WT1 Samples

On the following pages you find a wide range of sample written tasks. As many of us learn through example, you will want to study the good samples carefully and avoid the mistakes that have been made by other students.

While written task 1 invites you to creatively explore your course work, it also comes with pitfalls. We suggest you check out the tips page to see an overview of common mistakes and suggestions on how to avoid them. You can check to see if these samples include all of the ingredients of a good written task.

We also suggest you familiarize yourself with the assessment criteria for written task 1 before you begin to assess the samples presented here. This way you know what to look for as you read them. Furthermore you can compare your assessment of the sample material to the examiner's.

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Comments 41

Sonali Joshi 19 July 2017 - 06:39

Dear Tim,
Do you any sample for a travel writing?
One of my students is showing interest in writing one.
Regards,
Sonali

Tim Pruzinsky 19 July 2017 - 11:29

Hi Sonali,

We have what is on the site. I'm a fan of Paul Theroux's travel writing, and he has a great collection of short pieces called "Fresh Air Fiend" which may help the student in writing his or her own. I'd recommend the piece "Camping in the Maine Woods" from it, among others.

Best,
Tim

Syeda Maimoona Hamed 29 August 2017 - 10:45

Dear Tim and David

Please correct me if I am wrong;
does the content of the WT, ( irrespective of the text type and the topic chosen for any of the parts), relate to how English language is used. I am not referring to Criterion D here, but the role of language used in relation to the topic actually.

A student wrote a feature article on drug addiction based on the topic 'use of persuasive language'. However the language used in the content does not highlight the use of language in drug addiction.

Please guide.

Regards

David McIntyre 29 August 2017 - 19:39

A good question, Syeda.

One might think that a student could demonstrate an understanding of persuasive language through the use of persuasive language. Alas. Thus, a student should show an understanding of persuasive language in their WT. A text on drug addiction that, let's say, aims to convince of the dangers of drugs, is inappropriate (assuming it is demonstrating an understanding of drugs and their danger, rather than persuasive language).

Let me know if you want further clarification.

Thanks,

David

Syeda Maimoona Hamed 30 August 2017 - 08:02

Exactly David.

This is what usually confuses me. I am unclear if the WT1 needs to be an example of the topic itself (like you mentioned an example of persuasive language) or should it, through a chosen text type, also highlight how English language is associated with the topic. (Where do we see the use of persuasive techniques etc)
I hope I am not making it more confusing !

Regards

Tim Pruzinsky 2 September 2017 - 02:51

Hi Syeda,

I could be off here, but my understanding of this thread is that your student who wrote on drug addiction is off base. S/he should choose another topic. It has nothing to do with "language in a cultural context" or "language and mass communication" as currently written. It needs to be focused on a part of the course studied in class, show knowledge about what was learned, while also using the techniques discussed by writers to create those texts studied.

I hope that clarifies things some. I'd also say this: if you think it's off base, tell a student he or she can't do "that" for a Written Task. I do it all the time and have no problems saying no to students.

Best,
Tim

Syeda Maimoona Hamed 5 September 2017 - 05:43

Dear Tim

Thank you for further clarification. I will tell the student to change the topic. Thank you.

Regards

adina olteanu 9 October 2017 - 17:41

Hi Tim,

If possible, could you come up with your expert advice on the following potential tasks?
1. A student of mine would like to write his WT2 about the representation of race as resulting from JayZ's song"The Story of O.J. Simpson". He would like to be able to rely in his analysis on both the video and the transcript of the song as primary texts for his analysis. The crux is: can the two texts - the song transcript and the video - be considered as one (that is, should he consider the video a multimodal text? Or arguing that one text complements the other, could he rely on them both without risking too much ? (To my mind, each of the two communicates its own message as a separate text, though its own modalities). The student considers the combination of the two texts so rewarding in terms of the discussion that might ensue on the representation of the African American community (Area - Power and Privilege - How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?). On this matter, I would say he is right. I would also say that the other Question (relating to silencing and marginalization) might do as well. 

