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

Find out about what each subject offers within the Diploma Programme (DP).

Our DP subject briefs—for both standard and higher level—contain information about core requirements, aims and assessment.

  • Explore the DP subject briefs


extended essay word count 2021

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Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

  • Criteria, Format, Sample EEs
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • DP Research Process
  • Databases & Academic Journals
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Academic Integrity
  • MLA Citation Format
  • CSE Citation Format (Science & Math)
  • Video Tutorials 2024

The Assessment Crtiteria in Detail!

  • Criterion A: Focus and method
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking
  • Criterion D: Presentation
  • Criterion E: Engagement
  • EE_How to maximize marks for different subjects?

extended essay word count 2021

  • Criterion C: Critical thinking

Notes from the IB

RE: Research Question and Title of Extended Essay

Please note the statement below from the EE curriculum manager regarding the need to have both a title and a RQ for all subjects. Previous versions of the EE Guide indicated that the title and the RQ should be the same for History, Business Management and Mathematics. This is no longer the case.  All essays, regardless of the subject, need to have both a RQ and a title.

Hi Kathy, 

To answer your question, I am going to quote directly from a response John Royce provided, on this forum, in October in response to a very similar question: (it was a question about using Spanish sources - hence the mention of Spanish)

It is certainly  permissible to use sources which are not in the language of the essay, but translation into the target language is required , one cannot assume that the reader understands the original language.

It is usual to quote the original as well as presenting the translation.  [Do not put quotation marks around your translation, just around the original]

Umberto Eco argues ("in Mouse or rat?") that direct translation may lose meaning, paraphrase or use of different idioms may be required to get the ideas across. Paul Bellos ("Is that a fish in your ear?") makes a similar argument - direct translation may confound meaning... Direct translation may not be ideal - meaning and understanding are preferred - so, not to worry that your student with her good Spanish cannot present a direct translation.

What  must be made clear is that the translations are those of the student;  these are her understandings. Readers can make of that what they will - and if unsure, are presented with the original - they can seek another translation.  A note in the acknowledgements and/or in the introduction to the effect that all translations are those of the writer is ... essential.

In response to the question about the  Bibliography/Works cited, my preference would be to list the source in its original Thai version, but perhaps with the English in brackets, to help the examiner.

Your bibliography will have the entries in Thai characters first in the document. Any in-text citation to Thai sources will be in (Thai characters [English translation]).

Citation in Thai [English translation]

Works Cited Example:

วงษ์ปัญญา, ธนกร [Wongpunya, Thanakorn]. “โรงงานยาสูบรวยแค่ไหน และเอาเงินไปทำอะไรบ้าง.”  [How rich is the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly and where does the money go?] (candidate translation). The Standard, The Standard, 30 Aug. 2018, thestandard.co/thailand-tobacco-monopoly/.

Format of the Extended Essay

Required Formatting

The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look. 

To help achieve this, the following formatting is  required:

  • 12-point, readable font (Calibri or Times New Roman);
  • double spacing throughout entire Essay;
  • page numbering - top right corner;
  • no candidate or school name or supervisor name on the title page or page headers.

Submitting the extended essay in the required format will help set the tone of the essay and will aid readability for on-screen assessment by examiners.

Required S tructure

The structure of the essay is very important. It helps students to organize the argument, making the best use of the evidence collected. 

There are six required elements of the final work to be submitted. More details about each element are given in the  “Presentation”  section. Please note that the order in which these elements are presented here is not necessarily the order in which they should be written. 

Six required elements of the extended essay:

  • Contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • References and bibliography -- if MLA "Works Cited" if CSE "References"

1. Required Title Page  

The title page should include  only  the following information: 

  • the title of the essay
  • the research question
  • the subject the essay is registered in (if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into; if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized) 

The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. 

extended essay word count 2021

2. Required Contents Page

A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. Please note that an index page is not required and if included will be treated as if it is not present.

3. Required Introduction

The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay. The introduction should make clear to the reader the focus of the essay, the scope of the research, in particular an indication of the sources to be used, and an insight into the line of argument to be taken. 

While students should have a sense of the direction and key focus of their essay, it is sometimes advisable to finalize the introduction once the body of the essay is complete.

4. Required Body of the Essay  (research, analysis, discussion, and evaluation)

The main task is writing the body of the essay, which should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument. The form of this varies with the subject of the essay but as the argument develops it should be clear to the reader what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument. In some subjects, for example, the sciences, sub-headings within the main body of the essay will help the reader to understand the argument (and will also help the student to keep on track). In structuring their extended essay, students must take into consideration the expected conventions of the subject in which their extended essay is registered. 

Once the main body of the essay is complete, it is possible to finalize the introduction (which tells the reader what to expect) and the conclusion (which says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved). 

Any information that is important to the argument  must not  be included in appendices or footnotes/endnotes. The examiner  will not  read notes or appendices, so an essay that is not complete in itself will be compromised across the assessment criteria.

5. Required Conclusion

The conclusion says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved. While students might draw conclusions throughout the essay based on their findings, it is important that there is a final, summative conclusion at the end. This conclusion(s) must relate to the research question posed.

6.  Required References & Bibliography

Students should use their chosen style of academic referencing as soon as they start writing. That way they are less likely to forget to include a citation. It is also easier than trying to add references at a later stage. For more information on this, refer to the guidelines in the IB document  Effective citing and referencing.

Writing the essay takes time but if students have used their Researcher's reflection space and reflection sessions in a meaningful way they should be well prepared to develop their arguments.

Extended Essay - Examples & Exemplars

  • Essays from May 2018 with IB marks and commentaries
  • Assessed Student Work & Commentary IB-provided. "Student sample extended essays, corresponding marks and comments from senior examiners are available for the following Diploma Programme disciplines. Please note that in light of not having authentic RPPFs to accompany these essays, they are marked against criteria A – D only, for a total of 28 possible marks. Following the first assessment session in 2018, exemplars will be refreshed with authentic sample material." more... less... Biology English Economics History Studies in language and literature Language acquisition Mathematics Psychology Visual arts World studies extended essay (WSEE)
  • Excellenet Extended Essays Concordian GoogleDoc
  • EngA1_Othello EE Othello 2018 From inThinking.net Click the link to see the score and evaluation.
  • Fifty (50) More Excellent Extended Essays DVD by International Baccalaureate Call Number: HS DVD 808.4 ISBN: 9781906345600 Publication Date: 2011 1 DVD-ROM (1:33 min.)

Past CIS Extended Essays

Available in the library behind the desk are file folders of past Extended Essays by Concordian students and IB EE Exemplars. Feel free to browse the papers which must be kept in the library.

extended essay word count 2021

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  • How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

The International Baccalaureate Extended Essay is a challenging, independent research project that allows students to explore a topic of their choice within the context of one of the six available subject areas. This essay provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and understanding on an individual topic, and to develop their critical and independent thinking skills.

Extended essays are an essential part of the IB Diploma, since they allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding on a certain topic. Students must be aware of the criteria and guidelines for each subject before starting their research and writing.

  • The main components of an IB Extended Essay are:
  • Formulating a research question
  • Gathering evidence from reliable sources
  • Organizing evidence into a coherent argument
  • Drawing conclusions based on facts
  • Presenting the essay in a structural format

Students should also be aware of the assessment criteria which will be used to grade their work. This includes criteria such as focus and purpose, organization and structure, as well as content, referencing and accuracy.

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How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

Overview of Requirements for Extended Essays

Writing an International Baccalaureate Extended Essay can be a daunting task. This essay is an important part of the IB Diploma Program and can have a significant impact on your overall score. To help you succeed, it’s important to understand the requirements for a successful Extended Essay.

There are certain guidelines and criteria that you must adhere to in order to successfully complete your essay. The most important guideline is the word count limit, which states that the essay should be between 1500 and 4000 words. This includes all text, headings and citations.

It is also important to structure your essay correctly. The essay should include a title page, an introduction and a conclusion, as well as two to four body sections describing and analyzing the topic you’re writing about. Each body section should contain evidence from at least two sources, such as scholarly articles, books or official websites.

When writing the essay, it is important to present your arguments clearly and concisely. Break up your text with headings that clearly identify each section. Additionally, use good grammar, short sentences and paragraphs – no longer than three to five lines.

Last but not least, make sure to cite all sources used accurately and consistently. While MLA format is generally preferred, it is also important to check with your teacher which citation style they prefer.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Extended Essay meets the requirements and stands out from the crowd. Good luck!

Word Count:

An IB Extended Essay should have a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 4,000 words. It is important to stay within the specified word count , as going over the limit can lead to lower grades.

When writing your extended essay, it is important to make sure that each paragraph is well structured and contains only relevant information. Each paragraph should be around 200-300 words in length, and include evidence from reliable sources.

It is also important to keep track of your word count throughout the writing process. This way you can make sure you are not exceeding the limit or leaving out any key points.

Finally, when you have finished writing, make sure to read through your essay one more time and edit it for typos, grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. This will help to ensure that your essay is being assessed according to the correct criteria.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your IB Extended Essay meets the specified word limit and has a clear structure which allows it to be easily understood by readers.

Paragraph Length and Word Count

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be a challenging and complex task. One of the main components is the word count. It is crucial to understand why word count matters, and how long paragraphs should be in order for your essay to be successful.

Word count is necessary because it allows you to stay organized and plan out your ideas. If paragraphs are too short or too long, readers may lose focus and not understand your argument properly. Additionally, having too many short paragraphs can make your essay appear disorganized, while having too many long paragraphs can make it tedious and difficult to read.

The ideal paragraph length is around 5-7 sentences. This will help keep the reader’s attention and provide enough detail to explain your point. However, the length of each paragraph may vary depending on the content, so use your best judgement. Also, make sure that all of your paragraphs are related to the topic, focus on one main idea, and have a clear conclusion.

In conclusion, when writing an IB Extended Essay, it is important to understand why word count matters and how long paragraphs should be. Aim to have paragraphs of around 5-7 sentences, and make sure they are related to each other, focus on one main idea, and have a clear conclusion.

Research for an IB Extended Essay

Conducting research for your IB Extended Essay is a key component of the writing process. The essay should include around 8-12 sources, and they can be either primary or secondary sources. Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event or topic, while secondary sources are accounts written by someone who is not directly involved.

When selecting sources, make sure they are credible and up to date. Consider sources such as academic journals, books, websites, newspaper articles and other reliable sources. Your sources should be balanced, so include a variety of perspectives on your topic.

When citing sources, use the citation format required by your school and the IB. Making sure to cite your sources will help you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious offense that can cost you points on your final grade.

