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Choosing the Perfect Supervisor for Your Extended Essay

how to choose ib ee supervisor

Greetings, IB students! Tackling the Extended Essay (EE) is a significant part of your academic experience, and a vital aspect of this task is selecting the perfect IB EE supervisor. Drawing from my extensive background as an IB writer and tutor, I’ll share essential insights on choosing the best expert and building a successful working relationship with them.

Understanding the Role of an IB EE Supervisor

Let’s talk about what an IB EE supervisor does. In my opinion, a great supervisor is more than just an overseer; they’re your mentor, guide, and sometimes, your biggest cheerleader. They provide invaluable feedback, resources, and, most importantly, their expertise in your chosen subject. However, remember that the EE is your project; your supervisor is there to guide, not to lead:

  • As mentors, supervisors help refine your thesis and structure your essay to ensure it meets the scholarly standards required by the IB. Their role is to encourage intellectual growth, pushing you to develop critical and independent thinking skills essential for a successful EE.
  • As guides, supervisors help you understand and adhere to the Extended Essay guidelines and criteria. It includes ensuring your research question is appropriate, your methodology is sound, and your analysis is thorough and coherent. They offer insights into presenting a well-argued, structured essay that resonates with the IB’s expectations.
  • Feedback from your supervisor is a critical component of your EE process. It should be constructive and aimed at enhancing the quality of your work. It involves reviewing drafts, suggesting areas for improvement, and challenging your ideas to foster a deeper level of analysis.
  • Another critical aspect of their role is to guide you in maintaining academic integrity. They instruct you in correctly citing sources and avoiding plagiarism, instilling in you the principles of honest and ethical academic work.

As we mentioned above, While your supervisor provides support and guidance, the Extended Essay is ultimately your responsibility. They offer an assistance framework where you must work independently and develop ideas. This balance of guidance and independence is essential as it prepares you for future academic and professional challenges.

How To Select a Supervisor for IB EE?

Selecting the perfect supervisor for your EE is a critical decision in your academic work. Based on my extensive experience with the IB, I understand the profound impact this choice can have on the quality and enjoyment of your EE.

1. Expertise in Your Subject Area

A supervisor’s in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic is essential. Their expertise is not just about guiding you through the basics; it’s about providing insights that can significantly enhance your paper.

An expert supervisor can help you identify nuanced aspects of your topic, suggest rich resources, and formulate a compelling research question. They can also advise on appropriate methodologies. As an IB writer, I’ve seen how a knowledgeable supervisor can transform a student’s essay from standard to exceptional.

2. Compatibility and Communication Style

Working with someone who understands and appreciates your communication preferences is crucial. This harmony can lead to a more effective and less stressful EE writing process.

Different students have different needs — some prefer direct feedback, while others may thrive under a more gentle approach. Finding a supervisor who matches your style can make a significant difference in how you receive and implement feedback, ultimately affecting the quality of your EE.

3. Availability and Support

The availability of your supervisor to provide ongoing support is another vital factor. An approachable supervisor willing to engage with you regularly can be a tremendous asset. They offer timely guidance, help you address challenges as they arise, and provide a sounding board for your ideas.

Regular interaction, whether through scheduled meetings or spontaneous discussions, ensures you consistently stay on track and progress. The support of an accessible supervisor is crucial in managing the complexities of the EE and staying motivated throughout the writing process.

IB EE supervisor

4. Mentorship and Guidance Abilities

Another critical aspect to consider is your potential supervisor’s mentorship and guidance abilities. A supervisor who excels in these areas can provide more than just academic advice; they can guide you through the entire research process.

It includes helping you develop critical thinking skills, offering insights on structuring your essay and refining your ideas. A supervisor with strong mentorship skills can also be a source of encouragement and motivation, which is especially valuable when facing the challenges of the EE process.

5. Feedback Responsiveness and Quality

The ability of a supervisor to provide quality feedback responsively is essential. Feedback is a cornerstone of the EE process, and a supervisor who can provide timely, detailed, and constructive feedback will contribute significantly to the development of your essay. It includes pointing out areas for improvement, acknowledging your strengths, and suggesting ways to capitalize on them. A supervisor who engages actively in the feedback process can help elevate your work to a higher standard, ensuring that your final submission is as strong as possible.

How to Work With IB EE Supervisor?

Drawing on my extensive experience in the IB DP program, I’d like to share some insights on effectively working with your IB EE supervisor.

Establish Clear Communication

The foundation of an excellent student-supervisor relationship is clear communication. From the beginning, it’s crucial to establish the most effective channels for communication, be it through emails, face-to-face meetings, or virtual chats. Consistency in communication is critical; ensuring regular updates and discussions can prevent misunderstandings and keep both parties aligned on the project’s progress.

Understand Expectations

You must clearly understand what is expected from you as the student and your supervisor. I recommend having an initial meeting to discuss these expectations. As a student, recognize that while the supervisor is there for guidance, the primary responsibility for the project lies with you. This understanding sets the stage for a productive working relationship.

Seek Feedback Proactively

In my experience, students actively seeking feedback and being open to constructive criticism tend to excel in their EEs. Feel free to ask for your supervisor’s input on your work. More importantly, be prepared to reflect on this feedback and incorporate it into your essay, as this is a crucial part of the learning and development process.

Manage Time Effectively

Effective time management is a crucial skill in the EE process. Plan your schedule diligently and stick to it. Remember your supervisor’s availability when setting deadlines for drafts and revisions. It helps in maintaining a steady flow of work and prevents last-minute rushes.

Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities

A supervisor is not just a guide but also a valuable educational resource. Be open to learning from their expertise, not just about your topic but also about research methods and academic writing. Students who view their supervisors as a learning resource often gain much more from the EE experience.

Respect Their Expertise and Time

Lastly, it’s essential to respect your supervisor’s expertise and time. They are there to guide you through the process, but the work and initiative should primarily come from you. Supervisors appreciate students who take their advice seriously, show dedication to their projects, and exhibit a degree of independence in their work.

Where to Look for Your IB EE Supervisor?

Choosing a supervisor for your IB Extended Essay requires careful consideration. Seek someone with knowledge of the subject who can support and guide you. Talking with teachers and experts, evaluating mentorship skills, and researching clubs or societies are effective ways to find the right match. Also, using outside resources can supplement your school supervisor’s guidance.

Need help with your IB extended essay?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you craft an exceptional extended essay that not only meets the wordcount and stringent IB criteria but also reflects your passion for selected IB group.

Based on my extensive experience in the IB program, here are some strategies to help you find the perfect match:

  • Consider Past Teachers. Reflect on teachers you’ve previously worked with. Those who understand your learning style and strengths can be great candidates.
  • Seek Subject Matter Experts. Look for teachers known for their expertise in your area of interest, even if this is your first time working with them. Their in-depth knowledge can be invaluable.
  • Use School Resources. Check if your school has a designated IB coordinator or a list of teachers willing to supervise EEs. They can offer guidance in matching your interests with a suitable supervisor.
  • Assess Their Approachability. Choose a teacher who is supportive and encourages open communication.
  • Consider Feedback Style. A good supervisor should provide constructive feedback that motivates and guides you.

Also, teachers involved in clubs or societies related to your EE topic are often passionate about the subject and willing to support student initiatives. And if your theme is particular, contacting external experts can provide extra support. However, ensure you have a primary supervisor within your school.


The choice of an IB EE supervisor is critical to the success of your Extended Essay. The right mentor can provide invaluable guidance, support, and knowledge essential to mastering the complexities of the EE and achieving academic excellence. Remember, a well-chosen supervisor is not just a facilitator of your research but a contributor to your intellectual growth and triumph.

By the way, you can always choose another great option. Extended Essay Writers specializes in providing expert IB assistance to students. Our services are tailor-made to ease the pressure of writing an Extended Essay and help IB students maintain a healthy balance between their academic and personal lives. Our skilled team of IB professionals delivers top-notch essays and guides on choosing compelling topics. 😉

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