I really don't know what to advise the student to do since I perceive the transcript of the song and the video as two different genres - a song and a video text (cartoon). Have you encountered anything of the kind so far? What would you advise this student to do?

2. Another student would like to write creatively about a series of sexist ads designed in the 1960s. Do you find it viable from an examiner's point of view if the student chose to imitate Betty Friedan's 'voice' (modelled after 'The Feminine Mystique') in writing a magazine article on the idea of women's representation in those ads (or delivering a speech in front of an audience?)

3. A third student would like to write a speech in the TedTalk style impersonating a teenager who decides to take a stand in response to different texts (cartoons as well as articles) issued around the same year, in the UK, but negatively representing teenagers as prone to alcohol, mentally unstable. Does this proposal of WT1 sound acceptable to you? Or should the student imitate a TedTalk's conventions as well as the style of a particular speaker, preferably someone of the age that is denigrated in the media?

4. In relation to John Donne's poems (Songs and Sonnets), could a student write an imaginary letter to John Donne, the poet, from the point of view of a contemporary woman (a poet as well, might be better?) who would like to lend a voice to the ideal beloved woman that the dominating voice of the poet silences in the text through rhetorical artifice, and appeal to the metaphysical by proclaiming the reign of the physical body at the same time? Would this idea be acceptable? Or would a speech delivered in present-day times in memory of John Donne but criticizing his views on women be a better choice? Of course, in this last case, the student should create the occasion and imitate a 'recognizable' voice, maybe (a contemporary one)? Or could she invent the voice of the Countess of Bedford in an exchange of letters with Donne, writing about his unfair representation of gender roles? 

Thank you very much! I apologize for asking so many questions at once and maybe causing inconvenience but there are no senior teachers in my L&L Course who could come up with a second opinion on these issues.

Best regards,
Adina

Tim Pruzinsky 12 October 2017 - 00:54

Hi Adina,

These are complex and complicated questions. I needed to think and reflect before answering which is why I took longer than usual.

Let's go one by one:

1. Use the video. It has the lyrics as well and so it will allow him to do what he wants - use both - but makes it easy for the examiner as it is technically one text (the video itself).

2. Deliver a speech. A magazine article will come out too much like an essay for too many students.

3. This is the one that concerns me the most. How is this connected to course content? He needs to make that crystal clear in the rationale. As well, if he is going to go down the TED Talk route, he needs to carefully choose his "persona" here. If he is a teen, fine. I wouldn't imitate a different teen here. He could be a mental health professional who is also lambasting the way the media represents teens. That's up to him though.

4. There are so many options here. I think the first option, the imaginary letter, or the last option, an exchange of letters, makes the most sense.

As with all of these, students at HL have to write 4 total WTs. That means if one of them falls flat, or the student doesn't execute it well, that's okay! They have other opportunities to succeed.

Best,
Tim

Tim Pruzinsky 10 October 2017 - 04:11

Hi Adina,

I just wanted to write a quick comment that this will take me a day or so to reply on this.

Best,
Tim

adina olteanu 10 October 2017 - 18:00

Hi, Tim,
Thank you for your promptitude but could you reply selectively to at least on one or two of my items (of your own choice)? Any answer is better than no answer at all.

Thank you very much once again.

GIOVANNI TOVAR 14 November 2017 - 17:07

for written task 1 can they also write about 1 of the books; can they write a creative writing about any of the books ??????

Tim Pruzinsky 15 November 2017 - 03:02

Hi Giovanni,

Yes, their WT1 can be about a text studied in Part 3 or 4 of the course. Almost any text type - except an essay - can be written.

Best,
Tim

Mirna Madi 26 November 2017 - 09:00

Hi Tim,

One of my students wrote his WT1 in the form of multiple Facebook posts (a chat between two friends discussing the significance of memes)- Is it a valid format? He produced an authentic Facebook page with the needed design and comments.

