Bio Extended Essay Criteria

Required Formatting

The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look. 

To help achieve this, the following formatting is required:

  • 12-point, readable font (Calibri or Times New Roman);
  • double spacing throughout entire Essay;
  • page numbering - top right corner;
  • no candidate or school name or supervisor name on the title page or page headers.

Submitting the extended essay in the required format will help set the tone of the essay and will aid readability for on-screen assessment by examiners.

Required Structure

The structure of the essay is very important. It helps students to organize the argument, making the best use of the evidence collected. 

There are six required elements of the final work to be submitted. More details about each element are given in the “Presentation” section. Please note that the order in which these elements are presented here is not necessarily the order in which they should be written. 

Six required elements of the extended essay:

  1. Title page
  2. Contents page
  3. Introduction
  4. Body of the essay
  5. Conclusion
  6. References and bibliography -- if MLA "Works Cited" if CSE "References"

1. Required Title Page 

The title page should include only the following information: 

  • the title of the essay
  • the research question
  • the subject the essay is registered in (if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into; if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized) 
  • word count 

    The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. 

    Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria. Given the holistic nature of the assessment criteria, students who write in excess of the word limit will self-penalize across all criteria. 

2. Required Contents Page

A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. Please note that an index page is not required and if included will be treated as if it is not present.

3. Required Introduction

The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay. The introduction should make clear to the reader the focus of the essay, the scope of the research, in particular an indication of the sources to be used, and an insight into the line of argument to be taken. 

While students should have a sense of the direction and key focus of their essay, it is sometimes advisable to finalize the introduction once the body of the essay is complete.

4. Required Body of the Essay (research, analysis, discussion, and evaluation)

The main task is writing the body of the essay, which should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument. The form of this varies with the subject of the essay but as the argument develops it should be clear to the reader what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument. In some subjects, for example, the sciences, sub-headings within the main body of the essay will help the reader to understand the argument (and will also help the student to keep on track). In structuring their extended essay, students must take into consideration the expected conventions of the subject in which their extended essay is registered. 

Once the main body of the essay is complete, it is possible to finalize the introduction (which tells the reader what to expect) and the conclusion (which says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved). 

Any information that is important to the argument must not be included in appendices or footnotes/endnotes. The examiner will not read notes or appendices, so an essay that is not complete in itself will be compromised across the assessment criteria.

5. Required Conclusion

The conclusion says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved. While students might draw conclusions throughout the essay based on their findings, it is important that there is a final, summative conclusion at the end. This conclusion(s) must relate to the research question posed.

6. Required References & Bibliography

Students should use their chosen style of academic referencing as soon as they start writing. That way they are less likely to forget to include a citation. It is also easier than trying to add references at a later stage. For more information on this, refer to the guidelines in the IB document Effective citing and referencing.

Writing the essay takes time but if students have used their Researcher's reflection space and reflection sessions in a meaningful way they should be well prepared to develop their arguments.

Assessment criteria

This section provides an overview of what each criterion assesses in the extended essay. Further advice on interpreting the assessment criteria is provided within the guidelines for each subject in the “Details—subject specific” section. The extended essay is assessed against common assessment criteria for all extended essays. Candidates must understand that the work submitted for assessment must address these criteria effectively. Supervisors of extended essays should ensure that the assessment criteria are made available to candidates and that the candidates understand these criteria.

A: research question

(Objectives 1 and 2)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the purpose of the essay is specified. In many subjects, the aim of the essay will normally be expressed as a question and, therefore, this criterion is called the “research question”. However, certain disciplines may permit or encourage different ways of formulating the research task.

Descriptor

0

The research question is not stated in either the introduction or on the title page or does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in an extended essay in the subject in which it is registered.

1

The research question is stated in either the introduction or on the title page but is not clearly expressed or is too broad in scope to be treated effectively within the word limit.

2

The research question is clearly stated in either the introduction or on the title page and is sharply focused, making effective treatment possible within the word limit.

B: introduction

(Objectives 1 and 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the introduction makes clear how the research question relates to existing knowledge on the topic and explains how the topic chosen is significant and worthy of investigation.

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is little or no attempt to explain the significance of the topic.

1

Some attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is some attempt to explain the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.

2

The context of the research question is clearly demonstrated. The introduction clearly explains the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.

C: investigation

(Objectives 1 and 3)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the investigation is planned and an appropriate range of sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, that is relevant to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2.

