Formal presentation of the extended essay
The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. The use of word processors is encouraged.
The length of the extended essay
The upper limit is 4.000 words for all extended essays. Essays containing more that 4.000words are subject to penalties and examiners are not required to read material in excess of the word limit.
- the introduction
- the body
- the conclusion
- any quotations
This 4000 word limit does not include:
- the abstract
- the contents page
- maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations and tables
- equations, formulas and calculations
- parenthetical citations/references
- footnotes or endnotes
- the bibliography
Title - The title should provide a clear indication of the focus of the essay. It should be precise and not necessarily phrased in the form of a question.
An abstract not exceeding 300 words must be included with the essay submitted. It is not an introduction, but presents an overview of the extended essay, and should, therefore, be written last. The inclusion of an Abstract is intended to encourage students to examine closely the development of an argument within the extended essay and the pertinence of any conclusions that are reached. It is also designed to allow readers to understand quickly the content of the extended essay.
The minimum requirements for the abstract are for it to state clearly.
- The research question being investigated
- The scope of the investigation
- The conclusion(s) of the extended essay
The abstract should be typed or word processed on one side of a sheet of paper, and placed immediately after the title page.
Contents Page - A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. An index is not required.
Introduction – This opens the main body of your essay. It must contain your thesis statement. The introduction can be included as a separate section of as the first part of your essay.
Body (development/methods/results) – This must be logically structured and can contain sections if appropriate.
Conclusion – Your conclusion must be clearly linked to your research question/thesis statement and should point out the important aspects that you have discovered through your research. If appropriate, you can indicate new questions or issues that have emerged through your work or questions that have remained unresolved. The conclusion should be clearly stated and substantiate by the evidence presented.
Presentations and overall neatness are important, and it is essential that illustrative material, if included, is well set out and used effectively. Graphs, diagrams, tables and maps are effective only if they are clearly labeled and can be interpreted with ease. All such material that is incorporated into the extended essay must be directly related to the text and acknowledged where appropriate. The use of photographs and other image is acceptable if they are captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate specific point made in the extended essay.
Bibliographic references and citations
An extended essay must be reflect intellectual honesty in research practices and provided the reader with the exact sources of quotations, ideas and points of view through accurate bibliographies and referencing. Producing accurate citations, referencing and a bibliography is a skill that students should be seeking to perfect. Documenting the research in this way is vital: it allows readers to evaluate the evidence for themselves, and it shows student’s understanding of the importance of the source used.
Failure to comply with this requirement will be viewed as plagiarism and will, be treated as a case of malpractice.
also see Citing Resources Section for more information about references and citations.
CBE teaches the APA style and it is recommended that you use this style as there are many helps available on the school’s Extended Essay website and in the Media Centre.
What is a bibliography? (called References in APA style)
A bibliography is an alphabetical list of every source used to research and write essay. Sources that are not cited in the body of the essay, but were important in informing the approach taken, should be cited in the introduction or an acknowledgment. The bibliography should list only those sources cited. There are a number of different documentation styles available for use when writing research paper; most are appropriate is some academic disciplines but not others. (The CBE teaches APA style and this would be the best to use because of this.) The supervisor should help student decide on a style for the particular subject of the essay. It is important to remember that, whatever style is chosen, it must be applied consistently. When choosing the documentation style, the student needs to have a clear understanding of how it is to be used before embarking on the research task. The documentation style should be applied in both the final draft of the essay and in the initial research stages of taking notes. This is good practice, not only for producing a high quality final product, but also for reducing the opportunities and temptation to plagiarize.
What is a Reference?
A reference is a way of indicating to the reader, in an orderly form, where information has been obtained. A reference provides all the information needed to final the source material. References must be cited because they acknowledge the source used an enable the reader to consult the work and verify the data that has been presented.
References must be given whenever someone else’s work is quoted or summarized. References can come from many different sources, including books, magazines, journals, newspaper, emails, internet sites and interviews.
Internet references should include the title of the extract used as well as the web site address, the date it was accessed and if possible, the author. Caution should be exercised with information on web sites that do not give references or that cannot be cross-checked against other source. The more important a particular point is to the essay, the more the quality of its source needs to be evaluated.
Any references to interviews should state the name of the interviewer, the name of the interviewee, the date and the place of the interview.
What is a citation?
