P2 Sample work

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 in these pages, so that you can learn from other students' experiences. We suggest you assess student work according to the criteria for Paper 2, before you look at the examiner's comments on each work. This way you can see how your understanding of good practice compares to that of the examiner.

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Comments 5

elizabeth smith 19 September 2017 - 19:55

Dear Tim
Can I check that the five minutes reading time for paper 2 is for both HL and the SL papers? I assume this is separate to the 2 hours for HL and 1 and a half hours SL to write up their response. For HL I have recommended 20 minutes planning and an hour and a half writing and for SL an hour writing.Do you think this is about right? They are not expected to write an 'essay' but a discussion of both texts although the approach I have advocated is that they write about both texts simultaneously- would you agree that this is a far more cohesive way of responding ? I am aware they don't have to compare.

Kind Regards


Tim Pruzinsky 20 September 2017 - 07:00

Hi Elizabeth,

You have a bunch of questions. I've put them in number order for ease of reference.

1. Yes, 5 minutes reading time exists for both HL and SL.

2. What you recommend for planning sounds about right.

3. They are expected to write an "essay." The page on introductions for Paper 2 lays out one possible approach: thinkib.net

4. As for organizing their essay, I always argue that it is question dependent, meaning the question will dictate how to respond. I teach students a variety of ways and let them choose what is best for them for that particular question.


elizabeth smith 27 September 2017 - 07:32

Thank you so much.I have another question from a student perspective and it is about planning to respond to a question.The question is:

My question is:
Examine the presentation of male and female views of the central concerns or issues in the two works you have studied, and discuss the ways in which these views differ.

I have re-written the question to be:
How are the views of men and women (as shaped by the contexts of the texts) on the central issues of the two works presented (stylistic features) and how do they differ.

My issue is with the central themes part. I am not sure how to approach this. I have thought of 2 ways:
Where I try to find overlap in the central issues of the two books (so identity, power, change) and then structure each paragraph by central concern, and then discuss the male & female views of each text, how they're presented (stylistic features, characterization), and how they differ.
Where I identify a main theme specific to one play (eg. gender roles (eg mother, wife) in DH or disgrace in disgrace) and then a theme that is common between the two (eg. power, loneliness) and then do the same as I outlined before with regards to structure.



Tim Pruzinsky 27 September 2017 - 08:03

Hi Elizabeth,

Apologies, but I'm not sure of the question or the problem. The student has laid out two possible approaches to a Paper 2. Either could work. She or he should pick one, stop hesitating, and see what happens. If things go right, reflect on why. If things go wrong, figure out what happened to learn from those mistakes.


elizabeth smith 27 September 2017 - 08:24

Thank you,



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