Once you’ve found some good sources, it’s important to use them effectively. Distinguish between facts and opinions in the sources, and ensure that you are using enough evidence to support your thesis. In addition, don’t forget to cross check and verify any claims made in the sources.

Overall, the research process for an IB Extended Essay requires time and effort, but following these tips will help you find the sources that best fit your topic.

Structure of an IB Extended Essay

An IB Extended Essay requires a clear structure for it to be successful and achieve the highest grades. In order to effectively outline the structure of your extended essay, you need to understand what is expected from each component.

The standard structure for an IB Extended Essay comprises four components – introduction, body, conclusion, and bibliography. Each component is important and must be included in the essay.


The introduction should provide an overview of the topic and the main argument or thesis statement. It should also introduce the research question and explain any background context or definitions that are relevant.

The body of your extended essay needs to be structured according to your research question. This can vary depending on the focus of your essay, but generally you will use evidence to back up your arguments and assertions throughout the body. Make sure you cite all sources you use in the text in order to avoid any issues with plagiarism.

The conclusion should summarise your findings and provide a brief explanation of the implications of the research. You should also discuss how your essay has addressed the research question and wrap up any loose ends.


The bibliography is the final component of your extended essay and should include full citations for all sources used in the body and conclusion. Make sure you follow the guidelines of your citation style (e.g. Harvard) when listing the sources.

By outlining the structure of your essay, you’ll ensure that it flows logically and can be easily understood by readers. This will help you make sure that your essay is effective and achieves the highest possible grade.

Time Management for IB Extended Essay Writing

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be an intimidating endeavor, but with the right planning and organization, students can effectively manage their time and produce a quality essay. Creating a timeline, setting deadlines, and following a structure are key components of writing a successful extended essay.

Setting a Timeline & Deadlines

Creating a timeline for completing your essay is critical for staying on track and meeting deadlines. Start by determining how much time you need to do the research, write, and proofread your essay. Break it down into smaller chunks of time so that you can focus on one task at a time. Set realistic deadlines that you can meet and document them somewhere you can reference them.

Staying Within the Word Limit One of the main requirements of the IB Extended Essay is that it must be within a certain word limit. This limit is between 1,500 and 4,000 words depending on the subject you choose. To ensure that you stay within the word limit, you should refer back to the limit regularly and adjust your essay accordingly.

Structuring & organizing.

Structuring your essay in advance gives you a blueprint for the essay which should help you avoid getting off track and make sure that each of the necessary components is included. A good essay should include an introduction, a body with multiple paragraphs, and a conclusion. Be mindful to use topic sentences, transitions, and other writing techniques to organize your thoughts effectively.

Proofreading & Editing

  • Allow sufficient time to proofread and edit your essay.
  • Reread your essay several times and make revisions as necessary.
  • Make sure that your essay is organized and flows well.
  • Look for typos, incorrect grammar, punctuation errors, and awkward phrasing.
  • Ensure that all sources are correctly cited.

Completing an IB Extended Essay on time is possible with careful planning and organization. Establishing a timeline, setting deadlines, and organizing your work are essential steps in writing a successful extended essay.

Resources to Help Structure and Write Extended Essays

Writing an extended essay can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available online to help you get started.

Using a template can be a great way to ensure that your extended essay follows the IB standards. Templates provide structure to an extended essay, making it easier for students to organize their thoughts. Many websites offer a variety of templates for extended essays, which can be edited to suit the specific requirements of your essay.

Sample Essays

An excellent way for students to learn about the structure and writing process of an extended essay is by reading sample essays. These essays can provide invaluable insight on the expectations of a quality extended essay. By reading samples written by peers, or viewing examples from international baccalaureate assessment sites, students can get an idea of what a successful extended essay looks like.

Mentorship can be invaluable when it comes to completing an extended essay. Organizations like the International Baccalaureate have advisors that can provide help and guidance on the structure of your essay. Additionally, depending on your school, you may have access to teachers or peers who have already completed the extended essay, and who can share their experiences and ideas.

Writing an extended essay can be a daunting task, but with the right resources and support, it can become a rewarding experience. By using templates, reading sample essays, and seeking mentorship, students can develop a successful extended essay that meets the IB standards.

Technical Considerations

Writing an IB Extended Essay is a task that requires precision and accuracy. It is critical to not just be aware of the requirements for your particular topic and school, but also to pay attention to technical details. This includes proofreading, formatting, and plagiarism awareness.


Proofreading is the process of reading and correcting errors in written work. It is important to carefully review all writing for mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. It is helpful to read your essay out loud to check for awkward phrasing or run-on sentences. Additionally, it is important to have someone else look over your essay and provide feedback.

Formatting plays an essential role in any extended essay. Every school has different specifications regarding font size, alignment, layout, and page number placement. It is important to check the instructions and adhere to the approved format. Additionally, it is beneficial to double-check that all elements such as hyperlinks and images are placed properly.

Plagiarism Awareness

Plagiarism is a serious issue, and can have serious consequences if found in an IB Extended Essay. It is essential to give credit to any sources used, and ensure that all quotes are indicated with quotation marks. Additionally, it is important to paraphrase information instead of copying word-for-word. If unsure, it is best to check with your school to make sure that your essay is free from plagiarism.

By paying close attention to technical details such as proofreading, formatting, and plagiarism awareness, you can ensure that your extended essay is professional and accurate. As a result, you will be well on your way to achieving a high score!

Grading Criteria for an IB Extended Essay

When it comes to writing an IB extended essay, it is important to remember that it is not just about how much you write, but how well you write. Your extended essay will be graded based on various criteria, and your grade will depend on how well you meet these criteria.

Below are the key components of an extended essay that graders look for:

  • Organization: Does the essay have a clear structure and logical flow?
  • Content: Does the essay have sufficient evidence or research to support its argument?
  • Style: Is the essay written in a formal and academic tone?
  • Language: Is the essay free from spelling and grammar mistakes?
  • Punctuation: Does the essay use punctuation correctly?
  • Formatting: Is the essay formatted correctly in accordance with the requirements?

Remember that meeting these criteria is essential for passing your extended essay. In addition to being aware of the grading criteria, it is also important to make sure that you proofread your essay multiple times and cite all sources correctly to avoid plagiarism issues.

By following these tips and understanding the grading criteria, you can rest assured that your extended essay will get the grade you deserve!

Writing an IB Extended Essay can be a daunting task. You need to understand the requirements of the paper and make sure you meet the criteria in order to get a good grade. Luckily, you now have all the information you need to start writing your essay!

The most important points to remember are that an IB Extended Essay must have a minimum of 1500 and a maximum of 4000 words, must include research from at least 8 sources, must have a clear structure, and should be proofread and formatted correctly. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you manage your time well and stay within the word limit.

To help you with your essay, there are several resources available online such as templates and sample essays. By understanding the grading criteria, you’ll know exactly what you need to focus on in order to achieve a good grade.

We hope this guide has been informative in helping you write the best IB Extended Essay possible. Good luck, and don’t forget to get help if you need it

  • Last Edit 11 May 2023

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Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's " Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization ," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

📚🔍 Explore a Wide Range of IB Extended Essay Topics! 🔍📚

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  • Law Extended Essay Topics and Tips
  • How to Write a Winning IB Business Management Extended Essay
  • History Extended Essay: Definition, Outline, Assessment Criteria
  • How Long Does It Take to Write an IB Extended Essay?
  • How to Pick an Interesting Topic for Your Extended Essay
  • How to choose a research question for your IB extended essay

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extended essay word count 2021

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Ib Extended Essay Word Count Rules: Everything You Need to Know

Unraveling the mysteries of ib extended essay word count rules contract.

Writing an IB extended essay can be a daunting task, as students are required to delve deep into a topic of their choice and produce a comprehensive piece of research. One key of extended essay word count, often leaves puzzled rules guidelines.

As a former IB student myself, I understand the challenges and frustrations that can come with navigating the word count regulations. In blog post, aim provide thorough insightful of IB Extended Essay Word Count Rules Contract, clarity guidance current future students.

the Word Count Requirements

According to the official IB Extended Essay Guide, the word count for the extended essay must be between 3,000 and 4,000 words. This word limit includes the main body of the essay, as well as any quotations, footnotes, and in-text citations. The title page, abstract, table of contents, bibliography, and appendices are not included in the word count.

It is crucial for students to adhere to these word count regulations, as exceeding or falling short of the specified range can result in penalties and potential loss of marks. It essential students carefully plan structure essays ensure meet word count requirements.

Case Studies and Practical Examples

To provide a practical understanding of the word count rules, let`s consider a case study of two hypothetical extended essays:

In the first case study, the essay falls within the permissible word count range, demonstrating compliance with the regulations. However, in the second case study, the essay exceeds the upper limit of 4,000 words, potentially resulting in penalties for the student.

Strategies for Meeting the Word Count

As students to meet word count requirements, essential adopt strategies managing length essays. May include:

  • Conducting research selecting focused to ensure depth analysis within word limit.
  • Being and in language, avoiding repetition verbosity.
  • Carefully quotations citations within text contribute word count without padding.

By implementing these strategies, students can navigate the word count regulations while producing high-quality, substantive essays that fulfill the requirements of the extended essay assessment.

The word count rules for the IB extended essay play a significant role in shaping the structure and content of students` research projects. By gaining a clear understanding of these rules and employing effective strategies, students can confidently navigate the word count requirements while producing compelling and well-researched essays.

IB Extended Essay Word Count Rules Contract

In accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the International Baccalaureate organization, this contract outlines the word count rules for the extended essay.

This contract is entered into on the date of submission of the extended essay.

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Extended Essay Resources: Paper Formatting

  • Research Video Tutorials
  • In-text Citations
  • Plagiarism VS. Documentation
  • Primary Sources
  • Subject Resources
  • Cite Your Sources This link opens in a new window
  • Evaluate Your Sources This link opens in a new window
  • Supervisor Resources
  • Note Taking Templates
  • Paper Formatting
  • Ms Wood's presentation
  • Extended Essay calendar
  • Submit your topic selection

How to format the EE

The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look.

To help achieve this, the following formatting is suggested.

  • Arial 12 or Times New Roman 12
  • Double-spaced
  • page numbering
  • no candidate, supervisor, or school name on the title page, page headers, appendices or acknowledgment pages
  • the file size must not be more than 10 MB. (Note that the RPPF is uploaded separately and is not part of the overall file size of the essay.)

What's on the Title Page?

The title page should include the:

  • title of the essay
  • research question
  • if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into;
  • if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized)
  • word count.

DO NOT include any personal information like your name, the name of the school, or your candidate number. The IB wants each EE to be anonymous and assessed without bias. 

