Extended Essay Topics: Best Ideas for Students

The extended essay is like a big adventure in school where you get to pick a topic you’re super interested in and dive deep into it. It’s your chance to show off how well you can think critically and do research on your own. Picking the right topic is super important because it’s what you’ll be spending a lot of time on. There are so many cool topics out there, from digging into history to solving scientific puzzles. This essay is here to help you find some awesome ideas that will make your extended essay journey exciting and fun!

Imagine you’re about to start a treasure hunt, and the topic of your extended essay is the treasure you’re seeking. You want to pick something that makes you curious, something you really want to learn more about. It could be a moment in history that’s always fascinated you or a scientific mystery you’ve always wanted to solve. The possibilities are endless! Once you’ve picked your topic-treasure, it’s time to start exploring. You’ll dive into books, articles, and maybe even interviews to uncover all the hidden gems of information. So, let’s embark on this adventure together and find the perfect topic that will make your extended essay shine!

Components of Extended Essay Topics

Starting to write a big essay can feel exciting and scary at the same time. The most important part is picking a topic that you’re really interested in and that lets you explore and learn a lot. Even though choosing a topic might seem hard, knowing what makes a good topic can help you figure out where to start. When you’re getting ready to write your essay, the first thing to think about is what topic you want to write about. It should be something that you find really interesting and that you want to learn more about. Knowing what makes a good topic can help you pick one that’s just right for you.

Relevance and Personal Interest: One of the most fundamental aspects of choosing an extended essay topic is its relevance to the student’s interests, passions, and academic pursuits. Selecting a topic that resonates personally with the student is essential as it fosters genuine enthusiasm and motivation throughout the research and writing process. Whether it’s a historical event, a scientific phenomenon, a literary work, or a societal issue, the chosen topic should evoke a sense of curiosity and a desire for deeper understanding. For instance, a student passionate about environmental conservation might choose to explore the impact of climate change on a specific ecosystem, driven by their desire to contribute to the preservation of the natural world.

Clarity and Scope: Another critical component of a compelling extended essay topic is clarity and scope. It’s essential for students to choose a topic that is clearly defined and sufficiently narrow in scope to allow for in-depth analysis within the prescribed word limit. A topic that is too broad may result in superficial treatment of the subject matter, while one that is too narrow may limit the availability of research material and hinder the exploration of diverse perspectives. Striking the right balance is key to ensuring a focused and comprehensive investigation. For example, a student interested in exploring the portrayal of gender roles in literature may narrow their focus to a specific time period or genre to facilitate a more thorough analysis.

Research Potential: An excellent extended essay topic should offer ample opportunities for research and analysis. Students should assess the availability of credible sources, primary documents, and scholarly literature relevant to their chosen topic. The feasibility of conducting primary research, such as interviews, surveys, or experiments, should also be considered where applicable. A topic with rich research potential not only enriches the depth of the essay but also allows the student to demonstrate their ability to engage critically with existing scholarship and contribute new insights to the discourse. For instance, a student investigating the psychological effects of social media may conduct surveys or interviews to gather firsthand data to supplement existing research findings.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Embracing interdisciplinary perspectives can significantly enhance the complexity and depth of an extended essay topic. Students are encouraged to explore connections between different fields of study, integrating insights from multiple disciplines to offer a holistic understanding of the chosen subject. By transcending disciplinary boundaries, students can foster interdisciplinary dialogue, draw upon diverse methodological approaches, and uncover novel insights that enrich their analysis and argumentation. For example, a student examining the ethical implications of artificial intelligence may draw upon insights from computer science, philosophy, and sociology to explore the multifaceted nature of the topic.

Significance and Impact: Lastly, an effective extended essay topic should possess inherent significance and relevance beyond the confines of the academic exercise. Students are encouraged to consider the broader implications of their chosen topic, including its relevance to contemporary issues, its socio-cultural significance, or its potential for addressing real-world challenges. By contextualizing their research within broader societal, political, or scientific contexts, students can imbue their extended essay with greater meaning and contribute to meaningful discourse within their respective fields. For example, a student investigating the portrayal of mental illness in literature may explore its implications for destigmatizing mental health issues and promoting empathy and understanding in society.

