Criteria (last exam in 2017)

The assessment criteria for the extended essay are both general to all subjects and specific to each subject. The criteria given below are the specific to the Language A: Language and Literature course. These are summaries of the actual criteria, which can be found in the Extended Essay guide on the Online Curriculum Centre. 

Criterion A - Research question - 2 marks

The research question should guide the extended essay and give it a strong sense of focus. The focus of the question should include the texts, either literary or non-literary. The research question must be clearly stated on the title pages, along with the name of the course (English A: Language and Literature) and the category (1-3) on which the question is based (see requirements for more information on the three categories). Avoid closed and leading questions. These are questions that are quickly answered and imply bias towards a particular answer.

Criterion B - Introduction - 2 marks

The introduction should be focused around the research question. Background information and a contextual understanding of the text(s) should be offered in the introduction. For categories 1 and 2, there should be a succinct reference to the history of the text(s) and the author(s). For category 3, a connection should be made between culture, context and the target language. 

Criterion C - Investigation - 4 marks

For all three categories, students are expected to investigate the research question in light of the texts chosen. This investigation consists primarily of the student's own interpretations and criticism of the text, supported secondarily by secondary sources offered by critics. Students must develop a unique argument in answering the research question, illustrated by examples from the primary sources. A critical view of secondary sources is encouraged. 

Criterion D - Knowledge and understanding - 4 marks

Students must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the text(s) (primary sources). There must be evidence that the student is engaged with the primary source(s). For category 3, both the production (context of composition) and reception (context of interpretation) of the text must be carefully considered with regards to culture.

Criterion E - Reasoned argument - 4 marks

The essay needs to go somewhere. It must not be a summary of a plot or textual features. Rather the development of a thesis with multiple, well-founded arguments must be included. 

Criterion F - Application of evaluative skills appropriate to the subject - 4 marks

Students must support their personal interpretation of texts with strong textual analytical skills. Interpretations must not be the retelling of a critic's ideas from a secondary source.  

Criterion G - Use of language appropriate to the subject - 4 marks

As in all other forms of written assessment for the Language and Literature course, students must write coherently in the appropriate register of academic essays. This includes subject-specific reference to stylistic and structural conventions of the texts studied.

Criterion H - Conclusion - 2 marks

The conclusion should be consistent with the ideas and arguments developed in the essay. The conclusion should not introduce any new and irrelevant ideas. Rather than reiterating the introduction, the conclusion should offer a sound synthesis of the body of the essay.

Criterion I - Formal presentation - 4 marks

The research paper is presented with consistent referencing, quotations and formatting. The title page, bibliography, table of content, page numbering, illustrations and figures are clear and coherent.

Criterion J - Abstract - 2 marks

The abstract must do three things clearly and concisely: 1) state the research question, 2) explain how the investigation was undertaken, and 3) state the conclusion of the essay. Students will be penalized for exceeding the word limit of 300 words.

Criterion K - Holistic Judgment - 4 marks

This is the opportunity for examiners to reward creativity, unique insight and initiative. Students may score poorly on other criteria but be rewarded on criterion K. Supervisor's comments will be taken into consideration.

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