Images and Illustrations

From the mla style guide at purdue, labels, captions, and source information.

Illustrations appear directly embedded in the document. Each illustration must include a label, a number, a caption and/or source information.

  • The illustration label and number should always appear in two places:  the document main text (e.g.  see fig. 1 ) and near the illustration itself ( Fig. 1 ).
  • Captions  provide titles or explanatory notes (e.g.,  Van Gogh’s The Starry Night)
  • Source information  documentation will always depend upon the medium of the source illustration. If you provide source information with all of your illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
  • All visuals/illustrations that are not tables or musical score examples (e.g. maps, diagrams, charts, videos, podcasts, etc.) are labeled Figure or Fig.
  • Refer to the figure in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure. Do not capitalize figure or fig .
  • MLA does not specify alignment requirements for figures; thus, these images may be embedded as the reader sees fit. However, continue to follow basic MLA Style formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
  • Below the figure, provide a label name and its corresponding arabic numeral (no bold or italics), followed by a period (e.g. Fig. 1.). Here, Figure and Fig .  are capitalized.
  • Beginning with the same line as the label and number, provide a title and/or caption as well as relevant source information in note form (see instructions and examples above). If you provide source information with your illustrations, you do not need to provide this information on the Works Cited page.
  • If full citation information is provided in the caption, use the same formatting as you would for your Works Cited page. However, names should be listed in  first name last name  format.

Figure Example

In-text reference:

Some readers found Harry’s final battle with Voldemort a disappointment, and recently, the podcast,  MuggleCast  debated the subject (see fig. 2).

Figure caption (below an embedded podcast file for a document to be viewed electronically):

Fig. 2. Harry Potter and Voldemort final battle debate from Andrew Sims et al.; “Show 166”;  MuggleCast ; MuggleNet.com, 19 Dec. 2008, www.mugglenet.com/2015/11/the-snape-debate-rowling-speaks-out.

Appendices are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within them, in the assessment of the essay. Students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it. Appendices should therefore be avoided except in the following instances:

  • an exemplar of a questionnaire or interview questions
  • an exemplar of permission letters
  • group 1, category 1 essays: copies of poems or short stories (of less than three pages)
  • group 1, category 3 essays: excerpts from newspapers, advertisements and transcripts of speeches
  • language acquisition, category 1 and 2: excerpts from newspapers, advertisements, transcripts of speeches, etc
  • language acquisition, category 3: excerpts or copies of poems or short stories (less than 3 pages)
  • an external mentor letter, where one has been used
  • raw data or statistical tables for experimental sciences (this should not include any analysis or conclusions).

Students should not continually refer to material presented in an appendix as this may disrupt the continuity of the essay and examiners are not required to refer to them.

Word Counts

Word counts.

The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.

Please note:  Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria. 

Please refer to the following guidance on what content should be included in the word count.

Please refer to the document entitled  Assessment principles and practices—Quality assessments in a digital age  for further clarification of word count requirements.

A note for students writing in Chinese, Korean and Japanese:

Students writing their extended essay in Japanese, Korean or Chinese should use the following conversions.

  • Japanese: 1 word = approximately 2 Japanese characters (upper limit 8,000 characters)
  • Korean: 1 word = 1 Korean character (upper limit 4,000 characters)
  • Chinese: 1 word = approximately 1.2 Chinese characters (upper limit 4,800 characters)

When typing in Chinese, Korean or Japanese word processing software is likely to include the number of characters  and  punctuation in the word count. Students are asked to  not  include punctuation in the word count for assessed work. The word count should only take into account the number of characters typed.

A note about acknowledgments and dedications:

An acknowledgment/dedications page may be included in the EE if this is important to the student, but it must contain no “identifiers”, for example, people should not be detailed in any way that makes the student’s school identifiable. An acknowledgment/dedications page is not a formal requirement of the EE, so it does not contribute to either the word count or assessment.

Headers and Footnotes

Students may wish to use the header function for their research question, so that it appears on each page. This may help retain focus.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes may be used for referencing purposes and if this is the case will not be included in the word count of the essay. If information is contained in a footnote or endnote and is not a reference, this  must  be included in the word count. In order to avoid confusion and unwittingly exceed the word limit, students are advised to avoid using footnotes or endnotes other than for referencing purposes unless it is appropriate.

One appropriate use of footnotes is for the placement of the original quotation (where the original quotation is in a language other than the language of registration). This use of footnotes would not need to be included in the word count.

As footnotes and endnotes are not an essential part of the extended essay students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the main body of it.

An essay that attempts to evade the word limit by including important material in footnotes or endnotes will be compromised across the assessment criteria. Please note that footnotes and endnotes are added to the word count as they are encountered.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the best college essay length: how long should it be.

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College Essays


Figuring out your college essay can be one of the most difficult parts of applying to college. Even once you've read the prompt and picked a topic, you might wonder: if you write too much or too little, will you blow your chance of admission? How long should a college essay be?

Whether you're a terse writer or a loquacious one, we can advise you on college essay length. In this guide, we'll cover what the standard college essay length is, how much word limits matter, and what to do if you aren't sure how long a specific essay should be.

How Long Is a College Essay? First, Check the Word Limit

You might be used to turning in your writing assignments on a page-limit basis (for example, a 10-page paper). While some colleges provide page limits for their college essays, most use a word limit instead. This makes sure there's a standard length for all the essays that a college receives, regardless of formatting or font.

In the simplest terms, your college essay should be pretty close to, but not exceeding, the word limit in length. Think within 50 words as the lower bound, with the word limit as the upper bound. So for a 500-word limit essay, try to get somewhere between 450-500 words. If they give you a range, stay within that range.

College essay prompts usually provide the word limit right in the prompt or in the instructions.

For example, the University of Illinois says :

"You'll answer two to three prompts as part of your application. The questions you'll answer will depend on whether you're applying to a major or to our undeclared program , and if you've selected a second choice . Each response should be approximately 150 words."

As exemplified by the University of Illinois, the shortest word limits for college essays are usually around 150 words (less than half a single-spaced page). Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around 650 words (over one single-spaced page). College essays are usually pretty short: between 150 and 650 words. Admissions officers have to read a lot of them, after all!


Weigh your words carefully, because they are limited!

How Flexible Is the Word Limit?

But how flexible is the word limit? What if your poignant anecdote is just 10 words too long—or 100 too short?

Can I Go Over the Word Limit?

If you are attaching a document and you need one or two extra words, you can probably get away with exceeding the word limit by such a small amount. Some colleges will actually tell you that exceeding the word limit by 1-2 words is fine. However, I advise against exceeding the word limit unless it's explicitly allowed for a few reasons:

First, you might not be able to. If you have to copy-paste it into a text box, your essay might get cut off and you'll have to trim it down anyway.

If you exceed the word limit in a noticeable way, the admissions counselor may just stop reading your essay past that point. This is not good for you.

Following directions is actually a very important part of the college application process. You need to follow directions to get your letters of recommendation, upload your essays, send supplemental materials, get your test scores sent, and so on and so forth. So it's just a good general rule to follow whatever instructions you've been given by the institution. Better safe than sorry!

Can I Go Under the Word Limit?

If you can truly get your point across well beneath the word limit, it's probably fine. Brevity is not necessarily a bad thing in writing just so long as you are clear, cogent, and communicate what you want to.

However, most college essays have pretty tight word limits anyways. So if you're writing 300 words for an essay with a 500-word limit, ask yourself: is there anything more you could say to elaborate on or support your points? Consult with a parent, friend, or teacher on where you could elaborate with more detail or expand your points.

Also, if the college gives you a word range, you absolutely need to at least hit the bottom end of the range. So if you get a range from the institution, like 400-500 words, you need to write at least 400 words. If you write less, it will come across like you have nothing to say, which is not an impression you want to give.


What If There Is No Word Limit?

Some colleges don't give you a word limit for one or more of your essay prompts. This can be a little stressful, but the prompts generally fall into a few categories:

Writing Sample

Some colleges don't provide a hard-and-fast word limit because they want a writing sample from one of your classes. In this case, a word limit would be very limiting to you in terms of which assignments you could select from.

For an example of this kind of prompt, check out essay Option B at Amherst :

"Submit a graded paper from your junior or senior year that best represents your writing skills and analytical abilities. We are particularly interested in your ability to construct a tightly reasoned, persuasive argument that calls upon literary, sociological or historical evidence. You should NOT submit a laboratory report, journal entry, creative writing sample or in-class essay."

While there is usually no word limit per se, colleges sometimes provide a general page guideline for writing samples. In the FAQ for Option B , Amherst clarifies, "There is no hard-and-fast rule for official page limit. Typically, we anticipate a paper of 4-5 pages will provide adequate length to demonstrate your analytical abilities. Somewhat longer papers can also be submitted, but in most cases should not exceed 8-10 pages."

So even though there's no word limit, they'd like somewhere in the 4-10 pages range. High school students are not usually writing papers that are longer than 10 pages anyways, so that isn't very limiting.

extended essay word count 2021

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Implicit Length Guideline

Sometimes, while there's no word (or even page) limit, there's still an implicit length guideline. What do I mean by this?

See, for example, this Western Washington University prompt :

“Describe one or more activities you have been involved in that have been particularly meaningful. What does your involvement say about the communities, identities or causes that are important to you?”

While there’s no page or word limit listed here, further down on page the ‘essay tips’ section explains that “ most essay responses are about 500 words, ” though “this is only a recommendation, not a firm limit.” This gives you an idea of what’s reasonable. A little longer or shorter than 500 words would be appropriate here. That’s what I mean by an “implicit” word limit—there is a reasonable length you could go to within the boundaries of the prompt.


But what's the proper coffee-to-paragraph ratio?

Treasure Hunt

There is also the classic "treasure hunt" prompt. No, it's not a prompt about a treasure hunt. It's a prompt where there are no length guidelines given, but if you hunt around on the rest of the website you can find length guidelines.

For example, the University of Chicago provides seven "Extended Essay" prompts . You must write an essay in response to one prompt of your choosing, but nowhere on the page is there any guidance about word count or page limit.

However, many colleges provide additional details about their expectations for application materials, including essays, on FAQ pages, which is true of the University of Chicago. On the school’s admissions Frequently Asked Questions page , they provide the following length guidelines for the supplemental essays: 

“We suggest that you note any word limits for Coalition or Common Application essays; however, there are no strict word limits on the UChicago Supplement essays. For the extended essay (where you choose one of several prompts), we suggest that you aim for around 650 words. While we won't, as a rule, stop reading after 650 words, we're only human and cannot promise that an overly wordy essay will hold our attention indefinitely. For the “Why UChicago?” essay, we suggest about 250-500 words. The ideas in your writing matter more than the exact number of words you use!”

