Every IBDP student must write a 4000-word extended essay. Each student is given the option to do the extended essay using any IB-taught subject. But each school has their own rules on which subjects a student may use. When I was introduced to the EE I was highly intrigued by the world studies EE. According to the official IBO website, the world studies extended essay must focus on a topic of global significance. This encourages the student to reflect on the world today in relation to issues. Such as the following: the global food crisis, climate change, terrorism, energy security, migration, global health, technology and cultural exchange. The world studies EE can be written using 2 IB-taught subjects from different subject groups or the same. In short, the world studies EE allows students to apply skills they have learned from other academic disciplines as well as disciplines known for social responsibility.
Tips on how to go through with the world studies EE are as follows
1. Choosing which themes and subjects to use
There are 6 six themes to the world studies EE that are;
- Conflict, peace, and security
- Culture, language, and identity
- Environmental and/or economic sustainability
- Equality and inequality
- Health and development
- Science, technology and society
Choosing the right theme will help with the guidance and the purpose of the EE. I chose the theme of Equality and Inequality and I chose the IB subjects of Geography and History. To find which theme you believe will help you write this EE try to delve into what interests you in the world studies EE, and which social issue you want to tackle. For example, if you want to tackle minority group rights you may want to think of the theme of conflict, peace, and security or culture, language, and identity.
2. Finding the right supervisor
This a pretty generic tip but finding the right supervisor will make or break your EE. When it comes to world studies EE, finding the right supervisor may be difficult since this EE needs knowledge in two different IB subjects. What will work best will be to find an EE supervisor that has a general understanding of how to conduct the world studies EE. Of course as a student you are allowed to seek outside help but your supervisor should be the main guide.
3. Make use of available resources
There is no textbook on the world studies of EE, the focus is on how you as a student utilize the disciplines you have learned so everything is up to you on how you wish to go at the EE. Making use of the resources for the subjects you are using will help a lot, especially when understanding to what extent the subjects address the social concern you want to raise. I suggest reading their subject guides and consulting students who take those subjects more specifically at a higher level. These students do not have to be students at your school, they can also be students from other schools all over the world, the more help you receive the more adequate resources can be used, just make sure not to disclose too much information about your EE.
Arguably the most important step throughout the world studies EE process is to have fun, this entire experience is supposed to bring out the true researcher in you and really form you into a true internationally-minded IB student.