The Most Overused IB Extended Essay Topics

The International Baccalaureate Extended Essay is a well-known and widely pursued academic challenge for students at this level of education. This extended essay plays a significant role in showcasing a student’s research skills, critical thinking abilities, and passion for a particular subject. With its global recognition and continued growth in popularity, it is essential for students to choose a unique and interesting topic that stands out.

Choosing a unique topic is crucial because the overuse of certain topics in the IB Extended Essay can dilute the value and impact of a student’s work. It is important to bear in mind that the primary goal of this essay is to engage in focused research and produce a distinguished piece of scholarly writing. In order to achieve this, students must avoid falling into the trap of pursuing commonly chosen or overused topics.

In essence, an overused IB Extended Essay topic refers to a subject or theme that has been explored extensively by countless other students in the past. This repetition not only diminishes the originality of the essay but also undermines the student’s ability to stand out from their peers. Examples of such overused topics include “The impact of social media on youth,” where many variations and perspectives have already been covered, and “Investigating global warming,” which has been extensively studied due to its ongoing relevance.

However, selecting an overused topic comes with several potential disadvantages. Firstly, personal interest may wane due to encountering repetitive information and ideas. Secondly, it can be challenging for a student’s essay to stand out amidst the multitude of similar works. Lastly, limited availability of quality sources may hinder the depth and breadth of research, leading to a less comprehensive argument.

Therefore, it is essential to emphasize the need for individuality and creativity in choosing an IB Extended Essay topic. Opting for unique and less-explored topics not only captures the interest of the reader but also demonstrates critical thinking skills, a passion for research, and originality. When a topic stands out, it presents an opportunity for a student to make a significant contribution to knowledge in their chosen field.

In the subsequent sections of this guide, we will delve deeper into cautioning against the most overused IB Extended Essay topics, recommend alternative perspectives within these topics, suggest unconventional subjects related to broader themes, provide tips for conducting thorough research, and highlight the importance of consultation with supervisors or experts. By undertaking this comprehensive approach, you can undoubtedly enhance your chances of producing an exceptional and noteworthy extended essay.

The Most Overused IB Extended Essay Topics

🎓✍️ Struggling with your IB Extended Essay? ✍️🎓

Let our team of expert IB Writers be your guiding light! With an extensive track record of excellence in IB education, we are well-versed in the requirements and expectations of the IB Extended Essay.

🌟 Our accomplished writers are all experienced professionals who will provide you with a personalized and original masterpiece.We do not use AI! We take pride in delivering unique, high-quality extended essays that will impress your professor.

Unlock your academic potential with our IB Extended Essay Writing Service today! 💡📚🔝

Originality in an IB Extended Essay topic and why overused topics must be avoided

The International Baccalaureate Extended Essay is a significant undertaking for students, offering them a chance to delve deep into a subject that fascinates them and develop their independent research and analytical skills. With so many students completing this assignment, it is essential to choose a unique and interesting topic that stands out from the crowd.

Originality is crucial when selecting an IB Extended Essay topic. A unique topic captures the attention of readers and assessors and demonstrates a student’s ability to think creatively. It shows that the student is willing to explore new areas and take risks rather than relying on well-trodden paths.

By avoiding overused topics, students can prevent their essays from blending into the sea of familiar ideas. Topics like “The impact of social media on youth,” “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works,” and “Investigating global warming” have been written about extensively by countless students. Choosing such overused topics can lead to difficulties in standing out and displaying personal interest, as these topics lack novelty and originality.

Selecting an overused topic also restricts the availability of quality sources. When numerous essays have covered the same subjects, the competition for credible and reliable references increases. This can make it challenging for students to find unique and insightful sources specific to their chosen topic, potentially impeding the depth and breadth of their research.

In contrast, selecting a unique and less-explored topic provides opportunities for demonstrating critical thinking skills and a genuine passion for the subject. It allows students to approach their research with curiosity and creativity, showcasing their ability to see the subject from a fresh perspective.

One way to bring originality to overused topics is by considering alternative perspectives or unique angles. For example, instead of examining the impact of social media on youth in general, a student could explore the effects of lesser-known social media platforms or delve into the influence of specific Shakespearean plays that are rarely studied.

Furthermore, students can think outside the box by choosing unconventional topics related to broader subjects. There are countless themes and sub-topics within popular subjects that remain unexplored. By focusing on these overlooked areas, students can bring a fresh perspective and contribute new insights to the field of study.