So there you go! You want to be (loosely) in the realm of 650 for the extended essay, and 250-500 words for the “Why UChicago?” essay.

Help! There Really Is No Guidance on Length

If you really can't find any length guidelines anywhere on the admissions website and you're at a loss, I advise calling the admissions office. They may not be able to give you an exact number (in fact, they probably won't), but they will probably at least be able to tell you how long most of the essays they see are. (And keep you from writing a panicked, 20-page dissertation about your relationship with your dog).

In general, 500 words or so is pretty safe for a college essay. It's a fairly standard word limit length, in fact. (And if you're wondering, that's about a page and a half double-spaced.) 500 words is long enough to develop a basic idea while still getting a point across quickly—important when admissions counselors have thousands of essays to read!


"See? It says 500 words right there in tiny font!"

The Final Word: How Long Should a College Essay Be?

The best college essay length is usually pretty straightforward: you want to be right under or at the provided word limit. If you go substantially past the word limit, you risk having your essay cut off by an online application form or having the admissions officer just not finish it. And if you're too far under the word limit, you may not be elaborating enough.

What if there is no word limit? Then how long should a college essay be? In general, around 500 words is a pretty safe approximate word amount for a college essay—it's one of the most common word limits, after all!

Here's guidance for special cases and hunting down word limits:

If it's a writing sample of your graded academic work, the length either doesn't matter or there should be some loose page guidelines.

There also may be implicit length guidelines. For example, if a prompt says to write three paragraphs, you'll know that writing six sentences is definitely too short, and two single-spaced pages is definitely too long.

You might not be able to find length guidelines in the prompt, but you could still hunt them up elsewhere on the website. Try checking FAQs or googling your chosen school name with "admissions essay word limit."

If there really is no word limit, you can call the school to try to get some guidance.

With this advice, you can be sure you've got the right college essay length on lockdown!


Hey, writing about yourself can even be fun!

What's Next?

Need to ask a teacher or friend for help with your essay? See our do's and dont's to getting college essay advice .

If you're lacking in essay inspiration, see our guide to brainstorming college essay ideas . And here's our guide to starting out your essay perfectly!

Looking for college essay examples? See 11 places to find college essay examples and 145 essay examples with analysis !

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IB Extended Essay: Assessment Criteria

  • Research Questions
  • Past Essays
  • Notes & Outlines
  • Works Cited Page
  • In-Text Citations
  • Assessment Criteria
  • Reflections
  • Supervisor Info
  • Net Valley Library This link opens in a new window

extended essay word count 2021

Score Descriptors for each Criterion:

  • A - Focus and Method
  • B - Knowledge and Understanding
  • C - Critical Thinking
  • D - Presentation
  • E - Engagement

Printable: Full Rubric  for all subjects

To view details for your SUBJECT, open the correct page below.

  • Choose "Interpreting the EE Assessment Criteria" on the sidebar to see how to score well in YOUR subject area

extended essay word count 2021

Language & literature (language A)

Language acquisition (language B)


Visual Arts

World Studies

Business Management

Grade Boundaries

extended essay word count 2021

What's Expected?

  • A: Focus/Method
  • B: Knowledge
  • C: Critical Thinking
  • D: Presentation
  • E: Engagement
  • A: Focus and Method (6 marks)
  • B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 marks)
  • C: Critical Thinking (12 marks)
  • D: Presentation (4 marks)
  • E: Engagement (6 marks)
  • Total marks possible: 34 (see grade boundaries below)
  • Printable:  Full Rubric
  • Printable: A3 size with details
  • Printable:  Details for each criterion , via the Oxford guide

extended essay word count 2021

Criterion A:  Focus and Method (6 points)

What It Means:   This criterion focuses on the topic, the research question and the methodology. It assesses the explanation of the focus of the research (this includes the topic and the research question), how the research will be undertaken, and how the focus is maintained throughout the essay.

Questions to ask:  

  • Does this essay meet the requirements for the subject for which you are registering it?
  • Is your research question stated as a question?
  • Have you explained how your research question relates to the subject that you selected for the extended essay?
  • Have you given an insight into why your area of study is important?
  • Is your research question feasible within the scope of the task? Could your research question be “answered” or it is too vague?
  • Did you refer to your research question throughout the essay (not only in the introduction and conclusion)?
  • Did you explain why you selected your methodology?
  • Are there other possible methods that could be used or applied to answer your research question? How might this change the direction of your research?
  • If you stated a particular methodology in the introduction of your essay, or specific sources, have you used them?
  • Are there any references listed in the bibliography that were not directly cited in the text?

(Source: Susan Trower, via West Sound Academy)

extended essay word count 2021

Criterion B:  Knowledge and Understanding (6 points)

What It Means:   This criterion assesses the extent to which the research relates to the subject area/discipline used to explore the research question; or in the case of the world studies extended essay, the issue addressed and the two disciplinary perspectives applied; and additionally, the way in which this knowledge and understanding is demonstrated through the use of appropriate terminology and concepts.

  • Have you explained how your research question relates to a specific subject you selected for the extended essay?
  • Have you used relevant terminology and concepts throughout your essay as they relate to your particular area of research?
  • Is it clear that the sources you are using are relevant and appropriate to your research question?
  • Do you have a range of sources, or have you only relied on one particular type, for example internet sources?
  • Is there a reason why you might not have a range? Is this justified?

extended essay word count 2021

(Source: Oxford EE manual, p. 110)

extended essay word count 2021

Criterion C:  Critical Thinking (12 points)

What It Means:   This criterion assesses the extent to which critical thinking skills have been used to analyze and evaluate the research undertaken.

  • Have you made links between your results and data collected and your research question?
  • If you included data or information that is not directly related to your research question have you explained its importance?
  • Are your conclusions supported by your data?
  • If you found unexpected information or data have you discussed its importance?
  • Have you provided a critical evaluation of the methods you selected?
  • Have you considered the reliability of your sources (peer-reviewed journals, internet, and so on)?
  • Have you mentioned and evaluated the significance of possible errors that may have occurred in your research?
  • Are all your suggestions of errors or improvements relevant?
  • Have you evaluated your research question?
  • Have you compared your results or findings with any other sources?
  • Is there an argument that is clear and easy to follow and directly linked to answering your research question, and which is supported by evidence? Are there other possible methods that could be used or applied to answer your research question? How might this change the direction of your research?

extended essay word count 2021

(Source: Oxford EE Manual p. 111)

Handy Links:

  • Presentation One Pager  via Catalina Bordoy
  • Presentation Checklist
  • Sample Title page   (see below - top half of the page)

extended essay word count 2021

Criterion D:  Presentation ( 4 points)

What It Means:   This criterion assesses the extent to which the presentation follows the standard format expected for academic writing and the extent to which this aids effective communication.

  • Have you read and understood the presentation requirements of the extended essay?
  • Have you chosen a font that will be easy for examiners to read on-screen?
  • Is your essay double-spaced and size 12 font?
  • Are the title and research question mentioned on the cover page?
  • Are all pages numbered?
  • Have you prepared a correct table of contents?
  • Do the page numbers in the table of contents match the page numbers in the text?
  • Is your essay subdivided into correct sub-sections, if this is applicable to the subject?
  • Are all figures and tables properly numbered and labelled?
  • Does your bibliography contain only the sources cited in the text?
  • Did you use the same reference system throughout the essay?
  • Does the essay have less than 4,000 words?
  • Is all the material presented in the appendices relevant and necessary?
  • Have you proofread the text for spelling or grammar errors?

Criterion E: Engagement

  • Three reflections (best after meeting with your supervisor)
  • 500 words TOTAL (100 + 150 + 250?)
  • Reflections are done in Managebac on your Reflection space
  • See the "Reflections" tab above for prompts to write about

extended essay word count 2021

(Source: Oxford EE Manual p.135)

extended essay word count 2021

(Source: Oxford EE Manual p.133)

  • Sample Reflections
  • Full chapter on Reflections from the Oxford Guide

Criterion E:  Engagement (6 points)

What It Means:   This criterion assesses the student’s engagement with their research focus and the research process. It will be applied by the examiner at the end of the assessment of the essay, after considering the student’s RPPF (Reflections on planning and progress form).

  • Have you demonstrated your engagement with your research topic and the research process?
  • Have you highlighted challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
  • Will the examiner get a sense of your intellectual and skills development?
  • Will the examiner get a sense of your creativity and intellectual initiative?
  • For prompts to deepen your reflections, go  here  and then to the bottom of the page
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  • Last Updated: Dec 15, 2023 10:08 AM
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  • College essay

How Long Should a College Essay Be? | Word Count Tips

Published on September 29, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on June 1, 2023.

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, if you write too little, it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a thoughtful and developed essay.

Table of contents

Word count guidelines for different application types, how to shorten your essay, how to expand your essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Each university has a different suggested or required word count depending on which application portal it uses.

Some application portals will allow you to exceed the word count limit, but admissions officers have limited time and energy to read longer essays. Other application portals have a strict limit and will not allow you to exceed it.

For example, in the Common App , the portal will not allow you to submit more than 650 words. Some colleges using the Common App will allow you to submit less than 250 words, but this is too short for a well-developed essay.

For scholarship essays , diversity essays , and “Why this college?” essays , word count limits vary. Make sure to verify and respect each prompt’s limit.

Don’t worry too much about word count until the revision stage ; focusing on word count while writing may hinder your creativity. Once you have finished a draft, you can start shortening or expanding your essay if necessary.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

On some application portals, you can exceed the word limit, but there are good reasons to stay within it:

  • To maintain the admissions officer’s attention
  • To show you can follow directions
  • To demonstrate you can write concisely

Here are some strategies for shortening your essay.

Stay on the main point

It’s good to use vivid imagery, but only include relevant details. Cut any sentences with tangents or unnecessary information.

My father taught me how to strategically hold the marshmallow pierced by a twig at a safe distance from the flames to make sure it didn’t get burned, ensuring a golden brown exterior.

Typically, my father is glued to his computer since he’s a software engineer at Microsoft. But that night, he was the marshmallow master. We waited together as the pillowy sugary goodness caramelized into gooey delight. Good example: Sticks to the point On our camping trip to Yosemite, my family spent time together, away from technology and routine responsibility.

My favorite part was roasting s’mores around the campfire. My father taught me how to hold the marshmallow at a safe distance from the flames, ensuring a golden brown exterior.

These college essay examples also demonstrate how you can cut your essay down to size.

Eliminate wordiness

Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay. If a word doesn’t add value, cut it.

Here are some common examples of wordiness and how to fix them.

