WT1 Tips

The written task 1 can be tricky. With so much freedom, there can be many pitfalls. The requirements ask you to imitate a writing style or construct a specific type of text. Here are some of the common pitfalls that students often fall into, followed by three tips on how to avoid them.

The common pitfalls

  • The written task is not an essay writing assignment. Unfortunately, many 'opinion columns' and 'blogs' end up sounding like essays.

  • The context of the text is not clear. If you write an opinion column, ask yourself how it is characteristic of an opinion column from a specific newspaper or magazine. Who does it target?

  • The content of the task has nothing to do with course content. For example, a brochure warning against the health dangers of bulimia, does not reflect course work that explored the role of advertising in shaping young women's sense of beauty.

The right ingredients

Although there is no one guaranteed recipe for a successful written task 1, you can avoid these 'pitfalls' by including all of the following ingredients:

  1. Text type - If you write a speech, your speech should look and sound like a speech. If you write a letter to the editor, it should look and sound like a letter to the editor. In other words, each type of text has its own set of stylistic and structural conventions. Ask yourself what characteristics define the type of text you plan to write. If you're not sure about these conventions, see the pages that define text types in the resource section of this Subject Site.

  2. Primary source - Your written task should be rooted in a primary source. If you are writing about a literary work for Part 3 or 4, the poem, novel or play is the primary source. Your task should reflect your understanding of it. For the non-literary parts of the syllabus, be sure you comment on a primary text. If you looked at the representation of women in advertising, comment on an actual ad. If you looked at a political campaign, focus on one ad, website or poster. 

  3. Secondary source - Since the written task is not an essay, you are not asked to give your personal opinion on a subject matter or literary text. Instead, you are expected to be knowledgeable on the subject matter or the literary text. Even the best opinion columns inform readers to a great extent. You want to prove to the examiner that you have understood the course work and you have done your homework! This can also be achieved through the rationale, where applicable terms and concepts can be explained. Find secondary sources that comment on the texts you have worked on. For example, if you read an article about John Fowles and existentialism, this may inspire you to write a missing chapter to his novel, The Collector. If you explored women in advertising, you will want to find some statistics or articles on the effects of these ads on women. 

Activity

Here is a draft of a written task 1 that a student wrote. It has multiple problems and requires help. Answer the following questions before reading the feedback.

  1. Which pitfalls has the student fallen into?
  2. How could the 'three right ingredients' be used to steer this student in the right direction?
  3. Look at the page on opinion columns in the reference section of this Subject Site. According to this definition, there are six defining characteristics of a opinion columns: voice, newsworthiness, call to action, humor, hard facts and logos. Where do you see evidence of these in the column below? How could these characteristics be added to the task to make it more successful?

Column on the advantages of being fat

‘Don’t you want to lose weight some day’?  Is the question I was asked about weekly. And then I replied with my happiest voice; No! The they gave me this kind of look like, okay, you must be crazy. And yes I am. There are so many advantages of being fat. Lets start by shopping. Sale. The thing I like best, and so handy when you’re fat, because almost 70% of all the woman are skinny, at least skinny to fit in the most common sizes. So all the big sizes are left over. How nice. So there I was, standing at the H&M, at the sale-corner. Nothing but big sizes. So as a child in a toy shop I started grabbing the things I liked and made my way to the fitting room. It was rather crowdie over there so I accepted the fact that I had to wait for some minutes. I heard the sound of an opening door and saw a skinny girl coming outside, at a glance she saw me and then continued looking in the mirror. Her friend, waiting for her, said she looked pretty and the girl asked her friend ‘don’t I look fat in this dress?’ No it’s lovely’ she replied. I laughed. I never had those kind of problems. For I already accepted the fact that I was fat, and it would never disappoint me when shopping. When the girls left I went in to the fitting room and started to change. This dress was lovely, I took another look in the mirror, turned around and smiled. Shopping is great, after like half an hour I was ready, with about 9 dresses hanging over my arm I made my way to the pay desk. Only 50 pounds for 9 dresses. Good job, I thought. As happy as I was I walked  to the bus stop I realized I was just in time because the bus was about to leave. I hastened myself to get inside the bus, and lucky as I was, there was one seat left over, a seat for 2, just for me. The whole trip no one came to sit next to me, for they probably thought they wouldn’t have enough space, sitting next to 1.5 person. Life is great, and so you see, being fat is too! (:
 

Feedback

First of all, this written task falls into is the pitfall of not reflecting course content. It is not clear what was studied in class from this piece. If the student studied obesity, its causes and effects, then this needs to be made clear. Where does the statistic on the percentage of skinny women (70%) come from? Are overweight people really happy for the reasons suggested in this column? If so, explain where this is supported.

Secondly, this opinion column sounds very informal, using words such as 'like' and the emoticon '(:'. Columns often contain something that is newsworthy and relevant to the target audience. The context of this text is not self evident.

Finally, this text must refer to another text or texts. If the student read an article about obesity, then she could explain its significance. It is suggested that this student start all over again with a completely new idea and set of texts. She may want to see the lesson on anorexia and the sample written task on the portrayal of women in the media.

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Comments 111

Santiago Ordoñez 25 August 2017 - 14:02

Hello!
I understand that WT1 is not a persuasive essay, however, the threshold between analysis, originality/creativity is still something I struggle with... for example, If a student wishes to interview A. Camus in order to explore through the author´s answers how his life (internal, external context) influenced the novel "The Stranger" (Part 3), might this be considered as a "hidden essay / implicit essay" type of production?
Up to what extent can the text type include an implicit and even explicit literary analysis?
Many thanks!
S.Ordóñez

Tim Pruzinsky 27 August 2017 - 03:02

Hi Santiago,

There can be both implicit and explicit literary analysis in WT1. But it cannot look or feel like an essay. When I read an interview in "The Paris Review," it is more often than not very intellectual and analytical. But it's an interview. It looks and feels like one. There aren't topic sentences or thesis statements. There isn't a formal conclusion. Yet, the questions and the answers are of a higher order; there is a personal warmth and expression to them; there is an openness to discussing ideas and moving from topic to topic. These aren't features, per se, of an essay.

As for your student, I would tell him or her to pursue the interview with Camus. I would also direct him to model his interview from "The Paris Review" or another magazine (Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone...).

Best,
Tim

Tracy Radbone 6 September 2017 - 04:44

Hello there Can you confirm whether the 2MB limit on the size of the electronic file submitted to IBO is still accurate? I have seen another file size sent by my DP Coordinator for Word and PDF files.
Thanks

Tim Pruzinsky 6 September 2017 - 05:14

Hi Tracy,

You'll have to ask your IB Coordinator. We try to keep it under 2MB and always use pdf files. From my knowledge, we as a school keep to that limit for English. However, if s/he has been able to send larger sized documents, and the system still works, I don't see why you can't do it.