In conclusion, originality holds immense importance when selecting an IB Extended Essay topic. Overused topics should be avoided as they lack novelty, hinder personal interest, restrict source availability, and prevent students from showcasing their critical thinking and creative skills. By selecting unique and less-explored topics, students demonstrate their passion, stand out among their peers, and stimulate further discussion and advancement in their chosen subject area.

What is an overused IB Extended Essay topic?

Before we dive into the dos and don’ts of choosing your IB Extended Essay topic, let’s first understand what exactly we mean by an “overused” topic.

An overused IB Extended Essay topic is one that has been chosen by countless students in the past. These topics are so popular that they have become cliché, lacking originality and failing to add any new insights or perspectives.

It’s important to note that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean a topic is bad, but when numerous essays revolve around the same subject, it becomes challenging for your paper to stand out in a sea of similar ideas.

Examples of commonly chosen overused IB Extended Essay topics include:

  • “The impact of social media on youth”
  • “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works”
  • “Investigating global warming”

These topics have been explored extensively by many students, resulting in a lack of freshness or novelty in the research and findings presented within these essays. Choosing one of these topics might limit your ability to bring a unique perspective to your paper and may make it more challenging to find new and reliable sources.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t write a successful IB Extended Essay on these topics. The key is to approach them with a fresh and unique angle that sets your work apart from others. By delving deeper into lesser-known aspects of these broader topics, highlighting specific sub-topics, or offering alternative viewpoints, you can still infuse originality into your essay.

So, if you’re keen on analyzing social media’s influence on youth, consider exploring lesser-known platforms or studying different age groups or cultural backgrounds. Similarly, with Shakespeare’s works, instead of rehashing well-known plays such as “Romeo and Juliet” or “Hamlet,” focus on the lesser-studied works that haven’t received as much attention.

In conclusion, an overused IB Extended Essay topic is one that has been selected by many others before, potentially hindering your ability to bring a fresh perspective to your research. While these popular topics can still be tackled, it’s important to approach them with creativity and originality, seeking out lesser-known angles or sub-topics that haven’t been exhaustively explored. Remember, the goal is to present a unique and thoughtful contribution to your chosen subject, making your essay stand out among countless others.

Addressing the Potential Disadvantages of Selecting an Overused Topic

When it comes to choosing a topic for your IB Extended Essay, it is essential to steer clear of overused options, as they can bring several drawbacks. These disadvantages can significantly impact the quality and uniqueness of your essay. Let’s explore some of the potential challenges:

  • Lack of Personal Interest: Selecting an overused topic may often result in a lack of personal interest. With so many students exploring the same subject matter, it becomes challenging to cultivate genuine curiosity and passion. Examining a topic that fails to ignite your own intellectual curiosity can make the essay feel forced or uninspired.
  • Difficulty in Standing Out: One of the primary goals of the IB Extended Essay is to showcase your individuality among your peers. However, with overused topics, there is a substantial risk of blending into the crowd. Adjudicators read numerous essays on commonly chosen topics, and standing out becomes increasingly difficult. Your essay might be buried under a sea of similar ideas, making it challenging for your unique insights to shine through.
  • Limited Availability of Quality Sources: Overused topics have been thoroughly explored over time, resulting in a saturation of available sources. While this may seem like an advantage, it can actually restrict your ability to find reliable and up-to-date information. A lack of quality primary or secondary sources can hinder your research process and limit the depth of your investigation.

These potential disadvantages underscore the importance of veering away from commonly chosen topics and setting yourself apart. It is crucial to grab the reader’s attention and demonstrate critical thinking, which can flourish with a unique and lesser-explored subject matter.

By delving into a less-used or unconventional topic, you not only ignite your own passions but also seize an opportunity to present innovative ideas and perspectives. The unfamiliarity of your chosen topic will pique the readers’ curiosity and make your essay memorable.

In the next section, we will explore a comprehensive list of the most overused IB Extended Essay topics. By familiarizing yourself with these topics and their pitfalls, you can be guided towards identifying unique angles and perspectives to bring much-needed originality to your extended essay.

The Need for Individuality and Creativity in Selecting an IB Extended Essay Topic

When it comes to selecting a topic for your IB Extended Essay, it is crucial to showcase individuality and creativity. This not only demonstrates your critical thinking skills but also reflects your passion towards the chosen subject.

Choosing an essay topic that is unique and original allows you to stand out from the countless others who may be exploring similar themes. It showcases your ability to think outside the box and delve deeper into uncharted territory. So, why settle for overused topics when the world of knowledge is vast and awaiting exploration?

Selecting a common topic not only makes it challenging to create a distinctive essay but also compromises your personal interest in the subject matter. Your enthusiasm and dedication are key components in producing an exceptional essay. By choosing a topic that truly captures your curiosity, you will find the motivation to delve deeper into research and present compelling arguments.

