Are you completing the IB Diploma Programme?

Not sure what to do for your Extended Essay (EE) or Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course? 

These are big courses designed to be challenging and to get you thinking deeply and critically about a subject of your choice. 

Even though it might not feel like it, you are really lucky: these courses will teach you how to conduct quality research and how to write well, so by the time you get to university, you’ll have the academic stuff under control and can concentrate on partying!

The EE is a 4000 word research paper on a subject of your choice and you’ll have to write a large essay for your TOK course, too. It goes without saying that the more strategies you have for planning, researching and writing your papers, the better.

Useful tips to get you started:

  1. The IBO recommends you spend 40 hours planning, researching and writing your extended essay, so start with this guide and work backwards. 
  2. Check with you supervisor, but as a rough guide, we suggest you spend 30% of your time planning, 40% of your time researching and 30% of your time writing. The reason is: the more time you spend planning and researching what you want to write about, the more developed your argument will be, so when you finally sit down to write, you’ll feel well-informed and know exactly what you want to write about.
  3. When is your essay due? Again, work backwards. Put the due date in your diary or on your calendar and allocate time for writing your essay, time for researching and block out time over the next few weeks when you will start to plan your EE or TOK essay.
  4. Detailed information on each course and the course requirements can be found on the official International Baccalaureate Organization website:
  5. Visit the Study Support area of this website and start with the planning strategies then work through the researching strategies and the writing strategies.
  6. The Night Before Essay Planner will be the most useful resource for assisting you though your essays because of the detailed research and referencing sections.
  7. Don’t forget, you can contact us anytime.