IB Juniors and the Extended Essay

IB Junior Caitlin Wagner does preliminary research for her essay
Loralee Bandy
IB Junior Caitlin Wagner does preliminary research for her essay

IB juniors are about to start The Extended Essay this Spring. The Extended Essay is an in-depth research and writing project which must be 4000 words, and is due in mid-January the following year. The essay may be on any subject and topic within the IB Curriculum, and students will be under the supervision of a qualified Smoky Hill teacher.

“It is a product of two years of pain. The Extended Essay is IB’s equivalent of a thesis to a graduate program,” claims IB Junior Jane Brusilovsky.

Brusilovsky already has the plan to write a European History paper as her Extended Essay. It will explore the impact that the Napoleonic Wars had on trauma and emergency medicine. IB juniors are advised to complete their initial research, write a rough draft, and contact their advisor over the Summer.

According to IB Extended Essay handouts, the process of completing the Extended Essay will develop skills such as communication and critical thinking. IB juniors will also have the ability to use a University of Colorado at Denver library card for a year to check out books that will aid them in their research.

“In a recent study conducted by the University of Virginia, it was found that IB students are not only better prepared to write college-level research papers  than their counterparts who did not write an Extended Essay, they actually enjoy the process of research more than their peers,” IB Coordinator Mrs. Wetmore explains. “Other findings from the UVa study found that IB students demonstrated increased confidence in their abilities to write a research paper, improved time management skills, improved ability to evaluate evidence and form arguments, and reduced anxiety about the writing process.”

These IB juniors have been given an Extended Essay timeline including mandatory deadlines to help them through the process. Monday, March 9 is a mandatory meeting from 12:30 to 3:00 covering an introduction to the research process in Smoky’s library. Tuesday, March 17 is the Senior Extended Essay Night, which is mandatory for IB juniors.
“The essay will definitely aid with college research papers for any subject,” Brusilovsky states. “Previous IB students have told me that if your paper is well written, you can reuse it in college for introductory courses where you can choose your research topic.”