Please advise.

Thank you

Tim Pruzinsky 26 November 2017 - 11:23

Hi Mirna,

I would consider this a valid format and I would have to imagine an examiner would as well; it's an authentic looking online Facebook post.

Best,
Tim

Ma Luisa Castro 28 November 2017 - 03:28

Hi, David and Tim,

My students read If This a Man, and one of them would like to do an Epilogue and entitles it The aftermath where he will include what could have transpired between the Primo Levi's experiences in the Concentration Camp and life outside. he will tackle on the theme , surviving vs living, which we have discussed while reading the book. Is this appropriate ?

Ma Luisa Castro 28 November 2017 - 03:31

Dear Tim and David,

Another student wants to look at the book 1984 and explore the language of Newspeak using blog as a text type. Focusing on the etymology of newspeak and how this limits freedom of expression. What do you think about this?

Ma Luisa Castro 28 November 2017 - 03:36

Another student is thinking about writing a diary entry on the idea of totalitarianism as written by one characters in the book 1984. Will this be accepted as WT1?

Tim Pruzinsky 28 November 2017 - 07:37

Hi Ma Luisa,

I think all three sound acceptable. In the first one, it sounds like a pastiche. Make sure the student writes in the style of the Levi. In the third one, it might be a good idea to run a series of 3 diary entries to show development of the idea they are discussing.

Best,
Tim

Zoe Sanger 29 November 2017 - 17:33

Hi Tim
I have 3 questions and any response from you would be appreciated:

1) For part 3 we are studying The Crucible. One student wants to write a diary entry from the point of view of Abigail, but in the style of a modern diary- she has used Bridget Jones as her secondary source. Am I right in thinking that she won't get marks for context here (as it is a part 3 text) if she writes it in a modern style?

2)For part 4 we are studying Macbeth. If a pupil writes WT1 - a diary entry from the point of view of Macbeth - will they be penalized for not using 17th Century English and writing in modern prose instead?

3) Another student wants to write a psychological report for Lady Macbeth (Part 4 text, WT1) - is this acceptable?

Thanks

Tim Pruzinsky 30 November 2017 - 00:05

Hi Zoe,

1. I'm not sure if she will be marked down for not writing in a modern style. However, in this instance, my suggestion would be for her to write in Abigail's voice. She can figure that out from Miller's dialogue. She should keep that tone, register, style. That shouldn't be too hard to do, almost a pastiche of Abigail. In this way, she adheres to the voice of the character, which I think is better than writing in the voice of Bridget Jones.

2. Although I realize this contradicts my advice above, I can't imagine they will be penalized in this case. It's tough to do this - for a student to write in iambic pentameter! I think they should explain why they went with prose in the rationale and that should be enough to frame why the piece is in prose and not blank verse.

3. Yes, this is acceptable.

Best,
Tim

Zoe Sanger 30 November 2017 - 10:58

Thank you!

Tara Bradford 4 December 2017 - 01:19

Hi,

One of my students is posing as a professor and writing a letter to a director of studies in another university promoting a new course: the study of Sanskrit and Coding.

The written task 1 is written in English (for lang and lit ENGLISH) and seems to focus on how language functions; however, it discusses the language of coding and Sanskrit rather than English. Is this acceptable for a task 1? Can a task one focus on the functions of language in a cultural context even if neither the language nor the culture are English or Anglophone?

Thanks in advance!

David McIntyre 4 December 2017 - 08:58

Hi Tara,

My first thought is that this task seems remarkably ambitious. My second thought is that the student should focus on (the study of) the English language, not Sanskrit. Even if the student writes a letter with a more delimited focus - the grammar of English; English and functional grammar; English and semantics; English phonology etc. - the scope remains huge. However, I do think it can be done successfully, and would be more germane. I would shift the student away from Sanskrit and coding.

