The Extended Essay (EE) provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. The EE promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. The 14-month EE journey culminates in a major piece of formally presented and structured writing (3500-4000 words), in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Through continual process reflection, students are able to demonstrate the rationale for decisions made and the skills and understandings developed, as well as the authenticity and intellectual initiative of their voice.
The learning involved in researching and writing the extended essay is closely aligned with the development of many of the characteristics described in the IB learner profile. Students are to a large extent, responsible for their own independent learning, through which they acquire and communicate in-depth knowledge and understanding. The research process necessarily involves intellectual risk-taking and extensive reflection; open-mindedness, balance and fairness are key prerequisites for a good extended essay.
More information can be found at http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/extended-essay/.