Barbara P
Barbara P

Extended Essay Outline Made Easy: Components, Writing Steps, & Tips

9 min read

Published on: May 7, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

extended essay outline

Are you struggling to get started with your extended essay? Do you find it difficult to get a clear direction for your essay? 

Don’t worry!

Organizing your ideas and research into an outline is a good way to begin. Creating an outline for your extended essay can help you stay organized and focused, making the writing process much easier.

In this blog, we'll explore the steps and tips that will help you write an effective outline. By the end of this guide, you'll have the tools for creating a well-structured extended essay outline.

So let's dive in!

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Understanding the Extended Essay

The extended essay is a 4,000-word research paper for students pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

It is a form of academic writing that allows students to explore a topic of their choice in depth. The extended essay requires students to undertake independent research and produce an original argument on their chosen topic.

Purpose of an Extended Essay

Its primary purpose is to prepare students for university-level coursework and develop their research writing skills. 

Engaging the students with a subject they are passionate about, it helps them develop their critical thinking and research skills . An extended essay also encourages the students to demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research. 

Here is a short video you can watch to learn more about the extended essay:

Why is an Extended Essay Outline Important?

When writing an extended essay, creating a tentative outline before you start is necessary. Here is why making an extended essay outline important:

  • Creating an outline ensures that the writer stays on track and focused on the research question. 
  • It also helps to identify any potential gaps or weaknesses in the argument. So you get an opportunity to address them before submitting your final draft. 
  • Moreover, an outline helps to organize thoughts and ideas, making the writing process much easier and more efficient.

Components of an Extended Essay Outline

An extended essay outline typically includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion. Each of these sections has specific components that are crucial for a well-structured and coherent essay. 

Let’s discuss each component in depth:


The introduction is the first section of the essay and sets the stage for the reader. It should provide background information on the topic. Such as any relevant context, history, or existing literature. 

The introduction should also include thesis statement that summarizes the main argument of the essay. A well-crafted introduction will capture the reader's attention and provide a clear understanding of the essay's purpose.

  • Background Information

The background information section of the introduction provides context and background knowledge on the topic. 

It helps the reader understand the significance of the topic and the research question. It can also include any relevant historical, cultural, or social factors that contribute to the topic.

  • Thesis Statement

The thesis statement summarizes the main argument of the essay and should be included at the end of the introduction. 

It should be clear, concise, and specific. Moreover, it should express the research question and main points of the essay. A well-crafted thesis statement will provide a roadmap for the essay and guide the reader through the main argument.

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Main Body

The main body of the essay includes the main points and supporting evidence that provide evidence for the thesis statement. The main body should be organized into sections and body paragraphs, with each section focusing on a specific main point. 

Each section of the main body aims to discuss your argument in detail. The section could be further divided into body paragraphs so you can delve deeper into your argument. 

Here is what you need to include in your body paragraphs:

  • Topic Sentences

The topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph that expresses its main point. 

The central argument of the paragraph should be supported by evidence and contribute to the overall thesis of the essay. The main points should be organized logically and clearly in the main body.

  • Supporting Evidence

The supporting evidence includes data, examples, and quotes that support the main points and thesis statement. The evidence should be credible and relevant and should be properly cited using the appropriate citation style.


The conclusion is the final section of the essay. It provides a summary of the main argument and implications of the research. 

Here is what you should include in the conclusion: 

  • Restate Thesis

The conclusion should begin by restating the thesis statement in different words to reinforce the main argument of the essay.

  • Summarize Main Points

The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and connect them to the thesis statement. It should provide a clear understanding of how the evidence supports the main argument of the essay.

  • Discuss Implications

The conclusion should conclude with a discussion of the implications of the research. This can include implications for future research, policy, or practice. A well-crafted conclusion will leave the reader with a clear understanding of the significance of the research and its implications.

Extended Essay Outline Examples

Here are two extended essay outline examples. Take a look to understand the outlines better.

So how do you go about writing an effective outline? Read on to find out.

Steps for Writing an Extended Essay Outline

Outlining your extended essay is one of the first steps in the writing process, and it may prove to be difficult. However, it could become easier if you follow certain steps: 

Here is what you need to prepare your outline.

Step 1: Define your Essay Topic and Main Thesis

The first step is to select a topic of your choice. The topic should be something you are passionate about. It should also be relevant to the your subject area or discipline.

Before deciding a topic, consider the available resources and the feasibility of the research. Ensure that it is not too broad. You can do this by taking time to brainstorm and refine ideas. You could also talk to your teacher to help you narrow down your topic. 

Once you have your topic or main idea, you can proceed with the research.

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Step 2: Research the Topic 

Conduct research to gather information and develop an understanding of the topic. You could use various sources, including books, academic journals, and online resources to gather information. 

While you research, you should take notes, highlight essential points, and keep track of sources used. 

Be sure to evaluate sources critically to ensure that they are reliable and relevant to your topic. The research process will help you identify potential evidence, which will help you refine your main argument.

Step 3: Identify the Supporting Points and Evidence

After developing a main thesis and doing some research, you need to identify the supporting points that support your thesis.

Your research will help you find and derive relevant supporting points for your thesis. So pick up the notes you made along the way, and analyze the information you can use as your supporting points. 

These points will later become the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. So ensure that all of them are related to your main thesis. 

Also, note that not all information derived from your research will be relevant or necessary. So you need to pick and choose your evidence wisely to create an original argument.

Step 4: Organizing your Outline

The main topic, thesis statement, supporting points, and evidence is all you need to make a structured outline. Once you have them all, arrange them in a logical and coherent way to write your outline.

Here is an extended essay outline template you could use. Simply fill in the blanks with the information you have already gathered, and you’ll have your well-structured outline.

Tips for Writing an Effective Extended Essay Outline

Simply following the steps above is often not enough for your outline to be effective. Here are some tips to help you write an effective outline:

  • Start Early: 

Give yourself enough time to research, plan, and write your extended essay. Starting early allows you to have enough time to develop your thesis. 

You can also easily gather supporting evidence and do research without worrying about the approaching deadline.

  • Be Specific: 

Make sure your research question is specific and focused. This will help you stay on track and ensure that your essay is well-organized and focused on the topic.

  • Use Clear and Concise Language: 

Use clear and concise language when writing your outline. This will help you stay focused on your research question and ensure that your essay is well-organized.

  • Focus on Main Points: 

When developing your outline, focus on the main points that support your thesis statement. Each main point should be supported by evidence and contribute to the overall argument of the essay.

  • Use Appropriate Formatting: 

Use appropriate formatting for your outline, including headings, subheadings, and bullet points. This will make it easy to read and understand, and help you stay organized.

  • Revise and Edit: 

Once you have created your outline, revise and edit it to ensure that it is well-organized and coherent. Make sure that each section of the outline flows logically from one to the next.

  • Seek Feedback: 

Get feedback from your teacher or supervisor on your outline. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement or revision. 

By following these tips, you can create an effective extended essay outline that will help you stay on track throughout the writing process.

To Sum Up,

An extended essay outline is an essential tool for students pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program. 

Creating an effective outline helps to ensure that your essay is well-organized, focused, and easy to read and understand. By following the steps and tips given above, you can create an excellent extended essay outline.

However, if you find yourself in need of additional support and guidance, is here for you. 

We are a custom essay writing service with a team of professional writers. We can assist you in crafting an outstanding extended essay that meets all the necessary requirements. 

From outlining to editing and beyond, our Essay Writer AI is designed to help you achieve your academic goals.

So contact our extended essay writing service today to get the best essay help.

Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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