Furthermore, popular essay topics often suffer from a lack of accessibility to quality sources. Since numerous students have already tackled these subjects, the availability of fresh and unique research material is limited. By opting for an unusual topic, you create the opportunity to discover new research findings and incorporate them into your essay, thereby enhancing its academic value.

  • Increase your “wow” factor: By selecting a unique topic, you increase your chances of impressing your examiners. Demonstrating creativity and individuality speaks volumes about your ability to think critically and consider fresh perspectives.
  • Interdisciplinary exploration: Choosing an unusual topic allows you to explore connections between different subjects. By integrating diverse ideas and approaches, you develop a broader understanding of the world and foster interdisciplinary thinking.
  • Show your passion: Selecting a topic that you genuinely care about will help you maintain interest and enthusiasm throughout the entire research process. This passion shines through in your writing, making your essay more engaging for both yourself and the readers.

Remember, the IB Extended Essay is an opportunity for you to pursue a topic you are truly passionat­e about. It is a chance to unleash your intellectual curiosity and creativity. So, be bold and choose a unique topic that allows you to express your individuality and captivate your audience!

The Most Overused IB Extended Essay Topics

When it comes to choosing a topic for your IB Extended Essay, it’s essential to think beyond the usual suspects. While topics like “The impact of social media on youth,” “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works,” and “Investigating global warming” may seem like go-to choices, they have become overused in recent years. To help you avoid falling into this trap, here are some of the most popular but overused IB Extended Essay topics:

  • “The impact of social media on youth”: This topic revolves around examining how social media affects young people’s behaviors and well-being. However, countless essays have already explored this subject, resulting in a lack of new insights.
  • “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works”: Shakespearean plays have been scrutinized from various angles over the centuries. While he is undoubtedly a literary genius, focusing on his works alone may not allow for much originality or room for new discoveries.
  • “Investigating global warming”: With climate change being a hot topic in recent times, it’s no surprise that many students tend to delve into this subject. However, due to its worldwide relevance and extensive existing research, standing out with a unique perspective can be quite challenging.

These popular topics have been employed extensively, causing them to lose their originality and impact. So, instead of opting for these often-trodden paths, try to approach them from fresh angles or consider alternative subjects related to broader themes.

For instance, when exploring “The impact of social media on youth,” you can shift the focus to lesser-known platforms or highlight specific aspects, such as the influence of social media on mental health or its role in creating digital communities among marginalized groups.

Similarly, investigating “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works” doesn’t mean you have to stick solely to his most famous plays. You can explore the lesser-known plays or dive deeper into specific themes, characters, or cultural contexts that are rarely touched upon in mainstream academic discourse.

If “Investigating global warming” catches your attention, consider examining its impacts on a particular region or species that is often overlooked in broader climate change discussions. Alternatively, you could investigate the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies or explore innovative solutions proposed by scientists or environmental activists worldwide.

Remember, the key to standing out in your IB Extended Essay lies in presenting unique perspectives and original research within these overused topics. By thinking outside the box and exploring uncharted territories, you can bring a fresh breath of creativity and critical thinking into your essay, making it stand out from the crowd.

Why have these topics become overused?

There are several reasons why certain IB Extended Essay topics have become overused and seem to pop up year after year. This can be attributed to their broad nature or ongoing relevance. Let’s take a closer look at these factors:


  • Broad nature: One key reason why certain topics have gained popularity is their broad scope, which allows students to explore various angles and perspectives. For instance, when it comes to “The impact of social media on youth,” the vastness and constant evolution of social media platforms offer a wide range of options for investigation. Students can delve into the psychological effects, the influence on communication, or even the role of privacy in the digital age. As a result, this topic has become a go-to choice for many aspiring IB Extended Essay writers.
  • Ongoing relevance: Another factor contributing to the overuse of certain topics is their enduring relevance. Take the example of “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works.” Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest playwrights in history, and his works continue to be studied and performed around the world. The exploration of his plays allows students to delve into timeless themes such as love, power, and identity. Moreover, the richness of Shakespearean literature and the abundance of resources make it an attractive option for many students.


While the broad nature and ongoing relevance of these topics might lure students into choosing them, it is important to remember that there are downsides to picking overused subjects for an IB Extended Essay.

A major disadvantage is the lack of personal interest. When a topic is overused, it becomes challenging for students to find genuine passion as it feels like treading well-worn territory. Additionally, selecting an overused topic also makes it harder to stand out amongst a sea of similar essays. IB Extended Essays are a valuable opportunity to showcase critical thinking and individuality, so choosing a less-explored topic gives students a better chance to demonstrate these qualities.

