Criteria

Before you write written tasks, you should look at the assessment criteria. This way you know what the examiner is looking for. The best way to become familiar with the criteria is to use them regularly. For each written task that is entered into the portfolio, there should be some form of self assessment, peer assessment and teacher assessment.

Remember: Teachers are not allowed to edit or annotate students' written tasks. This does not mean that teachers cannot give feedback. Rather, teachers can and should tell students how they think they will score according to the assessment criteria. What's more, teachers should be involved in guiding students towards appropriate ideas for the written task.

Written task 1

Here is a summary of what you will want to look for in each criterion at both SL and HL. A handy print out for assessing student work is also provided. For the actual descriptors, we refer you to the IB Language A: Language and Literature guide.

Criterion A - Rationale - 2 marks
It is essential that students include a rationale before the actual task. The rationale must be no fewer than 200 words and no longer than 300 words. The rationale should shed light on the thought process behind the task. Furthermore, it should explain how the task aims to meet one or more learning outcomes of the syllabus.

Remember:  If the word count of the rationale exceeds 300 words, 1 mark will be deducted.

Criterion B - Task and content - 8 marks
The content of a task should lend itself well to the type of text that one chooses. The task should demonstrate an understanding of the course work and topics studied. Finally, there should be evidence that the student has understood the conventions of writing a particular text type.

Criterion C - Organization - 5 marks
Each type of text has a different structure. Nevertheless, all types of texts have conventions and organizing principles. Students must organize their tasks effectively and appropriately. There must be a sense of coherence.

Criterion D - Language and style - 5 marks
The language of the task must be appropriate to the nature of the task. This means that students use an appropriate and effective register and style. Whatever the nature of the task, ideas must be communicated effectively.

Written task 2 (HL only)

The following criteria apply to the criticial response that HL students write on one of the six prescribed questions.

Criterion A - Outline - 2 marks
For the critical response, students are asked to write a brief outline of the task that includes the following:

  • The prescribed question to which the task refers
  • The title of the text, or texts, that the student analyzes
  • The part of the course to which the task corresponds (Parts 1-4)
  • Four or more bullet-points that explain the content of the task

Criterion B - Response to question - 8 marks
To achieve top marks for this criterion, students must explore all of the implications of the prescribed question chosen. The critical response must be focused on and relevant to the prescribed question. Furthermore, the response is supported by well chosen examples from the text(s). 

Criterion C - Organization and argument - 5 marks
The response must be well organized and effectively structured in order to score top marks for this criterion. The response should make a case and develop it thoroughly.

Remember: The critical response must be 800 -1,000 words. If this is not the case 2 marks will be deducted for Criterion C.

Criterion D - Language and style - 5 marks
The response must be written effectively and accurately. Students should use an academic register and strong style.

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.

Comments 71

Mariam Hussain 31 March 2017 - 05:01

Hello!
Two of my students want to do their written task 1 on texts translated from the Urdu and Persian language to English, to explore the themes of Language and identity and Language an taboo. Both the translations are published work. Should the students be allowed to use such texts?

Thank you
Asma

Tim Pruzinsky 1 April 2017 - 11:41

Hi Asma,

I'm reluctant to say yes. The IB says that we can study short texts in translation in Part 1 and 2 but that it should not form the core of what we do. Basing the assessment - a WT1 - on that text makes me uncomfortable in this case.

I would ask the students to go back to the drawing board and use something originally written in English.

Best,
Tim

Mariam Hussain 3 April 2017 - 04:15

Thank you Tim.

Sylvia Abayomi 3 May 2017 - 17:46

HI Tim and David,
in part 4 SL/HL you do the IOC, my question; is it allowed to submit a WT and an IOC to the IB of the same work or does it need to be different?
Thank you
Sylvia

Tim Pruzinsky 4 May 2017 - 01:28

Hi Sylvia,

Since the IOC and the WTs are two very different assessment tasks, and the student had no idea until the exam time came what text their IOC would be on (and presumably studied for all three texts), it's okay to write a WT1 or WT2 on the same text as their IOC.

Best,
Tim

Sylvia Abayomi 7 May 2017 - 20:56

Hi Tim,

Thank you very much.

