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extended essay english b category 2

extended essay english b category 2

The Coordinators Notes of September 2013 contained a clear statement defining what is, and what is not, acceptable as a 'cultural artifact' - the term which is the basis of Category 2 B for acceptable Extended Essays in Group 2.

This clarification has now been adopted formally in the Extended Essay Guide (2018) - se P.128. Anyway, here are the rules of the game, clearly defined...

Clarification of category 2 'cultural artifacts'

The following qualify as 'cultural artifacts'

Written documents

News headlines

Books (other than literary)

Leaflets, brochures or manifestos

Laws or policies

Historical documents or records

Spoken Documents


Radio or television programmes

Song lyrics

Visual documents

Works of fine art

Architecture (buildings, monuments, etc.)

Cultural icons

Fashion items and accessories (as a manifestation of culture)

Food items, dishes (as a manifestation of culture)

Brands (as a manifestation of culture)

The following do not qualify as 'cultural artifacts'

Political events (elections, referendums)

Historical events

Social movements (e.g. riots)

Social issues (unemployment, immigration, racism, school violence, the role of women in X country, etc)

Towns or regions (“travel guide” extended essays)

(Minority) ethnic groups

Media trends

Styles of music

Institutions (school systems, political parties, etc)

The underlying principles

It may help, in order to explain these distinctions to students, to recognise the reasons why some elements of culture are considered acceptable and others not. I believe that there are two principal reasons :

'Artifact' versus 'activity' ... you will notice that all those cultural elements deemed to qualify as 'artifacts' are things ; whereas those which do not qualify are activities : social organisations or patterns of behaviour. In other words, 'artifacts' are things you can touch and look at and study, here and now - whereas 'activities' are patterns of behaviour that need to be observed in action, over a period of time, and probably with much help from secondary sources. 'Artifacts', then, are simply more immediate, more restricted and thus more focused - 'activities' are liable to involve topics which are really too large and complicated for a feasible Extended Essay of 4000 words.

Primary versus secondary sources ... as I've just suggested, 'activities' will largely be accessible only through much reading of secondary sources, whereas 'artifacts' are directly accessible, concrete, specific primary sources. The point of the Extended Essay is that students do their own research and develop their own theories and arguments - and this personal development of ideas is less likely if most of the EE consists of second-hand ideas from background reading.

It might be useful to consider that the emphasis on artifacts indicates that the desired approach to the EE is that it should be, at a basic level, inductive rather than deductive - i.e. that the argument should start from some particular detail and then proceed to general ideas, rather than focus on general ideas and proceed to particular details as mere examples.

An illustration

A packet of TEA ...This page may serve to show the general approach to analysing the significance of a 'cultural artifact'. I don't suggest that this analysis of a packet of tea is necessarily, in itself, a good topic for an EE - but it does demonstrate the kind of wide-ranging argument based on relevant background research that can be extracted from an 'artifact' as basic as a packet of tea !


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the complete ib extended essay guide: examples, topics, and ideas.

International Baccalaureate (IB)


IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources you need to get an A on it.

If you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you're an IB student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum .


2022 IB Exam Changes Due to COVID-19

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the IB has decided to extend the adaptations which were put in place for 2021 to 2022. May 2022 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our our IB COVID-19 FAQ article .

IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?

I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma, and I happened to receive an A on my IB Extended Essay. Don't believe me? The proof is in the IBO pudding:


If you're confused by what this report means, EE is short for Extended Essay , and English A1 is the subject that my Extended Essay topic coordinated with. In layman's terms, my IB Diploma was graded in May 2010, I wrote my Extended Essay in the English A1 category, and I received an A grade on it.

What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Extended Essay, or EE , is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide) . I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.

For the Extended Essay, you will choose a research question as a topic, conduct the research independently, then write an essay on your findings . The essay itself is a long one—although there's a cap of 4,000 words, most successful essays get very close to this limit.

Keep in mind that the IB requires this essay to be a "formal piece of academic writing," meaning you'll have to do outside research and cite additional sources.

The IB Extended Essay must include the following:

Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories , or IB subject groups, which are as follows:

Once you figure out your category and have identified a potential research topic, it's time to pick your advisor, who is normally an IB teacher at your school (though you can also find one online ). This person will help direct your research, and they'll conduct the reflection sessions you'll have to do as part of your Extended Essay.

As of 2018, the IB requires a "reflection process" as part of your EE supervision process. To fulfill this requirement, you have to meet at least three times with your supervisor in what the IB calls "reflection sessions." These meetings are not only mandatory but are also part of the formal assessment of the EE and your research methods.

