav Klimt's use of gold in paintings
  4. Ways Wassily Kandinsky used colors
  5. Significance and purposes of Bauhaus genre
  6. Abstract Expressionism and its origin
  7. Impact of cultural identity on art creation
  8. Any famous painting with hidden meaning
  9. Use of dyes in visual arts
  10. Ancient Greek sculptures and their main features

Computer Science Extended Essay Topics 

  1. Effect of human liability on Internet Security
  2. In-depth analysis of Cloud-based systems
  3. Windows and Unix: Kernel variation aspect
  4. MP3 data compression algorithms
  5. Abstract data structures
  6. Development of AI and robotics
  7. Advancements in geoinformation systems
  8. Future of quantum computers
  9. Blockchain as an information storage solution
  10. DDOS attacks in the international context

Final Thoughts 

Use this guide to decide on the subject of your ib extended essay. However, knowing the topic is not enough to rank top. A student also needs to work hard on the winning extended paper. In case you need help with the writing process, entrust your ideas to our academic professionals. You will get instant assistance with any school and college subject.