Dorcas Tirhas 27 June 2017 - 02:11

Hi Tim and David,

One of my students did a WT which was a persuasive speech as a student talking to other students and convincing them about the advantages of an Arts Education. She used herself as the actual speaker and the school she is in.
I've advised her to make it a fictitious school/or at least change the name. Could I ask if she can still use this as a WT? Presumably candidates should not give away their identities/schools in the tasks. But she could still use this right?

Thanks,
Dorcas

David McIntyre 3 July 2017 - 19:12

Hi Dorcas,

Apologies for a late response. I am on holiday and have very limited access to Internet. I am not sure which part of the course/topic option this relates to - I think, anyway, the student needs to think about this. A persuasive speech is fine and, in theory, the actual student can address other students in her actual school. In my view, however, the idea does not strike me as particularly compelling. With what authority would the student give this speech? I think it is better if the student assumes some form of expert persona and gives a speech to an imagined and interested audience. But, to reiterate, the topic is, to my mind, probably not appropriate.

Kind regards,

David

Dorcas Tirhas 6 July 2017 - 16:14

Thanks David,

I see what you are saying. The part of the course is part 2 persuasive language. She wanted to explore how she could use the rhetorical devices we analysed in political speeches. I suggested that perhaps if she took the role of a student running for student council that may be a more compelling topic.

Thanks!

David McIntyre 9 July 2017 - 11:20

Hi Dorcas,

My understanding is that the student needs to write a speech about the topic of persuasive language. I can understand that this may sound a little unrealistic. However, it is not adequate to write about any old topic and to demonstrate an awareness of rhetoric through a well-constructed speech.

I hope this clarifies.

Best regards,

David

Hunter Minks 24 August 2017 - 17:13

Hi,
When should WTs (and IAs, for that matter) be submitted to the IB? I've got my last written task due in March of DP2. Is that too late?

Thanks,

Hunter

Tim Pruzinsky 25 August 2017 - 00:35

Hi Hunter,

Written Tasks are due to the IB on March 15th or before for May exam students. Because they will be choosing from a portfolio of WTs, I think March is too late to have them submit their final WT.

IAs are due April 20th or before.

Best,
Tim

elizabeth smith 13 September 2017 - 14:47

Hello Tim I know the rationale for WT1 must not exceed more than 300 words,but what is the limit for the actual task itself? Regards,Elizabeth

Tim Pruzinsky 14 September 2017 - 00:45

Hi Elizabeth,

800-1000 words for the Written Task itself.

Best,
Tim

elizabeth smith 14 September 2017 - 19:26

Thank you!

Can I ask you another question about timelessness and whether Disgrace fits this ideal - it was written quite recently? Regards Elizabeth

Tim Pruzinsky 15 September 2017 - 01:23

Hi Elizabeth,

Can you clarify? What do you mean about "timelessness"? And are we talking about the novel "Disgrace" or the play "Disgraced"?

Best,
Tim

elizabeth smith 15 September 2017 - 11:29

Hello Tim my apologies.I meant the novel Disgrace. Regards, Elizabeth

Tim Pruzinsky 16 September 2017 - 01:32

Hi Elizabeth,

As for "timelessness," that's always arguable. However, he won the Booker for this novel and he's also won a Nobel Prize, so there are a lot of people out there that think his writing is worth reading. I don't know if that counts as "timeless," but it does offer the backing of the literary community.

When selecting texts, I also think about my students. Would this novel work for them in my context (school system, city, country)? Is this something they should/need to read for a wide variety of reasons?

Best,
Tim

Geoffrey Peake 15 September 2017 - 12:18

Could you clarify that 2 points is deducted if the WT is over 1000 words? Is there any penalty if it is less than 800?

Tim Pruzinsky 16 September 2017 - 01:33

Hi Geoffrey,

Yes, if the Written Task is over 1000 words, 2 points should be deducted from "Organization." The same is true if it is under. Occasionally, examiners will miss this, but that is the what should happen.

Best,
Tim

Geoffrey Peake 17 September 2017 - 11:50

Thanks Tim--much appreciated

Ryan Meczkowski 19 September 2017 - 21:57

Tim and David,

I have a student who wrote an online opinion piece for the Guardian as her WT1. In the spirit of authenticity, she included online ads. Would these ads be counted as part of the 1000 word count?