Use a paraphrasing tool

If you want to save time, you can make use of a paraphrasing tool . Within the tool you can select the “short” mode to rewrite your essay in less words. Just copy your text in the tool and within 1 click you’ll have shortened your essay.

If you’re significantly under the word count, you’re wasting the opportunity to show depth and authenticity in your essay. Admissions officers may see your short essay as a sign that you’re unable to write a detailed, insightful narrative about yourself.

Here are some strategies for expanding your essay.

Show detailed examples, and don’t tell generic stories

You should include detailed examples that can’t be replicated by another student. Use vivid imagery, the five senses, and specific objects to transport the reader into your story.

Reveal your feelings and insight

If your essay lacks vulnerability or self-reflection, share your feelings and the lessons you’ve learned.

Be creative with how you express your feelings; rather than simply writing “I’m happy,” use memorable images to help the reader clearly visualize your happiness. Similarly, for insight, include the follow-up actions from your lessons learned; instead of claiming “I became a hard worker,” explain what difficult tasks you accomplished as a result of what you learned.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.

You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.

If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

You can speed up this process by shortening and smoothing your writing with a paraphrasing tool . After that, you can use the summarizer to shorten it even more.

There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, June 01). How Long Should a College Essay Be? | Word Count Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/college-essay-length/

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Kirsten Courault

Kirsten Courault

Other students also liked, college essay format & structure | example outlines, how to revise your college admissions essay | examples, how to apply for college | timeline, templates & checklist, "i thought ai proofreading was useless but..".

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  • Content Expander

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University of Chicago 2021-22 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision: 

University of Chicago 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 2 essays of 1-2 pages each

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why , Oddball

This is it, the infamous U Chicago supplemental application. These quirky prompts have been a rite of passage for generations of applicants. So before you dive in, just remember that if they could do it, so can you! Your goal in writing your Chicago extended essay should be the same as ever: to reveal something new to admissions. It might even help to have a few ideas in mind before reading through your options. These prompts are so specific and strange that, in the end, the key is just to follow your instincts. What speaks to you right away? What inspires you?

Question 1 (Required)

How does the university of chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to uchicago..

Think of this run-of-the-mill why essay as the overture to your magnum opus (i.e. the Extended Essay). Chicago wants you to cover all the bases – “learning, community, and future” – so as with any why essay, you’d best buckle down and do your homework. The more specific details you can incorporate into your essay, the more sincere and personal it will feel (and be!). Explore both academic and extracurricular opportunities. How will you pursue your interest in oceanography? With a major in biology and a semester in Australia? What research opportunities will you pursue? Will joining the club crew team help you feel more connected to aquatic life despite your midwest location? One thing you won’t find on the school website, though, is that third piece, that “future” thing. Think about where you’d like to be five or ten years from now – your career or the impact you’d like to have or even just a geographic location. How will a U Chicago education help you get there? How will your scholarly and social pursuits help you grow? Show admissions how U Chicago is the bridge between the person you are and the person you hope to be.

Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)

Essay option 1, what if the moon were made of cheese or neptune made of soap pick a celestial object, reimagine its material composition, and explore the implications. feel free to explore the realms of physics, philosophy, fantasy…the sky is the limit.

—Inspired by Tate Flicker, Class of 2025

Your answer to this prompt should ultimately speak to your passions. Maybe Jupiter is made up entirely of salt water because you can’t think of anything cooler than alien sharks (and you’re an aspiring marine biologist). Perhaps Saturn is made up of string because you recently discovered a love for knitting and you would take full advantage of this bountiful new resource. If Pluto is made up of trampolines, would you take your love of gymnastics to new heights? (We’re too punny!)

Whatever the celestial object is made of, it has to link to some kind of story or revelation about yourself. You need to know what you’re choosing, why you’re choosing it, and how it relates to something about you that admissions doesn’t yet know.

Essay Option 2

What’s so easy about pie.

—Inspired by Arjun Kalia, Class of 2025

You could take this prompt as face value and literally write about pie. Maybe you’re a novice baker or pie serves as the centerpiece of all of your family reunions. Does pie smooth out  social interactions with your relatives? (Who can question you about your career path and life goals when they have a mouthful of delicious pumpkin pie in their mouth?!) 

On the other hand, maybe this prompt isn’t about pie at all. Or, if it is, perhaps you don’t think there’s anything easy about pie. This prompt can be interpreted in a hundred different ways. The extent to which you can push this open-ended question is virtually limitless. Admissions is looking to see how you think, process, and approach. So, flex your imaginative muscles and take the metaphor off a cliff (in a good way). In the end, if this prompt doesn’t speak to you, don’t worry, there are plenty of others to choose from!

Essay Option 3

In homer’s iliad, helen had a “face that launched a thousand ships.” a millihelen, then, measures the beauty needed to launch one ship. the sagan unit is used to denote any large quantity (in place of “billions and billions”). a new york minute measures the period of time between a traffic light turning green and the cab behind you honking. invent a new unit of measurement. how is it derived how is it used what are its equivalents.

—Inspired by Carina Kane, Class of 2024, and Ishaan Goel, Class of 2025

This question can be reflective of so many aspects of your life. It can refer to a subject that you enjoy studying, a place that is important to you, or a hobby you’ve invested a lot of time into. This prompt is meant for fun, so don’t hesitate to tap into your comedian side or engage in wordplay. Are the hours between dinner and twilight the “construction-zone,” as you try makeup tutorials in your free time? (Repurposed phrases are encouraged!) If this prompt appeals to you, your answer will become abundantly clear. What do you want admissions to know about you? You can make almost any topic work for this prompt, so long as you have the proper segue.

We here at CEA have a different definition of a New York Minute, which is the time it takes a New Yorker to mute the monitor in the backseat after getting into a cab. If we were responding to this prompt, we might explore what it’s like to grow up in a city filled with distractions or what it’s like to be part of a super fast-paced environment. 

The new unit of measurement you invent could be the octave your mom manages to reach when breaking into one of her hyena laughs (her “wild-note”), or the force in which your dog is able to wag his tail and knock over literally everything (the “demolition-wag”). Let your mind wander and see what comes up for you!

Essay Option 4

“there is no such thing as a new idea” – mark twain. are any pieces of art, literature, philosophy, or technology truly original, or just a different combination of old ideas pick something, anything (besides yourself), and explain why it is, or is not, original..

—Inspired by Haina Lu, Class of 2022

This prompt is for all the creatives out there. Like the rest of the University of Chicago’s prompts, it doesn’t really matter which side you take, so long as you’re using the prompt to write about something that is important to you. Maybe you want to write about recent social justice movements like Black Lives Matter or #MeToo . Are they introducing new ideas? Not necessarily. Does that mean they’re not important for us to engage with and pay attention to? Absolutely not. 

You can also argue that everything is new. Sure, every piece of music is composed of the same notes, but those notes can be arranged in an infinite number of ways, evoking joy with that classic G-major and melancholy with those minor keys. You could argue that, every time you play a song, it’s for the first time because it will never be played exactly the same way twice. Or you could argue that ideas are reflective of the times in which they are introduced, and thus, they’re always brand new because they’re explored through the lens of a new chapter in history. If this prompt calls to you, follow the sound, and we’re sure you’ll come up with something great (and maybe even new)!

Essay Option 5

It’s said that history repeats itself. but what about other disciplines choose another field (chemistry, philosophy, etc.) and explain how it repeats itself. explain how it repeats itself..

—Inspired by Ori Brian, AB’19

This prompt serves you with a fun, creative way to nerd out about an intellectual interest of yours. However, what you choose to focus on doesn’t have to be something related to your major or long-term goals; it can just show admissions that you’re multifaceted and think about things creatively.

Maybe you’re a music-lover and want to write about how lyrics or choruses repeat themselves. Or, perhaps, you’re an avid reader and you’ve read or seen the plot of Pride and Prejudice at least seven times (each time with a different title and new characters, despite being the same storyline). Maybe you’re a science geek and want to talk about asexual bacteria and how it replicates/repeats itself all the time. So long as you’re having fun while responding to this prompt, you’re doing it right!

Essay Option 6

In the spirit of adventurous inquiry (and with the encouragement of one of our current students) choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). be original, creative, thought provoking. draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the university of chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.

We love all the prompts from the past —there are so many quirky ones! If this year’s questions aren’t inspiring you, don’t be afraid to peruse the archives to find one that stands out to you. If you belong at UChicago, there is no doubt you will find a prompt that sparks a story within you. 

We’d also like to note that this is a great opportunity for recycling essays. If you wrote a strong longform essay for another school, see if any of the old prompts work in your favor, or make up your own question custom-built for your essay. Good luck! 😊

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Essay Word Counter

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What Is Essay Word Counter?

An essay word counter is a simple yet powerful tool that has the ability to quickly count the number of characters and words within an essay. While the primary goal of an essay word counter is to measure characters and words, this tool allows you to determine the number of sentences and paragraphs that your essay consists of.

If you're tasked with reading your essay aloud in front of a classroom, this online word counter can help you prepare by providing you with an estimated speaking time and reading time. If you're asking yourself "How do I count the words in my essay?", plugging your essay into an online word counter will allow you to receive nearly instantaneous results.

Benefits of Using This Tool Compared to Alternatives

Online word counter tools offer the functionality you need to determine what your current essay word count is. There are several additional tools that can provide you with similar functionality, which include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDF documents. Even though all of these alternatives allow users to measure the word count and character count for their essay, they lack many of the extra features that set the online tool apart from the competition.

Wordcounter vs Microsoft Word

When comparing this online word counter to Microsoft Word, the online word counter allows users to paste any kind of text into the box. Even if the text comes from a PDF file, it can be easily copied into the word counter. Among all of the alternatives for an essay word counter, Microsoft Word may be the most comprehensive of the three. Along with measuring the number of words, it can also count characters, pages, lines, and paragraphs. The main issue with Word, however, is that it's less intuitive than using an online tool.

When you click on word count in Microsoft Word, you'll be provided with data on the lines, paragraphs, words, and other aspects of your essay. However, the word count extends to every page of the Word document. To identify the number of words and characters in a specific section, you'll need to highlight the section and select the word count option again.

Wordcounter vs Google Docs

As for Google Docs, this tool doesn't display a status bar that tells you how many words are present in the document. To receive an updated word count, you must select the "Tools" tab that's found in the "Menu" section. From here, you'll be able to select "Word Count". When compared to the online word checker tool, Google Docs doesn't include information about how many sentences are in your essay or the frequency of a specific word.

