Tips For a Stress-Free Extended Essay


Andres Velasco

Psychology teacher, Mr.Nelson, reviews an Extended Essay with a student.

Trey Riera-Gomez, Staff Writer

One of the most daunting and dreaded tasks that International Baccalaureate students face their junior year is completing the Extended Essay. This 3,000-4,000 word paper often seems unbearable to those caught in its clutches; however, with the right assistance and planning, it becomes a much more doable task. Below are several tips that may be helpful to those caught in the struggle.

1. Think about the topic

One big piece of advice when first starting is to reflect on the topic they will be writing on.  It is encouraged to pick a topic you are passionate about, so as to avoid the unnecessary hassle of starting over. Once you have your idea, research the question or subject in order to make sure there is enough evidence for the formulation of a paper.

2. Research, research, research

After selecting a topic you are comfortable and passionate about, your next step is to really dig deep into the subject. The best way to do so is to utilize the enormous resource banks found in different online search engines such as Questia or JSTOR. However, if this does not work for you, your next best option is to make use of the access that Gables students have to the University of Miami’s Richter Library, where you can find either a hard copy or electronic version of almost any published work.

3. Do not procrastinate

Further advice that many seniors recommend is to not procrastinate and to manage your time wisely. Whether that means creating a calendar for your plans or allotting certain time periods strictly for your EE, do whatever you must to force yourself to work on it and not leave it until the days leading up to its submission.

4. Work with your supervisor

Another key part of writing a good Extended Essay was getting feedback from peers and keeping in close contact with your supervisor. Having either friends or family members look over your paper can play a huge part in the editing and finishing process. That said, you should find several trusted people to make corrections and give suggestions on how you can improve your paper. Aside from people close to you, you should always stay in contact with your supervisor and get their feedback, advice and help. Make sure to take full advantage of your meetings with them, because often times they know a lot more about how this process works than you do and can guide you in the right direction.

“I think it is extremely important to keep in contact with your supervisor because they can often guide you through confusion when you don’t understand and also help you interpret the subject and understand things like terminology in your research that may not be initially clear,” senior Robert Kirk said.

Essentially, this Extended Essay can become a much less daunting task to complete if you are able to follow a few simple rules and pieces of advice from those who were once in your shoes. As long as you are able to do things like manage time, find help and make sure the sources you choose are credible, your essay should be a breeze.