Skip to content

In Text Citations Extended Essay Word

Students must acknowledge all sources used in work submitted to IB for assessment.  

Diploma Programme students submit work for assessment in a variety of media that may include audio-visual material, text, graphs, images and/or data published in print or electronic sources.  If students use the work or ideas of another person, they must acknowledge the source using a standard style of referencing in a consistent manner.  A student's failure to acknowledge a source will be investigated by the IB as a potential breach of regulations that may result in a penalty imposed by the IB final award committee.

The IB does not proscribe which style(s) of referencing or in-text citation should be used by students; this is left to the discretion of appropriate faculty/staff in the student's school.  In practice, certain styles may prove most commonly used, but schools are free to choose a style that is appropriate for the subject concerned and the language in which students' work is written.

The following criteria must be applied:

  • Students are expected to use a standard style and use it consistently so that credit is given to all sources used, including sources that have been paraphrased or summarized.
  • When writing, students must clearly distinguish (in the body of the text) between their words and those of others by the use of quotation marks (or other method like indentation) followed by an appropriate citation that denotes an entry in the bibliography.
  • Students are not expected to show faultless expertise in referencing, but are expected to demonstrate that all sources have been acknowledged.
  • Students must be advised that any audio-visual material, text, graphs, images and/or data that is crucial to their work and that is not their own must also attribute the source.  Again, an appropriate style of referencing/citation must be used.
  • Regardless of the reference style adopted by the school for a given subject, it is expected that the minimum information given includes:
    • name of author
    • date of publication
    • title of source
    • page numbers as applicable
    • date of access (electronic sources)
    • URL

Adapted from "Introduction; Academic honesty, Acknowledge the work or ideas of another person", from Extended Essay Guide, International Baccalaureate Organization, 2016.


by Chelsea Lee

Dear Style Expert,

What words count toward the word count in an APA Style paper? Am I supposed to count the title page, abstract, citations, and reference list? Are there minimums or maximums for the word count of a sentence or paragraph? How many words should go in the whole paper? Help me!

—Wordy William

Dear Wordy,

Counting the number of words in an APA Style paper is easy: Count all the words in the entire paper to get the total word count. That includes the title page, abstract, main text, quotations, headings, citations, footnotes, reference list, tables, figure captions, and appendices—everything. This gives an accurate representation of the overall length of your paper and saves you from having to perform elaborate calculations just to know whether your paper is too long, too short, or just right. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to count the words in your paper.

There is also no set minimum or maximum number of words allowed in a sentence or paragraph. Sentences and paragraphs of any length are technically allowed. However, there are still reasons to avoid very short or very long sentences and paragraphs that have nothing to do with arbitrary word counts. Very short sentences might be abrupt or choppy, and very long sentences might get confusing. Paragraphs shorter than two or three sentences might seem incomplete, and paragraphs longer than a page might contain too many ideas at once. Use very short or long sentences and paragraphs only when warranted by the information being presented.

The word count limit for an entire paper will be set by the journal to which you are submitting your work or by your professor for a university assignment. Limits vary widely and are dependent on the nature of the article you are writing—for example, a brief report will be short but a dissertation quite long.

The word count limit for the abstract is also set by the publisher or professor; abstract word limits vary from journal to journal and typically range from 150 to 250 words (for student assignments, the limit is typically 250 words as well).

If you’ve got other questions about word counts for your particular assignment, your professor or publisher will probably be the best resource for you. Leave any other questions or comments below.