Best,
Tim

Tracy Radbone 7 September 2017 - 07:59

Thanks Tim
One more question - on WT1 - what if the primary text is a tweet - very small - could it be a collection of tweets on the same topic by the same person/world leader? I believe that I have read on here about memes being discouraged for the same reason. Am I correct? Or would an article which discusses the tweets of a certain person be a better primary text? Many thanks and thank you also for prompt, practical help on this website.

Tim Pruzinsky 7 September 2017 - 11:25

Hi Tracy,

If a student can write a substantial WT1 from a tweet, I don't see why not. Most likely though, the primary texts, and plural in this case, will be the initial tweet + subsequent discussion, analysis, and/or critique of it. Because the topic might be gender stereotyping, for example, a tweet that is misogynistic and then a Guardian opinion editorial about it seem to go hand in hand.

Best,
Tim

Anthony Sweeney 8 September 2017 - 04:46

Just a quick question, with the form that must be uploaded with the Tasks- It's okay if the information is handwritten? As the download is a PDF, i don't see any other alternative but I just want to make sure before I start uploading next week.

Tim Pruzinsky 8 September 2017 - 07:41

Hi Anthony,

I assume you can, but we have always typed our information into the PDF. The IB allows you to do so (sometimes, in Google Chrome, it can be a pain to download, save, then open and type). We find Firefox works easier and faster for this form.

For example, I share the form with students electronically. They then fill it out in class by typing in their answers into the pdf. I do it in class so they don't screw it up. They then save it according to my instructions for easy upload in a shared folder (Last Name, First Name, Coversheet). From there, I can upload the WT's and the Coversheet without an issue and no handwriting is needed.

I hope that helps explain the process we use at my current school.

Best,
Tim

Anthony Sweeney 11 September 2017 - 01:44

Thanks for the reply. Yes, after playing with the pdf I was able to type into it.

Tracy Radbone 16 September 2017 - 11:15

Good afternoon
Could you clarify something, regarding whether images added to make the text in WT1 look authentic (such as an online publication) count towards word count if they contain words?
Many thanks
Tracy

Tim Pruzinsky 17 September 2017 - 04:14

Hi Tracy,

This is a tough one. I tell my students that if they create a blog, for example, all the auxiliary words count. It's part of being a blog and looking like the text. However, your example is an image they have not produced. They will cite it of course. That image they've used also contains words. I think in this case, because it is not their own work, and because the image is more central/important than the language, I wouldn't count it. On the other hand, if it central to the blog/online publication, and it is being used for analysis, I would count it like I would count a quotation from a novel.

Best,
Tim

Kristie Newton 22 September 2017 - 06:14

Hello,

I have a student who is interested in submitting a rewriting of various nursery rhymes in different jargon, for example Little Bo Peep as a legal case. She has approached me with this idea and I'm not sure if it is appropriate since it is a rewrite of a preexisting text. She has explained her idea and discussed how jargon can exclude people from different things (nursery rhymes are understandable by most, but when rewritten in legal they could exclude) Would this be something she could do?

Thanks!

Kristie

Tim Pruzinsky 22 September 2017 - 06:57

Hi Kristie,

Wow! What a creative and interesting idea. Because students write multiple written tasks (4 at HL and 3 at SL), I would encourage the student to explore this option.

However, when it comes time to send them, I don't think I would suggest putting this one forth. Your concern is my concern: I worry about it because she is re-writing an original text. How much of it would be her own work and words and how much of it would be the original? I don't know and you won't until you see it.

However, it sounds fascinating, connects to what you have been teaching, and fits for Part 1 of the course. All of that seems to suggest she could move forward with it. I would wait to make further decisions (about sending it to the IB) based on what she produces.

Best,
Tim

Fiona Rhodes 27 September 2017 - 13:44

Hi David/Tim
I hope all is well. We have a new member of staff who has been focusing on different text types for IB1. Some students have produced excellent pieces. Can we use a piece of travel writing for part two WT1?
Thanks
Fiona

Tim Pruzinsky 28 September 2017 - 01:18

Hi Fiona,

Any text type is theoretically okay to submit to the IB for WT1. The key is that is demonstrates an understanding of course objectives and content that you studied. This is central to criterion B.

As long as the rationale makes it clear what was studied and why this comes from Part 2 of the course, as well as what objectives were achieved, I think you can proceed with enthusiasm.

Best,
Tim

Sarah Norman 13 October 2017 - 09:54

Hi both,

I am designing a two year plan for my school and I have a couple of questions.

1. Are students allowed to choose a text in translation for their primary text upon which to base their Written Task One (part 1 or 2), for example a speech by the Pope, originally in Polish and then translated into English?
2. I know that the guide states that any text type is available, but, in your opinion does that extend to, for example, writing a drama piece about the language and gender material studied in part 1?
3. Does it matter if more than one of the Written Tasks completed is on language and gender as long as what is handed in meets the rubric i.e. from parts 1/2 and parts 3/4? In addition to this, do you know if, say for HL the student needs in their folder a written task from part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 (i.e. one for each separate part) as long as one submitted task is on part 1/2 and one submitted task is on part 3/4. I am a little confused because the guide says, for SL: 'The content of each task must relate to a different part of the course. Therefore, at least one task must relate to part 1 or part 2, and at least one task must be based on a literary text from part 3 or part 4.'

Thank you again, both, for your help.

Sarah

Tim Pruzinsky 14 October 2017 - 05:55

Hi Sarah,

Let's see if I can help provide some clarity.

1. I wouldn't. I have been advising against this for a while as the assessment tasks should be based on texts originally written in the target language (English in this case). The IB is not crystal clear about this and that's been an issue.

2. I think that's okay. A script or a screenplay that deals with material studied in Part 1 is creative and could be quite insightful. I say proceed with that one.

3. HL is a bit different from SL in this regard. At HL, I think it's okay to write a WT1 and a WT2 about the same content or literature text studied in class.

What you need to do is provide variety across the whole program. I wouldn't do this again with Part 2 of the course and never give students an opportunity to write from Part 1 or 3. That seems against the spirit of things. Give them opportunities and variety from the content you've studied. At HL, do remember that you must submit one WT from the language portion of the course (Part 1 or 2) and one WT from the literature portion of the course (Part 3 or 4). This balance is non-negotiable.

Finally, at SL, I don't think it's appropriate to write two WT1s from the same part.

