Even the most experienced essay writers, who are well in command of structure and effective essay technique, can be uncertain and confused when asked to write an extended essay. This format, not frequently required and seldom discussed, is one of the least available in essay examples, and can be perplexing to those who have not attempted it before. Read on to banish your queries with our top tips to writing an extended essay.

What is an extended essay?

An extended essay might sound daunting but it usually simply means a piece of writing that is longer than your usual essays but shorter than an undergraduate dissertation.

You might be asked to write an extended essay for a specific reason, such as University entrance applications or end of year assessments, so it should usually present the best essay writing example you can write. Make sure to check specific requirements about length and compulsory sections you may be asked to include such as a bibliography.

Choosing an extended essay topic

When planning an extended essay, remember that you will need to choose a topic broad enough to allow your essay writing to continue to a greater length than usual. Essay writers are also usually expected to present deeper analysis and research in an extended essay, so choose a topic that allows in-depth exploration and related sub-topics.

Writing an extended essay

One helpful idea when essay writing in this format might be to include evidence of other recent thinking or academic debate around the topic. Whilst a normal essay might only include your own ideas and theories about the subject, an extended essay ought to show evidence that you have researched the area more thoroughly as part of your essay writing process.

An excellent way to add length and academic depth to an extended essay (particularly if you are extending an existing essay, a common choice for essay writers) is to include a section on critical debate.

Try to find two or three theorists or critics who have written about your topic and compare and contrast their ideas with one another, weaving in your own analysis to suggest whose arguments you find the most convincing and academically supported.

Extended essay format

Remember that an extended essay will be longer and more complex than a shorter weekly essay. It is therefore essential to provide a strong, clear structure to show the development of your argument and remind the reader of its relevance to the question at every stage of your essay writing.

A good way to achieve this when writing an essay is to ensure that you provide a strong introduction, setting out your argument and detailing the different areas you will explore. Finally include a clear conclusion to remind the reader of the various points of your argument and sum them up with a clear, inclusive theory.