According to the IB, the purpose of these meetings is to "provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the research process." Basically, these meetings give your supervisor the opportunity to offer feedback, push you to think differently, and encourage you to evaluate your research process.

The final reflection session is called the viva voce, and it's a short 10- to 15-minute interview between you and your advisor. This happens at the very end of the EE process, and it's designed to help your advisor write their report, which factors into your EE grade.

Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :

Your completed Extended Essay, along with your supervisor's report, will then be sent to the IB to be graded. We'll cover the assessment criteria in just a moment.


What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?

You can technically write about anything, so long as it falls within one of the approved categories listed above.

It's best to choose a topic that matches one of the IB courses , (such as Theatre, Film, Spanish, French, Math, Biology, etc.), which shouldn't be difficult because there are so many class subjects.

Here is a range of sample topics with the attached extended essay:

You can see from how varied the topics are that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to picking a topic . So how do you pick when the options are limitless?


How to Write a Stellar IB Extended Essay: 6 Essential Tips

Below are six key tips to keep in mind as you work on your Extended Essay for the IB DP. Follow these and you're sure to get an A!

#1: Write About Something You Enjoy

You can't expect to write a compelling essay if you're not a fan of the topic on which you're writing. For example, I just love British theatre and ended up writing my Extended Essay on a revolution in post-WWII British theatre. (Yes, I'm definitely a #TheatreNerd.)

I really encourage anyone who pursues an IB Diploma to take the Extended Essay seriously. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition merit scholarship to USC's School of Dramatic Arts program. In my interview for the scholarship, I spoke passionately about my Extended Essay; thus, I genuinely think my Extended Essay helped me get my scholarship.

But how do you find a topic you're passionate about? Start by thinking about which classes you enjoy the most and why . Do you like math classes because you like to solve problems? Or do you enjoy English because you like to analyze literary texts?

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your Extended Essay topic. You're not more likely to get high marks because you're writing about science, just like you're not doomed to failure because you've chosen to tackle the social sciences. The quality of what you produce—not the field you choose to research within—will determine your grade.

Once you've figured out your category, you should brainstorm more specific topics by putting pen to paper . What was your favorite chapter you learned in that class? Was it astrophysics or mechanics? What did you like about that specific chapter? Is there something you want to learn more about? I recommend spending a few hours on this type of brainstorming.

One last note: if you're truly stumped on what to research, pick a topic that will help you in your future major or career . That way you can use your Extended Essay as a talking point in your college essays (and it will prepare you for your studies to come too!).

#2: Select a Topic That Is Neither Too Broad nor Too Narrow

There's a fine line between broad and narrow. You need to write about something specific, but not so specific that you can't write 4,000 words on it.

You can't write about WWII because that would be a book's worth of material. You also don't want to write about what type of soup prisoners of war received behind enemy lines, because you probably won’t be able to come up with 4,000 words of material about it. However, you could possibly write about how the conditions in German POW camps—and the rations provided—were directly affected by the Nazis' successes and failures on the front, including the use of captured factories and prison labor in Eastern Europe to increase production. WWII military history might be a little overdone, but you get my point.

If you're really stuck trying to pinpoint a not-too-broad-or-too-narrow topic, I suggest trying to brainstorm a topic that uses a comparison. Once you begin looking through the list of sample essays below, you'll notice that many use comparisons to formulate their main arguments.

I also used a comparison in my EE, contrasting Harold Pinter's Party Time with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in order to show a transition in British theatre. Topics with comparisons of two to three plays, books, and so on tend to be the sweet spot. You can analyze each item and then compare them with one another after doing some in-depth analysis of each individually. The ways these items compare and contrast will end up forming the thesis of your essay!

When choosing a comparative topic, the key is that the comparison should be significant. I compared two plays to illustrate the transition in British theatre, but you could compare the ways different regional dialects affect people's job prospects or how different temperatures may or may not affect the mating patterns of lightning bugs. The point here is that comparisons not only help you limit your topic, but they also help you build your argument.

Comparisons are not the only way to get a grade-A EE, though. If after brainstorming, you pick a non-comparison-based topic and are still unsure whether your topic is too broad or narrow, spend about 30 minutes doing some basic research and see how much material is out there.

If there are more than 1,000 books, articles, or documentaries out there on that exact topic, it may be too broad. But if there are only two books that have any connection to your topic, it may be too narrow. If you're still unsure, ask your advisor—it's what they're there for! Speaking of advisors...


Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!