Thanks,

Ryan

Tim Pruzinsky 20 September 2017 - 07:06

Hi Ryan,

Are the ads in any way related to the content of her WT1? If so, I would count them. If not (it's just a McDonald's advert), I wouldn't.

Best,
Tim

Ryan Meczkowski 20 September 2017 - 16:55

Thanks Tim. One more question: what about if the student includes the tabs that are found at the top of the page to indicate the different sections - World News, Sports, Style, etc. Does the same idea apply - that it counts only if it is related to the content of the WT1?

Tim Pruzinsky 21 September 2017 - 00:41

Hi Ryan,

I tell students to include that in the word count. That's part of their "blog" or online publication. I also tell them they might change them to make it look more specific to their topic. Because an ad is so image heavy (usually), I'm less concerned about it, but the tabs seem to me to be part of the task.

As you can see, this is a huge gray area and some teachers will disagree. The IB hasn't - and most likely won't - put out an announcement for every text type of what is and what isn't included.

Best,
Tim

Rima Moukarzel 21 September 2017 - 19:47

If a student chooses to write an opinion column, does he/she have to imitate a famous columnist? Can't he/she use his/her own style?

Tim Pruzinsky 22 September 2017 - 00:26

Hi Rima,

They do not have to imitate a famous columnist. But it still must look, feel, and read as an opinion column.

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 4 October 2017 - 18:56

Hi Tim,

While they may not have to imitate a renowned columnist, I remember one of the exam reports saying that students who tried pastiche scored more. Does that mean that imitating a known columnist's style jacks up their chances of scoring more?

Thanks,
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 4 October 2017 - 20:16

Hi Lakshmi,

Does it jack up their score? I don't know. The student can include - at the end of the WT - another page titled "Stimulus Material." If they have imitated a famous columnist (let's say Nicolas Kristof of the New York Times), then an example would be helpful to the examiner.

I don't recall any subject report making that blanket of a statement that pastiche scores more, but I could be wrong. Instead of focusing on what will score the highest, I think a focus on the purpose of writing an op-ed in the first place, in relation to the content studied, is more important. The student needs to make that justification very clear, more so than just imitating someone.

Again, they are free to do so, but they also don't have to. The choice is theirs based on the purpose of their WT1.

Best,
Tim

Rima Moukarzel 22 September 2017 - 06:01

Thank you, Tim!

Rima Moukarzel 27 September 2017 - 19:25

My student's task 1(which is supposed to be an article) is more informative; her opinion is indirectly stated. It cannot be an opinion column, right?
Another question: Is it ok that her task is on primary sources that are an advertisement written in Arabic and an article in the Lebanese law?

Tim Pruzinsky 28 September 2017 - 01:29

Hi Rima,

I'll deal with your second question first. No, the primary sources must be originally written in English.

As for writing an opinion column, an article, or an informational brochure, any text type is theoretically okay to write for a WT1. As long as students demonstrate their understanding of the topic, text, and course objectives in the actual text, it's okay.

Best,
Tim

Rima Moukarzel 28 September 2017 - 05:55

That was really helpful!
Thank you, Tim!

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 3 October 2017 - 09:20

Hi David,

When a student writes a written task relating to part 1 or part 2 of the course, should it have a non-literary text as stimulus material or is it acceptable to use a PLA text, part of which relates to a part 1 or part 2 topic as a stimulus material? Also, I faintly remember you saying in one such interaction that a WT 1 does not have to be rooted in a stimulus material (for example, it can relate to an event pertaining to a part 1 or part 2 topic) but that it is preferable to have it anchored in a stimulus material. Please correct me if I got that wrong. If it is preferable to have a WT 1 rooted in a stimulus material, is it acceptable to have multiple small stimulus materials?

Thanks,
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 3 October 2017 - 17:10

Hi Lakshmi,

For assessment purposes, if it comes from Part 1 or 2 of the course, it should be a non-literary text. It should not be based on literature if it comes from Part 1 or 2.

While I can't speak for David or what he said to you in the past, you should anchor the WT1 in a text. A student can't pull it out of thin air and if students are going to pay close attention to language, a text (and not just a topic) is necessary.