Best,
Tim

Sarah Norman 16 October 2017 - 07:45

Great, thanks so much Tim. That is really helpful.

When you say 'I wouldn't do this again with Part 2 of the course and never give students an opportunity to write from Part 1 or 3', here I assume you mean that I should give students the opportunity to write from Parts 1 and 3 as well?

Thanks again, this forum really is very helpful!

Sarah

David McIntyre 18 October 2017 - 08:51

Hi Sarah,

Tim is on holiday. I won't presume to speak for him, and will allow him to respond when he returns home.

Thanks,

David

Rebecca Miles 23 October 2017 - 09:09

Hi David and Tim.

A Russian student of mine would like to write about three Russian propaganda posters from WW2. Is it ok if he looks at the language in translation or is it better if he focuses on English language propaganda?

Thanks in advance for the help!

David McIntyre 23 October 2017 - 13:03

Hi Rebecca,

For simplicity, and I think a better WT, propaganda is less problematic than working with translation. That's my view.

Cheers,

David

elizabeth smith 25 October 2017 - 20:20

Dear Tim

This is more of a practical question: but could you tell me where I can get hold of the cover sheets for the WT1 and any guidance for their completion and students' submission of their completed work.

Regards

Elizabeth

David McIntyre 26 October 2017 - 08:29

Hi Elizabeth,

Forms are (now) completed electronically. Your IB Coordinator has the responsibility of providing guidance to you. Since the procedure for submission may change slightly from exam session to exam session, it is better to wait for her or his advice.

In terms of submission of the task itself (again, electronic), many of the sample on the website give, I think, a good indication of what to submit, and how to present it. As a general rule, the WT1 should include the rationale, the WT, any references (mandatory if apposite to the task), and any appendix or appendices.

Kind regards,

David

elizabeth smith 25 October 2017 - 20:27

Dear Tim

Would writing a speech in the style of C. Ngozi Achicie (based on one of her Tedtalks) be a limiting factor for achieving the top grades? My student is emulating her style and writing as her even though the content of the speech will of course differ. Is is suitable for the students to write as the persona of their source text I hope?

Regards

Elizabeth

David McIntyre 26 October 2017 - 08:38

Hi Elizabeth,

Writing from a persona is often a good idea. If, in the case of this writer, the student is speaking in the voice of the writer as public speaker, I don't think the voice matters to any great extent. The ideas of the writer should, however, be apparently authentic.

To comment further, you will have to tell me more. In particular, I would need to know what understandings the student aims to show. Is this a literary option or is this a topic option?

Thanks,

David

Christina Tonoyan 26 October 2017 - 12:03

Hello team

One of my students has decided to write his written task one on 1984. His task will be a diary of a citizen of Eurasia. The character is then captured by the Oceania army and in the book displayed as one of the prisoners of war. I would like to know if the student is allowed to write such a task.

David McIntyre 26 October 2017 - 12:15

Hi Christina,

There is no problem, as such, with this idea. What you may like to ask the student, initially, is why he wants to take this approach and what understandings of the novel it will reveal.

Kind regards,

David

Christina Tonoyan 13 November 2017 - 09:42

Dear David,
Thank you for your support and sorry for this late reply. My student's aim to write this task is to expand and extend the reader's view on the different settings of the book while introducing new ideas, characters and actions which are mentioned in the story. Do you think it will work?

David McIntyre 13 November 2017 - 10:41

Hi Christina,

Whilst this a creative task, the student is assessed on his understanding of the text. Thus, any fabrication that does not have the effect of showing this will probably not do particularly well in criterion B. This doesn't mean that the student cannot introduce something that is new, but this must be revealing of the novel that is.

I hope this helps.

David

Christina Tonoyan 13 November 2017 - 14:03

Thank you dear David, yes it helped a lot.

Swapna Sharma 8 November 2017 - 06:53

Hello,
One of my SL students has submitted a proposal to write WT on Persepolis (Part 4). The student wants to discuss the role of religion in the book. Will that qualify for WT1 or such analysis is only meant for WT2?
Thank you in advance.

Tim Pruzinsky 9 November 2017 - 00:03

Hi Swapna,

The topic is okay. For a WT1 though, the text type may NOT be an essay. So, if the student wants to explore religion in the text, how will he or she do it? Through an interview? A blog post? An opinion editorial? A letter or set of letters? The writing should allow to student to fully explore religion in manner that fits with the purpose and audience of the task.

Best,
Tim

Swapna Sharma 9 November 2017 - 08:22

Dear Tim,

Thank you very much for the prompt response. The text type is an email communication between two English literature teachers, trying to share their understanding of the book. I think this text type meets the criteria; your views most welcome.
Best regards,
Swapna

Tim Pruzinsky 9 November 2017 - 09:18

Hi Swapna,

Sounds like the student is on the right track!

Best,
Tim

Peter Thompson 9 November 2017 - 10:54

Hi Tim and David,

If a student is writing an Opinion column for their Written Task and use many secondary sources should they just hand in a Bibliography with their WT rather than including any in text citations? This seems the best way to maintain authenticity.

In addition, if a student was writing a WT response to a Guardian opinion column would the article count as a Primary source? In some cases The Guardian article might be discussing a primary source e.g. a rap song's lyrics in which case the student could examine the Primary source but is this essential?

Thank you very much for this and best wishes,

Peter

Tim Pruzinsky 10 November 2017 - 00:26

Hi Peter,

For your first example, maintain authenticity, but also make sure the student is clear when the work is not his own. Op-Ed writers quote others all the time and usually provide (if online) a hyperlink to the cited source. Then, have the Bibliography or Works Cited after. I would not have an in-text MLA citation for this, but again, caution the student: the student must make clear to the reader when the work isn't his own.

As for your other question, let me see if I understand it correctly. An opinion column in The Guardian is lambasting some rap lyrics (or something like that). The student is responding to the opinion column and not the lyrics.

This is a tough one without seeing the final writing. It's hard to make an argument that the columnist is right (or wrong) without also quoting and using evidence from those same lyrics. I guess it might be possible, but it would seem that both need to be discussed. I could be wrong here though as I am struggling to imagine what exactly the student is writing and arguing.

Best,
Tim

Peter Thompson 12 November 2017 - 14:56

Thanks Tim. That's really helpful. Best wishes, Peter

Peter Thompson 15 November 2017 - 19:28

Hi Tim,
I hope you're well.

When I looked at Language Death with my Grade 11 class recently, quite a few of the class weren't so bothered about the prospect of Languages dying and felt this was natural evolution, that Language change was a dynamic thing and that the influence of technology on Language shows that interesting changes will compensate for this. As a result, one of my students would like to create a speech for his WT1 with the aim of promoting language death and his audience would be his peers - Grade 11 English Lit and Lang students. Is using his peer group as his audience ok?

