Extended Essay Biology Examples

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) online curriculum centre (OCC), a key resource for educators at IB World Schools, includes several examples of extended essay titles.

These highlight the diverse range of topics covered by International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students during their extended essays.

Some examples are:

  • “An analysis of costume as a source for understanding the inner life of the character”
  • “A study of malnourished children in Indonesia and the extent of their recovery after a period of supervised improved nutrition.”
  • “Doing versus being: language and reality in the Mimamsa school of Indian philosophy.” 
  • “The effects of sugar-free chewing gum on the pH of saliva in the mouth after a meal.”
  • “To what extent has the fall in the exchange rate of the US dollar affected the tourist industry in Carmel, California?”
  •  “What level of data compression in music files is acceptable to the human ear?”

Also available in the OCC, the Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Programme has guidance on choosing a subject for the extended essay.

The OCC is only available to existing IB World Schools.

You can also purchase examples of essays in the IB Store. These essays fulfil the requirements for an ‘A’ grade in the extended essay.

If your school is not one already, learn how to become an IB World School in order to implement the DP.

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Biology Extended Essay

"It really felt like we were just at summer camp when we were there. There's plenty of down time to relax or play games and days when, if you're not collecting data, you can help other people or just enjoy the park. We spent an entire day canoeing on Crescent Lake helping collect data for those who were investigating it, but we also took time off to explore some of the land around the lake most people didn't have access to. Our Naturebridge guides were really cool and fun to talk to as well. I never felt like I was working once - the teachers did a really good job of spacing everything out and keeping us on track.  It was like science summer camp. I left the experience with my EE done, lots of new friends, and a great adventure to look back on. The food was really great too!"  -B.T. (class of 2016)
We will depart Skyline High School the afternoon of (date TBD).  We will spend six nights in the National Park at the NatureBridge facility at Lake Crescent.  ​

We will have access to multiple watersheds and forests for data collection and exploration!  Time will be set aside for students to meet with teachers related to problem question selection, experimental design, analysis and formatting of an extended essay.  Students will write the initial reflection pieces for the extended essay while in the national park.  It's not all work -- we manage to have a lot of fun, laughter, team building and adventure too!

Our group will return to Skyline on the evening of (date TBD).  The rest of the week is spent with students focusing on completing the extended essay. 

Grading:  Students will earn a letter grade for the class.  We primarily rely on non-achievement criteria when assigning a grade for the course; meaning your work habits, initiative, collaboration and citizenship are equally (or more) important than the final essay or product you produce for the class. An "A" will be earned if:
  • Student is on-time and participating in all group activities
  • Student submits reflective writing assignments on time
  • Student works through challenges without getting overly frustrated or complainy
  • Student engages effectively with peers and teachers
  • Student collaborates in a productive, inclusive and respectful manner 
  • Student uses and returns materials properly
  • Student completes process assignments prior to individual meeting with supervisors
  • Student engages in the experiment and writing process with a positive, eager attitude
  • Student submits a draft essay for peer scoring by the deadline.
  • Student submits a draft essay for teacher feedback by the deadline.
  • Student submits a revised version of the essay by the end of the course.
Video by Eric Z, class of 2016
Students have the option of joining the Summer Ecology Research class as a way of completing their extended essay project.  As part of a summer school course, we spend 5-7 days at the NatureBridge facility in the Olympic National Park. Students design and collect data related to a field ecology research problem of their choosing.  You do NOT need to be an IB Diploma candidate to participate in the field course, however registration priority is given to IB diploma candidates and the class has a registration limit. 
"Thank you for organizing the Ecology trip and guiding me on my essay! It was truly an amazing and memorable experience."  N.M., class of 2015
Registration for the 2018 Summer Ecology Research Course will open during Spring 2018.  Final payment will be due May 1, 2018.  The cost is determined by the total number of students who register; it is estimated to be around $1500.  The cost includes:
  • Transport to and from the Olympic National Park
  • Food and lodging while in the Olympic National Park
  • Summer school registration fee

Once we have a full registration, there will be a meeting with teachers and students to discuss course logistics,  extended essay requirements and packing.  Date for this meeting is TBD.
Video by Jasmine C., class of 2018

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