As for several small stimulus materials for WT1, it depends on what the student is trying to accomplish. The short answer is yes, it is possible for a student to use several. The long answer connects to purpose, audience, text type, context and so on. Please do let either of us know if you need any further guidance or clarification as we are here to help!

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 4 October 2017 - 18:47

Hi Tim,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. That clears most of my doubts there. Regarding the last part of your answer, while I do understand that many aspects need to be factored in while guiding a student with written tasks, I am not sure how meticulously they need to show awareness of the features of the text types that they try to imitate. I made a futile attempt to list out all the features of various text types that they need to know and decided to stick with the key or salient features of text types listed on your site. Could you please throw some light on how much a student is rewarded or penalized for this aspect? Also, is a written task likely to be more impressive for the examiner if it is imagined to appear in a reputed international newspaper or magazine, for instance, rather than a national newspaper or magazine?

Many thanks in advance.
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 4 October 2017 - 20:22

Hi Lakshmi,

A student must know the features of the text type and demonstrate that in their own writing. This make up part of Criterion B. If they fail to do this, they will be knocked in that area.

The most recent subject report says something to that effect. The text type they are writing should look and feel like that text type as you would encounter it in the real world.

For example, if they are writing a speech, and there are huge paragraphs and it reads like an essay, that is a major problem. Most speeches have short, concise paragraphs.

As for your final question, you do not need to make it look like an international newspaper. You do, however, need a newspaper or magazine that is published in English. It doesn't matter where in the world it comes from. However, this goes to audience. If I am writing about the detrimental effects of the language of racial stereotyping in the U.S. and I put this op-ed in a reputable South African newspaper, that makes no sense. They wouldn't publish this. It's not relevant to their readers.

I hope that helps clarify some things for you!

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 5 October 2017 - 05:30

Hi Tim,

That makes eminent sense. Thank you so much.

Regards,
Lakshmi

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 5 October 2017 - 10:45

Hi David and Tim,

Is there a list of text types that you would say is appropriate for a written task based on part 1 of the course and a separate list (perhaps with some overlap) of text types recommended for part 2 of the course? Also, given that gender and sexuality come under part 1 while Stereotypes come under part 2, how can a student draw a line of distinction here? Can we give the student some basis through which s/he can say that this is based on part 1 and that is based on part 2 of the course even when topics overlap? Another instance of a clash in topics, at least in my perception, is that propaganda comes under part 1 while speeches and the use of persuasive language comes under part 2.

Look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your ever kind answers.

Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 5 October 2017 - 15:04

Hi Lakshmi,

There isn't a list of text types for each part although the guide does list a ton of them overall. Our course requires students to be ready to write about any text type and students can create any text type for Part 1 or 2. There is no and I can't imagine there ever will be a list.

You have also noticed something that is just a part of our course - language topics don't easily fit into set categories that the IB has given. So, it will be important for you to let your students both know that the parts are arbitrary. At the same time, for purposes of assessment, they will need to be clear to the examiner if something is from Part 1 or 2 of the course. In other words, the parts can blur in your classroom (as you point out) but when it comes time to explain things to the IB, they need to be explicit about the part of the course.

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 5 October 2017 - 19:38

Hi Tim,

Appreciate your prompt response. I have a student who wants to do a pastiche of a letter published by a Jewish intellectual of the yesteryear objecting to the anti-Semitic propaganda by Nazis. In her letter written from her grandfather's point of view, she wants to highlight how the use of persuasive language in propaganda makes some people bear the brunt of it all. Incidentally, her grandfather was forced to flee his country of origin due to a similar propaganda. I'm not sure if her task falls under part 1 for exploration of propaganda or part 2 for the exploration of persuasive language. What would you think is best, given that we have to work with the system and tell the examiner where it comes from?

Many thanks,
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 6 October 2017 - 07:29

Hi Lakshmi,

This sounds like a very creative response and very personal to the student. I would put it in Part 1. However, my larger concern is this: why would this supposed person be writing in English? And who would be reading it in English? This part confuses me.

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 6 October 2017 - 09:45

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the response again and sorry for the endless questions. The student and her grandfather come from countries with a heavy English-speaking population, that is Pakistan and India. So the realistic aspect of that is not a concern. Would be extremely grateful if you could explain why you would put it as a part 1.

