What Is a Category 2 Extended Essay? Everything You Need to Know

A Category 2 Extended Essay in the field of literary studies involves the analysis and comparison of literary works. A literary text refers to a written piece, such as a novel or poem, that aims to tell a story or provide entertainment. It’s through the exploration of these texts that students delve into the depths of storytelling, symbolism, character development, and other literary elements. In Category 2 essays, students may choose to focus on works written in the same language as the essay or opt for a comparison with works originally written in another language, which can be studied in translation. By examining these texts, students embark on a journey of literary analysis and interpretation, unraveling the intricacies of narrative construction, cultural contexts, and the power of language.

What Is Category 1 in Extended Essay?

Category 1 in the extended essay entails choosing one or more literary works as the focal point of research. A literary text, in this case, refers to any form of written composition, such as novels or poems, that aims to tell a story or provide entertainment. These works often contain elements of fiction, allowing readers to immerse themselves in captivating narratives.

If you’ve chosen English as your Language A, the selected literary works should also be in English. This requirement ensures that you can thoroughly analyze and interpret the nuances of the texts, utilizing your language proficiency to delve into their themes, characters, and literary techniques.

On the other hand, Category 2 in the extended essay offers the opportunity to compare a literary work in your Language A with one or more works originally written in a different language. This category broadens the scope of your research by exploring cross-cultural influences and examining how literary themes and techniques differ or intersect across languages. By analyzing various works, you can identify similarities and contrasts, offering unique insights into the universalities and diversities of literature as a whole.

Engaging in a Category 1 extended essay requires a deep understanding of the selected literary works and the skills to critically analyze and interpret them. Through in-depth research and literary analysis, you can uncover hidden layers of meaning, explore the cultural and historical contexts of the texts, and showcase your ability to engage with literature on a profound level.

Tips for Choosing Literary Works for a Category 1 Extended Essay

  • Consider choosing a literary work that’s widely recognized and studied in the academic community.
  • Focus on works that have a depth of analysis and critical acclaim.
  • Select a text that aligns with your personal interests and strengths in literary analysis.
  • Explore literary works from different time periods and cultural backgrounds.
  • Research the availability of resources and secondary materials for your chosen works.
  • Take into account the complexity and scope of the literary work relative to the requirements of the extended essay.
  • Consult with your supervisor or teacher for guidance and recommendations.
  • Consider the thematic richness and potential for comprehensive analysis in your chosen literary work.
  • Reflect on the impact and relevance of the selected work in terms of it’s historical and social context.
  • Keep in mind the feasibility of conducting in-depth research and analysis within the given time frame.

The maximum points for the extended essay is 34, and it’s externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. This assessment is done on a scale from 0 to 34, with each score relating to a specific band.

What Is the Maximum Points for Extended Essay?

The maximum points for the extended essay is 3This score is based on a scale that ranges from 0 to 3The score a student receives is then related to a band. The assessment of the extended essay is done by external examiners who’re appointed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization.

The extended essay is assessed on a variety of criteria. These criteria include the engagement with the research process, the construction of a well-focused research question, the ability to develop a coherent argument, and the use of appropriate evidence to support the argument. Other criteria include the organization and structure of the essay, the application of analytical and evaluative skills, and the use of appropriate academic language and style.

This includes the ability to critically reflect on the research methods used, the limitations of the research, and the implications of the findings. The essay is expected to demonstrate the students ability to think critically, evaluate sources, and engage in independent research.

This includes the assessment of a written essay, as well as an oral presentation known as the viva voce. The external examiners review the essays and provide feedback and marks based on the criteria set by the IB.

Strategies for Organizing and Structuring an Extended Essay

  • Choose a clear and concise research question.
  • Create an outline to guide your essay’s structure.
  • Gather relevant sources and organize them logically.
  • Use headings and subheadings to divide your essay into sections.
  • Ensure a logical flow of ideas between paragraphs.
  • Synthesize information from different sources to support your arguments.
  • Cite your sources properly and consistently.
  • Include counterarguments and address them effectively.
  • Provide evidence and examples to support your claims.
  • Revise and edit your essay for clarity and coherence.
  • Ask for feedback from your supervisor or a peer.
  • Use appropriate language and follow the essay’s guidelines.
  • Ensure that your introduction and conclusion are strong.
  • Proofread your essay carefully for grammar and spelling errors.

The assessment of the extended essay is based on a holistic and criterion-related approach. In this grading system, an A grade represents outstanding work, demonstrating comprehensive knowledge and expertly executed research. A B grade signifies a good standard, while a C grade indicates satisfactory work. On the other hand, a D grade reflects mediocre quality, while an E grade is bestowed upon work that’s elementary in nature. These grades serve as a comprehensive evaluation of the student’s effort and the overall excellence of the extended essay.

What Are the Grades for Extended Essay?

The grades for the Extended Essay, which is a mandatory component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, are assessed on a scale of A to E. These grades reflect the overall quality and standard of the essay. An A grade represents work of an excellent standard, indicating that the essay has met or exceeded all the criteria set out by the IB.

