Preparing for the Extended Essay (EE) process often begins with writing a research proposal. This crucial step provides an essential overview of the path you’ll take and serves as your starting point. Crafting a well-thought-out proposal is essential as it helps you gain clarity about your research journey. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of creating an effective Extended Essay proposal.

An Example Extended Essay Proposal Form

Here’s an example proposal form with detailed explanations and examples for each section:

1. Topic and Subject

Your Research Topic: Provide a concise and clear title that encapsulates your research idea. For instance, “The Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs in the Great Barrier Reef.”

Relevance to Subject: Explain how your chosen topic is related to the specific subject you’re studying within the IB program. In this case, “This research is under the Biology subject since it explores the ecological impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.”

Research Scope: Define the scope of your research. Specify whether you’ll focus on a specific aspect, location, or time frame. For example, “I will examine the effects of rising sea temperatures on coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef over the past decade.”

2. Motivation and Engagement

Research Objectives: Clarify what you aim to achieve with your research. “The primary objective of this study is to understand the correlation between rising sea temperatures and coral bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef and its ecological consequences.”

Significance: Explain why your research topic is significant. “This research is essential because it provides insights into the urgent issue of climate change and its effects on vital marine ecosystems. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for preserving biodiversity and environmental sustainability.”

Existing Knowledge: Discuss what is already known about the topic. “Previous studies have identified the link between climate change and coral bleaching. However, this research aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon, taking into account specific factors unique to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Research Questions: List specific research questions that your study will address. “1. What is the trend of sea temperature increase in the Great Barrier Reef over the past decade? 2. How does rising sea temperature correlate with the frequency and severity of coral bleaching events? 3. What are the ecological consequences of coral bleaching in this region?”

3. Methodology and Materials

Research Approach: Explain the methodology you’ll use to answer your research questions. “This study will employ a combination of field surveys, data analysis, and laboratory experiments to collect and analyse data on sea temperature trends and coral health.”

Data Collection: Describe the data sources and collection methods. “Sea temperature data will be collected using data loggers placed at various locations within the Great Barrier Reef. Coral health data will be collected through underwater surveys and laboratory experiments.”

Data Analysis: Detail the techniques you will use to analyse the data. “Statistical analysis, such as regression and correlation, will be employed to assess the relationship between sea temperature and coral bleaching. Ecological consequences will be assessed through qualitative analysis of ecosystem changes.”

Materials Needed: List the specific materials or equipment required for your research. “Required materials include data loggers, diving equipment, underwater survey tools, and laboratory facilities for sample analysis.”

4. Timeline and Resources 

Research Timeline: Provide a timeline that outlines key milestones and deadlines for your research. “Month 1-2: Literature review and proposal preparation. Month 3-4: Data collection and analysis. Month 5-6: Report writing and finalising the Extended Essay.”

Resource Allocation: Estimate the resources you’ll need for each phase of your research. “Month 1-2: Library access for literature review. Month 3-4: Dive equipment rental and data loggers. Month 5-6: Software for data analysis and word processing software for report writing.”

This extended essay proposal form provides a structured template for you to craft your research proposal effectively. It ensures you consider all essential elements, from the research objectives to the required resources and timeline. Tailor this form to your specific research topic and subject to create a well-rounded and comprehensive proposal.

The Idea

Start by setting aside time in your busy schedule to explore topics that genuinely interest you. Seek inspiration from various sources such as newspapers, articles, YouTube videos, conversations with people around you, or even TikTok videos. The goal is to spark that “Eureka” moment that leads to a unique and engaging research idea.

The Research Question

When developing your research question, keep it open-ended, without a predetermined answer. This approach allows for a broader exploration of different possibilities, letting your research and investigation lead to the answer naturally.

Resources Needed

Once you’ve settled on your research idea, you must identify the resources required for your investigation. Resources can range from physical materials and spaces to software tools that aid your research process.

The Timeline

Effective planning is essential for managing your EE project successfully. Create a detailed timeline that outlines the various tasks and milestones necessary for completing your Extended Essay. Consider factors like upcoming exams or deadlines that might impact your available time. It’s crucial to review your timeline with your teacher to ensure its viability and that you have enough time for each stage of the project.

Key stages to include in your timeline:

– Initial Background Research

– Conducting Main Research

– Data Analysis

– Essay Structure Planning

– First Draft

– Draft Revision

– Final Draft Submission


Writing a compelling Extended Essay proposal is the first step towards a successful research project. By carefully considering your idea, research question, timeline, and required resources, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your EE journey. Remember that your teacher is there to guide you through this process, so don’t hesitate to seek their support and feedback along the way.

Best of luck with your Extended Essay! With the right preparation and dedication, you can achieve outstanding results.