Thanks
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 6 October 2017 - 10:54

Hi Lakshmi,

Thanks for clarifying. I'd put it in part 1 simply because under the topic "language and power" in the guide on page 18, it lists "propaganda." As well, it feels less media focused and more connected to "language in a cultural context." Is it arbitrary? Yep. But, we have to place it somewhere and it feels better placed in Part 1 to me because of the above reasons.

Best,
Tim

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 6 October 2017 - 11:20

Hi Tim,

Finally, my head is clear about these divisions. No, it does not sound arbitrary. But it is surprising to see how not staying anchored in the fundamental aspects of the course and its "parts" can easily make us veer off to the wrong side.

Deeply indebted.
Lakshmi

Srilakshmi Balakrishnan 9 October 2017 - 10:33

Dear Tim and David,

May 2017 report says the following:
"For an examiner, the ideal rationale places the task in the context of the taught course, explains the particular purpose, the audience aimed at, its context and the conventions of the text type followed." Does the last part mean that students can choose to follow only some of the conventions of the text type they are emulating?

Regards,
Lakshmi

Tim Pruzinsky 10 October 2017 - 04:17

Hi Lakshmi,

What you quote is discussing the rationale. It only has to do with the rationale. It was to help teachers in instructing students how to write the rationale.

I also don't think it's okay for a student to follow some conventions, but not all conventions of a text type.

Best,
Tim

Katherine Adisa 18 October 2017 - 04:05

Hi folks, My colleague and I are having a discussion about choices for the WT1. We are in Part 2 and have been studying rhetoric in political speeches. For his task, the student wants to write a speech for President Moon. Unfortunately, he does not speak English, only Korean so past speeches of his have been looked at in translation. I feel the student should not write a speech for President Moon because he would not be giving a speech in English. Can the student use this for his paper 1

David McIntyre 18 October 2017 - 09:40

Hi Katherine,

I would recommend that the student does not write this WT - we agree.

I don't understand your final question, however; what is the relationship between President Moon and Paper 1.

Thanks for clarifying.

David

Katherine Adisa 18 October 2017 - 21:04

My apologies, I am multi-tasking here. I meant to say 'for this written task.

Benedict Campbell 30 October 2017 - 23:44

Can I ask if the outline is part of the final word count?

Tim Pruzinsky 31 October 2017 - 07:10

Hi Ben,

No, the outline for WT2 is not part of the final word count.

Best,
Tim

Andrew Paetzhold 2 November 2017 - 16:55

Tim and/or David,

I have a student that wants to do a WT1 for Part 4. They're proposal is to create poetry in the style of Eavan Boland using the content of a novel (The Life and Times of Michael K).

I know students are not allowed to combine text types for their WT1, but are they allowed to combine texts in the way I described? If they are allowed to do it, have you seen a WT that successfully did this?

Andrew

Tim Pruzinsky 2 November 2017 - 23:37

Hi Andrew,

If I understand it correctly, the student wants to create a poem or series of poems. Poetry would be the text type here. However, he wants to write in the style of Boland using the novel studied in class as inspiration. I haven't seen this before.

However, I see no reason why this can't work if done with care. Make sure the rationale is very clear about audience, purpose, and effect. If the rationale is clear - and presents a compelling argument for the task itself - it could turn out well. As for success, I tend to think that good writing is good writing and the IB rewards students for it (regardless of the text type).

Best,
Tim

Carola Beyer 6 November 2017 - 09:35

Dear Tim/David,

In response to one of Shakespeare's sonnets, which we studied for part 4, one of my students wrote a series of Diary entries from the point of view of "the dark lady" to whom the sonnet is addressed. She tried to write the entries in Elizabethan English but not very successfully. So my questions is, would it be necessary to write in Elizabethan English?

Carola

Tim Pruzinsky 6 November 2017 - 23:40

Hi Carola,

I don't think so. Obviously, if she pulled this off, it could be a fantastic WT1. However, if the rationale states why she wrote in contemporary English (the purpose of it and how it connects to her objective in the diary entries), she could be okay.

It's imperative that she makes a compelling case for contemporary English in the rationale though. If she does this, it frames the examiner's thinking about the WT.

