Extended Essay - Requirements and Guide


This page sets out the main requirement of the Extended Essay since 2018. It includes links the IB assessment page and student speak interpretations of the generic extended essay guide set out alongside the geography-specific guide.

IB Documentation

The following page links you to the IB Extended essay page where you can find the latest documentation that will guide you through the Extended Essay process.

Assessment Criteria:

Geography EE are assessed using the same criteria for all EEs (2018):
  • Criterion A - Focus and Method
  • Criterion B - Knowledge and understanding
  • Criterion C - Critical Thinking
  • Criterion D - Presentation
  • Criterion G - Engagement

Total Marks: 34

A Geography Extended Essay requires the following:

  • a spatial emphasis
  • geographical theory and appropriate methodology
  • geographical sources
  • a suitable local scale survey site

The research question must be sharply focused and effective treatment must be possible within 4000

The assessment criteria must be used in conjunction with the geography. The following table shows a summary of the two set out in student speak to help guide your students through the process

Criterion A - Focus and Methodology - 6 Marks

Generic Extended Essay GuideGeography Specific Guide
  • The topic is communicated accurately and effectively
  • The research topic is identified and explained effectively
  • The purpose of the research topic is clear and well focused
  • The research question is focused and connected to the discussion in the essay
  • An appropriate range of methods have been been used and/or applied to the topic and research question
  • Their selected methods are the most appropriate for the topic and research question
  • Refer to the area of geographical research
  • Explain the topic with appropriate theory, models, possible parallel studies and local geographical context
  • Use a locational map (ideally and sketched)
  • The research question is spatially focused. E.g. refer to a neighborhood not a city.
  • Use either primary or secondary data collection. The best essays use both.
  • The methods should be explained so that someone neutral could repeat it
  • If the research topic is already well documented, identify something original. E.g a local place or pattern

Criterion B - Knowledge and Understanding - 6 Marks

Generic Extended Essay GuideGeography Specific
  • The selection of source material is clearly appropriate to the research question and topic
  • Knowledge of research topic is coherent. Sources are used effectively and with understanding
  • The use of specific subject/research topic vocabulary is accurate and demonstrates effective knowledge and understanding
  • Source materials should be appropriate to the research topic
  • Source material should be integrated into the body of discussion to support and provide evidence for the argument. Avoid blocks of pages of graphs and photographs without links to the argument
  • Secondary sources should be fully cited and credited
  • There should be fluent and comprehensive use of geographical vocabulary relevant to the research topic
  • Specialized terms should be explained and used appropriately

To access the full requirements and student guide for the 2018 Extended Essay:

go to the full page guidance

To access a comprehensive list of extended essay titles and suggested topic areas

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