Kind regards,

David

Priyamvada Gopal 11 December 2017 - 08:54

Good evening gentlemen,

One of the HL students in my school has done his Wt 1 on DOAS (Part 3 text) and he has done his WT 2 on the language in war poetry. He has focused on one particular poem and slated it under Arts and Entertainment, Part 2? I thought both the texts cannot be literary.
Thanks

David McIntyre 11 December 2017 - 09:41

That is correct Priyamvada. Whilst the course construction is an artifice - a representation of the world, and not the world - war poetry is literature and cannot be considered part 2. The student will need to change the selection of WTs for submission.

Best regards,

David

Priyamvada Gopal 12 December 2017 - 03:28

hi David,
An SL student in my school wants to write a diary entry of Willy Loman and incorporate it into the first 1000 words of Death.Is a student allowed to write a diary and a pastiche of the play?
Thanks

David McIntyre 12 December 2017 - 09:21

Hi Priyamvada,

I think it is important that, in the rationale, the student writes that she is is writing a diary entry or a pastiche. Students may only submit one text type. Whilst there is inevitably some overlap in this instance, it is better that the student expresses what type of text it is as unequivocally as possible.

Best regards,

David

Nimat Dandashly 1 January 2018 - 19:10

Dear David and Tim,
Allow me, first of all, to extend my appreciation and gratitude for facilitating my work through the valuable tips and extensive information you've added to this site and to wish you a happy new year full of more success!
One of my students is preparing WT 1 on Part one of the course under the topic of language & social relations. She chooses to write a letter to Walt Disney commenting on the use of AAVE in Disney Films and discussing the origin of this language. To what extent would this be a good task for the IB? What would you advise to improve it?
Thanks in advance!

David McIntyre 3 January 2018 - 08:21

Hi Nimat,

Thank you for your kind words. Happy new year.

It's a little difficult to give advice here. There is nothing as such wrong with the idea, but I would like to know what is motivating the choice of text type, and what understanding(s) of the topic option the student wants to reveal. If the student simply uses the letter as a catalyst for an 'academic exploration' of what she has learned in the course of study, it is unlikely to do particularly well. The letter needs to seem authentic and be motivated by a desire to express a perspective. With this in mind, it can very useful for the student to assume an identity in writing the letter. Who is she, and what is it about the assumed identity that gives an apparently authentic perspective?

I'm happy to throw this idea around with you. I hope this is some initial help.

Kind regards,

David

Nimat Dandashly 7 January 2018 - 16:27

Thank you, David, for the clarification that was of great help to my student. You know, this is my first year as a teacher of Lang & Lit to a group of struggling students. You might find me bombarding you with questions about their first written tasks.
Here is the task of another student who is willing to write a letter from Letty Cottin Pogrebin (co-editor of Ms. Magazine) to Gloria Steinem (co-founder of Ms. Magazine) proposing to include the essay "Why I want a Wife" by Judy Brady in their first issue. The letter would be praising the essay and would give reasons why it should be included in their magazine. Please advise on this task.
Fond regards,
Nihmat

David McIntyre 7 January 2018 - 16:32

I think it sounds like a fine idea, Nimat.

Kind regards,

David

Nimat Dandashly 9 January 2018 - 05:54

Thanks, David, for your instant reply! It wipes out my student's worry towards her WT! I still have one more question for another student & excuse me for bombarding you with questions!!! My student is going to "address Mrs. Hilary Clinton through a letter written by Mrs. Gertrude Mongella (The Conference Secretary-General) that discusses Mrs. Clinton’s Speech delivered on the 5th of September 1995 for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. In the letter, Mrs. Clinton will be praised for how she delivered a great speech that was very inspirational for the audience and the purpose, questioning whether Mrs. Clinton’s Speech agrees with the Vatican’s letter (at that time John Paul II) and the standards he set especially since he sent the letter to Mrs. Gertrude Mongella."