Best,
Tim

Petrina McGregor 21 November 2017 - 09:28

Dear Tim/David

I have a student who has written an interesting WT1 in the role of George Orwell - imagining Orwell was still alive and commenting on current use of political rhetoric by POTUS45. He uses and references some of Orwell's words and phrases - if he were to cite these, it would spoil the authentic "feel" of his WT. Do you advise him to cite them anyway?

Tim Pruzinsky 21 November 2017 - 23:53

Hi Petrina,

They are not his words - he must cite them. If they spoil the authenticity of the task, so be it. If he wants to footnote it, okay. But somehow, someway, he must show that this is not his own work. If not, he is passing off the words of Orwell as his own and could be in deep trouble with the IB.

Best,
Tim

Sadia Chunawala 30 November 2017 - 04:32

Hi David and Tim

My student is planning to do a WT1 as a short play script where the characters in the play put up a humorous play for a fundraiser but have the humour finally fall flat because they didn’t get contexts right. During this play the characters will make references to the Ted Talk by Peter McGraw called ‘What Makes Things Funny’ (which is the text the WT1 is based on). She is working on Part 1 – Language and Humour, and the language outcome she will be looking at is: ‘Analyse how audience and purpose affect the structure and content of texts’.

Will this work as a WT1?

Thanks and Regards
Sadia

Tim Pruzinsky 30 November 2017 - 07:35

Hi Sadia,

It could. It could go terribly as well. But remember that students have a variety of tasks to pull from before sending their final one off, so I would cautiously say to go for it and see what happens! Sometimes, we are pleasantly surprised.

Best,
Tim

Jane Barker 30 November 2017 - 10:51

HI all,

I am sorry if this question has been asked before but we are trying to wrap our heads around the type of feedback we can give to students. Do you think it would be permitted to give written feedback as long as it's not on the task sheet itself? In my school, we go through huge lengths to avoid giving written feedback but I am wondering if that is really necessary.
Thanks for your advice.

Tim Pruzinsky 30 November 2017 - 23:37

Hi Jane,

This is a huge problem all over the world and in most schools. I always advise to stick to the spirit of things - you aren't editing or correcting, but at the same time, you are guiding the student in the right direction. I think professionals know when they have gone too far and done the work for the student and I think they know when they are providing feedback and support for learning. It's important to keep that in mind.

With that said, yes, give written feedback on a separate sheet of paper if that is what you and your department agree upon. Every school will do something slightly different and so instead of me wading into department matters, I'd rather advise that you all come to an agreement in which you believe you are sticking to the spirit of the assessment - and not giving students an unfair advantage - but also one that helps in the learning process.

Best,
Tim

David McIntyre 1 December 2017 - 06:38

I concur with Tim, Jane. He is quite right; this is a huge problem. I think in part the problem arises because we are told what we cannot do as teachers, but not really told the limits of what we can do. An additional problem is class/cohort size; in a very large class, it is difficult to speak with each student at length to provide meaningful feedback. Whilst my own practice has always been oral feedback (and an insistence in departments I have run), I sometimes wonder what difference it makes. Oral or written? Can't you communicate the same thing? The main thing, of course, is to guide (young, sometimes struggling) students without doing the work for them. It's a fine line.

David

Ryan Meczkowski 6 December 2017 - 19:10

Tim and David,

Do titles count towards the 1000 word count? A student of mine used the prescribed question as the "title" of her WT because she felt like the paper looked naked without it. She is also trying to stay under 1000 words, not counting the title. I am trying to determine if I should t lo her to remove it from the assignment. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Ryan

Tim Pruzinsky 7 December 2017 - 00:19

Hi Ryan,

In this instance, I think it's okay not to have it count. Why? It's just the prescribed question. All it does it let the examiner know what question she is dealing with.