I thought his scenario could be to speak to the whole year group at a Languages Fair for example.

In addition, please could you suggest what might be a good Primary source for Language death - I've suggested looking at a Poem in the original threatened language but could he also just look at certain phrases which will be lost from a range of dying languages? Thank you very much for your advice on this.

Finally (I'm sorry!) in terms of the word count for the Rationale/Task please could you let me know where I can find a definitive list of what is included/not included etc.?

Thank you very much for your advice and best wishes,

Peter

Tim Pruzinsky 16 November 2017 - 07:34

Hi Peter,

Let's see if I can sort through your questions here. I've put them in number order for ease of reference.

1. If he states in his rationale (and in the speech, since it would need that context) that his audience is his peers at a Languages Fair, then I think it could work. Otherwise, it would seem too inauthentic.

2. I don't know any good primary sources for the death of languages off the top of my head. If it's not on the site, and you can't find it here, we don't have it yet.

3. As for anything definitive for the IB, the language and literature guide is what to read. On page 41 (and beyond) there are specific details for the rationale and the task.

Best,
Tim

Peter Thompson 16 November 2017 - 10:01

Thanks Tim. This is a great help.

Best wishes,

Peter

Catherine Santarelli 27 November 2017 - 12:48

Hi Tim and David,
Thanks for maintaining this site and answering so many questions. It's been really helpful to our department!
My question in regards to WT1 is how much do the examiners consider the student's layout and formatting? I know the bulk of the marking looks at the text itself, but if a student spends a lot of time formatting their task to demonstrate the conventions of the text type chosen, for example, adding a masthead, images, ears or clickbait, social networking icons, etc to a tabloid news article, will that mean a great difference in marks compared to a student who submits the same task with minimal formatting?
Thanks!
Katt

Tim Pruzinsky 27 November 2017 - 23:31

Hi Katt,

So glad you've found everything helpful! We appreciate the feedback.

While I don't know the exact answer (mildly important or very important?), I do strongly encourage all my students to make the text look as authentic as possible in terms of layout and formatting. I think this can only be a good thing and shows the examiner the seriousness in which the task was taken.

How would marks differ between a student who does this and a student who doesn't? I still think it comes down to what they actually wrote. Student A who write an awful piece but has the bells and whistles still wouldn't score well. Student B who writes an amazing piece but without them will still be awarded marks. However, I think to overlook this is a mistake. We should be asking students to make the text look authentic. I do this at the end of the process so the focus is on the writing.

Best,
Tim

Samuel Edwards 4 December 2017 - 23:46

Hi Tim and David,

Couple of questions:
1) Several of my year 12 students wrote fake news articles, which I thought was a great idea. However, they did not write news articles about language in mass media (lesson learned!). Instead, they wrote on random stories unrelated to language. In their rationales, they pointed to all of the conventions they used, such as ethos, pathos, logos; mixture of facts and falsehoods to lend credibility; short-form paragraphs for a newsy feel; and the physical layout traits of a real publication (masthead, ears, etc).

I gave them all a 2 for their rationales (we worked hard on these), but now I am not sure how to assign results to the rest of the fake news story. I see ethos, pathos, logos. I also see factual news sprinkled here and there. Organisation of the news storis follow traditional layout and they I can spot transitions between the sections. Mechanics are very strong. So, any advice for evaluating task and content when the news story follows excellent form but does not address language?

2) One student did a pastiche, which is something we did in pairs as a formative earlier in the course. I will discourage this in the future, but am now stuck with it. Advice? Grading pitfalls?

/Ssamuel

David McIntyre 5 December 2017 - 16:47

Hi Samuel,

1. Better to identify this before submission. What you identify, in my view, is a weakness of the task (i.e. its nature) and of the grading criteria. Not much you can do about that. The standard IB response to any question of this kind is 'best fit', but that doesn't really tell you what the weighting or distribution of marks should be where a criterion simultaneously tests 2 things, does it? So, what to do? In this instance, I suggest two things: (i) Split criterion B in half, allocate 50% of the criterion for 'conventions of text', and 50% for understanding of topic. Try to make some determination from there; (ii) Don't let students submit these tasks, unless it is the best task the student has done, as the tasks cannot reasonably attain full marks in criterion B. What do you think?

2. No one knows how much collaboration or collusion took place on this task, beyond you and the students. If you are not satisfied that this is the independent work of the student, do not submit it for assessment. If you need to make some determination for an internal grade and/or report, I'll leave it to you to decide on appropriate action. Discussing a task with a student is, of course, a good way to learn what a student understands or doesn't understand.

It sounds like you are learning along the way too. That's how it works :)

Best regards,

David

Scott Edmonds 5 December 2017 - 17:01

Thanks, David! For the fake news stories, I think your idea of splitting Criterion B in half is the way to go. For the pastiche, the student provided the source text, but I concede that a pastiche is a poor choice because it is, in essence, a copy of someone else's work. I think the fake news story has potential, but I need to set better parameters for what the story should focus on, namely a linguistic development or regulation of some sort. Still not sure that is workable, but will consult with colleagues to see if we can come up with a good idea.
Cheers!
Samuel

Chris Kuczynski 7 December 2017 - 11:37

In Part two, we looked at the phenomenon of native advertising. Students analyzed what looked like blogs, journalistic articles, OpEds, advice columns, et.al. that were hidden advertisements, advertorials. Students used these as inspirations for a written task 1 , writing their own native ads. My concern with a student submitting something like this is the sometimes monolithic attitude of IB towards assessments. Students clearly define a text-type, state the multiple purposes in their rationales ( i.e, information on the surface, selling a product underneath) and these are based on primary texts. I can see how these clearly address part 2 mass media objectives as well as the objectives of the written task 1, but I am afraid examiner might be a little hidebound as these are out of the ordinary. I do not want to put my students' diplomas at risk by suggesting they submit these pieces; however, they are pretty great and seem to accomplish assessment goals. What is your advice?

David McIntyre 7 December 2017 - 11:59

Hi Chris,

It is hard to advise. You may, for example, see in a subject report something to the effect that students should avoid using explicit language in WTs as this may offend the examiner. The offence, of course, is unfortunate, but it is also (I would hope) unintended, and if it is apposite to the text type then that is what it is. My point is simply that examiners should not bring their their own predilections to the examination, but it is possible some may, and moderation cannot eradicate it.

I take your general point, but I think it may be the case that examiners appreciate fresh originality. Some creativity, that is.

