Extending East

“That time of year, thou mayst in me behold…” (Shakespeare)

The Extended Essay. That’s what you’re beholding at this time of year. A 4000 word research paper.

But soft! Before you sigh heavily and walk away, read on! The Extended Essay (or the EE as it will be known from here on in) is not as daunting as it seems. If anything, you should be excited at the prospect of researching something in which you have a personal interest. This is your opportunity to engage in research specific to a topic of your choice:

Extracting DNA from peas using two different primary alcohols. (Chemistry)

A comparison of how the Hong Kong protests of late 2014 were portrayed in the official media in Singapore versus the reporting undertaken by NGOs X, Y and Z active in Singapore. (Global Politics)

The proof of the law of quadratic reciprocity. (Maths)

The influence of elements of conduct and mannerism of the 17th century imperial court on Japanese Mai style dance. (Dance)

The use of language and other persuasive techniques to confront the ideology of the United States by Malcolm X and other civil rights activists. (Language A English)

[Note: All of the above are sample research topics published on the IB Extended Essay Guide website. Full citation listed under “Works Cited” below]

But don’t fret … you’re not in this alone. You will have a teacher supervisor assigned to you, and s/he will guide you through the entire process. S/he will encourage you to reflect on the insights you’ve gained, evaluate the decisions you’ve made, and respond to any challenges you’ve encountered during your research.

By the end of your EE journey, you will have:

  • developed high level research and writing skills
  • honed your intellectual discovery
  • awakened your creativity

The EE should be viewed as a challenging and rewarding experience, one that will help prepare you for various pathways beyond high school and university.

What areas of research interest you and why? Feel free to comment in the space below.

Works Cited

“Introduction.” The Nature of the Extended Essayibpublishing.ibo.org/extendedessay/apps/dpapp/guide.html?doc=d_0_eeyyy_gui_1602_1_e&part=2&chapter=3. Accessed 11 May 2017.

Shakespeare, William. “That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold (Sonnet 73).” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 10 Mar. 2016, http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/time-year-thou-mayst-me-behold-sonnet-73. Accessed 11 May 2017.

“Teacher Support Material.” Homeibpublishing.ibo.org/extendedessay/apps/dpapp/index.html?doc=d_0_eeyyy_gui_1602_1_e&part=1&chapter=1. Accessed 11 May 2017.

Interview with Adam Steele, Head of Business and Enterprise

Adam Steele

In this brief audio interview, Adam helps us understand the expectations for students who are considering studying IB Business, which is new to UWCSEA East this year.

Below you can find links to some of the sites Adam mentions in his interview:



IB Business and Management


Derek Burton


TED Business

The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE)

Interview with Sean Lacey, Head of EAL

In the interview transcript below, Sean helps us understand the expectations for students considering an English B Extended Essay. Questions from me are in blue, while Sean’s answers are in red.

Who can write an English B Extended Essay?

Any student enrolled in English B can write an English B Extended Essay.

As Head of EAL, what would you like to see in a student’s Extended Essay?

I’d like to see an examination of language more so than literature. This comes along once every few years, and it’s the area where I can give the most constructive feedback and advice.

What would be some good resources for students to consider?

That really depends on the topic. Of course, their EE booklet is an important resource, but that is the same for everyone. For Group 2, there is no one superior resource. One student might write on poetry, while another writes on semantics / pragmatics. Resources will really depend on the topic.

In your experience, what are some common struggles students have had in the past?

For English B, the biggest issue is language. Quite often, the students have the task of producing a piece of academic writing that may be beyond their linguistic capability. As the EE begins in Grade 11, they may not have acquired a level of academic English that allows them to write clearly without a lot of struggle.

What advice would you provide for students who are just beginning their English B Extended Essay?

One of the things I often tell students is to have the end in mind when they begin. Many times, students do not do any background research before developing their topic, so they expect that they will eventually find the resources that will answer all facets of their research question; they often end up disappointed and panicked. They should have an idea of the body of research available to them before they submit their proposal, and certainly before they begin the writing process.

I’d like to thank Sean Lacey for providing his time and expertise with regards to the English B Extended Essay. If you have any specific questions, please direct them to his UWCSEA email (SeL).