Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word research paper, designed and executed by you, the students, with a mandatory three-stage reflection process in which students show their engagement in choosing, researching and completing the task, finally explaining what they learned from the process and what they would do differently next time. 

It is marked out of 34 (with 6 of those marks for the reflection process in Criterion E: Engagement), and receives a final grade of A - E.

Essential Questions

The IB Diploma is the global benchmark for pre-university, post-16, High School education. Being an inquiry-driven programme, the articulation of essential questions at the forefront of any study is a prerequisite. Below you find kinds of questions that will be answered within this section of the site:


How do I select my topic for an Extended Essay?


What types of Extended Essay are available to undertake in English A?


How is a good Extended Essay structured?


How much secondary research do I need in the Extended Essay?


What does an excellent Extended Essay look like? 


This section will:

  • Give you guidance on how to choose your topic;
  • Show you student examples and what they received from examiners for literary works;
  • Show you student examples and what they received from examiners for non-literary bodies of work, texts and topics.


  • Extended Essay - Choosing your Category

    This page will tell you about the different category choices you have for the Group 1 Extended Essay, and explain the challenging but crucial task of the Literature Review.

  • Extended Essay - Literary Examples

    This page gives you the opportunity to look at some examples of student-written Extended Essays in literature and to consider how you would grade them.

  • Extended Essay - Non-Literary Examples

    This page gives you real examples of Category 3: Studies in language Extended Essays and asks you to grade them. You can see for yourself the importance of the right balance between primary and secondary sources.