Writing your EE in Psychology

What exactly is an Extended Essay?

A 3000–4000 word essay analyzing and evaluating a significant psychology topic. It requires students to apply pertinent psychological studies and theories to substantiate claims, which takes about 40 hours of effort in total.

You CAN NOT perform experiments or gather your own data in psychology.You must take advantage of research and published studies.

EE is more than just a summary of a psychological notion. You must assess a subject in light of the most recent psychological research. You must formulate a clear and contentious research question.

Writing advice for EE psychology:

Instead of writing on a research hypothesis, write about an analytical, investigative argument.Select a subject that interests YOU rather than one that is associated with "pop psychology" or "self-help."

The topic should permit the creation of an argument that tries to respond to a certain query.It shouldn't be too broad because that results in a shallow, descriptive account of the research.

The Inquiry for Research Question:

It is the cornerstone of your EE; many EEs fail due to a generic, unclear RQ. The researchQuestions should not be extremely complex and should be clearly explained.Good RQs look at two sides of a subject.

For instance, are biological rather than socio-cultural explanations of behavior more valid?

Good research questions usually start with "To what extent...", "Which...", or "Why..."Try to avoid, "What..." as much as possible.RQs spark conversation:

Bad: What signs of depression are there?

Good: In a community with a variety of cultures, how trustworthy is the diagnosis of depression?


All EEs are required to use the same citation style, either MLA or APA.

  • Avoid including content in footnotes because it won't be graded.
  • Use only academic resources, such as published research and journal articles.
  • 8–10 sources should be included.

Assessment of Potential RQs

Does striving for perfection hurt one's ability to do well in sports? Although there is no command phrase, an EE should answer this query. A good paper will outline and assess the supporting evidence for each side of the debate.

  • RQ: To what extent are eating problems caused by the media?A good question, but very challenging to answer. There is little study on the connection between eating disorders and the media.How much of an impact does low self-esteem have on eating disorders?
  • RQ: Does my coming-out experience match what psychologists foresee?

Avoid writing about yourself.

It’s very challenging to be neutral, and gives the reader way too much personal information.

Last but not the least:

Knowledge and understanding demonstrated:

The selection of source materials is clearly relevant and appropriate to the RQ. Knowledge of the topic is clear and coherent. Sources are used effectively and with understanding.

Use of terminology:

Appropriate research terminology and topic specific terminology. Consistency of research with defined variables.