IB extended essay topics, a thesis, or a major research project

IB extended essay topics, a thesis, or a major research project

Maybe you took a class titled “The History of Human Torture” or an elective where you watched the TV show The Wire for an entire semester. While adcoms may know what to expect from an elective class in sociology or creative writing, a brief explanation of what you took, why you took it, and how it enriched your education can provide readers insight into your passions and interests.

During the fall semester of my junior year, I took a class called “The History of Human Torture.” It is an interdisciplinary class that combines history, psychology, and literature to explore the concept of torture. We read a slave narrative by Harriet Jacobs, learned about the Stanford Prison Experiment, and studied the Cambodian Genocide from a historical perspective. This class helped me develop my passion for psychology and interest in studying how and why people use torture to control others.

If you spent your entire junior or senior year on a major project, you may wish to include the title of the project and a brief explanation. If your major project shows a commitment or an achievement to a specific field, especially one you may pursue academically in college, you may want to further explain the project. In addition, if your project required you to engage in an atypical amount of work or required novel research methods, you may want to mention that as well.

For instance, if you want to study English literature, you might briefly describe your thesis that explored “Queer Symbols in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry.” Alternatively, if your project on sleep deprivation included interviews with experts in the field from universities or actual research in a sleep lab, you should feel free to describe how your project went above and beyond what was expected of you to receive a good grade.

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