The Extended Essay (EE) is a mandatory component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. Students have the option to choose their own research question and topic within a subject of their choice, and are expected to conduct a thorough investigation using a variety of sources.


In the IB Biology EE, students are expected to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the biological concepts and theories related to their research question, as well as the ability to design and conduct a scientific investigation. They should also be able to analyze and interpret data, and present their findings in a clear and logical manner.


The EE is graded on a scale of 0 to 36 points, with points awarded for the following criteria:

  1. Research question: The research question should be specific, focused, and appropriate for an EE in Biology. It should be clear and well-defined, and should be based on a topic that is of interest to the student.
  2. Introduction: The introduction should provide background information on the topic and explain the significance of the research question. It should also clearly state the research question and the aims and objectives of the investigation.
  3. Methods: The methods section should describe the design of the investigation, including the materials and equipment used, and the procedures followed. It should also include details on how the data was collected and analyzed.
  4. Results: The results section should present the data in a clear and concise manner, using tables, graphs, and other appropriate formats. It should also include a summary of the main findings.
  5. Discussion: The discussion should interpret the results in relation to the research question, and should consider the implications of the findings. It should also discuss any limitations of the investigation and suggest areas for further research.
  6. Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the main findings and discuss their significance in relation to the research question. It should also consider the broader implications of the study and its potential impact on the field of biology.
  7. Formal presentation: The EE should be well-written, with proper grammar and spelling, and should be organized and structured in a logical manner. It should also include a list of references, following the appropriate citation style.

In addition to the above criteria, the EE will also be graded on the student’s ability to:

  • Understand and apply biological concepts and theories
  • Conduct a scientific investigation using appropriate methods and techniques
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Communicate scientific information effectively, using clear and logical arguments
  • Use appropriate resources and reference materials, and follow the appropriate citation style

Overall, the EE in Biology should demonstrate the student’s ability to engage in independent research and to think critically and analytically about a topic within the field of biology. It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject, and to develop valuable research and communication skills that will serve them well in their future studies and careers.

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