Writer: Joaquin P.
Visual: Issy P.
Editor: Nadia H.
On January 7, the start of school for ISM, everyone went to their classes, going about the day’s rhythms for the first time in the new year. Everyone, that is, but the IB Diploma Juniors. Instead, they went to the Lofthouse to kick-off one of the dreaded IB Diploma core requirements – the Extended Essay, which many Juniors are starting off slowly and unenthusiastically.
The Extended Essay, or EE for short, is a 4000-word paper students write in an IB subject of their choice. According to the IB, it is “an independent, self-directed piece of research.” It takes around 40 hours of work to complete, and most students work on it from their Junior to their Senior years. However, each subject has its own, unique requirements for what topics constitute an EE in their subject.
Students have started writing EEs on a variety of topics, with the most being EEs in English A, which involve analyzing literature or media. Some students had their interest piqued by a topic or case study in class that they wanted to explore further. “I’m doing a Global Politics EE on Chinese influence toward island states such as Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Palau,” said Junior Amelie D. “Global Politics has always been a topic I was interested in and wanted to learn more about, so I thought I would be the most engaged and excited if I did a Group 3 EE. I picked my specific topic as it was a previous case study I looked at and thought it was a rather untapped area of research that I can delve into!” When asked what she was most excited about, she remarked that she’s “most excited to research about [her] topic and truly unpack [her] research question.” However, it was not all excitement for her. “My greatest worry is meeting my deadlines for the EE as I have a tendency to procrastinate,” she said when asked about her worries for the process.
Looking back at the process, many Seniors had mixed feelings about the Extended Essay. “Personally it was finding time and not forgetting about the EE, especially with a looming deadline,” senior Donata V. remarked when asked about what was most stressful about her EE. “Choose a topic you will enjoy, and finish it as soon as possible.” For many Juniors, the most exciting part of writing their EE is finishing it. This can be achieved quickly if students work efficiently and with attention to detail, alleviating the emotions of dread that the students harbor.