In conclusion, the process of selecting an extended essay topic is a pivotal step in the academic journey of students, requiring careful consideration of various factors. By prioritizing personal interest, clarity, research potential, interdisciplinary connections, and significance, students can craft compelling extended essay topics that inspire curiosity, foster intellectual growth, and contribute to meaningful scholarly inquiry. As students embark on this intellectual odyssey, they are encouraged to embrace the inherent opportunities for exploration, discovery, and intellectual engagement that the extended essay presents.

Best Extended Essay Topics

Starting an extended essay in English can be really fun for students. But picking a topic that’s interesting enough to explore deeply can be tough. In this guide, we’ll look at lots of cool extended essay topics for English. We’ll cover different types of books, themes, and even how language works. Whether you love old stories, new ones, or figuring out how words fit together, you’ll find ideas here to get you excited and ready to dive in.

Extended Essay Topics for English

  • The portrayal of gender roles in Shakespearean tragedies.
  • Analyzing the use of symbolism in contemporary dystopian literature.
  • Exploring the theme of identity in modern immigrant literature.
  • Investigating the role of nature in the works of Romantic poets.
  • Examining the evolution of the hero archetype in epic poetry.
  • Comparing the portrayal of love and relationships in classic and modern literature.
  • Analyzing the use of unreliable narration in postmodern novels.
  • Exploring the intersection of race and class in African-American literature.
  • Investigating the influence of mythology on contemporary fantasy literature.
  • Analyzing the use of magical realism in Latin American literature.
  • Exploring the theme of alienation in existentialist literature.
  • Investigating the representation of mental illness in contemporary young adult literature.
  • Analyzing the use of historical context in historical fiction novels.
  • Exploring the role of technology in dystopian literature.
  • Investigating the portrayal of power dynamics in Shakespearean comedies.
  • Analyzing the depiction of social class in Victorian literature.
  • Exploring the theme of freedom and oppression in postcolonial literature.
  • Investigating the use of satire in contemporary political novels.
  • Analyzing the portrayal of family dynamics in contemporary literature.
  • Exploring the theme of trauma and its effects in war literature.

Extended Essay Topics for Economics

  • The impact of government policies on income inequality.
  • Analyzing the effects of globalization on labor markets.
  • Investigating the role of fiscal policy in reducing unemployment rates.
  • Exploring the relationship between economic growth and environmental sustainability.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of monetary policy in controlling inflation.
  • Investigating the causes and consequences of income inequality in developing countries.
  • Exploring the role of innovation in economic development.
  • Analyzing the impact of trade liberalization on economic growth.
  • Investigating the relationship between education and economic development.
  • Exploring the effects of foreign direct investment on economic growth in emerging economies.
  • Analyzing the role of microfinance in poverty alleviation.
  • Investigating the impact of government regulations on small businesses.
  • Exploring the relationship between unemployment and inflation.
  • Analyzing the effects of income redistribution policies on economic growth.
  • Investigating the role of infrastructure investment in economic development.
  • Exploring the impact of automation on employment patterns.
  • Analyzing the effects of demographic changes on economic growth.
  • Investigating the relationship between corruption and economic development.
  • Exploring the role of international trade in reducing poverty.
  • Analyzing the impact of technology on income distribution.

Extended Essay Topics for History

  • The causes and consequences of the French Revolution.
  • Analyzing the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures.
  • Investigating the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
  • Exploring the factors leading to the fall of the Roman Empire.
  • Analyzing the effects of the Industrial Revolution on society and economy.
  • Investigating the origins and consequences of World War I.
  • Exploring the role of nationalism in the unification of Germany and Italy.
  • Analyzing the causes and consequences of the Cold War.
  • Investigating the impact of imperialism on Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Exploring the role of religion in medieval Europe.
  • Analyzing the factors contributing to the rise of fascism in Europe.
  • Investigating the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on African societies.
  • Exploring the causes and consequences of the American Civil War.
  • Analyzing the origins and consequences of the Holocaust.
  • Investigating the role of propaganda in shaping public opinion during World War II.
  • Exploring the impact of the Renaissance on European culture and society.
  • Analyzing the causes and consequences of the Russian Revolution.
  • Investigating the origins and consequences of apartheid in South Africa.
  • Exploring the impact of decolonization on global politics in the 20th century.
  • Analyzing the factors leading to the rise of ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, or China.