Wordcounter vs PDF Tool

When it comes to a PDF document, you'll find that these documents are similar to Google Docs in that they don't include a status bar. You're also unable to access any kind of menu that allows you to view the word count of the essay you're writing. There are two distinct options for identifying the word count in your essay. First, you can convert the PDF file into what's known as the Rich Text Format, which makes it easier for you to count the words. You could also upload the file directly into this online word counter, which will give you an accurate word total.

The primary benefit of using the online word counter tool is that there are a number of exclusive features like speaking time and reading time that can't be found in other tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Essay Length Best Practices

Whether you're writing an essay for a high school class or for graduate school, there are some best practices that can guide you through the process and help you write the best essay. The most important element of writing an essay is getting the length right. If the essay is too long, there's a good chance it isn't as succinct and direct as it should be. The essay length guidelines you should adhere to include:

High school essay

The average essay word count for a high school essay is 300-1,000 words. Most high school essays are five paragraphs long with an introductory paragraph, three total body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

College admission essay

This essay should be around 200-650 words long. Along with having a set word limit, these essays should include a look at your motivations and interests.

Undergraduate essay

This essay can be around 1,500-5,000 words long. The content and length depend on the college and program you're entering.

Graduate admission essay

An admission essay should be 500-1,000 words in length. Make sure you include a lengthy personal statement that details your motivations and academic achievements.

Graduate school essay

This extended essay word count is usually around 2,500-6,000 words. The assignment you receive depends on the course you're in. Most graduate-level essays are lengthy and can involve research papers.

IB extended essay

The IB extended essay word count is 4,000 words. This essay is mandatory for every student of the International Baccalaureate program and is based on independent research.

Essay Extender for Students

Have you ever struggled to reach the specific word count while writing an essay? Our online essay extender can help you get the desired word count with just a few simple steps. All you have to do is:

  • Copy and paste your essay.
  • Choose how many words you need in your paper.
  • Click the "Extend" button.

💎 5 Key Advantages of the Essay Extender

🙋 when to use the ai essay extender, 📜 essay extender free examples, 🖇️ essay word extender tips, 🔗 references.

Our essay word extender offers a range of benefits that can enhance your writing experience. Here are some of them:

With its user-friendly interface, our online essay extender can assist you in various ways. Check out these ideas on how you can use the tool.

1. To Increase the Word Count

One of the most common uses of our essay extender is to increase an essay's word count. You add words to the entire text or a specific part, for example, introduction, conclusion, or body paragraphs. This gives you more control over where you want to expand an essay and helps you tailor the extension to the academic requirements .

Our tool adds words without compromising the quality of their writing. Since it uses advanced AI algorithms, it extends the text while maintaining the coherence and flow of the original content.

2. To Add a New Part

AI essay extender can also help you add a new part to your essay. For example, if you have already written the introduction and body paragraphs but are struggling with the conclusion, our tool can generate it.

Similarly, if you need to add a new body paragraph to support your argument , our essay extender can generate a paragraph based on your prompt. This feature is particularly useful when you are short on time and need to complete your essay quickly.

3. To Get New Ideas

Sometimes, you only need a fresh perspective to improve your writing. Our essay extender can generate unique ideas by developing a body paragraph on any topic. This feature is helpful for those who are stuck with their writing and need some inspiration to continue. You can use this generated paragraph as a starting point and further develop it according to your ideas and arguments.

Wanna see how essay extender generator works in practice? Let's try it together. Imagine you're writing an argumentative essay on "Should all internships be paid?" We'll use our tool to add some words to a body paragraph and then develop an effective introduction.

All internships should be paid for the simple fact that interns are providing valuable work and skills to the company. It is unfair to expect young workers, who are often already struggling with student debt, to work for free. Interns are not just shadowing or observing; they actively contribute to the company's operations and success. By not compensating them, companies are perpetuating a cycle of unpaid labor and exploiting the enthusiasm and eagerness of young workers. Furthermore, paying interns shows that their time and contributions are valued, allowing them to gain practical experience without financial strain.

All internships should be paid for the simple fact that interns are providing valuable work and skills to the company. It is unfair to expect young workers, who are often already struggling with student debt, to work for free. Interns are not just shadowing or observing; they actively contribute to the company's operations and success. For example, a student who is completing an unpaid internship at a marketing firm may be responsible for creating social media content, conducting market research, and assisting with client meetings. These tasks require time, effort, and skills, and the intern should be compensated for their contributions. By not compensating them, companies are perpetuating a cycle of unpaid labor and exploiting the enthusiasm and eagerness of young workers. Moreover, unpaid internships often come with hidden costs that can be a significant burden for students. For instance, a student interning in a different city may have to cover transportation, housing, and other expenses on top of working for free. Furthermore, paying interns shows that their time and contributions are valued, allowing them to gain practical experience without financial strain. Companies should recognize the contributions interns bring to their organization and compensate them accordingly for their hard work.

Internships have become a common way for students to gain practical experience and valuable skills in their chosen field. However, the issue of whether these internships should be paid or not has sparked a debate. While some argue that unpaid internships provide valuable learning opportunities, others believe that all internships should be paid to ensure fair treatment of young workers. In this essay, we will explore why all internships should be paid, including the value that interns bring to organizations and the hidden costs of unpaid internships.

Check out these helpful tips to work on your academic writing skills and extend an essay manually.

  • Expand your arguments . Instead of simply stating your point, provide more detailed examples to support your ideas.
  • Use transitional phrases . Transition phrases such as "in addition," "furthermore," and "moreover" can help you connect your ideas and add more depth to your essay.
  • Include relevant statistics and data . Adding statistics and data from reliable sources can boost the credibility of your essay and help you expand your arguments.
  • Incorporate quotes . Including quotes from experts or authoritative individuals adds depth and weight to your essay.
  • Provide background information . If you feel that certain concepts need more explanation, you can provide background information to help the reader better understand your points.

Remember, when expanding on your arguments, it is essential to do so smartly. This means providing detailed explanations and relevant examples that add length to your essay and strengthen your points.

❓ Essay Extender FAQ

Updated: Dec 11th, 2023

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On this page, you can find a free essay extender for students. With the help of this tool, you can increase the word count of any text – paste it into the related field and add the necessary details. The essay extender can add particular paragraphs or double your words in two clicks! Don’t miss the helpful tips and examples of text expansion.

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Word count of EE introduction

By Lexellas October 4, 2021 in Extended Essay

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Hi everyone,

I currently have my English A (language and literature) EE introduction 520 words long. However, in the EE course companion, the recommended word count is maximum of 450 words for intro, so my supervisor wants me to delete some parts of it. But I have seen on the Internet that people had more than 600 words and it wasn't a big deal, however, it was years ago, so I'm not sure whether it holds today. Could anyone help please? Is it necessary to have the maximum of 450 words for EE introduction or is it ok to have more?

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In general, do what your supervisor tells you. Also, it's an introduction. Keep it simple and easy. 


On 10/4/2021 at 11:20 AM, Lexellas said: Hi everyone, I currently have my English A (language and literature) EE introduction 520 words long. However, in the EE course companion, the recommended word count is maximum of 450 words for intro, so my supervisor wants me to delete some parts of it. But I have seen on the Internet that people had more than 600 words and it wasn't a big deal, however, it was years ago, so I'm not sure whether it holds today. Could anyone help please? Is it necessary to have the maximum of 450 words for EE introduction or is it ok to have more?

I think following what your supervisor recommends would be best since they know better, for the introduction 350 - 450 is word count in general and it shouldn't be anything more than that, same thing for the conclusion, check the resources on IB sites you'll find good ones on reddit too!

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UChicago Supplemental Essay Questions

The University of Chicago has long been renowned for our provocative essay questions. We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions. They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between.

Each year we email newly admitted and current College students and ask them for essay topics. We receive several hundred responses, many of which are eloquent, intriguing, or downright wacky.

As you can see from the attributions, the questions below were inspired by submissions from UChicago students and alumni.

2023-24 UChicago Supplement

Question 1 (required).

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago.

Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one)

Essay option 1.

Exponents and square roots, pencils and erasers, beta decay and electron capture. Name two things that undo each other and explain why both are necessary. – Inspired by Emmett Cho, Class of 2027

Essay Option 2

“Where have all the flowers gone?” – Pete Seeger. Pick a question from a song title or lyric and give it your best answer. – Inspired by Ryan Murphy, AB’21

Essay Option 3

“Vlog,” “Labradoodle,” and “Fauxmage.” Language is filled with portmanteaus. Create a new portmanteau and explain why those two things are a “patch” (perfect match). – Inspired by Garrett Chalfin, Class of 2027

Essay Option 4

A jellyfish is not a fish. Cat burglars don’t burgle cats. Rhode Island is not an island. Write an essay about some other misnomer, and either come up with and defend a new name for it or explain why its inaccurate name should be kept. – Inspired by Sonia Chang, Class of 2025, and Mirabella Blair, Class of 2027

Essay Option 5

Despite their origins in the Gupta Empire of India or Ancient Egypt, games like chess or bowling remain widely enjoyed today. What modern game do you believe will withstand the test of time, and why? – Inspired by Adam Heiba, Class of 2027

Essay Option 6

There are unwritten rules that everyone follows or has heard at least once in their life. But of course, some rules should be broken or updated. What is an unwritten rule that you wish didn’t exist? (Our custom is to have five new prompts each year, but this year we decided to break with tradition. Enjoy!) – Inspired by Maryam Abdella, Class of 2026

Essay Option 7

And, as always… the classic choose your own adventure option! In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, choose one of our past prompts (or create a question of your own). Be original, creative, thought provoking. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun!