Another drawback of overused topics is the limited availability of quality sources. When many students opt for the same subject, the competition for credible and unique sources can become intense. This scarcity restricts students from accessing well-researched materials, which are essential for producing a high-quality essay.

In conclusion, the broad nature and ongoing relevance of certain topics have contributed to their overuse in IB Extended Essays. While they may initially appear enticing, disadvantaged arise, including a lack of personal interest, difficulty in standing out, and limited availability of quality sources. In the next section, we will explore ways to bring originality to these overused topics and suggest unconventional alternatives.

Offering alternative perspectives and angles to bring originality to your essay

When it comes to tackling overused IB Extended Essay topics, it’s crucial to find a fresh spin or unique angle that sets your work apart from others. While some topics may seem worn-out on the surface, there are always opportunities to bring originality and creativity to your essay.

For instance, if you’re considering writing about “The impact of social media on youth,” try exploring lesser-known social media platforms that have gained popularity among specific demographic groups. This will allow you to analyze their impact in a more niche setting, perhaps revealing different effects or perspectives compared to the commonly studied platforms.

Similarly, if “An analysis of Shakespeare’s works” interests you, consider focusing on specific plays that are rarely studied, like “Edward III” or “Timon of Athens.” By delving into these lesser-known plays, you’ll be able to offer fresh insights and interpretations that haven’t been extensively examined before.

Introducing alternative perspectives to these overused topics showcases your ability to think critically and creatively, making your essay stand out amidst a sea of similar ones. Remember, the goal is to share unique interpretations and ideas that challenge preconceived notions.

If you’d like to venture even further off the beaten path, consider examining themes or sub-topics within those overused areas that haven’t received much attention. For example, within “The impact of social media on youth,” you could explore the effects of social media on mental health specifically or the role of social media in promoting educational opportunities for underprivileged students.

Furthermore, you may consider selecting a less explored topic that still relates to the broader subjects. Instead of investigating “Investigating global warming” as a whole, you could focus on the impact of global warming on a particular ecosystem, like the Arctic tundra. This allows you to analyze the effects of global warming in a specific context and draw environmental or ecological connections that may not have been fully explored before.

The key is to expand your horizons and think outside the box. Challenge yourself to go beyond the obvious choices and explore new directions within these familiar topics. By offering alternative perspectives or delving into specific areas, you’ll ensure that your IB Extended Essay leaves a lasting impression on readers and contributes something unique to academic discourse.

Encouraging Unconventional Thinking for Unique Extended Essay Topics

As you venture into the realm of choosing your IB Extended Essay topic, it is essential to think outside the box and explore unconventional ideas that can bring a fresh perspective to broader subjects. By doing so, you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and truly showcase your individuality and creativity. Here are some suggestions to help spark your imagination while maintaining a connection to familiar topics:

1. Themes or Sub-Topics

  • Instead of studying the impact of social media on youth as a whole, consider narrowing down your focus to a specific theme, such as the influence of social media on body image perception or the relationship between social media and mental health.
  • If you’re intrigued by Shakespeare’s works, delve into lesser-known plays or explore particular themes like gender roles in “Twelfth Night” or the portrayal of power in “Macbeth.”
  • Instead of investigating global warming from a scientific standpoint, take an interdisciplinary approach by examining its effects on local economies or its implications for wildlife conservation.

By immersing yourself in these sub-topics, you can uncover uncharted territories and provide fresh insights into well-explored areas of research. Your unique approach will captivate readers and demonstrate your ability to think critically.

2. Unconventional angles and perspectives

  • Consider analyzing the influence of a less mainstream social media platform on a specific demographic or community, highlighting how it fosters a sense of belonging or shapes cultural identity.
  • Explore Shakespearian adaptations in different countries or cultures, comparing how they reinterpret or redefine the themes and characters to suit their specific contexts.
  • Investigate the impact of global warming on a specific geographic location, such as a small island nation, emphasizing the unique challenges it faces and potential adaptive strategies.

Remember, these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg; there are countless unconventional angles waiting to be explored within widely-discussed subjects. Let your curiosity guide you towards uncharted territories that have yet to receive significant attention or scrutiny.

3. Expanding the boundaries

Don’t be afraid to dare to dream up topics that push the limits of what is traditionally associated with your chosen subject. For instance, fuse the arts and sciences by exploring the concept of musical composition inspired by mathematical principles or examine the relationship between literature and economics.