#3: Choose an Advisor Who Is Familiar With Your Topic

If you're not certain of who you would like to be your advisor, create a list of your top three choices. Next, write down the pros and cons of each possibility (I know this sounds tedious, but it really helps!).

For example, Mr. Green is my favorite teacher and we get along really well, but he teaches English. For my EE, I want to conduct an experiment that compares the efficiency of American electric cars with foreign electric cars.

I had Ms. White a year ago. She teaches physics and enjoyed having me in her class. Unlike Mr. Green, Ms. White could help me design my experiment.

Based on my topic and what I need from my advisor, Ms. White would be a better fit for me than would Mr. Green (even though I like him a lot).

The moral of my story is this: do not just ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor . They might be a hindrance to you if they teach another subject. For example, I would not recommend asking your biology teacher to guide you in writing an English literature-based EE.

There can, of course, be exceptions to this rule. If you have a teacher who's passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (as my English teacher was about my theatre topic), you could ask that instructor. Consider all your options before you do this. There was no theatre teacher at my high school, so I couldn't find a theatre-specific advisor, but I chose the next best thing.

Before you approach a teacher to serve as your advisor, check with your high school to see what requirements they have for this process. Some IB high schools require your IB Extended Essay advisor to sign an Agreement Form , for instance.

Make sure that you ask your IB coordinator whether there is any required paperwork to fill out. If your school needs a specific form signed, bring it with you when you ask your teacher to be your EE advisor.

#4: Pick an Advisor Who Will Push You to Be Your Best

Some teachers might just take on students because they have to and aren't very passionate about reading drafts, only giving you minimal feedback. Choose a teacher who will take the time to read several drafts of your essay and give you extensive notes. I would not have gotten my A without being pushed to make my Extended Essay draft better.

Ask a teacher that you have experience with through class or an extracurricular activity. Do not ask a teacher that you have absolutely no connection to. If a teacher already knows you, that means they already know your strengths and weaknesses, so they know what to look for, where you need to improve, and how to encourage your best work.

Also, don't forget that your supervisor's assessment is part of your overall EE score . If you're meeting with someone who pushes you to do better—and you actually take their advice—they'll have more impressive things to say about you than a supervisor who doesn't know you well and isn't heavily involved in your research process.

Be aware that the IB only allows advisors to make suggestions and give constructive criticism. Your teacher cannot actually help you write your EE. The IB recommends that the supervisor spends approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.

#5: Make Sure Your Essay Has a Clear Structure and Flow

The IB likes structure. Your EE needs a clear introduction (which should be one to two double-spaced pages), research question/focus (i.e., what you're investigating), a body, and a conclusion (about one double-spaced page). An essay with unclear organization will be graded poorly.

The body of your EE should make up the bulk of the essay. It should be about eight to 18 pages long (again, depending on your topic). Your body can be split into multiple parts. For example, if you were doing a comparison, you might have one third of your body as Novel A Analysis, another third as Novel B Analysis, and the final third as your comparison of Novels A and B.

If you're conducting an experiment or analyzing data, such as in this EE , your EE body should have a clear structure that aligns with the scientific method ; you should state the research question, discuss your method, present the data, analyze the data, explain any uncertainties, and draw a conclusion and/or evaluate the success of the experiment.

#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!

You will not be able to crank out a 4,000-word essay in just a week and get an A on it. You'll be reading many, many articles (and, depending on your topic, possibly books and plays as well!). As such, it's imperative that you start your research as soon as possible.

Each school has a slightly different deadline for the Extended Essay. Some schools want them as soon as November of your senior year; others will take them as late as February. Your school will tell you what your deadline is. If they haven't mentioned it by February of your junior year, ask your IB coordinator about it.

Some high schools will provide you with a timeline of when you need to come up with a topic, when you need to meet with your advisor, and when certain drafts are due. Not all schools do this. Ask your IB coordinator if you are unsure whether you are on a specific timeline.

Below is my recommended EE timeline. While it's earlier than most schools, it'll save you a ton of heartache (trust me, I remember how hard this process was!):

Remember that in the middle of these milestones, you'll need to schedule two other reflection sessions with your advisor . (Your teachers will actually take notes on these sessions on a form like this one , which then gets submitted to the IB.)

I recommend doing them when you get feedback on your drafts, but these meetings will ultimately be up to your supervisor. Just don't forget to do them!


The early bird DOES get the worm!

How Is the IB Extended Essay Graded?

Extended Essays are graded by examiners appointed by the IB on a scale of 0 to 34 . You'll be graded on five criteria, each with its own set of points. You can learn more about how EE scoring works by reading the IB guide to extended essays .

