The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved DP subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects, or in World Studies. World Studies provides students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, utilizing two IB disciplines.

Both are intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, engaging students in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent and appropriate manner.