One other thing: It is important that the texts should an understanding of topic and not just text type. In other words, the text - whatever it is - needs to show an understanding of the topic option studied.

Cheers,

David

Chris Kuczynski 12 December 2017 - 12:24

Hi David,
I think I was misunderstood. When I used the word "explicit" , I was using it as an antonym for subtle. My question was not about the use of course language in the written task( there is none) , but rather the nature and construction of a task that is really two text types in one: a superficial text with an underlying advertisement. My concern is that an examiner might not take the time to look at the layered aspect of the assignment. What do you think?

David McIntyre 12 December 2017 - 13:02

Hi Chris,

I think I got you. I am simply giving an example - explicit language - of where personal predilection may get in the way of professional judgment (the prescriptive mind of what ought to be competing with the descriptive mind of how language really works beyond our whims). It's not, I would like to think, something that is commonplace; I'm just trying address your sense of examiners who may be 'hidebound'.

I suppose I find it hard to address your concern since I cannot speak for all examiners. The issue you raise of time is certainly a real one. I think it is fair to say that examining is not lucrative and many or most examiners have other things to be getting on with. My only recommendation - and I am not confident is a brilliant one - is for students to be very clear and explicit in the rationale (to the extent this is possible in 300 words). An appendix as example may help.

If there is a choice to be made between subtle and creative on the one hand, and banal and formulaic on the other, i would choose the former, even where this risks the potential disappointment of the examiner who, in your view, fails to recognise the sensitive and astute work of a student.

That's my view, Chris, but you may be asking the question because you feel otherwise, perhaps on the evidence of earlier experience.

Cheers,

David

Smriti Jaiswal 12 December 2017 - 08:43

Dear David,

My students have not always rooted their WT1 in a primary source. I went through the IB lang and lit guide to see where it says that WT1 HAS to respond to a primary source. I quote from the guide : " Where appropriate - for example, when the task relies on the reader referring to stimulus material such as a key passage in a literary text, or an illustration, in order to understand what the student is attempting to do - the source material must be clearly referenced in a bibliography."

Students - both who have rooted their tasks in primary sources and those who have not - have done fairly well. I bring this up only because I am suddenly a little nervous and am wondering if we have just been plain lucky, or if rooting tasks in primary source is simply something you suggest, and not a strict requirement.

Best,
Smriti

David McIntyre 12 December 2017 - 09:28

Hi Smriti,

That is a fair point. This page was actually written prior to the launch of the course (when I was somewhat younger, and my hair a little darker). I don't think you have been plain lucky; you are right. A generic understanding is of a topic option is adequate. Where I think a (specific) primary source is very useful is as a model for creative replication.

Thanks for pointing this out. Over the next few days I will look at modifying the page a little.

Kind regards,

David

Jolanda Lannagan 15 December 2017 - 10:45

Dear David,

First timer here and loving all the materials and information! First year as an IB teacher too and loving every minute of it. So I have one question at the moment with regards to creative written tasks. A student of mine wants to do a tabloid article and we were looking at examples, for example The Sun. Her question (to which I didn't know the answer) is 'can I fill in The Sun' in the banner, or do I have to make up my . own fictional tabloid'? Quite a good question as I keep telling the students to make their WT's realistic. For example a letter to the editor must be in response to something they saw in that specific (existing magazine). Not make up a magazine and something they saw there (thinking of Primary sources here).

Am I on the right track or am I giving them incorrect information? Can they make up fictional magazines/papers as a response to an existing primary source?

Best regards,
Jolanda

Tim Pruzinsky 17 December 2017 - 01:48

Hi Jolanda,

Glad to hear you are loving the course. We love it too!

As for "The Sun" question, she can use it. Have her cite the banner though and any images she uses in a Works Cited so that the examiner knows it wasn't her original work. But the more authentic she can make it, the better.

In other words, you are completely on the right track. And while they can make up fictional magazines/newspapers if they want to, and more importantly if it works for their task, I think your advice to this particular student is sound.

Best,
Tim

Clare Chatfield 15 December 2017 - 19:12

Dear David,

I'm an IB Lang and Lit teacher in her second year of teaching Year 1. My students are currently working on their Written Task 1s for Part 2 (Lang. and Mass Communications) of the course. One question I'm having trouble finding the answer to: Do the words in the Works Cited count toward the 1,000-word limit in WT 1? A number of my students are writing columns, articles, even listicles that are filled with facts and information. I've instructed them to keep track of their sources, but some have done such a good job that their Works Cited section is 200 words or more. This cuts in significantly to the word count limit. Also, when students are submitting images with words, how exactly are these counted in the WT 1 word count?

Thanks for any help!
Clare

Tim Pruzinsky 17 December 2017 - 01:45

Hi Clare,

In the example you give, your students must have a Works Cited. It's good to hear you are on it in this regard. Unfortunately, not everyone is.

But the Works Cited does not count towards the final word count. In fact, any citation doesn't across the IB (this is true for the EE as well). Just the words from the start of the column/article/listicle - including the title - to the end are used for the 800-1000 words.

As for your second question, that's a more difficult one. It's not clear. Go for a case-by-case decision. For example, if they are writing a blog post and referencing an advert that is text dense, I usually tell students not to count the words in the ad. This is because they are using the ad (even with a lot of text) as an image and they are still referencing it directly in their blog - directly quoting - which they have to count.

Again, this one is more tricky and use your best judgement in each situation.

Best,
Tim

Clare Chatfield 19 December 2017 - 20:02

Thank you so much for your response, Tim. I'll pass it on to my colleagues.

Andrew Webb 15 January 2018 - 01:52

Hi David and Tim,

I have a query about a student who has written a poem in response to Dorfman's 'Death and the Maiden'. I am unsure whether it is okay for the poem to be a reader's response (i.e. only tied to the play by choice of theme and references to events that occur in the play) or if the student needs to write the poem as one of the characters from the play.

Do you know which of these two approaches is more acceptable?
Many thanks in advance!

Tim Pruzinsky 15 January 2018 - 07:32

Hi Andrew,

Both are acceptable. For the reader of the poem, the rationale becomes central. If it is a reader or audience response to the play (a theme, conflict, idea...), then the student needs to make that explicit in the rationale.

If the poem is from the perspective of a character - Paulina, for example - the student needs to say that and why this was chosen.

Either option gives the student ample opportunity to show their knowledge and to show how language is being used and for what effect (albeit more implicitly in the poem itself, and more explicitly in the rationale).

I'd imagine with a well written rationale, and an excellent poem, an examiner would be fine with either choice.