Extended Essay Topics for Biology

  • Investigating the genetic basis of a specific inherited disorder.
  • Analyzing the impact of environmental factors on gene expression.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different methods of plant propagation.
  • Exploring the role of gut microbiota in human health.
  • Analyzing the effects of climate change on biodiversity.
  • Investigating the relationship between diet and cardiovascular health.
  • Exploring the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
  • Analyzing the impact of pollution on aquatic ecosystems.
  • Investigating the process of photosynthesis in different plant species.
  • Exploring the potential of gene editing technologies in agriculture.
  • Analyzing the role of hormones in regulating animal behavior.
  • Investigating the process of cellular respiration in different organisms.
  • Exploring the impact of invasive species on native ecosystems.
  • Analyzing the mechanisms of evolution in a specific population.
  • Investigating the effects of different types of exercise on muscle physiology.
  • Exploring the role of genetics in human disease susceptibility.
  • Analyzing the impact of pesticides on insect populations.
  • Investigating the process of embryonic development in vertebrates.
  • Exploring the potential of stem cell therapy in treating diseases.
  • Analyzing the role of symbiotic relationships in ecosystem stability.

Extended Essay Topics for Chemistry

  • Investigating the kinetics of a chemical reaction.
  • Analyzing the composition of essential oils using chromatography techniques.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different types of catalysts in chemical reactions.
  • Exploring the principles of green chemistry and its applications.
  • Analyzing the properties and uses of nanoparticles in medicine.
  • Investigating the effects of pH on enzyme activity.
  • Exploring the chemistry of natural dyes and their application in textiles.
  • Analyzing the process of fermentation in the production of biofuels.
  • Investigating the chemistry of water purification techniques.
  • Exploring the synthesis and properties of polymers.
  • Analyzing the effects of temperature on the rate of chemical reactions.
  • Investigating the chemistry of food additives and their impact on health.
  • Exploring the principles of electrochemistry and its applications in batteries.
  • Analyzing the chemistry of atmospheric pollutants and their effects on the environment.
  • Investigating the synthesis and properties of superconductors.
  • Exploring the chemistry of alternative fuels and their potential as replacements for fossil fuels.
  • Analyzing the process of drug synthesis and its applications in medicine.
  • Investigating the chemistry of food preservation techniques.
  • Exploring the principles of spectroscopy and its applications in chemical analysis.
  • Analyzing the chemistry of natural products and their potential as pharmaceuticals.

How to Choose a Extended Essay Topic?

Starting an extended essay can be really exciting for students. But one of the first things you have to do is pick a topic. It can be tricky to find one that’s interesting and lets you explore it in depth. This guide will help you figure out how to choose a topic that you’re curious about and that will make your research experience meaningful and successful. Let’s dive in and explore some strategies to help you find the perfect topic for your extended essay.

