The Most Overused IB Extended Essay Topics

Overused Extended Essay Topics

As an IB tutor with extensive experience in guiding students through their Extended Essays, I’ve observed certain topics that have become particularly popular over the years. While these subjects offer rich opportunities for exploration, their frequent use has led to a saturation in the pool of original ideas. It’s important for students to be aware of these commonly chosen areas to ensure their work stands out through a unique angle or approach.

Overused and Cliched IB EE Topics

This discussion aims to shed light on the most overused IB Extended Essay topics across various disciplines, encouraging students to think creatively and critically in selecting a topic that not only aligns with their interests but also offers fresh perspectives.

Here are 100 of the most overused IB Extended Essay topics. While these topics are popular and extensively covered, it’s important to approach them with a unique perspective or a fresh angle if you choose to work on them.

1. Biology

  1. The effect of different light intensities on photosynthesis rates.
  2. The impact of antibiotics on bacterial growth.
  3. The influence of caffeine on plant growth.
  4. The rate of fermentation in yeast under different temperatures.
  5. The effect of pH levels on enzyme activity.

2. Chemistry

  1. The rate of reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid.
  2. The effect of temperature on the rate of a chemical reaction.
  3. Vitamin C content in different fruit juices.
  4. The hardness of water in different locations.
  5. The electrolysis of different salt solutions.

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3. Physics

  1. The efficiency of different types of insulation.
  2. The relationship between the angle of a ramp and the acceleration of a cart.
  3. The impact of wing shape on lift in airplanes.
  4. The pendulum: Factors affecting its period.
  5. The refraction of light in different mediums.

4. Mathematics

  1. The occurrence of the Fibonacci sequence in nature.
  2. The application of probability theory in games of chance.
  3. The use of calculus in optimizing area or volume.
  4. The growth patterns of different financial investments.
  5. The patterns and symmetry in tessellations.

5. History

  1. The causes of World War II.
  2. The impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany.
  3. The rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
  4. The effects of the Cold War on international relations.
  5. The civil rights movement in the United States.

6. English Literature

  1. The theme of the American Dream in ‘The Great Gatsby’.
  2. The portrayal of women in Shakespeare’s plays.
  3. The use of symbolism in ‘Lord of the Flies’.
  4. The concept of madness in ‘Hamlet’.
  5. The role of the supernatural in ‘Macbeth’.

7. Economics

  1. The impact of inflation on a country’s economy.
  2. The effects of minimum wage laws on employment.
  3. The role of the World Bank in international trade.
  4. The impact of Brexit on the UK economy.
  5. The effects of globalization on local industries.

8. Psychology

  1. The influence of parenting styles on child development.
  2. The effectiveness of different learning styles.
  3. The impact of social media on human behavior.
  4. The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance.
  5. The role of nature vs. nurture in personality development.

9. Environmental Systems and Societies

  1. The impact of deforestation on local ecosystems.
  2. The effects of water pollution on aquatic life.
  3. The role of renewable energy sources in sustainable development.
  4. The impact of climate change on biodiversity.
  5. The effectiveness of recycling programs.

10. Visual Arts

  1. The influence of Vincent van Gogh on modern art.
  2. The role of color in expressing emotion in art.
  3. The evolution of abstract art.
  4. The impact of digital media on traditional art forms.
  5. The representation of women in art history.

11. World Studies

  1. The impact of climate change on global agriculture.
  2. The effects of global trade on developing economies.
  3. The role of technology in modern conflicts.
  4. The impact of cultural globalization.
  5. The influence of international organizations on global policies.

12. Business Management

  1. The role of leadership in organizational success.
  2. The impact of corporate culture on employee productivity.
  3. The effects of marketing strategies on consumer behavior.
  4. The role of social media in business promotion.
  5. The impact of globalization on small businesses.

13. Computer Science

  1. The importance of cybersecurity in the modern world.
  2. The impact of artificial intelligence on society.
  3. The role of data analysis in business decision-making.
  4. The influence of social media algorithms on user behavior.
  5. The future of blockchain technology.

14. Film Studies

  1. The role of cinematography in storytelling.
  2. The evolution of special effects in movies.
  3. The impact of film on cultural perceptions.
  4. The representation of minorities in Hollywood films.
  5. The influence of directors’ styles on film narratives.

15. Music

  1. The influence of classical music on modern genres.
  2. The role of music in cultural identity.
  3. The impact of digital technology on music production.
  4. The evolution of jazz and its cultural significance.
  5. The representation of social issues in popular music.

16. Theatre Studies

  1. The role of the director in stage production.
  2. The evolution of theatrical styles over time.
  3. The impact of cultural context on theatrical performances.
  4. The role of costume design in character development.
  5. The influence of modern technology on theatre production.

17. Philosophy

  1. The concept of free will vs. determinism.
  2. The role of ethics in modern society.
  3. The impact of existentialism on contemporary thought.
  4. The philosophy of language and meaning.
  5. The relationship between knowledge and belief.

18. Anthropology

  1. The role of cultural traditions in modern societies.
  2. The impact of globalization on indigenous communities.
  3. The influence of language on cultural identity.
  4. The role of rituals in social cohesion.
  5. The impact of migration on cultural adaptation.

19. Geography

  1. The effects of urbanization on local climates.
  2. The impact of tourism on natural landscapes.
  3. The role of geographic factors in international conflicts.
  4. The effects of natural disasters on urban planning.
  5. The influence of climate on agricultural practices.

20. Sports, Exercise, and Health Science

  1. The impact of exercise on mental health.
  2. The role of nutrition in athletic performance.
  3. The effects of performance-enhancing drugs on athletes.
  4. The impact of modern technology on sports training.
  5. The influence of psychological factors on sports performance.

While these topics are commonly explored, remember that you can still approach them from a unique angle or perspective to create an original and compelling Extended Essay.


In wrapping up our discussion on the most overused IB Extended Essay topics, it’s crucial for students to recognize the importance of bringing a fresh perspective to their chosen subject. While these popular topics provide a solid foundation for academic inquiry, distinguishing your work requires a novel approach, a unique research question, or an innovative methodology.

As you select your topic and start your research, aim to contribute new insights to the existing body of knowledge, ensuring your Extended Essay reflects your individual academic journey and intellectual curiosity.

If you are searching for some fresh ideas, you can walk through our blog or fill out our contact form with details of your inquiry, and our experts will provide you with several topic suggestions.

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