Some classic questions from previous years…

Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore? Potential options include Commuter Science, Bromance Languages and Literatures, Pundamentals: Issues and Texts, Ant History... a full list of unmodified majors ready for your editor’s eye is available here . —Inspired by Josh Kaufman, AB'18

You are on an expedition to found a colony on Mars, when from a nearby crater, a group of Martians suddenly emerges. They seem eager to communicate, but they're the impatient kind and demand you represent the human race in one song, image, memory, proof, or other idea. What do you share with them to show that humanity is worth their time? —Inspired by Alexander Hastings, Class of 2023, and Olivia Okun-Dubitsky, Class of 2026

Who does Sally sell her seashells to? How much wood can a woodchuck really chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Pick a favorite tongue twister (either originally in English or translated from another language) and consider a resolution to its conundrum using the method of your choice. Math, philosophy, linguistics... it's all up to you (or your woodchuck). —Inspired by Blessing Nnate, Class of 2024

What can actually be divided by zero? —Inspired by Mai Vu, Class of 2024

The seven liberal arts in antiquity consisted of the Quadrivium — astronomy, mathematics, geometry, and music — and the Trivium — rhetoric, grammar, and logic. Describe your own take on the Quadrivium or the Trivium. What do you think is essential for everyone to know? —Inspired by Peter Wang, Class of 2022

Subway maps, evolutionary trees, Lewis diagrams. Each of these schematics tells the relationships and stories of their component parts. Reimagine a map, diagram, or chart. If your work is largely or exclusively visual, please include a cartographer's key of at least 300 words to help us best understand your creation. —Inspired by Maximilian Site, Class of 2020

"Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" - Eleanor Roosevelt. Misattribute a famous quote and explore the implications of doing so. —Inspired by Chris Davey, AB’13

Engineer George de Mestral got frustrated with burrs stuck to his dog’s fur and applied the same mechanic to create Velcro. Scientist Percy Lebaron Spencer found a melted chocolate bar in his magnetron lab and discovered microwave cooking. Dye-works owner Jean Baptiste Jolly found his tablecloth clean after a kerosene lamp was knocked over on it, consequently shaping the future of dry cleaning. Describe a creative or interesting solution, and then find the problem that it solves. —Inspired by Steve Berkowitz, AB’19, and Neeharika Venuturupalli, Class of 2024

Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story. —Inspired by Drew Donaldson, AB’16

Alice falls down the rabbit hole. Milo drives through the tollbooth. Dorothy is swept up in the tornado. Neo takes the red pill. Don’t tell us about another world you’ve imagined, heard about, or created. Rather, tell us about its portal. Sure, some people think of the University of Chicago as a portal to their future, but please choose another portal to write about. —Inspired by Raphael Hallerman, Class of 2020

What’s so odd about odd numbers? —Inspired by Mario Rosasco, AB’09

Vestigiality refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that have apparently lost most or all of their ancestral function, but have been retained during the process of evolution. In humans, for instance, the appendix is thought to be a vestigial structure. Describe something vestigial (real or imagined) and provide an explanation for its existence. —Inspired by Tiffany Kim, Class of 2020

In French, there is no difference between “conscience” and “consciousness.” In Japanese, there is a word that specifically refers to the splittable wooden chopsticks you get at restaurants. The German word “fremdschämen” encapsulates the feeling you get when you’re embarrassed on behalf of someone else. All of these require explanation in order to properly communicate their meaning, and are, to varying degrees, untranslatable. Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot (or should not) be translated from its original language. —Inspired by Emily Driscoll, Class of 2018

Little pigs, French hens, a family of bears. Blind mice, musketeers, the Fates. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Omne trium perfectum? Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together. —Inspired by Zilin Cui, Class of 2018

The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. Seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp: mantisshrimp.uchicago.edu What might they be able to see that we cannot? What are we missing? —Inspired by Tess Moran, AB’16

How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared? Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy. —Inspired by Florence Chan, AB’15

The ball is in your court—a penny for your thoughts, but say it, don’t spray it. So long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew, beat around the bush, or cut corners, writing this essay should be a piece of cake. Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. PS: A picture is worth a thousand words. —Inspired by April Bell, AB'17, and Maya Shaked, Class of 2018 (It takes two to tango.)

“A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” –Oscar Wilde. Othello and Iago. Dorothy and the Wicked Witch. Autobots and Decepticons. History and art are full of heroes and their enemies. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis (either real or imagined). —Inspired by Martin Krzywy, AB’16

Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty. Choose two other concepts that cannot be known simultaneously and discuss the implications. (Do not consider yourself limited to the field of physics). —Inspired by Doran Bennett, AB’07

Susan Sontag, AB’51, wrote that “[s]ilence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.” Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend. The Aesthetics of Silence, 1967. —Anonymous Suggestion

“…I [was] eager to escape backward again, to be off to invent a past for the present.” —The Rose Rabbi by Daniel Stern Present: pres·ent 1. Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Let’s stick with this definition. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc.—pick any present you have ever received and invent a past for it. —Inspired by Jennifer Qin, AB’16

So where is Waldo, really? —Inspired by Robin Ye, AB’16

Find x. —Inspired by Benjamin Nuzzo, an admitted student from Eton College, UK

Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they? —Inspired by an anonymous alumna, AB'06

How did you get caught? (Or not caught, as the case may be.) —Inspired by Kelly Kennedy, AB’10

Chicago author Nelson Algren said, “A writer does well if in his whole life he can tell the story of one street.” Chicagoans, but not just Chicagoans, have always found something instructive, and pleasing, and profound in the stories of their block, of Main Street, of Highway 61, of a farm lane, of the Celestial Highway. Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical. —Anonymous Suggestion

UChicago professor W. J. T. Mitchell entitled his 2005 book What Do Pictures Want? Describe a picture, and explore what it wants. —Inspired by Anna Andel

“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.“—Miles Davis (1926–91) —Inspired by Jack Reeves

University of Chicago alumna and renowned author/critic Susan Sontag said, “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” We all have heard serious questions, absurd questions, and seriously absurd questions, some of which cannot be answered without obliterating the very question. Destroy a question with your answer. —Inspired by Aleksandra Ciric

“Mind that does not stick.” —Zen Master Shoitsu (1202–80)

Superstring theory has revolutionized speculation about the physical world by suggesting that strings play a pivotal role in the universe. Strings, however, always have explained or enriched our lives, from Theseus’s escape route from the Labyrinth, to kittens playing with balls of yarn, to the single hair that held the sword above Damocles, to the Old Norse tradition that one’s life is a thread woven into a tapestry of fate, to the beautiful sounds of the finely tuned string of a violin, to the children’s game of cat’s cradle, to the concept of stringing someone along. Use the power of string to explain the biggest or the smallest phenomenon. —Inspired by Adam Sobolweski

Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall? We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness…and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard. —Inspired by Katherine Gold

People often think of language as a connector, something that brings people together by helping them share experiences, feelings, ideas, etc. We, however, are interested in how language sets people apart. Start with the peculiarities of your own personal language—the voice you use when speaking most intimately to yourself, the vocabulary that spills out when you’re startled, or special phrases and gestures that no one else seems to use or even understand—and tell us how your language makes you unique. You may want to think about subtle riffs or idiosyncrasies based on cadence, rhythm, rhyme, or (mis)pronunciation. —Inspired by Kimberly Traube

In 2015, the city of Melbourne, Australia created a "tree-mail" service, in which all of the trees in the city received an email address so that residents could report any tree-related issues. As an unexpected result, people began to email their favorite trees sweet and occasionally humorous letters. Imagine this has been expanded to any object (tree or otherwise) in the world, and share with us the letter you’d send to your favorite. -Inspired by Hannah Lu, Class of 2020 

You’re on a voyage in the thirteenth century, sailing across the tempestuous seas. What if, suddenly, you fell off the edge of the Earth? -Inspired by Chandani Latey, AB'93 

The word floccinaucinihilipilification is the act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant or of having no value. It originated in the mid-18th century from the Latin words "floccus," "naucum," "nihilum," and "pilus"—all words meaning “of little use.” Coin your own word using parts from any language you choose, tell us its meaning, and describe the plausible (if only to you) scenarios in which it would be most appropriately used.  -Inspired by Ben Zhang, Class of 2022 

Lost your keys? Alohomora. Noisy roommate? Quietus. Feel the need to shatter windows for some reason? Finestra. Create your own spell, charm, jinx, or other means for magical mayhem. How is it enacted? Is there an incantation? Does it involve a potion or other magical object? If so, what's in it or what is it? What does it do?  -Inspired by Emma Sorkin, Class of 2021 

Imagine you’ve struck a deal with the Dean of Admissions himself, Dean Nondorf. It goes as follows: you’re guaranteed admission to the University of Chicago regardless of any circumstances that arise. This bond is grounded on the condition that you’ll obtain a blank, 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, and draw, write, sketch, shade, stencil, paint etc., anything and everything you want on it; your only limitations will be the boundaries of both sides on the single page. Now the catch… your submission, for the rest of your life, will always be the first thing anyone you meet for the first time will see. Whether it’s at a job interview, a blind date, arrival at your first Humanities class, before you even say, “hey,” they’ll already have seen your page, and formulated that first impression. Show us your page. What’s on it, and why? If your piece is largely or exclusively visual, please make sure to share a creator's accompanying statement of at least 300 words, which we will happily allow to be on its own, separate page. PS: This is a creative thought experiment, and selecting this essay prompt does not guarantee your admission to UChicago. -Inspired by Amandeep Singh Ahluwalia, Class of 2022

Cats have nine lives, Pac-Man has three lives, and radioactive isotopes have half-lives. How many lives does something else—conceptual or actual—have, and why? -Inspired by Kendrick Shin, Class of 2019

If there’s a limited amount of matter in the universe, how can Olive Garden (along with other restaurants and their concepts of food infinity) offer truly unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks? Explain this using any method of analysis you wish—physics, biology, economics, history, theology… the options, as you can tell, are endless.  -Inspired by Yoonseo Lee, Class of 2023 

A hot dog might be a sandwich, and cereal might be a soup, but is a ______ a ______? -Inspired by Arya Muralidharan, Class of 2021 (and dozens of others who, this year and in past years, have submitted the question “Is a hot dog a sandwich,” to which we reply, “maybe”)

“Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.” – Jessamyn West -Inspired by Elizabeth Mansfield, Class of 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Essay Extenders: Maximize Your Word Count


Understanding the Purpose of Essay Extenders

Essay extenders are valuable tools that can help students, writers, and academic professionals meet word count requirements without compromising the quality of their work. These extenders serve the purpose of expanding the content of an essay, allowing for a more comprehensive exploration of ideas and arguments.

Meeting word count requirements is crucial in academic writing as it demonstrates a thorough understanding of the topic and provides ample evidence to support claims. However, many individuals struggle to reach these requirements, resulting in incomplete or insufficient essays.

This is where essay extenders come into play. They enable writers to maximize their word count by providing additional information, examples, and analysis. By utilizing these extenders effectively, writers can enhance their essays with more depth and complexity while maintaining clarity and coherence .

In the following sections, we will explore various techniques for extending your essay effectively and provide tips on using essay extenders without compromising quality. Let's dive in!

Techniques for Effective Essay Extension

When it comes to extending your essay effectively, there are several techniques you can employ. These techniques not only help you meet the word count requirements but also enhance the overall quality of your writing. Let's explore two key strategies: utilizing transitional phrases and words , and expanding on supporting evidence .

1. Utilizing Transitional Phrases and Words

Transitional phrases and words play a crucial role in expanding ideas within your essay. They act as bridges between different paragraphs or sections, allowing for a smooth flow of thoughts and arguments. By incorporating these transitions, you can elaborate on your points and provide additional context.