  1. Reflect on Personal Interests and Passions: The first step in choosing an extended essay topic is to reflect on your personal interests and passions. Consider the subjects, themes, or issues that genuinely excite you and spark your curiosity. Whether it’s exploring historical events, analyzing literary works, or delving into scientific phenomena, selecting a topic that aligns with your interests will not only make the research process more enjoyable but also increase your motivation and engagement throughout the project.
  2. Conduct Preliminary Research: Once you have identified potential areas of interest, conduct preliminary research to explore the breadth and depth of available resources and literature related to those topics. This will help you assess the feasibility of conducting in-depth research and analysis within the scope of your chosen topic. Pay attention to the availability of credible sources, primary documents, and scholarly literature that can support your investigation. Additionally, consider the accessibility of research materials and resources, especially if you plan to conduct primary research or fieldwork.
  3. Consider the Scope and Focus of the Topic: When choosing an extended essay topic, it is essential to consider the scope and focus of the research question. Aim for a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow, striking a balance that allows for comprehensive exploration within the prescribed word limit. A topic that is too broad may result in superficial treatment of the subject matter, while a topic that is too narrow may limit the availability of research material and hinder the exploration of diverse perspectives. Define clear research objectives and parameters to guide your investigation and ensure a focused and coherent analysis.
  4. Evaluate Research Potential and Accessibility: Assess the research potential and accessibility of your chosen topic by considering the availability of credible sources, data, and research materials. Evaluate the feasibility of conducting primary research, such as interviews, surveys, experiments, or fieldwork, if applicable to your topic. Additionally, consider the ethical implications and logistical constraints associated with conducting primary research and ensure that you have access to necessary resources and support systems to facilitate your inquiry.
  5. Seek Guidance and Feedback: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance and feedback from your teachers, mentors, or subject experts during the topic selection process. They can offer valuable insights, advice, and recommendations based on their expertise and experience. Discuss your ideas, research interests, and potential topics with them to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter and receive constructive feedback on the viability and suitability of your chosen topic. Their guidance can help you refine your research question, clarify your objectives, and identify potential challenges or opportunities for exploration.
  6. Align with Assessment Criteria and Academic Requirements: Ensure that your chosen topic aligns with the assessment criteria and academic requirements outlined by the International Baccalaureate (IB) program or your educational institution. Familiarize yourself with the extended essay guidelines, including the subject-specific criteria, formatting guidelines, word limit, and assessment objectives. Your topic should demonstrate a clear connection to the subject area, adhere to academic conventions, and meet the expectations of the extended essay assessment criteria to ensure a successful outcome.
  7. Stay Flexible and Open-Minded: Finally, remain flexible and open-minded throughout the topic selection process. Be willing to explore different ideas, perspectives, and research directions, even if they deviate from your initial expectations or assumptions. Embrace the opportunity for intellectual growth and discovery by considering alternative viewpoints, challenging existing assumptions, and adapting your research focus based on new insights and discoveries. Remember that the extended essay is a journey of exploration and learning, and the process of choosing a topic is just the beginning of your scholarly inquiry.

Choosing an extended essay topic is a critical step in the research process, requiring careful consideration, reflection, and evaluation. By reflecting on personal interests, conducting preliminary research, considering the scope and focus of the topic, evaluating research potential, seeking guidance and feedback, aligning with academic requirements, and staying flexible and open-minded, students can navigate the selection process effectively and choose a topic that inspires curiosity, intellectual growth, and academic success.


In conclusion, the process of selecting an extended essay topic is crucial for students as it sets the foundation for their academic exploration. By carefully considering their interests, conducting preliminary research, and seeking guidance when needed, students can choose a topic that aligns with their passions and allows for in-depth analysis. This decision not only shapes the trajectory of their research journey but also plays a significant role in fostering intellectual growth and academic success.

Ultimately, the extended essay presents students with a unique opportunity to delve into a subject of personal interest, engage in scholarly inquiry, and demonstrate their critical thinking skills. With a compelling topic chosen, students are empowered to embark on this academic endeavor with enthusiasm and determination. By embracing the challenges and opportunities that come with the selection process, students can maximize their potential for discovery, learning, and achievement throughout their extended essay experience.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

It's essential to consider your interests, the availability of research material, and the feasibility of exploring the topic within the prescribed word limit. Ensure that the topic aligns with the subject-specific guidelines and assessment criteria provided by your educational institution or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

Yes, it's possible to change your extended essay topic, but it's important to do so early in the process and communicate with your supervisor. Changing topics later may impact your timeline and the depth of your research, so it's advisable to carefully consider your options before making a decision.

Conducting preliminary research and consulting with your supervisor can help you identify gaps in existing literature and potential areas for original investigation. Consider exploring interdisciplinary connections, delving into niche topics, or applying innovative methodologies to differentiate your extended essay from previous works and contribute new insights to the field.

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