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P1 Sample work28 February 2012

One of the best ways to learn is by example. In order to become familiar with the expectations of Paper 1, you will want to look at how student work has been assessed in the past. Both poor and good... more

P2 Sample workfree28 February 2012

One of the best ways to learn is by example. In order to become familiar with Paper 2, you will want to look at how student work has been assessed in the past. Both poor and good samples are presented... more

Paper 2free28 February 2012

The Paper 2 exam consists of six essay questions, only one of which must be answered during the timed period. The essay is to be written about the Part 3 literary texts. Therefore, it is a test of understanding... more

Criteria27 February 2012

When preparing for the Paper 1 exam, you should familiarize yourself with its assessment criteria. If you know what examiners are looking for, then you are more likely to write effectively and score... more

Skillsfree25 November 2011

Paper 2 requires certain writing skills. Even if you have a thorough understanding of your Part 3 works, you must be able express them coherently and effectively. Academic essay writing, like anything,... more

Outlinesfree8 June 2012

There is no single correct way to write Paper 2. However there are several good ways to structure the essay. Before you begin to write your essay, take 10-15 minutes to outline the main ideas. This is... more

WT2 Questions & samplesfree8 October 2012

Higher Level students must write at least one critical response (written task 2) to a text. These responses, which in fact are essays, answer one of six prescribed quesitons from the Language A: Language... more

IOC Sample workfree5 March 2012

This section contains several sample individual oral commentaries from former students. You will want to look at sample work for several reasons, depending on who you are and what your aims are. Teachers... more

Individual oral commentaryfree28 November 2011

The individual oral commentary (IOC) is a test on Part 4, a critical study of literature. By the time students take this oral exam SL students will have studied two works from the PLA, and HL students... more

Tipsfree28 February 2012

While the Paper 2 essay only takes 1.5 hours at SL and 2 hours at HL, in fact you can spend hours preparing for it. Good preparation will ensure that every minute of the exam is used wisely. We recommend... more

2018 Paper 1 (HL) Beesfree12 July 2018

Two weeks ago (in June 2018), we published an HL Paper 1 response to texts A and B. These texts were both about a significant global issue – robots and artificial intelligence. The response is available... more

2018 Paper 1 (HL) Robotsfree28 June 2018

In January this year (2018) a new kind of shop opened in Seattle. Amazon Go’s ‘just walk out’ convenience store made it possible for customers to walk in, scan their phones, pick up goods, and walk... more

Written tasksfree8 February 2013

Throughout this course, you will build a portfolio of written tasks. There are two types of written tasks, known as written task 1 (WT1) and written task 2 (WT2). These are very different in nature. more

Criteriafree28 February 2012

Before you sit the final Paper 2 exam, you will want to have practiced writing and assessing essays in class, using the IB assessment criteria. Self assessment, peer assessment and teacher assessment... more

2017 Paper 1 (HL) - Wealth and Happiness30 November 2017

This Higher Level Paper 1 exemplar, from May 2017, is the first in a series of three posts. The comparative commentary is based on Text C and Text D from that exam year. While InThinking cannot publish... more

2018 Paper 1 (SL) Sharks11 October 2018

The fear of sharks is real. The release of Jaws, of course, amplified those fears. And that fear hasn’t subsided in the least. The Discovery Channel has used that fear and fascination for years... more

Text typesfree20 December 2011

The Language A: Language and Literature guide suggests we study a range of text types. 'Deconstructing texts', as we call it, is one way of exploring the structural conventions of various text types.... more

Unpacking questions28 February 2012

As Paper 2 presents six unseen questions, you will want to become good at understanding and 'unpacking' exam questions. The term 'to unpack' is used here because it suggests that essay questions, like... more

2018 Paper 1 (SL) Tasmania8 November 2018

Texts about travel are proving to be popular choices for Paper 1. It boils down to this: there’s nothing controversial about them. Having to set an exam paper for the entire world—and for such... more

Stereotypesfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'stereotypes'. For this topic, we look at how various ethnic or gender stereotypes are created in the media.... more

2017 Paper 1 (SL) "New Scientist"5 October 2017

The following Paper 1 (SL) is a response to the May 2017 examination, Text 1, an article published in the magazine New Scientist. The student’s work reveals a generally excellent understanding of the... more

Individual Oral Commentary (HL) Death of a Naturalist14 July 2016

Poems are often a good choice for Part 4 texts and for the IOC. Whilst poems exist in dialogic interplay with other texts, they are in a certain sense self-contained. It is likely that a poem studied... more

Criteria5 March 2012

Before the individual oral commentary is taken, you should have a good understanding of the assessment criteria. Students will want to practice assessing their own work, a classmate's work, or a recording... more

Coherent writing28 February 2012

In Criterion D for Paper 2, you find that you are expected to write coherently. But what is 'coherent' writing? Coherence is the glue that sticks good writing together. It is what makes one sentence... more

2016 P2 SL (Persepolis and A View from the Bridge)29 December 2016

This is the second response to the May 2016, Paper 2 question, ‘Identify some of the forms intolerance can take, and discuss how its effects on both the victims and the intolerant are presented in at... more

