Extended Essay Examples Psychology Case

A List Of Creative Extended Essay Topics In Psychology


Psychology is one of the most authoritative subjects that you will come across. There are several ways in which the subject may revolve around some of the most basic yet controversial topics on the very human psyche that allows us to read, write and comprehend. But when you are writing an academic paper on the subject, there are certain major considerations that you will have to look at. While these may be simple or subject to qualitative adjustment, there must be a relation with your academic scope.

How do you go about topic selection?

The simple rule about selecting an essay topic is psychology is not to overdo it. There are several ways in which you may approach it. You should keep in mind to select something that is in your domain and make sure there is little or no room by which you could err.

Also, the relevance of the topic for the readers should be noted. Even if what you have selected is of high academic caliber, you should put in the extra effort to ensure it concerns the readers as well.

Some interesting psychology essay topics

  • Aggressive behavioral patterns and instant anger: What are some known psychological ways of curing these?
  • Sensitivity to abandonment: Is it true that people are now turning against each other for the fear of rejection?
  • The psychology of addiction: Is addiction really something that begins and ends in the mind?
  • How do you relate to psychology being classified as the only subject that can establish a link between humans and animals?
  • Comment on the need for inclusion of psychology in the high school curriculum
  • Look at a few ways of explaining the basic attributes of psychology to middle school students
  • How would you persuade high schooled to take up psychology as a major when after they graduate?
  • Define psychology in ten brief points to an outsider
  • Anxiety and borderline physic disorders: Are the two entities exclusive to one another?
  • The psychology of depression patients: How would you advice rest to these patients?
  • Write a criticism of your favorite book on psychology
  • Epilepsy and the psychological theories surrounding it
  • Are sexual disorders majorly psychological? Could consulting a psychiatrist bring relief to sexual disorder patients?
  • Can panic attacks be classified as psychological disorders? Discuss in detail
  • Comment on the psychological constraints that cause a person to sexually abuse a child
  • Intense but unstable sexual relationships: The psychological dimension

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 Structure

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:

  1. Title page
  2. Contents page
  3. Introduction
  4. Body of the essay
  5. Conclusion
  6. 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) 
  • word count 

    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. Given the holistic nature of the assessment criteria, students who write in excess of the word limit will self-penalize across all criteria. 

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.

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