A big part of the Extended Essay is the Reflection on Planning and Progress Form or RPPF. This form contains the written outcome of the reflection meeting the IBDP student must take on three different occasions during the Extended Essay writing progress. In total, the RPPF must not have more than 500 words distributed across the 3 reflection entries. In the end, the RPPF is worth 6 points out of the total grade of the Extended Essay, so it is important to commit to writing it on time and with quality. 

Find below guidance on the assessment, expectations, and examples of reflections. 

Reflection Guidance

DIEP Method


    History EE

    Biology EE

    Guiding Questions

    First Reflection

    This will be after one of the early sessions with your supervisor where you outline:

    • Your ideas regarding the topic in general
    • The research question you have in mind
    • Initial background reading or research you may have conducted
    • Possible approaches
    • Initial thoughts about the answer to your research question
    • Roughly 100 words in length

    Guiding Questions:

    • What exactly do you want to find out?
    • What resources do you plan to use?
    • What problems do you anticipate in your research?
    • What writing and research have you done since last session?
    • Have you found any sources with conflicting viewpoints?
    • Have you been able to find relevant sources from different eras?
    • What challenges did you encounter in finding relevant sources?
    • How do you think you might use your sources?
    • Have you collected sufficient data?
    • Have you finished note taking from your text?
    • What am I interested in researching and why?
    • What are my motivations for undertaking research in this area?
    • How will I begin the research process?
    • Is my chosen topic appropriate for the subject I have chosen to complete it in?
    • Do I have sufficient knowledge of the subject area to fulfill the criteria of an EE?
    • What possible question(s) might I research?
    • How might I go about undertaking this research?
    • Do I have access to appropriate sources?
    • Are my chosen research methods appropriate for the subject I have chosen to complete it in?
    • Are there any ethical issues I need to consider before pursuing this area of research?
    • Is there sufficient focus to my research area?

    Interim Reflection

    This reflection session will usually fall somewhere in the middle to latter half of your EE process, usually before the first draft is completed.

    • Discuss how the research question has become more refined.
    • Comment on any challenges you have encountered & what solutions you have attempted.
    • Discuss how your thinking on your topic has evolved.
    • Roughly 200 words in length

    Guiding Questions:

    • Where was I? Where I am now? Where am I going?
    • What sources do you find helpful?
    • How have you evaluated your sources?
    • Have you adopted a structure for writing based on what the IB requires?
    • What do you need to do next?

    Final Reflection

    This final reflection should be written BEFORE the Viva Voce meeting. It should:

    • Offer your final reflections on the process
    • Discuss any achievements realized or challenges overcome
    • Discuss elements that allowed you to complete the task that may not be readily apparent in the essay itself.
    • Discuss any relevant ATL’s (Approaches to Learning) that you have developed through the process & be ready to provide good examples.
    • Roughly 200 words in length

    Guiding Questions

    • What did you discover that surprised you?
    • Is writing the EE mainly about process or product AND why?
    • What would you have done differently and why?
    • What advice would you give to a student just beginning this process?
    • What have been the high and low points of the research and writing processes?
    • What would you have done differently?
    • What is the most important thing that you learned?
    • What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
    • What would you change if you did another EE?
    • What was the most valuable experience that you took away from the process?
    • What was your greatest challenge and what did you do to overcome it?
    • What IB learner profile attribute would you say helped you through the process (communicator, risk-taker, etc.)?
    • Would you like to continue reading on this topic?
    • What questions did this process raise?
    • What conclusions have you drawn about the topic?

    Ideas are taken from ISM. Retrieved from here.