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 24

Gabriela Del Pozo 10 March 2017 - 14:28

Hello!! I have a student who wrote a personal diary from the point of view of a character. He used different font types, sizes and colors so as to add effect and realism. My question is: Is this allowed? Or should he use only one font type for the WT1? Thank you!

David McIntyre 12 March 2017 - 06:41

Hi Gabriela,

For WT 1, it's fine. I generally encourage my students to aim for apparent authenticity in WT1, including appearance, layout etc. In practice, it won't be marked more or less highly (than if it didn't appear authentic).

For WT2, have students follow the published IB guidelines on font, spacing etc.

I hope this helps,


Mariam Hussain 18 April 2017 - 06:21

Hi David/ Tim,
A students wishes to write an Epilogue based on A Doll's House, is it a safe option for WT1?

David McIntyre 18 April 2017 - 07:53

Hi Mariam,

I would think a reasonable WT1 can be premised on this idea. The rationale should probably relate the idea to the play's context of production.

Best regards,


Mariam Hussain 18 April 2017 - 09:25

thanks David

Rima Moukarzel 23 April 2017 - 19:56

One of my students (SL) chose to represent the differences in the media coverage of the Yemeni war. Is it a suitable option?

David McIntyre 24 April 2017 - 04:50

Hi Rima,

As with anything, the suitability and effectivity of the task depends how and why a particular approach was made. Whilst the world is hardly compartmentalised, it is important that the task has authenticity; that is, any representation of the Yemeni war (or anything else) needs to appropriately focalised through an English-language medium.

Let me know, please, if you would like further help or clarification.


Rima Moukarzel 30 April 2017 - 13:20

Thank you, David!

Annabel Greve Kristensen 11 May 2017 - 12:29


I have a student who has re-written Act 2 scene 3 of 'Macbeth' as historical fiction from the perspective of Macduff. She has used quotations from the original as dialogue and added in the inner thoughts and feelings of Macduff as well as other details. Could she be penalised for using quotations from the original (she has cited them of course.)


Tim Pruzinsky 12 May 2017 - 00:24

Hi Annabel,

No. I can't imagine an examiner would penalize her for any reason in these circumstances. Unless there are so many quotations that this doesn't feel original, or this feels like she is just re-organizing Shakespeare's words, she should be okay.

If the quotations serve to help show her understanding and contextualize the WT, all should be fine. I regularly have students include (limited) quotations for these reasons.


Annabel Greve Kristensen 12 May 2017 - 06:29

Hi Tim,

That's great news, thank you!


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.

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.


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.


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.



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 !


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.


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.


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,

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.


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.


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.


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