Completing their extended essay before they begin DP2 is the dream of most IB students. In reality, however, few achieve it.  In this blog, we’ll explore how to finish your extended essay over summer without feeling overwhelmed!

Part 1: Get Some Rest!

Don’t forget that the reason you have a summer break is to take a break! IB students feel a pressure to never stop working during the 2 years of the diploma, but no person can work so intensely for such a long time without a real break. Take 2 weeks at the beginning of your summer holidays to put down your books, get outside, spend time with friends and family, and briefly forget about all your school responsibilities! Trust us, when you sit down to write your new EE draft you’ll see it with renewed energy and enthusiasm. 

Still struggling to get going? Click here to access our FREE EE Starter Guide!

Part 2: Devise A Plan

4000 words can seem like a mammoth task. The reason why so many students keep putting off writing the extended essay is because they are intimidated by the task. The truth is, a 4000 word essay is just a set of four 1000 word essays together. Splitting up the essay into smaller chunks not only makes it so much easier for us to start, but it helps us pace ourselves. This is where the plan comes in. How will you split the summer months up with regards to your EE draft.

The first step in any plan is research. Make it a priority to spend a significant chunk of time looking into the topic you’re interested in. Even more importantly, check out the subject-specific guidance the IB publishes. This is a document that so many students fail to look at. You can write an amazing essay and still score poorly because it’s not what the examiners are looking for!

Once you’ve done this, figure out how you might break up the task of writing the essay. Are you someone who will aim to hit x number of words a week, or do you think you might be more productive working on a month by month basis – perhaps completing the introduction in June, moving to the research in July, and then tying things up in August. Whichever strategy you use, it’s critical that you find methods to…

Part 3: Keep On Top Of Things

This might be the most difficult part. You might have been given a deadline in September to hand in a draft of your Extended Essay, but that seems so far away when you’re on summer holiday! Unfortunately, it’ll come much quicker than you think. We can’t keep pushing back working on our essay because we’ll end up procrastinating all summer and throwing together a draft in 2 days, which will undoubtedly be terrible! Instead, we need to make sure we’ve got some deadlines to stick to throughout the summer.

How do we do this?

  1. Friends & Family – if you find it difficult to stick to arbitrary deadlines, get your loved ones to help you out! When I was going through the IB, my friend and I told each other that we’d send each other 1 draft every 2 weeks for the other to peer review. Even though we didn’t finish our entire EE over the summer, both of us had 3,000 words when we came back to school because we’d been pressuring each other to keep writing! 
  2. Get a Tutor – if you feel like your friends or family won’t do a good job keeping you on track, why not get a tutor? Our tutors work all summer to help students all over the world with their Extended Essay. They can help you set deadlines as well as giving you feedback on everything you’ve already written! You don’t want to be the kid who writes 4,000 words only to be told by your supervisor that you’ll need to rewrite everything because your topic/research question isn’t strong enough! A tutor can help you catch this nice and early. Click here to find out more about how to grab one!
  3. Apps – there’s tons of apps to check out to help us stay on track. If all you need is a reminder of where you’re at and how much you need to do before the end of summer, then apps like Wunderlist or Todoist are perfect for you! Like the sound of using apps to help you keep on track? Check out this article where we outline tons of great apps that will help you in all stages of the IB!

Want to double check you’ve nailed the essay? Click here to access our FREE EE Master Guide!

So there we have it, a foolproof plan to making sure you are the envy of your classmates come the Autumn term. If you need more specific support on how to complete the essay, click the link below to read the first of our eight part series on smashing this part of the core!

The Extended Essay Step-by-Step Part 1!