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The conventions regarding setting in novels and short stories have, like all conventions, evolved over time. In The Art of Fiction, David Lodge states that a "sense of place was a fairly late development in the history of prose fiction" and after comparing a description of London from Tom Jones (1749) with a far more vivid, sensory portrait from Oliver Twist (1839) he goes on to claim that:...
Below you can find easily viewable assessment criteria for each examined component. These might be useful to project in class when you are engaged in marking an exemplar response, but also as a means to discuss the meaning of the terms used and what might be required to move from one band of criteria up to the next.
Note that not all the information is included in the tables - please refer to the subject guide for a complete account
The Internal Assessment individual oral is clearly a challenging task. Students are asked to fulfil a number of objectives that bring together different ways of thinking about, as well as responding to, literary works.
The notes below provide more specific guidance in relation to key elements; they are designed to remind teachers of the nature of the task, the key procedural requirements, as well as suggest approaches to teaching and learning that students will hopefully find beneficial.
Paper 1 responses to prose fiction
For many Literature students, prose fiction is their path into literature and remains their preferred genre for independent reading. However, while fictional prose is often the genre students feel most comfortable with reading, it does not necessarily follow that they find it easier to analyse and critically interpret such texts. In many ways fictional prose works against such an approach as authors seek to immerse us in a world where we are asked to believe in the characters and events as if they are real - we lose ourselves in novels and stories and are perhaps less conscious of the craft behind what we're reading.
Sample paper 1 responses
Linked from this page are a range of paper 1 responses with teacher marks and comments. It is important for teachers and students to look at a range of examples so that you become familiar with the expectations of Paper 1 and how student work is assessed using the criteria. While many of these samples could be described as exemplary, they do vary in approach, style and quality; it is important for students to see that there is not one set way of responding to this examination, and it is also useful to look at examples in terms of what they get wrong or could do better, as well as those that do a lot of things right.
Paper 1, the first of two external examination papers, is now called Guided Literary Analysis for both HL and SL students. In this examination students will be given two unseen passages, each from a different literary form and each with an accompanying guiding question. The passages can now be taken from any of the four literary forms listed on the PRL: drama, poetry, prose:fiction and prose:non-fiction. SL and HL students will get the same examination paper with the same texts but there are some important differences in terms of what is required for each level.
A page and download for HL students...
The notes below are designed to give you some guidance with preparing and writing the coursework essay. There are also some links in the text to other areas of this site, which provide further help and support. Do check them out!
Questions for guided literary analysis
For paper 1, guided literary analysis, students are given two unseen literary passages which can come from any of the four literary forms on the Prescribed Reading List: drama, poetry, prose fiction and prose nonfiction. Students then write in response to the extract(s) (one for SL, both for HL) and an accompanying guiding question "on a central technical or formal element that may provide an interesting point of entry into the text." As such, it is important students have the opportunity to practice responding to a variety of texts from all four forms, and the types of guiding questions they might face in the examination.
On this page you will find four samples of Individual Orals undertaken by students as practice for 'the real thing'. They have not been marked officially by the IB and the first three do not have the mandatory teacher questions. Each does explore a Global Issue in relation to two texts, however, and as such can be scored against the criteria. You might want to listen to them and with your students, discuss and then award marks that you think appropriate. Compare then with marks that we would have given. It might also be worth discussing whether or not the Global Issues they identify, and the ways in which they have been phrased, are appropriate.
HL Essay: Exemplar 3 ('Art')
The following response, based on the play 'Art' by French playwright Yasmina Reza, is an excellent example of a HL essay. It is the result of a student choosing a text that engaged them and using their learner profile and the essay writing process to interrogate the play's construction and their interpretation of its meaning. Even with a well-focused question like this, the word count is a challenge and there are areas that feel a little undeveloped. However, to get full marks an essay does not have to be 'perfect' (whatever that means) and, while the awarding of full mark could be disputed in a couple of criteria, this essay certainly does enough to be worthy of the highest grade overall.
I was very impressed with the site. It is very user friendly, gives students (and teachers) easy access to excellent resources. I also enjoyed the opportunity to be able to check my marks (and my students peer marking) for tasks against IB criteria and...
It's easy to navigate, straightforward, and helpful. Even for an experienced IB teacher, the website provides helpful ways to reconsider curriculum and lesson plans.
I wish I'd had something like this when I first started teaching IB Lit!
8 May 2021
Sample paper 1 responsesFor those schools taking the examination route in May 2021, the Paper 1 examination is happening on Monday May 10th.... more
14 Jun Solange Cifre
Paper 1 sample response #9What is the IB's stance regarding the use of gender neutral pronouns in essays? Many students have opted for the singular they when referring to a narrator or persona whose gender is not known.
10 Jun Mark Beverley
Global IssuesHello Jill: this question has come up a few times and it is not straightforward to answer because of course it depends on the amount of 'information' presented in each panel and the nature of the content. As an examiner of this component, however,...
10 Jun Jill Batty
Global IssuesIf we use a text such as persepolis - how many pages might constitute a 40 line passage?
7 Jun Mark Beverley
Readers, writers and textsSounds like a plan, Charles! Having gone through the course once i suspect lots of people (myself included) will spend time reflecting on how it has gone and potentially make changes.
7 Jun Charles Barry
Readers, writers and textsThanks for the questions! AOEs have been with us all year but now as the year ends we have time to focus on them at leisure!
5 Jun Mark Beverley
Higher Level coursework essay: a student guideHi Juanita: p.46 of the subject guide is worth addressing here. There is no specific limit to the feedback, but line by line would be way too much, I would say. Intermittent marginal comments that comprise questions and/or suggestions are fine...
3 Jun JUANITA ALEXANDER
Higher Level coursework essay: a student guideIs there a limit to the feedback we are allowed to offer on the first draft? I seem to remember something about not doing line-by-line feedback or there being a limit to the amount of feedback we should give to students. Any clarity on this...
28 May Rosie Magee
Higher Level EssayThank you Mark for your advice, really appreciate it.
28 May Mark Beverley
Paper 1 sample response #2Hi Sylvia - working on it now - will be up in a couple of days..
28 May Mark Beverley
Higher Level EssayHi Rosie: the bottom is line is that you need to sign off on the work declaring that to your knowledge there has been no collusion. Perhaps making sure that the essays pursue a different argument or angle on their chosen topic would help?
28 May Mark Beverley
Individual Oral: further adviceI don't see why not, Julie - they are two separate texts by two different authors. As long as one is in translation, the choice of the second work is up to you .
27 May Rosie Magee
Higher Level EssayHello, could you kindly help me with something. I have a very small HL class (5 students) and two of the students have created two questions/ area of focus that are quite similar on the same play. I am wondering if there is any issue with this?...