A citation is a shorthand method of making a reference in the body of an essay, which is then linked to the full reference at the end of the essay. A citation provides the reader with accurate references so that he or she can locate the source easily. How sources are cited varies with the particular documentation style that has been chosen. Page numbers should normally be given when referencing printed material: in some styles this will be in the citation, in others in the full reference. Once again, it is important to emphasize that there must be consistency of method when citing sources.
Appendices, footnotes and endnotes
Appendices, footnotes and endnotes are not essential section of the extended essay and examiners are not required to read them, so care should be taken to include all information of direct relevance to the analysis and argument in the main body of the essay. An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in notes or appendices, risks losing marks under several criteria.
Unless considered essential, complete list of raw data should not be included in the extended essay.
Students should not constantly refer to a material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay. For example, charts and graphs should be included in the body of the essay.
The use of other media and materials
Apart from graphic material, materials in other media may be submitted only as supporting appendices and should not detract from the written content of the extended essay.
The use of computers is encouraged where they are appropriate as tools for any analyzing data relevant to the subject of the extended essay. Material such as hard copy of computer output may be included the extended essay, but any associated program should be referred to our reproduce, if original, only as an appendix.
Computer programs may only be included (in particular circumstances) in computer science and physics essay. (See the “computer science” and “physics” section for further details).
CDs, DVD’s and audio- visual materials
The model for the extended essay is a paper in an academic journal. Hence, materials such as these should not normally be included. They are liable to be lost or damaged and the examiner will probably not have time to look at them.
Specimen materials used in, or produced by, investigations do not form part of the extended essay and must not be submitted. Photographic evidence may be submitted in place of such material.
From:International Baccalaureate Organization. (2007). formal presentation of the extended essayt. In IBO Extended essay guide, First examinations 2009, (pp. 15-18). New York: International Baccalaureate Organization.
Abstracts have been addressed on the APA Style blog before (twice, in fact, and very well both times—do give them a read or reread!). The following is a humble contribution to the literature on APA Style abstracts that discusses a particular type: the structured abstract.
The structured abstract is a way of writing and formatting abstracts that is very, well, structured. Often used with empirical articles (i.e., those detailing experiments), structured abstracts include headings that run into the text and identify the different elements of the article that are described in the abstract. According to the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health,
These formats were developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s to assist health professionals in selecting clinically relevant and methodologically valid journal articles. They also guide authors in summarizing the content of their manuscripts precisely, facilitate the peer-review process for manuscripts submitted for publication, and enhance computerized literature searching. (para. 1)
The headings do count toward your word limit, which is typically somewhere in the range of 150 to 250 words (for APA journals; other publications, databases, or projects may have different limits). However, headings add around four to six words to the total, depending on which headings you use, so the strain should not be great.
Set in bold and italic type, each heading is followed by a colon and the first sentence of that subsection. The headings and their subsequent text immediately follow each other; that is, your abstract is going to be a single paragraph, so please do not hit Enter after each heading’s text. The usual headings for APA journals requiring them (with some variations; see the Instructions to Authors for each journal) are Objective, Method, Results, and Conclusion(s). The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal author instructions provide an excellent example of abstract instructions with heading options to better fit different types of articles.
When should you use structured abstracts? When someone asks you to or if the headings help you write your abstract. You can always remove the headings on request and still be left with a strong, comprehensive abstract.
Objective: In this study, we investigated the psychological effects of radical gamma-radiation-caused mutation and transformation to determine whether the transformation affects personality and mood as well as physicality. Method:The single participant filled out the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2 and other self-report measures assessing his state of mind, stress (Acute Stress Disorder Scale), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory). The participant was then asked to mediate an argument between 2 confederates, who had been told to not yield on any point of their entirely unreasonable positions. Once the participant had experienced a massive cellular shift triggered by adrenalin (“hulked out”), he (eventually) filled out the various self-report measures again. Results:The participant’s results showed significant differences in both personality and mood. Among other results, the participant maxed out his pretransformation Hypochondriasis scale score, whereas the score bottomed out posttransformation. Scores pre- and posttransformation were similar on the Paranoia scale, whereas Hypomania and Schizophrenia scale scores were low pretransformation and high posttransformation. Stress and depression scores were high at both testing occasions, but we observed that the madder he got, the stronger his scores became. Conclusions: Gamma radiation changes people exposed to it psychologically as well as physically; it also affects mood. More research is needed to replicate these results; participant recruitment is underway.
Photo: Viktors Ignatenko/Hemera/Thinkstock.