Best,
Tim

Mohammed Bhuiya 7 December 2017 - 10:57

Hi Tim and David,
a) If a student wants to do a WT2 on the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe, for example, is there a minimum number of stories that must be referred to?
b) Related to the above, I only came in as a Grade 12 teacher this year. For their first year of the IB course, they had a different teacher who left suddenly and we're unsure if everything was done properly. One issue is that of choice of texts for Part 4. It seems that rather than choosing one author and 5-10 short stories (so to constitute a 'work'), my predecessor taught several different authors (one story by Frederick Douglas, one from Harrison Burgess, one from O Henry, etc.). Is this an issue for WT2 or the course in general, or is the requirement that a work consist of 5-10 short stories from ONE author just a requirement for the English Language course, not the Lang and Lit one? We are assuming it is an issue, and are squeezing in a mini-unit so the requirements are met.
c) Most of the sample answers for WT2 on your website and elsewhere are based on one text, and that's what I'm most comfortable advising students about. However, some students would like to base their WT2 on short stories. Can you refer me to model answers for this type of response? Can you advise how students would have to approach the task in order not to be disadvantaged compared to where they are writing about one text only?

Many thanks for your great advice and support,

Mohammed

David McIntyre 7 December 2017 - 11:38

Hi Mohammed,

(a)/(c) The students can refer to one story. Moreover, I would recommend that the students only responds to one text. Trying to answer the question and show an understanding of a text is not easy in 1000 words. Concision is difficult for most students (and most writers in general I would suggest). Perhaps for this reason we do not include samples that refer to more than one text. My strong recommendation, then, is that students consider only one text for WT2.
(b) I guess it doesn't help if I tell you that I have heard similar stories so many times. Nevertheless, I'm sorry. You are correct: It is an issue. Since this relates to Part 4, it impacts on IOCs. The IOC must include both/all works, and the IOC should be done when all the texts have been studied. Adding a one author mini-unit makes some sense. In the interest of making time work, however, you could skim and skirt a number of stories, but give greater attention to those stories you (but not your students) know will be included in the IOC. Arguably, this is not 'in the spirit of things', but my own view is that you are simply trying to ameliorate a difficult situation - not one of your own making - in the best interests of the kids you teach (and who have much else to study beyond English).

Best of luck Mohammed. Let me know if you require further help or support.

Cheers,

David

Mohammed Bhuiya 8 December 2017 - 16:51

Thanks David,

I'm still a little unsure about a few points. Please could you just clarify the following:
1. What is the requirement for works to be studied in Parts 3 and 4? What is the definition of works, especially related to short stories?
2. W.r.t. the IOC can you clarify how many stories must be referred to? So if we decide that six of Poe's stories are going to be selected, do students have to refer to all six? I have not prepared or read about IOCs before and so am unfamiliar with the requirements.
3. Back to my original question, and using the same example of Poe. If a student wants to choose one of Poe's short stories for WT2, he is fine to select just ONE short story for analysis? He will not be penalised for failing to refer to a minimum of 5 (which I presume is the requirement for the IOC only)?

Thanks again,
Mohammed

David McIntyre 11 December 2017 - 09:55

Hi Mohammed,

1. The details of requirements for works studied is given in the study guide. Pages 13, 17, 20-23 should be read carefully. The definition of a work is given in the Prescribed List of Authors (PLA booklet), designating the number of poems, short stories, novellas etc. that constitute one literary work.
2. You can decide this. You do not need to choose all short stories. A representative sample is fine. It is probably not okay, however, to share with students in advance of the IOC which stories you will choose. Some teachers/schools may take this approach; in my view, it is not in the spirit of the task.
3. You are correct; he may choose just one short story, and this is the approach I would suggest/recommend.

Best regards,

David

elizabeth smith 15 December 2017 - 15:04

Dear David

I have a question about the written tasks. I have a student who has based her WT1 on the novel Lucy ( which was used for the IOC) and her WT2 is on A Doll`s House (one of the paper 2 texts). Is it acceptable that although the texts are from different parts of the course they are similar in genre?

Regards

Elizabeth

Tim Pruzinsky 17 December 2017 - 01:54

Hi Elizabeth,

It's okay that she's written these, but you can't send both of these tasks to the IB. The IB wants one from the language portion of the course and one from the literature portion. So she will have to choose which one of the literature WT's she likes from the two you've mentioned, and then she will have to send a language WT.

Many teachers do this, in that they have students write two literature (one WT1 and one WT2) and two language (one WT1 and one WT2) so the students get an interesting matrix to choose from.

Best,
Tim


To post comments you need to log in. If it is your first time you will need to subscribe.