How well you do on each of these criteria will determine the final letter grade you get for your EE. You must earn at least a D to be eligible to receive your IB Diploma.

Although each criterion has a point value, the IB explicitly states that graders are not converting point totals into grades; instead, they're using qualitative grade descriptors to determine the final grade of your Extended Essay . Grade descriptors are on page 103 of this document .

Here's a rough estimate of how these different point values translate to letter grades based on previous scoring methods for the EE. This is just an estimate —you should read and understand the grade descriptors so you know exactly what the scorers are looking for.

Here is the breakdown of EE scores (from the May 2021 bulletin ):

How Does the Extended Essay Grade Affect Your IB Diploma?

The Extended Essay grade is combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade to determine how many points you get toward your IB Diploma.

To learn about Theory of Knowledge or how many points you need to receive an IB Diploma, read our complete guide to the IB program and our guide to the IB Diploma requirements .

This diagram shows how the two scores are combined to determine how many points you receive for your IB diploma (3 being the most, 0 being the least). In order to get your IB Diploma, you have to earn 24 points across both categories (the TOK and EE). The highest score anyone can earn is 45 points.


Let's say you get an A on your EE and a B on TOK. You will get 3 points toward your Diploma. As of 2014, a student who scores an E on either the extended essay or TOK essay will not be eligible to receive an IB Diploma .

Prior to the class of 2010, a Diploma candidate could receive a failing grade in either the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge and still be awarded a Diploma, but this is no longer true.

Figuring out how you're assessed can be a little tricky. Luckily, the IB breaks everything down here in this document . (The assessment information begins on page 219.)

40+ Sample Extended Essays for the IB Diploma Programme

In case you want a little more guidance on how to get an A on your EE, here are over 40 excellent (grade A) sample extended essays for your reading pleasure. Essays are grouped by IB subject.

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Extended essay

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students.

Read about the extended essay  in greater detail.

You can also read about how the IB sets deadlines for the extended essay , find examples of extended essay titles from previous DP students and learn about the world studies extended essay .

Learn more about the extended essay in a DP workshop for teachers . 

DP subject briefs

Our course selection guidance contains subject briefs for both standard and higher level, including information about core requirements, aims and assessment.


extended essay english b category 2

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Extended Essay: Sample Extended Essays

Samples ONLY!!!

Be aware when reading these samples that they are certainly not  PERFECT  in respect to all aspects of the assessment criteria.

Some are from the IB samples & some are from past UWC-CSC students.

There may be examples of good writing which include abstracts ( which are no longer needed ) or very poor citation style ( which you need to check conforms to our school requirements - MLA 8 )

Language & Literature


Design Technology

Be aware that these samples contain ABSTRACTS which are NO LONGER REQUIRED by the IB

Language Acquisition

Visual Arts

World Studies

Literature & Performance

Extended Essay examples for English Category 2!

extended essay english b category 2

I'm writing an Extended Essay in English Category 2, comparing two books (one originating in French, one in English). I usually find looking at examples very helpful in projects and essay writing (not to use the ideas, but to simply get a sense of the structuring). However, when I tried looking for English Category 2 EE's, the only ones I could find were extremely old or no longer relevant.

If anybody would be willing to share their English EE, I would be extremely grateful! Thanks!

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I have one! But it was not comparison - it was English tho. I talked about just one book

Could you please share it with me as well thank you so much!

Do you mind sharing it with me? Any sort of essay helps me a lot with structuring, but no worries if you don't want to!

Movies can be a good topic

Can someone share it with me as well

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English B Category 2 - Doctor Who's impact on the British society - Help needed for my RQ

By Aydaden , August 24, 2013 in Extended Essay

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Hello everyone,

So, I was thinking about doing my EE on Alice in Wonderland, as a part of category 3, however I found it quite difficult to find an appropriate topic.

I wanted to write about something I find interesting, and changed my mind about Alice in Wonderland.

Here's my idea;

The impact of the tv show Doctor Who on the British society.

Obviously, I am going to work on that sentence and turn it into a proper research question. Could you tell me if it is suitable? How can I narrow it down? Or is the idea bad?

Thank you so much.

Link to post

Share on other sites.


IBKID4lyf 45

Hmm.. Do you have enough to talk about? Like what exactly would you look at?

Well, that is one of my main concerns.

I was thinking of talking about the show being long termed, how the fan base formed, the age gap of the fan base, how the show affects people's everyday life, how the fandom reacts to changes in the show, how it is perceived as a cultural landmark and so on. I believe I can give a lot of examples. Do you think it would be off topic?