Fond Regards,

Nihmat

David McIntyre 9 January 2018 - 10:10

I'm less certain about this one, Nihmat. If the letter focuses on Mrs. Clinton's rhetorical and oratory skills, then that would be fine. If the student engages in the substance of the speech, it is probably less good; the written task must be about a topic option.

Kind regards,

David

Nimat Dandashly 9 January 2018 - 11:14

Thanks, David, for your support! I'll share your uncertainty with my student.
Best regards,
Nihmat

Justine Ehlers 8 January 2018 - 18:52

I find the written task the hardest part of the LangLit course for some reason - I really struggle to draw together everything that the IB is expecting to see in this one task! I also confuse myself with trying to work out whether the written task should in itself be analysing language or simply demonstrating understanding of how language is used through the way it is written. I have been reading the sample assessments on here and they are helpful - but could I give you an example that one of my students has done - does it seem appropriate? We have studied Speeches for Part 2, and she read some articles on the Fearless Girl statue placed on Wall Street in opposition to the bull on International Women's Day. She chose to write a speech to be delivered in City Hall, New York, to the Mayor and the council persuading them to let the Fearless Girl remain, choosing as her persona a teenage girl who is herself, if you like, representative of the Fearless Girl challenging a patriarchal system. Does that sound OK? And she cites statistics in her speech - does she need to footnote these with a source? This aspect confuses me, because if she remains true to the text-type, she would not have footnotes in her speech. Thank you for any help!

David McIntyre 9 January 2018 - 09:25

Hi Justine,

I think your confusion arises from (the ambiguously expressed) criterion B and, in my view, your confusion is wholly understandable. In my own understanding, criterion B is assessing two things: (i) the knowledge of a topic option or literary work and (ii) the apparently authentic (and creative) replication of a text type.

Let's say a student claims in their rationale that they are writing a speech, and the speech seems authentic with regard to style, rhetorical structures, linguistic structures etc; this is appropriate. If, by contrast, a student claims to write a speech but (to be obtuse) it reads like a poem, then this is not appropriate, since the student obviously hasn't shown an understanding of the text type (i.e. a speech). The student also has to show understanding of a topic option or a literary work studied. In this way, it isn't adequate to write a speech (even if speeches were considered as an aspect of part 1 or 2 study) about knife crime in Glasgow (since you would not study this in parts 1 or 2). To make the task 'appropriate', the student must also write ABOUT a part 1 or 2 topic option (say language and gender, the language of advertising etc.).

I have a lot of personal views around WTs, the grading criteria (and the wording), the (non) relationship between learning outcomes and grading criteria etc. I'll keep them to myself!

Does my response help your understanding?

Best regards,

David

Hunter Minks 10 January 2018 - 12:09

Hi Tim and David,

I have a student using a series of commercials as the basis for her WT (she's referencing YouTube). How should she attach these? I've advised her to cite the YouTube page in an appendix using APA? Is this acceptable?

Thanks,

Hunter

Tim Pruzinsky 10 January 2018 - 23:52

Hi Hunter,

That sounds perfectly acceptable. The examiner will have the information she or he needs to access it - if they choose. Your student is also using an academic referencing system (APA) to show they know how to cite their sources. In other words, your advise to the student is spot-on.

Best,
Tim

Maleha Arif 31 January 2018 - 16:44

Hello gentlemen,
Please advice on the following idea for WT 1- creating a series (3-5) magazine covers on a topic covered to show an understanding of how different print sources convey the same story differently. Student will use lit devices, stylistic features and design techniques. Also explained in rationale. Would this be enough?

Thanks,
Mel

Tim Pruzinsky 1 February 2018 - 08:49

Hi Mel,

That is perhaps possible (and interesting in terms of bias and the news), I'm not sure how the student will have 800-1000 words total for this WT1. I don't see it happening, but I may be wrong. On that note, I would most likely advise the student to do something else.

Best,
Tim


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