Extended Essay Supervisors

Aims of the EE

Features of the EE

World Studies EE Supervisors Introduction

Key Steps in the Extended Essay Process

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Supervisors are strongly recommended to:


The first reflection session

Students should do the following.

It is recommended at this point that the student–supervisor relationship is formalized and the student can consider himself or herself prepared for the first formal reflection session.

The interim reflection

This session is a continuation of the dialogue between supervisor and student in which the student must demonstrate the progress they have made in their research. They must also be able to discuss any challenges they have encountered, offer their own potential solutions and seek advice as necessary.

During this session the supervisor might discuss:

By the end of the interim reflection session both student and supervisor should feel satisfied that there is:


Following this interim session, the student is required to complete the second student comment section of the Reflections on planning and progress form and submit it. 

Final reflection (viva voce)

The viva voce is a short interview between the student and the supervisor, and is the mandatory conclusion to the extended essay process. Students who do not attend the viva voce will be disadvantaged under criterion E (engagement) as the Reflections on planning and progress form will be incomplete.

The viva voce is conducted once the student has submitted the final version of their extended essay. 

The viva voce is:

The viva voce should last 20–30 minutes. This is included in the recommended amount of time a supervisor should spend with the student.

Commenting on the student's Best Draft

The best way of conducting this last stage is for the student to submit the essay prior to a supervision session to allow the supervisor to add their comments. This should be followed by a one-to-one discussion between the supervisor and the student in which they go through the comments together as these become a starting point for a dialogue about the essay. This advice should be in terms of the way the work could be improved, but the draft must not be heavily annotated or edited by the supervisor.

  What supervisors can do

Comments can be added that indicate that the essay could be improved. These comments should be open-ended and not involve editing the text, for example:

  What supervisors cannot do:



Writing the extended essay

The structure of the essay is very important. It helps students to organize the argument, making the best use of the evidence collected.

There are six required elements of the final work to be submitted.. Please note that the order in which these elements are presented here is not necessarily the order in which they should be written.

Six required elements of the extended essay:

Title page

The title page should include only the following information:


The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay. The introduction should make clear to the reader the focus of the essay, the scope of the research, in particular an indication of the sources to be used, and an insight into the line of argument to be taken.

While students should have a sense of the direction and key focus of their essay, it is sometimes advisable to finalize the introduction once the body of the essay is complete.

Body of the essay (research, analysis, discussion, *METHODS, and evaluation)

The main task is writing the body of the essay, which should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument. The argument should be clear to the reader what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument. In structuring their extended essay, students must take into consideration the expected conventions of the subject in which their extended essay is registered.

**NOTE: Once the main body of the essay is complete, it is possible to finalize the introduction (which tells the reader what to expect) and the conclusion (which says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved).


*NOT ALWAYS MANDATORY however it still can be included.  The method is specifically important to the manner in which the student will analyze their sources against existing knowledge or more specifically knowledge gleaned from IB Coursework. 


*courtesy of Nicholas Wellington (THANKS!)


The conclusion says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved. While students might draw conclusions throughout the essay based on their findings, it is important that there is a final, summative conclusion at the end. This conclusion(s) must relate to the research question posed.

References and Works Cited

We recommend MLA 9 (MLA is still valid as long as they adhere to one or the other.). Students are encouraged to use Mybib.com: 

For more information on this, refer to the guidelines in the IB document Effective citing and referencing.

Writing the essay takes time but if students have used their Researcher's reflection space and reflection sessions in a meaningful way they should be well prepared to develop their arguments.



There are certain subject areas which have details about carrying out fieldwork. These are the areas:


Mangaging Science and Geography Extended Essays WITHOUT Fieldwork - *FROM THE IB WEBSITE

Managing the Sciences and Geography EE Fieldwork.pdf

What are METHODS and what do you need to know?

What is an EE Research METHOD?

Tables and Illustrations

The use of tables should be considered carefully and are only really appropriate in certain subjects. Tables must not be used in an attempt to circumvent the word limit.

Graphs, diagrams, tables and maps are effective only if they are clearly labelled and can be interpreted with ease.

Labelling should contain the minimum information to ensure the examiner understands the significance of the map, chart, diagram or illustration. It must not include commentary, as this will be considered as part of the essay discussion and thus included in the word count.

The use of photographs and other images is acceptable only if they are captioned and/or annotated and are used to illustrate a specific point made in the extended essay. They should only be used if they are relevant and appropriate to a point being made as part of the argument of the essay.


Appendices are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within them, in the assessment of the essay. Appendices should therefore be avoided except in the following instances:

Students should not continually refer to material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay and examiners are not required to refer to them.


EE SUPERVISORS Training Initial Meeting