How to Write an Extended Essay: Easy-to-Follow Guide

extended essay

What is an Extended Essay?

The extended essay, or EE for short, is like a big 4000-word essay project where you get to pick a topic you're really interested in. How your piece looks depends on what you choose to explore.

Some students go for topics like books or history, and they write their essays in a more usual academic way. They do research, analyze things, and put it all together in a structured form.

If you're into science, you can choose to do an experiment and write about what you find. This means you not only talk about ideas but also show how things work in real life.

For those who like math, you can use your essay to solve a tricky math problem. It's a chance to show your skills in thinking through and solving mathematical challenges.

The important thing is to make sure your piece follows academic rules, no matter what prompt you pick. This means organizing your thoughts in a smart way, whether you're exploring literature, history, science, or math. By doing this, you can enjoy your exploration and meet the expectations of a well-done extended essay.

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Extended Essay Format

Make sure your extended essay is written clearly, correctly, and in a formal academic style that fits the subject you're exploring. Since it's a formal research paper, aim for a professional and academic appearance.

To make this happen, follow these formatting guidelines:

  1. Use a 12-point font that's easy to read, like Calibri or Times New Roman.
  2. Keep double spacing throughout the entire piece.
  3. Place page numbers in the top right corner.
  4. Don't include your name, your school's name, or your supervisor's name on the title page or in the page headers.

By presenting your extended essay in this way, you'll establish a proper tone and make it easier for examiners to read and assess it on-screen.

Extended Essay Structure

How you organize your essay is crucial because it helps you present your argument in the best way, using the evidence you've gathered. When you submit your final work, make sure it includes these six necessary elements.

It's important to know that the order in which these elements are listed here might not be the order in which you write them. Whether you choose to buy essays or tackle them yourself, here are the six things your extended essay should have:

extended essay structure
  1. Title page: This is the page with the title of your piece and other details.
  2. Contents page: This page outlines what's in your essay and where to find it.
  3. Introduction: At the beginning of your extended essay, introduce your subject and explain what you're going to talk about.
  4. Body of the essay: The main part where you share your argument and use the evidence you've gathered.
  5. Conclusion: This is where you sum up your extended essay, restating your main points and showing why they matter.
  6. References and bibliography: This part is about giving credit. If you're using MLA style, it's called 'Works Cited,' and if it's CSE, it's 'References.' Here, you list all the sources you used in your essay.

Title Page

The title page is the first page of your extended essay. It includes essential details such as the title of your essay, your full name, the subject area in which you are exploring your prompt, the date, and other relevant information.

The title page sets the stage for your piece, providing a snapshot of what the reader can expect. Make sure to follow any specific formatting guidelines provided by your educational institution or the guidelines associated with the citation style you are using.

Contents Page

The contents page, sometimes referred to as the table of contents, is a roadmap for your extended essay. It outlines the structure of your paper and indicates where each section and subsection can be found. This page helps the reader navigate through your work easily.

Each major section, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion, along with any subsections, should be listed with their corresponding page numbers. The contents page is a valuable organizational tool, allowing both you and your reader to locate specific information within your extended essay efficiently.


The introduction is the opening segment of your extended essay, serving as a guide for your readers into the subject you're exploring. Here, you present the purpose of your essay, the research question or thesis statement you'll be addressing, and provide an overview of how you intend to approach the subject.

The introduction sets the tone for the entire essay, capturing the reader's attention and establishing the context for the discussion that follows. It's crucial to be clear and concise, giving your audience a clear understanding of the focus and significance of your extended essay.

Body of the Essay

The body of your writing is the main section where you present your argument, analysis, and evidence. This is where you delve into the details of your subject, supporting your thesis or research question with facts, examples, and scholarly sources. Organize the body into coherent paragraphs, each focusing on a specific aspect or subtopic related to your main argument.

Ensure a logical flow of ideas, and use clear transitions between paragraphs. The body is the heart of your extended essay, showcasing your understanding of the subject and your ability to critically analyze and synthesize information.


The conclusion marks the endpoint of your extended essay, providing a summary of the key points and insights derived from your exploration. Here, you restate your thesis or research question and briefly recap the main arguments presented in the body of the paper.

Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion; instead, focus on reinforcing the significance of your findings and their broader implications. This section offers you the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your readers, leaving them with a clear understanding of the importance of your study and its potential implications on the chosen subject.

References & Bibliography

The references and bibliography section is where you give credit to the sources that influenced and supported your extended essay. If you're using MLA style, this section is called 'Works Cited,' and in CSE, it's referred to as 'References.' In this part, list all the books, articles, websites, and any other sources you referenced or consulted during your research.

Ensure that you follow the citation style guide recommended by your academic institution, providing accurate and complete information for each source. This section not only acknowledges the intellectual contributions of others but also adds credibility to your work by demonstrating the depth and breadth of your research.

How to Write an Extended Essay in 6 Steps

how to write extended essay

Explore a Subject You Love

Choosing a topic that genuinely interests you is a crucial first step in writing an effective extended essay. When you explore a subject you love, the enthusiasm and curiosity you bring to the research process can significantly impact the quality of your work. Consider your personal interests, hobbies, or subjects you've enjoyed studying in class.