The essay may have some minor areas of improvement, but overall, it meets the expectations set by the IB.

A C grade reflects work of a satisfactory standard. While the essay may have met the necessary requirements to pass, it may lack depth or clarity in certain aspects. It may demonstrate an average level of analysis and research, but it may not fully meet the higher expectations of the IB.

A D grade indicates work of a mediocre standard. The essay may have significant flaws or weaknesses in areas such as research, analysis, structure, or referencing. It may lack coherence or fail to adequately address the research question.

An E grade represents work of an elementary standard, suggesting that the essay hasn’t met the minimum requirements to pass. It may demonstrate significant deficiencies in all areas, including research, analysis, argumentation, and structure. It may lack a clear research question, coherence, or engagement with critical sources.

Overall, the assessment of the Extended Essay takes into account various aspects such as the research question, the methodology used, the analysis and interpretation of data, the critical evaluation of sources, the organization and structure, and the overall presentation of the essay.

How Is the Extended Essay Graded in Comparison to Other Components of the IB Diploma Programme?

The Extended Essay is graded holistically, taking into account various criteria such as a clear research question, a well-structured argument, and the use of appropriate sources. It’s assessed by experienced IB teachers who follow a rubric provided by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organization. The Extended Essay is graded on a scale of 0 to 34 points, and this grade is then converted into a letter grade from A to E, just like other components of the IB Diploma Programme. The Extended Essay carries significant weight in contributing to the final overall Diploma score, along with other components such as Theory of Knowledge and the subject-specific assessments.

The criteria for an extended essay in 2023 remains consistent with previous years, emphasizing the inclusion of three essential components: the introduction, body, and conclusion. Furthermore, it’s crucial for the essay to adopt a clear, correct, and formal style that aligns with the subject from which the topic originates.

What Is the Criteria for an Extended Essay 2023?

The criteria for an extended essay in 2023 is centered around three key components that should be included in every research paper. These components are the introduction, body or development, and the conclusion. Each of these sections plays a crucial role in ensuring that the essay is well-structured and comprehensive.

First and foremost, the introduction sets the stage for the essay by providing background information and establishing the relevance of the topic. It should clearly state the research question or thesis statement and outline the main points that will be explored in the body of the essay. A well-written introduction captures the readers attention and lays the foundation for the subsequent sections.

The body or development of the essay is where the main arguments and evidence are presented. It’s important to use clear and concise language and to organize the content in a logical manner. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point and provide supporting evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up. It’s essential to demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject and to incorporate a variety of credible sources to support the arguments.

The conclusion wraps up the essay by summarizing the main points and restating the thesis statement or research question. It should also provide a final perspective or insight on the topic, leaving the reader with a lasting impression. The conclusion should be concise and impactful, reinforcing the key ideas discussed throughout the essay.

Aside from these three components, it’s crucial for the extended essay to be written in a clear, correct, and formal style that’s appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. This means that the language should be precise and accurate, with proper grammar, punctuation, and syntax. It’s also important to use appropriate academic conventions, such as referencing and citation, to acknowledge the sources used in the essay.

By incorporating the three components of a research paper – introduction, body, and conclusion – and adhering to a clear, correct, and formal writing style, students can ensure that their extended essays are well-structured, insightful, and meet the necessary academic standards.


The extended essay, an important component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program, is often a daunting task for students. One common question that arises is whether the essay can exceed the recommended word count. However, it’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed limit of 4,000 words, as examiners are explicitly instructed not to assess any material exceeding this boundary. Keeping within these limits ensures that your essay is evaluated fairly and effectively, without any undue advantage or disadvantage to your work.

Can the Extended Essay Be Over 4000 Words?

The extended essay is a significant component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. It’s an independent research project that aims to develop students critical thinking and research skills. One common question that arises is whether the extended essay can exceed the 4,000-word limit set by the IB.

This means that the examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material beyond this word limit. Going over the prescribed limit could potentially result in a lower grade, as examiners aren’t obligated to read the excess content.

The word limit is set for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that students focus on concise and coherent writing, which is a crucial skill for higher education and beyond. It also allows for comparability between different extended essays, enabling fair assessment across all subjects and topics.

While it’s common for students to exceed the word limit during the research and drafting process, it’s essential to edit and condense the essay to meet the requirements. This could involve omitting unnecessary information, rephrasing and summarizing ideas, or even revisiting the research question to ensure clarity and conciseness.

Examiners are experienced and trained professionals who follow strict guidelines when assessing the extended essay. By adhering to the word limit, students ensure that their work receives the attention it deserves, as examiners are instructed to assess only the content within the 4,000-word range.

The extended essay shouldn’t exceed 4,000 words. It’s important for students to develop the skills of editing and condensing their work to meet this requirement. By doing so, they ensure that the examiners can fully assess their research and analysis, resulting in a fair and accurate evaluation of their extended essay.


By analyzing and comparing works written in different languages, students gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and linguistic aspects of literature. The Category 2 Extended Essay allows students to explore various literary works and develop critical thinking skills, ultimately enhancing their appreciation and knowledge of literature.

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