Each of the IB programmes has a culminating project – for the IB Diploma this major project is called the 'Extended Essay'. The Extended Essay is a major academic undertaking consisting of a 4000 word research essay conducted in a subject of the student’s choice.

Within that subject they have free rein to explore and investigate a topic of their interest. They then design their own research question, begin researching and then write and edit a final essay.

Our Year 12 students put the finishing touches to theirs earlier this term and are now awaiting their results.

I have been talking to these students about their Extended Essays and the message that I am receiving from them is that, while they found the process challenging, they were quite happy with their final products. They even went so far as to say that they were proud of their final products. I would like to say that, having read them, they are justified in feeling proud of their efforts. Moreover, I am proud of their efforts as are, I am sure, their parents.

Here are a sample of the Extended Essay topics from this year:

• ‘Jus in bello’: an evaluation of Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland• "To what extent, has the increase in Turkish interest rates from 17.75% to 24% in 2018, impacted the Turkish Lira in US dollar terms• Pell’s Equation and Fermat’s Sandwich Theorem• Foreign Influences in Cambodia- A study of the impact foreign influences on the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge• Improving the Intergenerational Futures of Indigenous Australians through Contemporary Artworks• To what extent did British air superiority influence the outcome of the Falklands War?

As you can see from these titles, this is a robust and challenging task – these students will certainly find writing 1000 word essays in first year of university a breeze! This is a key take away about the IB Diploma: its proven benefits as a university preparedness course.

If you are interested in reading some (or all!) of these, they can be found on the Senior School Homepage on Schoolbox, under the Diploma Programme tile. Click the Schoolbox link here.

The students found it rewarding to become mini-experts in the field associated with their essay as it is a task that requires the students to think and research deeply on their chosen topic.

If you would like to know more about the Extended Essay, or about the IB Diploma generally, please feel free to contact me: swalther@somerset.qld.edu.au.

IB Diploma - Extended Essay from Somerset College on Vimeo.

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