For instance, phrases like "in addition," "furthermore," and "moreover" can be used to introduce new supporting information or examples. Similarly, words such as "similarly," "likewise," and "comparatively" help draw connections between different ideas or concepts.

To use transitional phrases and words effectively, consider the following tips:

Use them sparingly: While transitions are valuable tools, overusing them can make your writing appear repetitive or forced. Use them strategically where they add value.

Choose appropriate transitions: Select transitions that accurately convey the relationship between ideas. Ensure they fit naturally within the context of your essay.

Maintain coherence: Transitions should contribute to the overall coherence of your essay by guiding readers through your thought process smoothly.

2. Expanding on Supporting Evidence

Providing sufficient evidence is essential for building strong arguments in an essay. To extend your essay effectively, focus on expanding on the supporting evidence you present.

Start by ensuring that you have included enough evidence to support each claim or point you make in your essay. If necessary, conduct further research to find additional sources or examples that strengthen your arguments.

Once you have gathered enough evidence, expand on it by providing detailed explanations, analysis, or relevant anecdotes. This will not only add depth to your essay but also demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic.

While expanding on supporting evidence, it is crucial to maintain clarity and coherence. Make sure that each piece of evidence directly relates to your main argument and contributes to the overall flow of your essay. Avoid tangents or unrelated information that may confuse or distract your readers.

By utilizing transitional phrases and words effectively and expanding on supporting evidence, you can extend your essay in a meaningful way while maintaining its quality. In the next section, we will explore additional tips for using essay extenders without compromising the clarity and conciseness of your writing.

Tips for Using Essay Extenders Effectively

Using essay extenders effectively requires careful consideration to maintain the quality and coherence of your writing. Here are two key tips to help you make the most out of these tools: avoiding filler words and phrases, and adding relevant examples and case studies.

1. Avoiding Filler Words and Phrases

Filler words and phrases can unnecessarily inflate your essay without adding any meaningful content. They not only waste valuable word count but also dilute the clarity and conciseness of your writing. To use essay extenders effectively, it's important to identify and eliminate these unnecessary elements.

Start by reviewing your essay for words or phrases that do not contribute to the overall message or argument. Common examples of filler words include "very," "really," "basically," and "in my opinion." These words often add little value and can be removed without affecting the meaning of your sentences.

Additionally, watch out for redundant phrases or repetitive statements that can be condensed or eliminated. For example, instead of saying "I personally believe," simply state "I believe."

By eliminating filler words and phrases, you can ensure that every word in your essay serves a purpose, allowing you to focus on expanding substantive content.

2. Adding Relevant Examples and Case Studies

One effective way to extend your essay while maintaining its quality is by incorporating relevant examples and case studies. These provide concrete evidence to support your arguments, making them more persuasive and compelling.

When selecting examples or case studies, ensure they directly relate to the topic at hand. Look for real-life scenarios, research findings, historical events, or personal anecdotes that illustrate key points or demonstrate the validity of your claims.

To find relevant examples, consider conducting additional research in reputable sources such as academic journals, books, or credible websites. Make sure the examples align with the overall argument of your essay and contribute to its coherence.

When incorporating examples and case studies, provide sufficient context and analysis to help your readers understand their significance. Explain how each example supports your main argument and strengthens your overall position.

Remember, the goal is not simply to add more content but to enhance the quality and persuasiveness of your essay. By avoiding filler words and phrases and incorporating relevant examples and case studies, you can effectively extend your essay while maintaining its clarity and coherence.

In the next section, we will explore how to maximize word count without compromising the quality of your writing.

Maximizing Word Count without Compromising Quality

When it comes to extending your essay, it's crucial to strike a balance between meeting word count requirements and maintaining the quality of your writing. While essay extenders can help you reach the desired length, it's important not to sacrifice clarity and coherence in the process.

To ensure that your extended essay remains of high quality, be sure to revise and edit your work thoroughly. This includes checking for grammar and spelling errors, refining your arguments, and ensuring a logical flow of ideas.

Additionally, pay attention to the overall coherence and cohesion of your essay. Each paragraph should contribute to the central thesis, and transitions should guide readers smoothly through your thoughts.

By following these tips and techniques throughout the writing process, you can maximize your word count without compromising the quality of your essay. Happy writing!

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  1. extended essay ideal word count

    extended essay word count 2021

  2. Word count extended essay ib

    extended essay word count 2021

  3. Word count for college essay in 2021

    extended essay word count 2021

  4. What is the Maximum Extended Essay Word Count in 2023?

    extended essay word count 2021

  5. 😍 Extended essay structure. The Extended Essay Step by Step Guide 5

    extended essay word count 2021

  6. Extended Essay: What Counts Towards your Word Count

    extended essay word count 2021




  3. How to Level Up Your English: the Academic Word List


  1. 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 ...

  2. The Complete IB Extended Essay Guide: Examples, Topics, and Ideas

    Conclusion. References and bibliography. Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories, or IB subject groups, which are as follows: Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature. Group 2: Language Acquisition. Group 3: Individuals and Societies. Group 4: Sciences.

  3. PDF A Student Guide To Writing the Extended Essay

    The word essay also describes a first or tentative effort. Your Extended Essay will not be your masterpiece. But if you take the process seriously, you will write something you can be proud of ... Class of 2021 Extended Essay Due Dates By November 20, 2019 Extended Essay Supervisors assigned; Students schedule meeting

  4. Extended Essay Guide: Criteria, Format, Sample EEs

    The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look. ... word count . The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.


    EXTENDED ESSAY HANDBOOK 2019-2021 Jebakadal Street, Kazhipattur, Padur, OMR,Chennai-603103. Ph: 8608117700. ... Word Count Date Subject Structure The essay must be typed double spaced in 12 pt. font and be as close to 4,000 words as possible without going over the limit. The 4000 words include the Introduction, Body,

  6. How Long is Extended Essay? Minimum and Maximum Word Count

    An IB Extended Essay should have a minimum of 1,500 words and a maximum of 4,000 words. It is important to stay within the specified word count, as going over the limit can lead to lower grades. When writing your extended essay, it is important to make sure that each paragraph is well structured and contains only relevant information.

  7. Ib Extended Essay Word Count Rules: Everything You Need to Know

    The maximum word count for an IB extended essay is 4,000 words. Yes, you heard it right! 4,000 words to showcase your knowledge and skills. That`s a lot of words, but trust me, you`ll need every single one of them to make a compelling argument.

  8. How to Structure an Economics Extended Essay

    Body Part 1: The "course concepts" part. Include 3 to 5 course graphs that help you answer your RQ. As you write, you'll be using economics diagrams and concepts to help to answer your question. By the end of each tool-section, you'll want to include some data and analysis on your case.

  9. LibGuides: Extended Essay Resources: Paper Formatting

    The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays. Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria. ... The word count should only take into account the number of characters typed ...

  10. PDF Extended essay guide

    Formal presentation of the extended essay The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. The use of word processors is encouraged. The length of the extended essay The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.

  11. The Best College Essay Length: How Long Should It Be?

    In the simplest terms, your college essay should be pretty close to, but not exceeding, the word limit in length. Think within 50 words as the lower bound, with the word limit as the upper bound. So for a 500-word limit essay, try to get somewhere between 450-500 words. If they give you a range, stay within that range.

  12. Assessment Criteria

    Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 points) What It Means: This criterion assesses the extent to which the research relates to the subject area/discipline used to explore the research question; or in the case of the world studies extended essay, the issue addressed and the two disciplinary perspectives applied; and additionally, the way in which this knowledge and understanding is ...

  13. How Long Should a College Essay Be?

    Revised on June 1, 2023. Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words. You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely.

  14. Free Paragraph Expander: Expand Paragraph Content

    Meeting Word Count Requirements. One of the most common benefits of a paragraph expander is helping writers meet word count requirements, especially in academic and professional settings. This tool can assist students, researchers, and professionals in reaching the necessary length for essays, reports, or other documents. Improve Clarity and ...

  15. 2021-22 University of Chicago Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    University of Chicago 2021-22 Application Essay Question Explanations. The Requirements: 2 essays of 1-2 pages each. Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Oddball. This is it, the infamous U Chicago supplemental application. These quirky prompts have been a rite of passage for generations of applicants. So before you dive in, just remember that if ...

  16. Essay word counter

    Graduate school essay. This extended essay word count is usually around 2,500-6,000 words. The assignment you receive depends on the course you're in. Most graduate-level essays are lengthy and can involve research papers. IB extended essay. The IB extended essay word count is 4,000 words.

  17. Essay Extender

    Use this AI essay extender to increase the word count or generate a new section. Free and easy tool for students! Writing Help Login Free Essays; Study Hub. Lit. Guides Study Blog Expert Q&A Writing Tools. ... Extended version (200 words) - adding words to the body paragraph:

  18. Word count of EE introduction

    69. Exams: May 2022. Posted October 11, 2021. On 10/4/2021 at 12:20 AM, Lexellas said: Hi everyone, I currently have my English A (language and literature) EE introduction 520 words long. However, in the EE course companion, the recommended word count is maximum of 450 words for intro, so my supervisor wants me to delete some parts of it.

  19. Extended Essay Word Count : r/IBO

    I heard that it is 3500 but depends on the subject. Some say over 3000 is enough and don't really specify. Hope it goes well cause mine isn't haha. [deleted] • 3 yr. ago. There is no word count minimum. But the general rule of thumb is to write at least 10% less than the maximum in order to properly layout your topic. r/IBO.

  20. UChicago Supplemental Essay Questions

    Question 2: Extended Essay (Required; Choose one) Essay Option 1. Exponents and square roots, pencils and erasers, beta decay and electron capture. Name two things that undo each other and explain why both are necessary. - Inspired by Emmett Cho, Class of 2027. Essay Option 2.

  21. The Ultimate Guide to Essay Extenders: Maximize Your Word Count

    Here are two key tips to help you make the most out of these tools: avoiding filler words and phrases, and adding relevant examples and case studies. 1. Avoiding Filler Words and Phrases. Filler words and phrases can unnecessarily inflate your essay without adding any meaningful content.

  22. Anyone know how the IB counts maths in the word count? It's ...

    Variables typically count as words . Eg abc = 1 word. Equations, graphs, tables don't contribute to word count. Usually 3000-3200 words is on the long side of a well-scoring maths EE. Your EE might be too verbose if it's approaching the high 3000s.

  23. extended essay word count : r/IBO

    In text citations are excluded from word count. You should start by deleting or rewriting sentences that don't contribute to the core idea. Make sure you prioritize overall quality of the paper because an EE over 4000 words that makes complete sense is better than 3997 words of mumbo-jumbo. yup i doing that rn thank you so much!!