Take some time to reflect on your academic and personal interests. What subjects or topics have intrigued you in the past? What areas of study ignite your curiosity? Identifying these interests will guide you toward a subject that resonates with you.

Once you've identified potential subjects, delve deeper into each one. Consider why you find certain topics compelling and how they relate to your broader interests. The goal is to select a subject that aligns with your passion and allows you to engage with it on a deeper level.

Even within a specific subject area, there are numerous potential topics. Explore a variety of angles, themes, or questions related to your chosen subject. This broad exploration ensures that you find a specific focus that resonates with you and offers ample material for investigation.

Decide on a Theme

Once you've identified a subject you love, the next step is to narrow down your focus by deciding on a theme. It provides a specific lens through which you'll explore your chosen subject, allowing you to delve deeper into a particular aspect or question. Themes add coherence and direction to your extended essay, helping you maintain a clear and organized structure throughout your writing.

Based on your chosen subject, formulate a clear and concise research question that encapsulates the idea you want to explore. It should be specific, focused, and capable of guiding your investigation.

Consider the key concepts, patterns, or recurring elements within your chosen subject. These can serve as the foundation for your theme. Whether it's analyzing areas in literature, examining historical patterns, or exploring scientific principles, identifying these core elements will help shape your research.

Lastly, assess the feasibility of your chosen theme in terms of available study material, time constraints, and the scope of the extended essay. Ensure that it is manageable within the prescribed word limit and allows for in-depth analysis and exploration.

Opt for a Guide Who Knows Your Topic

Selecting a knowledgeable and supportive guide is a crucial aspect of successfully navigating the extended essay process. It can provide valuable insights, guidance, and expertise, particularly if they are familiar with the specific subject you've chosen.

Seek guidance from teachers or subject specialists who have expertise in the field you're exploring. Discuss your chosen subject and research question with them to gauge their familiarity with the prompt and their willingness to provide support.

Inquire about your potential guide's previous experience with extended essays, especially those related to your chosen subject. A guide with a track record in guiding students through similar topics can offer valuable insights and strategies based on their prior experiences.

If your school doesn't have a specific teacher with expertise in your chosen subject, explore the possibility of connecting with external experts. This could involve reaching out to academics, researchers, or our professional essay writers online who might be willing to serve as mentors.

Select a Mentor Who Encourages Your Best Effort

Choosing a mentor who is not only knowledgeable but also encourages your best effort is fundamental to a successful extended essay journey. Have a conversation with potential mentors about your academic goals and aspirations. Ensure they understand your commitment to giving your best effort and inquire about their expectations for your performance in the extended essay.

Assess the mentor's communication style to ensure it aligns with your needs. An encouraging and supportive mentor should be approachable, willing to listen, and adept at providing constructive feedback that motivates you to improve.

If possible, inquire about the mentor's previous experiences guiding students through extended essays. Understanding their approach and the outcomes of past mentorships can give you insights into their mentoring style and effectiveness.

Also, discuss how feedback will be provided and the frequency of check-ins. A mentor who encourages your best effort will offer regular constructive feedback, helping you navigate challenges and refine your work throughout the extended essay process.

Ensure Your Essay Has a Logical Organization

Before diving into the writing process, create a comprehensive outline that outlines the main sections and subsections of your paper. This provides a roadmap for your writing, ensuring that each point is presented in a logical sequence.

If your paper involves multiple themes or subtopics, consider organizing your essay around them. Each one should have a dedicated section within the body of the essay, contributing to a cohesive and logically structured narrative.

Employ transitional phrases and sentences to guide readers from one idea to the next. Effective transitions enhance the logical flow of your paper, preventing abrupt jumps between topics and ensuring a seamless reading experience.

Ensure that each paragraph logically connects to the preceding and following paragraphs. Ideas should be presented in a progressive manner, with each point building upon the previous ones to strengthen your overall argument.

Begin the Writing Process

With a clear understanding of your prompt, a defined research question, and a well-organized plan, it's time to embark on the actual writing of your extended essay. Crafting a 4,000-word paper deserving of an A grade is not a task that can be accomplished in just a week. The process involves extensive reading, delving into numerous articles, and potentially exploring books and plays depending on your chosen topic. Therefore, initiating your exploration as soon as possible is crucial for success. Or simply pay for an essay and have it delivered tailored to your needs.

Meanwhile, here are simplified steps to write your extended essay effectively:

  • Keep each paragraph simple, with one main idea. Start with a sentence that introduces the idea, add supporting details, and finish with a strong conclusion.
  • Support your points with good evidence like facts, examples, or quotes from experts. Keep your writing style consistent—whether it's formal, academic, or reflective—to make your work look professional.
  • Summarize your main points in the conclusion without adding new information. Make it memorable for your readers.
  • After you write a draft, go back and make it better. Check for clear and smooth writing, get rid of unnecessary words, and make sure everything makes sense.
  • Before you submit your extended essay, carefully read it again. Fix any spelling, grammar, or typing mistakes. This way, your piece will be error-free and ready to go.
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