8 writing tipsfree27 February 2012

This lesson focuses on eight ways to invigorate your writing style. These tips will come in handy for all written activities that you do, from essay writing to creative writing. They help you meet the... more

2017 Paper 1 (SL) Justice Hub30 October 2017

The following Paper 1 (SL) is a very strong response to the May 2017 examination, Text 2, an extract from the website Justice Hub. For teachers with access to the exam text, there are a number of things... more

Analyzing tone2 February 2013

Writers communicate a message to us through a particular tone. Tone is the choice of vocabulary, syntax and verb tense, all of which place the reader in a particular mood. As we analyze the language... more

2017 Paper 1 (HL) - Electronic Texts12 October 2017

Here at InThinking, we sometimes publish excellent exemplars that are clearly deserving of their mark. Other times, we publish less sophisticated writing so that teachers and students can see a range... more

Gender & sexualityfree16 February 2012

This topic asks us to become more aware of language as an expression of gender identities. When we talk about gender in reference to language, we are referring to the way language embodies, reinforces... more

Topicsfree6 May 2013

The IB has stipulated several suggested topics for Part 1. You may want to cover a few of them in depth or more of them in passing. When studying a particular topic, it is important that we have many... more

Criteriafree23 June 2012

Before you write written tasks, you should look at the assessment criteria. This way you know what the examiner is looking for. The best way to become familiar with the criteria is to use them regularly.... more

Exploring text types27 February 2012

A great variety of text types may appear on Paper 1. You may see an ad, a brochure, a website or a memoir. You will want to be able to quickly identify the type of text on the exam and its purpose. In... more

Paper 2: Writing Effective Introductory Paragraphs15 December 2016

I have read thousands of essays written by high school and undergraduate students. And, I have written a few essays myself. Of those that I have read, I have witnessed the sacred and the profane, the... more

Textual biasfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 in the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'textual bias'. Perhaps you have read a text and thought: 'This has been written with a particular agenda.'... more

WT2 Tipsfree5 March 2012

Before you start writing a written task 2, or 'critical response', you will need a strategy or 'game plan'. The list of tips below offers you a step-by-step approach for this task. You will notice that... more

Individual Oral Commentary (SL) The Great Gatsby (2)26 May 2016

This sample Individual Oral Commentary comes from a student preparing for his final IOC. It is a mock examination, conducted under the same conditions as the real exam: 20 minutes of preparation, 10-12... more

Compare & contrast27 February 2012

Paper 1 at HL asks you to compare and contrast two texts. Comparative analysis is a skill that requires practice. Using Venn diagrams or tables is a great way to brainstorm together on the similarities... more

2016 Paper 1 (SL) "Diary: Listening to the Heart"7 February 2017

This commentary comes from the May 2016 Standard Level Paper 1 exam. It analyzes the text "Diary: Listening to the Heart” by Gavin Francis in the London Review of Books. You can find a link to the... more

PIE structurefree28 February 2012

You will notice that for many forms of assessment, you are asked to organize and structure your ideas. This lesson gives you a kind of 'recipe' for cooking up an essay as it were. The template approach... more

Advertising techniquesfree24 February 2012

We live in a world of visual stimulation. In the car, on the metro, or strolling through town, we absorb the invitations to look, buy, do, react, often unconsciously. Because we are so accustomed to... more

2018 P2 HL (The House of Bernarda Alba and Hedda Gabler)22 November 2018

When students get a Paper 2 exemplar that isn’t about their texts, they sometimes complain: How can I learn how to write a Paper 2 if the example you give me isn’t about texts we’ve studied? more

Language and campaignsfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 from the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'language and presentation of speeches and campaigns'. As we explore how various media are used to persuade... more

Media institutionsfree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is 'media institutions'. Here we study the role of organizations and businesses in determining the messages that... more

The Big 5free27 February 2012

At the heart of the English A: Language and Literature course is textual analysis. In order to prepare for Paper 1 and the individual oral commentary, you will want to learn how to analyze various texts.... more

Use of persuasive languagefree23 February 2012

One of the suggested topics for Part 2 of the Language A: Language and Literature guide is the 'use of persuasive language'. Persuasive language runs through mass media, from advertisements to political... more

WT2 Skills2 August 2012

Written task 2 requires essay-writing skills, such as the ability to write coherently and accurately. Many of these essay-writing skills are also covered in the Paper 2 skills section of this Subject... more

Applying CDA27 February 2012

The field of critical discourse analysis (CDA) offers useful tools for Paper 1. Critical discourse analysis is concerned with the description and interpretation of discourse in context. Essentially,... more

2017 P2 SL (Hedda Gabler and Death and the Maiden - Exemplar 2)29 March 2018

In this exemplar, the student has written about the plays Death and the Maiden and Hedda Gabbler. Like another model example, found here, it addresses question 3 from the May 2017 exam session: more

2016 Paper 1 (SL) "Aggressiveness and Readiness Gestures"20 April 2017

In 2015 I started teaching a class of 17 students. Like all classes I have ever taught, the students were of mixed ability, and their personalities and motivations were varied. Within a few months, however,... more