Descriptor

0

There is little or no evidence that sources have been consulted or data gathered, and little or no evidence of planning in the investigation.

1

A range of inappropriate sources has been consulted, or inappropriate data has been gathered, and there is little evidence that the investigation has been planned.

2

A limited range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and some relevant material has been selected. There is evidence of some planning in the investigation.

3

A sufficient range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been selected. The investigation has been satisfactorily planned.

4

An imaginative range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been carefully selected. The investigation has been well planned.

D: knowledge and understanding of the topic studied

(Objectives 3 and 7)

Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2. “Academic context”, as used in this guide, can be defined as the current state of the field of study under investigation. However, this is to be understood in relation to what can reasonably be expected of a pre-university student. For example, to obtain a level 4, it would be sufficient to relate the investigation to the principal lines of inquiry in the relevant field; detailed, comprehensive knowledge is not required.

Descriptor

0

The essay demonstrates no real knowledge or understanding of the topic studied.

1

The essay demonstrates some knowledge but little understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows little awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

2

The essay demonstrates an adequate knowledge and some understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows some awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

3

The essay demonstrates a good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay successfully outlines an academic context for the investigation.

4

The essay demonstrates a very good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay clearly and precisely locates the investigation in an academic context.

E: reasoned argument

(Objectives 1 and 4)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay uses the material collected to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and develops a reasoned argument in relation to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2.

Descriptor

0

There is no attempt to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

1

There is a limited or superficial attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

2

There is some attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question, but this is only partially successful.

3

Ideas are presented in a logical and coherent manner, and a reasoned argument is developed in relation to the research question, but with some weaknesses.

4

Ideas are presented clearly and in a logical and coherent manner. The essay succeeds in developing a reasoned and convincing argument in relation to the research question.

F: application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject

(Objective 7)

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

1

The essay shows little application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

2

The essay shows some application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills, which may be only partially effective.

3

The essay shows sound application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

4

The essay shows effective and sophisticated application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

G: use of language appropriate to the subject

(Objective 6)

Descriptor

0

The language used is inaccurate and unclear. There is no effective use of terminology appropriate to the subject.

1

The language used sometimes communicates clearly but does not do so consistently. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is only partly accurate.

2

The language used for the most part communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is usually accurate.

3

The language used communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is accurate, although there may be occasional lapses.

4

The language used communicates clearly and precisely. Terminology appropriate to the subject is used accurately, with skill and understanding.

H: conclusion

(Objectives 1, 4 and 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay incorporates a conclusion that is relevant to the research question and is consistent with the evidence presented in the essay.

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to provide a conclusion that is relevant to the research question.

1

A conclusion is attempted that is relevant to the research question but may not be entirely consistent with the evidence presented in the essay.

2

An effective conclusion is clearly stated; it is relevant to the research question and consistent with the evidence presented in the essay. It should include unresolved questions where appropriate to the subject concerned.

I: formal presentation

(Objective 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the layout, organization, appearance and formal elements of the essay consistently follow a standard format. The formal elements are: title page, table of contents, page numbers, illustrative material, quotations, documentation (including references, citations and bibliography) and appendices (if used).

Descriptor

0

The formal presentation is unacceptable, or the essay exceeds 4,000 words.

1

The formal presentation is poor.

2

The formal presentation is satisfactory.

3

The formal presentation is good.

4

The formal presentation is excellent.

J: abstract

(Objective 5)

The requirements for the abstract are for it to state clearly the research question that was investigated, how the investigation was undertaken and the conclusion(s) of the essay.

Descriptor

0

The abstract exceeds 300 words or one or more of the required elements of an abstract (listed above) is missing.

1

The abstract contains the elements listed above but they are not all clearly stated.

2

The abstract clearly states all the elements listed above.

K: holistic judgment

(Objective 1)

The purpose of this criterion is to assess the qualities that distinguish an essay from the average, such as intellectual initiative, depth of understanding and insight. While these qualities will be clearly present in the best work, less successful essays may also show some evidence of them and should be rewarded under this criterion.

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no evidence of such qualities.

1

The essay shows little evidence of such qualities.

2

The essay shows some evidence of such qualities.

3

The essay shows clear evidence of such qualities.

4

The essay shows considerable evidence of such qualities.

© International Baccalaureate Organization | Mission statement | Learner profile

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Bio Extended Essay Criteria”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *