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How to Write an Introduction for Your IB Extended Essay?

EE introduction writing

I’ve seen my fair share of Extended Essays (EE) as a seasoned IB writer. The IB Extended Essay introduction, in particular, can be a make-or-break element. So, let’s get right into the art of EE introduction crafting, a skill crucial for any aspiring IB student.

The Purpose of the IB Extended Essay Introduction

The purpose of the IB Extended Essay introduction goes much further than just starting your paper. As an experienced IB writer, I can confidently say that this part is crucial to capturing your reader’s interest and setting the tone for your entire essay. It’s your first opportunity to make an impression and pique your reader’s curiosity.

In EE introduction writing, your primary objective is to present your research question and thesis in a clear, concise, and intriguing manner. It is where you lay the groundwork for your argument and outline the scope of your investigation. It’s about framing your research to make your reader think, “This is a path I want to take.”

Moreover, the introduction should establish the relevance of your topic. Why is this research important? How does it contribute to the field? In the IB Extended Essay, where independent research plays a central role, showing the significance of your work is crucial. Your introduction should echo the importance of your topic and its contribution to your field of study.

Tips on How to Write IB Extended Essay Introduction

Writing an introduction for your IB Extended Essay is like laying the foundation for a captivating story. In my extensive experience with the IB curriculum, I’ve identified several key components that make up a compelling introduction. These elements combine to grab the reader’s attention, set the stage for your research, and present a concise argument. Let’s break these down.

IB extended essay introduction

1. Start with a Hook

The very first sentences of your essay should serve as the hook. It is the element designed to capture the reader’s interest immediately. It could be a surprising fact, a provocative question, or an intriguing statement related to your topic. The purpose of the hook is to pique curiosity and encourage the reader to continue. For example, if your essay is about environmental policies, you might start with a startling statistic about climate change.

2. Providing Context

Once you’ve hooked your reader, the next step is to provide context. It involves setting the background or framework for your research. Here, you can briefly discuss the broader topic before narrowing it down to your specific area of interest. This part of the introduction should inform the reader about the general field of study, historical background, or current trends related to your topic. It helps situate your research question within a larger conversation or academic discourse.

3. Stating the Research Question

A clear and concise research question is a must in your introduction. It is a focused question that your essay intends to answer. It guides your research and writing, and it should be directly related to the topic you are investigating. The research question sets the direction and purpose of your essay, making it clear to the reader what you are investigating.

4. Thesis Statement

Following the research question, your introduction should include a thesis statement. It is a crucial element where you state your main argument or position in the essay. The thesis statement should be specific, debatable, and supported by your research. It acts as a roadmap for your essay, outlining the major points or arguments you will develop throughout the paper.

5. Significance and Rationale

It’s essential to explain why your research topic and question are significant. It can involve discussing the implications of your research, its relevance to the field, or its contribution to existing knowledge. This part of the introduction helps the reader understand the importance of your work and why it is worth reading.

6. Outline of the Essay Structure

Briefly outlining the structure of your essay can be a helpful component of the introduction. It doesn’t have to be a detailed roadmap, but a quick overview of each section of your essay can give your reader a sense of direction and how your argument will unfold.

7. Engaging and Accessible Language

The tone and style of your introduction should be engaging yet academic. Use clear, accessible language that appeals to your audience. Avoid jargon or overly complex sentences, as the introduction should be understandable to readers who may not be experts in your field of study.

8. Personal Touch

Finally, adding a personal touch to your introduction can make it more engaging. It could briefly mention what inspired your interest in the topic or why you find it significant. This personal connection can make your essay more relatable to your reader.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them in EE Introduction Writing

Over the years, I have observed several common mistakes students make while writing the introduction for their IB Extended Essay. Learning how to avoid these pitfalls can significantly enhance the quality of your paper:

  • Being Too Vague. To avoid this, ensure you clearly understand your research question and thesis statement before you begin writing. Be precise about what your essay will investigate and your stance.
  • Overloading with Details. To prevent this, provide just enough background to set the stage for your research, but save the detailed evidence and in-depth discussion for the subsequent sections of your essay.
  • Lack of a Strong Thesis Statement. Your thesis should be a clear, concise statement that presents your main argument. Spend time refining your thesis to ensure it accurately reflects your essay’s content and direction.
  • Neglecting the Hook. It could be an intriguing fact, a provocative question, or a compelling quote. Consider what aspect of your topic is most fascinating and use that to draw the reader in.
  • Inconsistent Tone and Style. If your introduction is overly formal or informal compared to the subsequent sections, it can create a jarring experience for the reader. Aim for a consistent voice that reflects the academic nature of the IB program.
  • Writer’s Block. Get your ideas down on paper and then refine them. Sometimes, it’s easier to write the introduction after completing the body of your essay, as you’ll have a clearer understanding of your overall argument and main points.
  • Ignoring the Scope and Limitations. Be clear about what your essay will and will not cover. It sets realistic expectations for the reader and helps to focus your research and writing.
  • Failing to Proofread. Always proofread your introduction for errors and clarity. Getting feedback from mentors or teachers might also be helpful.

Remember, this is your first opportunity to make an impression on your reader. By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on presenting a clear, engaging, and well-structured introduction, you set the stage for a compelling and insightful Extended Essay.

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 write an exceptional extended essay that meets the word count and stringent IB criteria and reflects your passion for the selected IB group.

Tailoring Your Extended Essay Introduction to Different Subjects

Let me share some insights on how to adapt your introduction in the Extended Essay based on different subject areas.


Biology, Chemistry, and Physics essays often benefit from a direct, precise approach. Start with a clear statement of your research question or hypothesis. If your essay revolves around an experiment, briefly mentioning the experiment’s outcome or significance in the introduction can be effective. Use factual and straightforward language, and outline the scientific context of your research.


In Mathematics, your introduction should immediately convey the problem or theorem you are addressing. Be clear and concise in defining terms and setting up the problem. You can include a brief overview of the methods you will use to approach the problem, which helps establish your essay’s scope.


History, Geography, and Languages essays often benefit from a more narrative style. Starting with a historical backdrop or a provocative question can be very effective. Your introduction should set your study’s cultural, historical, or social context and outline the central argument or thesis.


For essays in the Visual Arts, Music, or Theatre Studies, analyzing a particular piece of work, an artist, or a movement central to your topic can be a good approach. An engaging story or description can draw the reader into the more abstract aspects of your analysis later on.


In literature essays, beginning with a quote from the work you are analyzing or a brief analysis of a critical theme can be very engaging. Your introduction should hint at the novel, play, or poem’s broader significance and how your essay will contribute to its understanding.

Social Sciences

Essays in Psychology, Economics, and Business Management should start with the broader context of the issue or theory you are examining. A relevant statistic or a brief case study can effectively set the stage for data analysis. Be sure to clearly state your research question and how it relates to the field.

World Studies

For a World Studies EE, which is inherently interdisciplinary, start by explaining the global significance of your topic. Provide a brief overview of how you will integrate different disciplines to address your research question. This type of essay benefits from a clear statement of the real-world implications of your study.


So, writing an IB extended essay introduction is about striking a balance between informative content and engaging writing. From my experience, it sets the tone for your entire essay. Keep your reader intrigued, present your argument clearly, and you’re on your way to an excellent EE.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep refining your skills in EE introduction writing, and you’ll see your efforts pay off in your final essay. Also, our Extended Essay Writers are always ready to help.

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