It's an interesting topic but i just don't think that it's suited to this kind of work. You should talk to your teacher to see what they say. Good luck!

bluedino 169

Have you read the EE syllabus yet? For a Category 3 English EE: "whatever area of language study the student chooses for their extended essay they will need to give focused and critical attention to the text or texts being considered. This close analysis must be integrated into a wider discussion of the contexts in which the text or texts are produced and understood." Also.. "Straightforward descriptive essays are inappropriate. Students should.. present relevant supporting examples." This is one of the fundamental issues I see with this EE question - I'm not sure you understand that you have to analyse the text not just talk descriptively about its impacts. What are you going to be analysing? With Category 1 and 2 essays you'd usually just quote lines from the text and analyse them, but If you were wanting to do Doctor Who, you'd probably be quoting what the characters say? (That's what I think? not quite sure to be honest - so make sure you know what kind of textual analysis you'd be doing.) And I can't see how you can relate what the characters are saying to DW's impact on British society? My second issue is that it sounds really broad and vague and unfocused. There are so many Doctor Who seasons (26 apparently! what's that? a period of over 30 years perhaps?), so many DW episodes (798!!!), and so many different doctors. Theoretically you should pick a specific season or something, but then it'd be harder to talk about how that specific season itself impacted on British society, rather than the whole DW thing. The other thing is that "British society" and "impact" are also so broad.. I mean you said it yourself:

I was thinking of talking about the show being long termed, how the fan base formed, the age gap of the fan base, how the show affects people's everyday life, how the fandom reacts to changes in the show, how it is perceived as a cultural landmark and so on. I believe I can give a lot of examples.


Hi, first of all, thanks for replying.

Reading your reply, I realized I needed to clear things up a bit. I am taking English B, which means it is a Group 2 subject for me. DW will not be a Cat 3 essay, it will be a Group 2, Cat 2, section B essay. This is what the EE guide says:

"B: essays of a general cultural nature based on specific cultural artifacts

The essay should be an analysis of a more general cultural nature but specific to a country or community where the language is spoken. Topics that are too broad and could apply to many cultures (like globalization, the death penalty or eating disorders) are inappropriate.

Essays of a general cultural nature must be based on specific cultural artifacts. Cultural artifacts in this context are understood to include a wide variety of phenomena, ranging from works of fine art to newspapers, magazines and cartoons, to films, television programmes and popular music."

So, in the light of this new information, I would like to hear your opinion again, as I find it to be quite helpful. As a side note, I am aware of the vagueness of the topic and my approach on the subject isn't completely clear in my head. This is why I need to hear more ideas.


I'm pretty much unknowledgeable about English B, particularly since I didn't even know a language B, I did an ab initio language..

Anyway, I think similar things about what I said above might still apply? As in, "Doctor Who" is by itself huge (26 seasons, 798 episodes, etc, like i said above) so it might still be a bit broad? I think you could at least specify whether you mean the "older" version of DW or the "newer" seasons of DW?

Since as an EE I think your RQ would still need to be specific and focused like all EEs..

I think specifying as the newer seasons of DW could be a good idea, maybe I could even narrow it down a little more, something in the lines of how the older generations reacted to the new series. Something like that:)

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    The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. Read about the extended essay in greater detail.

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    Extended Essay: Sample Extended Essays A guide to the research process involved in your EE. Samples ONLY!!! Be aware when reading these samples that they are certainly not PERFECT in respect to all aspects of the assessment criteria. Some are from the IB samples & some are from past UWC-CSC students.

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  7. Extended Essay examples for English Category 2! : r/IBO - reddit

    I'm writing an Extended Essay in English Category 2, comparing two books (one originating in French, one in English). I usually find looking at examples very helpful in projects and essay writing (not to use the ideas, but to simply get a sense of the structuring).

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    This is what the IB put as the Category 2 description: Category 2: Studies of a literary work (s) originally written in the language of the essay compared with literary work (s) originally written in another language - equal comparative analysis of both texts - cross-cultural understanding - well-structured and persuasive arguments

  9. English B Category 2 - Doctor Who's impact on the British ...

    Extended Essay English B Category 2 - Doctor Who's impact on… IB Survival is now part of Lanterna Education English B Category 2 - Doctor Who's impact on the British society - Help needed for my RQ English Group 2 Culture Category 2 Topic EE By Aydaden, August 24, 2013 in Extended Essay Share Followers 0 Reply to this topic Start new topic Aydaden