Does this look familiar to you?  If not, you have yet to experience a rite of passage of the IB DP student – submission of the Extended Essay.

If you are a Diploma candidate, and you are taking your IB exams in May, you must submit your Extended Essay.  Now, your school may have completely different internal deadlines, so the EE might be long done and in; if so, count yourself among the lucky ones.  You completed your EE  months ago and can focus on your Spanish B Orals, your IOC for English A Literature and the completion of all those labs for your Biology HL course.  However, there may be one or two of you out there who have yet to submit it, and this posting is for you.

First off, you need to finish the EE.  A complete EE must have:

  • title page
  • abstract
  • table of contents
  • essay that includes introduction and conclusion
  • bibliography that includes all works referenced in the EE
  • a proper, recognized method of citation
  • page numbers

It may also have an appendix, chapters with headings and photographs, but those are up to you and not required.  If you have all of the above, you will not lose marks in the general presentation criterion, so you should receive 3 or 4 marks there.

Now, let it sit for a day or two, and then proof it one last time.  Correct typos. Make sure that the entire essay is in the same font.  Check that your references have been done properly.  Alphabetize your source list by surname, and make sure the surname comes first.  Double check that you don’t have a chapter heading on the last line of a page.   Once all that is done, save the EE in a secure place – in two places ideally.  The cloud is just that, and it can evaporate.  If you are supposed to submit a paper copy, print the essay.

Now you are ready to submit it to your supervisor.  Schedule a meeting and give yourself time.  Your supervisor will want to know about the process and will probably ask you some big-picture questions.  What did you learn about the subject?  What did you learn about writing a research paper?  What would you do differently?  Don’t be surprised if your supervisor takes notes; they are interested in what you think and want to record it accurately.

When that is done, you need to give them the essay and fill out the cover.  You have to include your candidate number and school code.  The first 5 digits of your candidate number are your school code.  The supervisor may or may not have a list of candidate numbers, so be sure to have that information handy.  You then need to write the school name, examination session (May 2015), subject (History) and the title.  Finally, you need to sign and date the declaration, that the work is your own and falls within the word count.

Lastly, thank your supervisor.  Not all teachers would have been as understanding, or had the knowledge of subject as yours.  A thank you note is definitely in order even if you don’t do those sorts of things normally.  After that, take a moment to feel the sense of accomplishment and relief – you have done well!