Best,
Tim

Andrew Webb 15 January 2018 - 10:07

That's great - thanks for the clarification and the response Tim!

Elizabeth Channing 17 January 2018 - 10:23

Hi there,

To what extent does a piece of writing have to look like what it is? E.g. does an opinion column have to look authentic in terms of headline/copy etc or is the actually text enough to secure the marks?
Thanks,

Tim Pruzinsky 18 January 2018 - 07:56

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm always cautious here. I think an opinion column should look authentic. Will a student lose marks if it's really well written, but doesn't look like one (no headline for example)? I don't know. But I'd rather not take that risk.

I advise all my students to make it look as real as possible.

Best,
Tim

Santiago Ordoñez 17 January 2018 - 13:41

Hello...
I found the following info in B. Philpot´s: "English Language and Literature for the IB Diploma (Cambridge. 2011)": "TIP: Is there a difference between written task 1s that you write for part 3 and 4? The simple answer to this question is no. There is no formal requirement that differentiates between these two tasks. The written task (or tasks) that you write for part 3 will simply be based on one of the works that you have read for that part. The same applies for part 4."
My questions are: If, for example, a WT1 is based on a text from Part 3, isn´t the task supposed to be completely connected to one or more of this part´s learning outcomes + concepts/topics studied during this specific part of the course? Shouldn't there be an evident explanation of this in the rationale in terms of what the student was able to learn/understand in this particular part of the course while reading the work and studying certain concept/topics? Is there really "no formal requirement that differentiates between" a WT1 based on Part 3 and one based on Part 4? What if, for example, a WT1 wishes to: "explore a literal work in detail (Part 4 L.O) by approaching a Part 3 work?

Many thanks!

Tim Pruzinsky 18 January 2018 - 07:13

Hi Santiago,

You've pointed out a contradiction between the teaching/learning and the assessment. There's really no way for the IB to get around this once they've set it up this way.

Here's what I mean. Students have to submit a WT1. Perhaps that comes from a Part 4 text with a learning outcome about "exploring a literary work in detail." That might even be on the cover sheet (which may or may not be read). But how will an examiner really know if a student is using a Part 3 work? And don't we want them to explore that text in detail too, even though it's a Part 4 learning outcome?

If a student wants to explore a Part 3 literary work in detail, the examiner probably won't know the difference (unless it's the PLT text). The advice in the book is practical in nature and is exposing the reality of the assessment.

I like to try to stick to the assessment objectives as that makes things clearer in my head, their head, and the examiner's head. But, other teachers will do things a bit differently, and they aren't going against any IB rules. What you do in your class will be up to you in this case. My advice would be to do what feels right.

Best,
Tim

Dagmara Nowak 17 January 2018 - 17:42

Hi Tim,
Wanted to ask if this would be a suitable WT1: we read some letters from WWI(lg change),and talked about White Feather Girls (propaganda)-a student wants to write a letter to such a girl from for instance a daughter of the man who had to enlist. Good idea or not?
Thank you :)
Dagmara

Tim Pruzinsky 18 January 2018 - 07:17

Hi Dagmara,

Most ideas I think are good ideas - it's the execution and rationale that matter. If the student can pull it off, and explain his or her choices in detail, then proceed. If you think the student has no idea what he or she is doing, you might suggest he or she do something else.

Remember, the student should be discussing propaganda and language in the letter - why he enlisted.

Best,
Tim

Dagmara Nowak 18 January 2018 - 14:38

Tim,thank you so much :)
Dagmara

Ginger Stone 18 January 2018 - 20:29

I have a transfer student who arrived mid-year, and I'm concerned about his Written Task #1 for Part 1 that he completed at his previous school. While it is well-written and clearly on topic, it is clearly a personal essay. In his Rationale, he explains that he was inspired by Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" personal essay. Do you see a problem with this? Thanks for your help!

Tim Pruzinsky 19 January 2018 - 00:14

Hi Ginger,

It's one of three at SL or one of four at HL. If you aren't comfortable with it, don't have the student ultimately send it out. For example, a school might do a personal narrative at the start of grade 11 - to get to know their students, to talk about language and identity, to investigate culture, and they might even write a Written Task - but my guess is that won't be his best work.

He'll have choices, and if you have qualms about this one, there's no reason you can't explain that to him and let him know his other WT's need to be very strong as you'd rather send one of them.

Best,
Tim

Ginger Stone 20 January 2018 - 19:27

Thanks, Tim!

Dominic O'Shea 24 January 2018 - 04:20

Hi,

For the written task 1, to what extent does the student's work have to be commenting on language used in the text they are using as a stimulus? For example, I have a student who wants to write an opinion column the day after a famous political speech - does he need to be commenting on the language used in the speech in detail, or can his piece be more about the issues raised in the speech like identity and race, and their wider impact on people at the time?

David McIntyre 24 January 2018 - 17:11

Hi Dominic,

The written task needs to be about a topic option (in this instance). I'm not sure what your topic option is, but I'm guessing it could be something like 'language and persuasion', 'language and power', 'the language of political speeches' - that kind of thing. The opinion column the student intends to write must be about this topic option - that is a topic option that is germane to the course. 'Language and identity', or 'language and race' would, in this view be germane, but 'identity' or 'race' is not. It is, then, very likely that your student will need to refer to the language of the speech they are responding to, focusing on rhetorical structures.

I hope this is clear. If it isn't quite clear, please let me know what speech your student is responding to, and what topic option it belongs to. With this information, I can better help you.

Thanks,

David

Dominic O'Shea 25 January 2018 - 02:17

Hi David,

Thanks for your swift response - I understand your point regarding the topic options. We had looked at some political speeches and their persuasive nature when studying language and power, so he wants to do his opinion piece as a response to Martin Luther King's speech - his idea is that he wants the piece to be arguing how powerful and effective the speech was on him, and how it has changed is viewpoint. Would this meet the requirements of being linked to 'Language and Power' and/or 'Language and persuasion'? If so, would he still overtly need to refer to the language used?

Many thanks

David McIntyre 25 January 2018 - 08:21

Hi Dominic,

I think this works. To be viable - by which I mean relevant to the topic option - the focus needs to be on the speech act. This is, of course, not divorced from the social context, but the emphasis of the opinion column should be on language.

Cheers,

David

Leigh Henderson 30 January 2018 - 04:01

Good morning
We are studying short stories from Kurt Vonnegut's Welcome to the Monkey House for Part 3. One of my students is re-writing one of the stories from the perspective of another character for written task 1. She is attempting to write in Vonnegut's style.
I am wondering if you have any advice to offer as I feel that it's a very simple even though it seems to meet the criteria.
Thanks very much
Leigh

David McIntyre 30 January 2018 - 09:20

Hi Leigh,

It's a reasonable idea. However, I think it needs to go further, and this 'going further' needs to be expressed in the rationale. I would want the student to show an understanding of an aspect of the text and for this to be explained through the rationale. What understanding of the story will the student demonstrate?

