IB Extended Essay Topics: Geography

ib dp geography

As a seasoned IB writer, I’ve had the pleasure and challenge of walking the complex terrain of the IB Diploma Programme (DP), particularly when it comes to writing a compelling Geography Extended Essay. Surprisingly, the very first problem many students face is choosing an appropriate topic and research question. Drawing from my experience, I aim to guide you through this choice with insights and advice to make your writing process smoother, more engaging, and more rewarding.

Understanding the IB DP Geography Extended Essay

First, let’s discuss what the IB DP Geography Extended Essay entails. This demanding yet fascinating task invites you to dig into a topic of your choice within the expansive and multifaceted world of geography. It’s an unparalleled chance to conduct a deep investigation into an area that piques your interest and holds significant academic value. From my perspective, crafting an exceptional essay involves selecting a topic that meets the rigorous IB criteria and ignites your passion. Your genuine enthusiasm for the subject is a beacon that illuminates your research, compellingly drawing the reader into your analytical path.

The Geography Extended Essay’s ability to intertwine scientific investigation with cultural understanding makes it stand out. It offers a platform where quantitative data meets qualitative insights. This blend provides a rich tapestry for exploration, allowing students to showcase their ability to research complex topics with precision and empathy. Here are a few reasons why choosing the right topic is crucial:

  • Ensuring your topic aligns with the IB’s expectations is paramount. This alignment guarantees that your essay meets the fundamental requirements, paving the way for a successful evaluation.
  • A topic that resonates with you will make the research process more enjoyable and engaging. Passion about your subject shows in the depth and quality of your analysis.
  • Choosing a unique angle or a current issue can make your essay stand out. Topics that offer fresh perspectives or address timely questions are often more compelling and impactful.
  • The best topics allow for deep analytical thinking. Look for areas where you can apply geographical theories and concepts to real-world scenarios.

In light of these considerations, choosing the perfect topic becomes integral to the extended essay-writing process. It requires careful thought, creativity, and strategic planning.

Exciting Areas of Study in IB DP Geography

As diverse and expansive as the earth’s landscapes, geography as a discipline is a goldmine of fascinating topics ripe for exploration. Within its broad scope, you can move from the Arctic’s melting ice caps to the megacities’ bustling streets. Among its many fascinating branches, environmental and urban geography stand out for their relevance to our world today and their ability to generate deep, original research and insightful analysis. Here are some other compelling areas within IB DP Geography that offer rich avenues for exploration.

geography extended essay topics

Cultural Geography

This area examines cultural practices, norms, and products and their relationships with the places and spaces where they originate. It invites deep research into the diversity of human cultures and their expressions worldwide.

Political Geography

An investigation into the spatial distribution of political processes and systems, including the study of boundaries, territories, and the geopolitics of resource distribution. This field provides insights into the complex interplay between geography and political power.

Economic Geography

This area focuses on how economies are spatially and environmentally distributed and how they influence global, regional, and local economic activities. It touches on topics such as globalization, trade, and economic development.

Physical Geography

This branch examines the natural processes and features of the Earth, including the study of landforms, climates, and vegetation and how these elements interact. It provides a foundational understanding of the physical world that we inhabit.

GIS and Remote Sensing

With the advent of technology, the ability to analyze spatial data through Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and observe the Earth through remote sensing has opened new geographic frontiers. These tools allow for the sophisticated analysis and visualization of geographical data, offering insights into various spatial phenomena.

IB Geography Extended Essay Topics and Research Questions

Below, I’ll share some topic ideas and research questions that could guide your exploration:

