IB Extended Essay night will be held today in the second floor from 6:30 p.m.

A big event for IB Diploma Candidates who want to share what they have been working on for the past several months

Lauren McColley, News Editor

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IB diploma candidates know that you must write the extended essay in order to receive that giant medal at graduation in May. Although the extended essay is only one aspect of the IB Diploma, it takes months of hard work and dedication. At the IB extended essay night, candidates have the opportunity to display their final product to peers, family and friends.

This year, IB extended essay night is being held Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6:30 to about 7:40 pm on the second floor of this school.

According to advisor Kent Baker, IB diploma candidates do an independently researched, 4,000 word paper. They are allowed  flexibility to write about any topic that interests them as long it is in a subject area offered in the school. Within the standard American high school curriculum, this flexibility is rare, and students have a lot of creative freedom.

“It is a difficult process. It is a daunting thing and they work on it for months,” Baker said.

Baker says the extended essay night is one where they get to present their findings in front of an audience, in a public place. The school set this night up a few years ago in order to recognize all of their hard work and to let others know what they have been working on.

“If someone is thinking about doing the IB diploma program then I think it is worth while to go in order to what they are working on and what they have done,” Baker said.

Senior Zoe Reyes based her essay upon the research question, “Is nonverbal communication innate or learned?” Her process began in the spring of this year when diploma candidates selected their subject areas, and were assigned a teacher advisor. There were three sessions held at the Portage Public Library during the summer in which one was required for a grade in the mandatory Theory of Knowledge class. The first draft was due the first week of school, which meant students were required to work on it over break.

“The biggest challenge I had with this 4,000 word essay was the research I had to conduct. The writing part was the easiest part of this whole process,” Reyes said.

Reyes said she had never used APA citations before, therefore, she had to learn how to do that before finishing her extended essay. The final draft was due on Nov. 20.

“I, like most of my classmates, procrastinated to the largest degree, writing most of my essay in the week before it was due,” said senior Wade Varney.

Varney said he did his planning and experimenting during the summer. Between the time period where the rough draft and final draft was due, he did almost no work.

“My challenges during the process was finding motivation to actually work on it during the summer, as August was easily my busiest month,” Varney said.

Varney said that the most important thing for future IB diploma candidates to remember is that writing the essay is not hard if you select a topic that genuinely interests you.

“Overall, this was a very rewarding experience despite the stress that I felt every time I heard the words ‘extended essay,’” Reyes said.