Kind regards,

David

Anthony Sweeney 13 February 2018 - 03:49

Hi, I would just like to clarify something on the word count for a written task such as a blog. To make the task look as authentic as possible the student has included and archive etc on the page. Are these aesthetic features also included in the WT word count?

Tim Pruzinsky 13 February 2018 - 21:39

Hi Anthony,

It depends. If the aesthetic features are part of the "content," as in they relate and are written by the student to fit the theme of the blog, I have the student count them. If they are just random and there for looks, I don't have them count it.

Best,
Tim

elizabeth smith 13 February 2018 - 19:05

Hello David and Tim

I just want to check that I do not mark or assess any of the Written Tasks as these will all be externally assessed?

I do believe I grade the IOCs.Will my accompanying comments go to the IB as well?

Thank you very much,

Regards

Elizabeth

Tim Pruzinsky 13 February 2018 - 21:40

Hi Elizabeth,

The WTs are internally done but externally assessed. You do not have to mark them. Only the moderated IOCs will require comments. The IB will let you know which ones.

Best,
Tim

elizabeth smith 14 February 2018 - 09:38

Dear Tim

Thank you.

Regards

Elizabeth

Lee Hunnewell 17 February 2018 - 18:19

Hello,
For his Written Task, my student is writing a text exchange gone awry because one of the texters isn't familiar with the "new" meanings of certain words. This is based on our study of the evolution of language. He wants to include an appendix with the definitions of the words (old and new) so that the examiner will be able to understand the new uses of the word. Is this necessary or even possible?
Thank you for your comments.

David McIntyre 19 February 2018 - 09:12

Hi Lee,

I'm not entirely sure. However, I would imagine that if the WT is going to be successful, the rationale should clearly express what the task is intending, and the task itself should 'speak for itself'. In addition, if the student did include an appendix, this would be included in the word count.

Best regards,

David

Chonticha Amkham 18 February 2018 - 11:22

Dear David and Tim,

One of my students has written an interview transcript for WT1, Part 1 (Use of persuasive language in speech). It is an interview between a speech writer and the host of the programme. In this interview, they critically look at Trump’s Rocket Man speech. Their discussion has to do with the language Trump uses. Quotes have been used to support the argument. He uses a conversational tone in his transcript because it is an interview.

However, what my student fears is that his work doesn’t contain any “social content/issue” like what you often see in other WT1s (e.g. stereotypes, racial bias, maltreatment of animals, etc.).
My questions to you are: 1. Do you think this is an acceptable task? 2. Is it necessary for WT1 to deal with a social issue? Sometimes I see that so much focus is put on these issues that students forget to tackle the “language” – common pitfall.

Kind regards,
Chonticha

David McIntyre 19 February 2018 - 09:18

Hi Chonticha,

A WT should never really be about, per se, a 'social issue'; rather, it should (here) be about a topic option. In this instance it is - language and persuasion/rhetoric. For this WT to work, the main focus does have to be on language; political spats between the 'great leaders' of our day are not really of much significance.

Let me know if this isn't wholly clear.

Kind regards,

David

Rima Moukarzel 22 February 2018 - 08:28

My student wrote a concluding chapter for Things Fall Apart as a task. What do we categorize this as a text type on the form?

Rima Moukarzel 22 February 2018 - 18:06

Another question: if the task is on an advertisement related to Gender, it is related to Part one of the course, right?

Tim Pruzinsky 22 February 2018 - 23:38

Hi Rima,

The text type would be "an additional chapter." You can also call is an additional scene if you like and depending, it might be a pastiche. It depends on what exactly the student did.

As for your second question, that depends on how you set up the work in the course. I teach a gender and advertising unit, but I put it in Part 2 of the course under language and mass communication as it fits there for me. Others put it in Part 1 because that is their focus. It's up to you and depends on what you did in class.

Best,
Tim

Holly Rice 27 February 2018 - 19:29

Hello Dave/Time,

If students write their Written Task 1 for Part 3 or 4 of the course, do they need to include a Works Cited page? Thank you for your help and ongoing guidance.

Holly

Tim Pruzinsky 27 February 2018 - 23:41

Hi Holly,

I tell my students to include one. I think it helps them see the academic nature of our subject area and the importance of citing/referencing. However, it's pretty obvious to an examiner that a quotation in a WT1 dealing with "The Crucible" comes from that text.

Best,
Tim

Leslie Fleetwood 1 March 2018 - 10:26

Hi,
apologies if my question has already been addressed previously. In your WT1 tips above, you emphasise that the WT should be rooted in a primary source. This is what I have insisted on when guiding my students. However, in the criteria (B) for WT1, it states "understanding of the topic(s) or text(s) to which it refers". Should one infer in that case that a student who deals with a general topic studied (as opposed to a specific primary source within a topic studied) would not be penalised? Appreciate your guidance in this question.

Kind Regards, Leslie

Tim Pruzinsky 1 March 2018 - 23:50

Hi Leslie,

We really recommend that the student has a text to work with in some concrete manner. We recommend this as it provides students with an ability to talk in specifics and with clear details. The fear in working from just a topic is that the student will be too general and offer sweeping platitudes. We try to avoid that.

So, technically, will a student be penalized? Perhaps not. But we do know that the best WT 1s work from a primary source and so that's why we emphasize it - and clearly, you do too. I'd recommend that you stick with that approach. It works and will continue to work for you.

Best,
Tim

Robin Carnegy 10 March 2018 - 15:43

Hi,
Quick question: as part of persuasive language etc we looked at fundraising letters, from a variety of sources - political campaigns, charities, schools, etc. and examined the linguistic and stylistic features. A student would like to write two different fundraising letters, to two different audiences (adults and children) to demonstrate how the language and images would change based on the reader. The fundraising would be for some school related event. He's not clear yet.
I'm worried about (1) the idea of asking children for money (but that can change), and (2) the idea of it being restricted to such a small audience (the school community).
So - is the text type okay? Should he change the topic? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks, Robin

David McIntyre 12 March 2018 - 08:23

Hi Robin,

Generally, I think that the idea of two shorter letters is a good one. A consideration of different intended readers, and the impact on language choice also makes sound sense.