  1. The Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs. How is climate change affecting coral reef ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef?
  2. Urbanization and Its Effects on Local Climate. How does urbanization influence microclimate conditions in major cities?
  3. Renewable Energy Sources and Geographic Potential. What is the potential for solar energy in Sub-Saharan Africa based on geographic and climatic conditions?
  4. Water Scarcity and Conflict in the Middle East. How does water scarcity contribute to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East?
  5. Effects of Tourism on Natural Landscapes. How does tourism impact erosion and natural landscapes in the Himalayas?
  6. Sustainable Agriculture Practices in Arid Regions. How do sustainable agricultural practices improve food security in arid regions?
  7. Economic Geography of the Coffee Trade. How does the global coffee trade impact Colombia’s economic conditions?
  8. Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss in the Amazon. What are the effects of deforestation on biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest?
  9. Geopolitical Implications of Arctic Melting. How does the melting of Arctic ice influence geopolitical strategies and claims?
  10. Impact of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Communities. What are the adaptive strategies of coastal communities in Southeast Asia facing sea level rise?
  11. Cultural Geography and Identity in Border Regions. How do border dynamics influence cultural identity in the Basque region?
  12. Smart Cities and Urban Sustainability. How do smart city initiatives contribute to urban sustainability in Singapore?
  13. E-waste Management and Environmental Justice. What are the environmental justice issues surrounding e-waste management in Ghana?
  14. Public Transportation and Urban Air Quality. How does the development of public transportation systems affect air quality in European capitals?
  15. The Role of Green Spaces in Mental Health. How do urban green spaces impact mental health outcomes in densely populated cities?
  16. Impact of Plastic Pollution on Marine Life. How does plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean impact the biodiversity of marine life in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
  17. Sustainable Urban Development in Emerging Economies. What strategies are being employed to promote sustainable urban development in the cities of India?
  18. Geographic Factors Influencing Renewable Energy Adoption. Which geographic factors most significantly influence the adoption of wind energy in Northern Europe?
  19. Land Use Changes and Their Impact on Local Water Systems. How have changes in land use affected the hydrology of the Mississippi River Basin?
  20. Migration Patterns and Climate Change. What role does climate change play in shaping migration patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  21. Food Security and Climate Variability. How does climate variability affect food security in the Andean region?
  22. The Geography of Digital Divide. How does the digital divide manifest in rural vs. urban areas in the United States?
  23. Volcanic Activity and Tourism. What is the impact of volcanic activity on tourism in Iceland?
  24. Conservation Efforts in Biodiversity Hotspots. How effective are conservation efforts in protecting biodiversity in Madagascar?
  25. The Economic Geography of Silk Road Trade Routes. How have historic Silk Road trade routes influenced the economic geography of Central Asia today?
  26. Geography of Health: Access to Healthcare in Remote Areas. What geographic factors influence access to healthcare in remote areas of Canada?
  27. Urban Heat Islands and Mitigation Strategies. What strategies are most effective in mitigating urban heat islands in Tokyo?
  28. Glacial Retreat and Global Water Supply. How is glacial retreat in the Himalayas expected to impact global water supply?
  29. Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Conservation. How do cultural landscapes contribute to heritage conservation in Tuscany, Italy?
  30. Social Geography of Homelessness in Urban Centers. What are the spatial patterns of homelessness in San Francisco, and what factors contribute to these patterns?
  31. Desertification and Livelihood in Sub-Saharan Africa. How is desertification affecting rural livelihoods in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa?
  32. The Geography of Internet Connectivity. What geographic factors contribute to Brazil’s digital divide between urban and rural areas?
  33. Impact of High-Speed Rail on Regional Development. How has introducing high-speed rail impacted regional development and urban-rural integration in China?
  34. Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Small Island Developing States. What strategies are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) implementing to adapt to climate change impacts?
  35. The Role of Geographic Location in Startup Ecosystems. How does geographic location influence the success and concentration of startup ecosystems, with a specific focus on Silicon Valley?
  36. Agricultural Practices and Soil Erosion. How do traditional vs. modern agricultural practices affect soil erosion rates in the Midwest United States?
  37. Geographic Patterns of Renewable Energy Usage. What are the geographic patterns of renewable energy usage in Scandinavia, and how does physical geography influence them?
  38. The Effect of Mountain Ranges on Climate. How do mountain ranges, such as the Rockies, affect the climate and weather patterns of the adjacent regions?
  39. Urban Sprawl and Wildlife Habitat. What impact does urban sprawl have on wildlife habitat and biodiversity in the outskirts of European capitals?
  40. Geography and the Spread of Infectious Diseases. How have geographic factors influenced the spread and impact of infectious diseases, with a case study on COVID-19 in densely populated cities?
  41. Impact of Agricultural Policies on Rural Landscapes. How have European agricultural policies shaped the rural landscapes in France?
  42. The Influence of Coastal Erosion on Maritime Boundaries. What impact does coastal erosion have on maritime boundaries and territorial disputes?
  43. Socio-economic Effects of Natural Disasters. How do natural disasters like hurricanes affect the socioeconomic stability of Caribbean nations?
  44. Geographical Analysis of Global Trade Flows. What geographical factors influence the flow of trade between China and Africa?
  45. Water Management Strategies in Arid Regions. How are innovative water management strategies combating desertification in Israel?
  46. Impact of Urban Green Spaces on Air Quality. How do urban green spaces influence air quality in densely populated cities like Tokyo?
  47. Geography of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. How does geography play a role in defending indigenous peoples’ land rights in the Amazon?
  48. Climate Change and Wine Production. How is climate change altering the geographical distribution of wine-producing regions in Europe?
  49. Geopolitical Strategies for Arctic Resources. What geopolitical strategies are countries employing to access Arctic resources?
  50. Population Aging and Urban Infrastructure. How is population aging affecting urban infrastructure needs in major Japanese cities?
  51. Mapping Epidemics with GIS Technology. How is GIS technology being used to track and manage epidemic outbreaks globally?
  52. Economic Impact of Ecotourism. What are the economic impacts of ecotourism in East African communities?
  53. Spatial Analysis of Crime in Urban Areas. How can spatial analysis help understand crime patterns in major US cities?
  54. Sea Level Rise and Island Nation Sovereignty. What are the implications of rising sea levels for the sovereignty of low-lying island nations?
  55. Impact of Road Infrastructure on Deforestation. How has expanding road infrastructure contributed to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?

These topics span various branches of geography, aiming to inspire a range of interests and research directions.

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Finally, I’d like to offer a few final words of wisdom. Engaging your reader with a compelling narrative, demonstrating your critical thinking, and showing originality in your analysis will set your essay apart. Trust me, paying attention to these details can take your essay from good to exceptional. So, armed with these insights and strategies, you’re better equipped to begin your writing process. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing where your intellectual curiosity takes you in the vast and varied landscape of IB DP Geography. Also, remember that our IB experts are always ready to help you with Extended Essay writing.