By expanding the boundaries and venturing beyond the tried and tested paths, you not only demonstrate originality but show your willingness to go above and beyond in pursuing your passions.

In summary, choosing an unconventional, yet related topic for your Extended Essay enables you to carve a niche for yourself and contribute fresh insights to existing disciplines. It showcases your ability to think critically, creatively, and independently. So, dare to think differently, mine unexplored territories, and let your intellectual curiosity guide you as you embark on this remarkable journey of academic exploration.

Tips for Conducting Thorough Research

When it comes to writing an IB Extended Essay, thorough research is crucial in order to develop a deep understanding of the chosen topic and to provide evidence-based arguments. Even if your topic tackles a popular subject, there are ways to ensure that you find valuable information and sources that will make your essay stand out.

1. Begin with a clear research question: A well-defined research question will serve as your compass throughout the research process. It should be focused, specific, and open-ended, allowing for in-depth exploration of your topic.

2. Utilize a variety of sources: To broaden the scope of your research, explore different types of sources including books, academic journals, reputable websites, databases, interviews, surveys, and primary sources such as original documents or visual materials. Combining different types of sources enhances the depth of your understanding and strengthens your arguments.

3. Develop effective search strategies: When conducting online research, make use of advanced search techniques such as keyword combinations, quotation marks to search for exact phrases, and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to refine your search results. This will help you find relevant and specific information amidst a plethora of online resources.

4. Critically evaluate your sources: Ensure the credibility and reliability of your sources by critically evaluating them. Consider the author’s credentials, publication date, peer reviewed status, accuracy of information, and any potential biases. This will help you determine the quality and relevance of the information to support your thesis.

5. Digging deep into references and citations: The reference list of reputable sources can provide a wealth of additional resources for your research. By examining the references and citations within your chosen sources, you can discover related works and potentially find valuable information that may have been missed initially.

6. Seek guidance from subject specialists: If you are struggling to find suitable sources or need assistance with narrowing down your research focus, consult subject specialists, librarians, or even your Extended Essay supervisor. Their expertise and insights can greatly aid your research process and lead you towards relevant sources.

7. Stay organized: Keep track of your sources by utilizing a citation management tool or creating a comprehensive bibliography. This will save you time when it comes to creating in-text citations and your final reference list.

8. Go beyond the obvious: To truly stand out in a popular subject area, delve deeper into the topic by exploring niche aspects or lesser-known perspectives. This will demonstrate your ability to think critically and provide information that is not readily available.

By implementing these tips, you can conduct thorough research on a popular topic and find valuable information and sources specific to your chosen IB Extended Essay topic. Remember, the more effort you put into your research, the stronger your arguments and the more unique and exceptional your essay will become.

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting a unique and less-explored topic for your IB Extended Essay can greatly benefit your academic journey. This guide has highlighted the popularity and ubiquity of the International Baccalaureate Extended Essay and emphasized the significance of choosing a topic that is both interesting and original.

By avoiding overused topics, you demonstrate your ability to think critically and showcase true passion for your chosen subject. It is crucial to prioritize individuality and creativity when selecting your IB Extended Essay topic, as this not only distinguishes your work from others but also demonstrates your ability to approach familiar theories or issues from a fresh perspective.

We have provided a comprehensive list of the most overused IB Extended Essay topics, including the impact of social media on youth, analysis of Shakespeare’s works, and investigating global warming. These topics have become overused due to their broad nature or ongoing relevance, making it difficult for students to stand out and find unique angles.

However, we encourage you to consider alternative perspectives or unique angles within those overused topics. For instance, rather than analyzing all social media platforms, explore lesser-known ones or focus on specific Shakespearean plays that have received less attention. By approaching these topics from different angles, you bring freshness and originality to your essay.

Furthermore, do not shy away from thinking outside the box. Consider unconventional topics that may still be related to broader subjects. Explore themes or sub-topics that have not yet been extensively studied, allowing you to provide fresh insights and make meaningful contributions to the field.

In order to ensure the academic value and feasibility of your chosen topic, consult with your supervisors or experts in the desired field. Their guidance and feedback will be invaluable throughout your research and writing process, helping you refine your topic and ensuring its potential for success.

In summary, choosing a unique and less-explored IB Extended Essay topic can enhance your academic experience. By avoiding overused topics, demonstrating individuality, and thinking critically, you can produce an exceptional essay that stands out from the crowd. So, think carefully, explore different possibilities, and embark on your extended essay journey with confidence and enthusiasm!

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

Film Extended Essay Ideas

Choose a topic that makes a difference! Explore how your choice of a relevant topic can shape the entire process and outcomes of your film extended essay

Read More »