So far, so good. However, I am a little concerned about the topic. As a point of departure - this is assessed in criterion B - the task needs to be about the topic. Here, possibly, the topic option is 'persuasive language'. The student in this task is using persuasive language (presumably), but is not writing about persuasive language.

Thus, if the student does not write about a topic option (expressed in the rationale), they will not be able to score particularly well in criterion B (a criterion that, apparently, is assessing two different things simultaneously).

Kind regards,

David

Kristina Nesbitt 16 March 2018 - 18:30

For WT #1 - Part 1, I have a student who wants to write a song where each stanza has the language of a different types of individuals (lawyer, rapper, nurse, mother, etc.). It's an interesting idea and the song - so far - is a great example of Language and the Individual, but I have never had a student write a song. His song will meet the minimum - maybe even maximum word count. I'm a it nervous about this idea because it is not a text type that is standard to an English, history, communications, etc. course. However, I can't find anything written stating that writing a song isn't appropriate. Am I missing something? I'd like to see if he can pull it off.

Kristina Nesbitt 16 March 2018 - 18:32

Please delete "a" before different.

Tim Pruzinsky 17 March 2018 - 01:30

Hi Kristina,

You end your post with "I'd like to see if he can pull if off." I say go for it then! Remember, they write a ton of these, and they only send one. See what happens. If it doesn't work, don't send this one off to the IB.

And technically, a student can write a song or poem (or multiple songs or poems) if they want. It's a valid text type in the eyes of the IB,

Best,
Tim

Kristina Nesbitt 18 March 2018 - 23:48

Thank you!

Quana Bice 23 March 2018 - 17:06

Can a student write a WT 1 that is comprised of *two* or more contrasting opinion columns if the decision behind this choice is discussed in the rationale? I steer away from opinion columns (and offer many additional text type models) when I can, but the opinion column is a text type students gravitate toward nonetheless. : )

Tim Pruzinsky 26 March 2018 - 00:39

Hi Quana,

The IB allows students to write two or more of the same text type (letters, diary entries, op-eds, and so on) if they are clear about the purpose in the rationale.

Best,
Tim

Quana Bice 28 March 2018 - 14:19

Thanks! : D

Nicola Bromley 26 March 2018 - 14:29

Hi, I have a student who wants to use a secondary source in her WT1 (a piece from an opinion column in the NY Times). Is this permissable and if so should she cite this?

David McIntyre 26 March 2018 - 19:48

Hi Nicola,

She must reference this, yes.

If she is lifting and embedding a section of text from the opinion column, I suggest she lifts as little as possible, and that her decision to embed is well motivated.

Kind regards,

David

Angela Dundas 27 March 2018 - 07:59

Good Morning David, Tim,
I have a quick question. For Lang. and Lit. SL WT1 I would like to use poetry but am finding it rather hard to reconcile poetry to the samples and requirements. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Thank you,
Angela

David McIntyre 27 March 2018 - 08:36

Hi Angela,

Any kind of text that reviews poetry could work. Clearly, what the student writes must be authentic (rather than an analytical essay 'in disguise'). We have on the site, for example, a sample where the student wrote about The Bell Jar; this could provide a springboard for further ideas.

Kind regards,

David

John Taylor 30 April 2018 - 12:09

Hello Gentlemen,
One of my students wrote a letter to the German government in response to a cigarette advertising campaign. The response deals primarily with the image of the advertisement; however, the advertisement itself is in German. My question is about whether this primary source is within the guidelines. The assignment on the whole meets the criteria quite well.

Thank you so much for all your helpful advice.

John Taylor

David McIntyre 1 May 2018 - 07:38

Hi John,

German cigarette advertising does strike me as unusually 'liberal' - but there may be historical explanations for this.

Your question is a difficult one. If the student is intending to submit this for assessment, includes the ad as an appendix, and provides some or any critical commentary on the German written text, it is really challenging/impossible for the examiner to mark. For this reason, I would be disinclined to submit this for assessment.

I also have some hesitation over the visual deconstruction of the text. Is it possible that there is something called 'visual German' that is different from 'visual English'? I would assume that this is the case. Whilst visual literacy practices in German are likely to be similar to English, they are not identical. This could work in many ways. As an example, idiom is something that can be expressed visually, but German idioms do not parallel English language idioms (obviously). Also, as I intimated above, the cultural context that frames this text is a German one. Living in Munich, the advertising I see as I travel the S-Bahn are enough for me to know that I am in a 'foreign country'.

In the end, this is a question of professional judgment, and unlike you I do not have access to the student's work. This said, my general inclination would be to have the student submit something else for assessment.

Cheers,

David

John Taylor 1 May 2018 - 07:48

Thanks David,
Thanks for the quick response and good advice. At least this will make for interesting discussion with the student and the class in general.
Happy May Day.

John

Janice Carey 2 May 2018 - 20:07

Hi David and Tim,
I am assigning a WT1 for my first-year students for Part 4. Any suggestions that I could give them on successful written tasks based on poetry/a poet? Could they write an interview with the poet, for example? Nothing else is coming to mind!
thanks for any help.
Janice

Tim Pruzinsky 3 May 2018 - 01:07

Hi Janice,

While this might not be practical in your situation right now, I know many teachers who wait for all three texts to be taught, and for the IOC to be completed, before completing a written task. In this way, students will have several texts to choose from, and can write a creative task that suits their purpose.

If waiting for all texts to be taught is not practical in your situation, I find that the more creative options, like a dialogue or screenplay of two students discussing the poem(s) works well. You'll often see blog posts - although this one can be tricky. Some students are great at it and others are horrendous. A speech from the poet to a group of students or a transcript of the poet talking at a festival of some sort celebrating literature - and discussing their own work - might turn out well. Throw out a few of these ideas to the class, allow them to run with them, and see what works.

Best,
Tim

Nienke Snijders 15 May 2018 - 12:39

Dear Tim and David,

I am new to IBDP and have found your site very useful. I have a question about the Written Task for SL. Above you mention that one of the core ingredients of a Written Task is using secondary sources. I am not sure, however, how this works in a Written Task for Part 4. Would students have to use a secondary source here? Is it recommended? I have seen some examples of Written Tasks (Part 3/4) without secondary sources on your site, but I want to make sure this is ok.

Thanks in advance,

Nienke

Tim Pruzinsky 16 May 2018 - 01:06

Hi Nienke,

For a Part 4 WT1, most likely you will only have a primary source - the literature you read for that section of the course. I wouldn't recommend using secondary sources for WT1 for Part 4 as there is so little space as is. So, many examples on our site won't have a secondary source if students use Part 3 or 4 for the WT. The primary source is rich enough and there's so much to analyze.

Best,
Tim


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