Text type conventions

This page now contains just the basic conventions expected for the text types in use until the end of the exam session November 2019.

For full coverage of text types related to the new Subject Guide's assessment system, from May 2020, go to the page Text type expectations  and consult subordinate pages

There is increasingly clear agreement as to the conventions expected for each text type specified in the Language B Subject Guide (SL list p.31; HL list p.40). So what exactly are these 'conventions' referred to in the Paper 2 Criterion C Format ? More precisely, what instructions do we give the students ... what plans do we provide them, so that they can construct something that will fly ?

This section of the website is intended for reference :

  • this page summarises the key conventions that will be expected in marking Criterion C
  • subordinate pages provide, in addition, further indicators of text type with a discussion of underlying approaches which will affect style and tone

In addition, refer to the page   Specific text type skills  , which provides lists of key skills (or 'transfer goals') for each of the text types. In addition, this page shows the text types ranked in order from 'easy' to 'challenging', which should suggest a sequence in which to teach them.

UPDATE

A change in the design of the Paper 2 Marking Notes, as from May 2016 - FIVE conventions are now expected, as suggested in the lists below.

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Key conventions, listed 

Article

Blog/diary entry

Brochure, leaflet, flyer, pamphlet, advertisement

Essay (SL only)

Interview

Introduction to debate, speech, talk, presentation

News report

Official report

Proposal (HL only)

Review

Set of instructions, guidelines

Written correspondence

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Article  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will have a semi-formal to formal register

* will have a tone appropriate to task e.g. suitably serious

* will have a relevant headline/title

* will have an introduction intended to catch the readers’ attention

* will use techniques that engage and interest readers e.g. direct address

Blog, diary entry  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

Blog

* will use a semi-formal to informal register

* will have an interesting, catchy title for the entry

* will include first person statement and/or narration

* will seek to engage the reader, eg through direct address, a lively and interesting style etc

* will have a closing statement, e.g. invitation to comment / response

Diary

* will use a generally informal register

* will include the date and/or day

* will use first person narration

* will have a closing statement to round off the entry

* will avoid self-evident explanatory phrases or sentences, e.g. will use “I saw Alicia”, not “I saw Alicia, my best friend”

Brochure, leaflet, etc  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will use a semi-formal to formal register

* will have an engaging title, which attracts attention

* will have a short introduction and a conclusion

* will identify ideas with format techniques such as sub-headings, bullet points, numbering etc

* will include practical aspects of the brochure like “contact us”, or “a phone number and/or an email address”.

NOTE: Graphic design as such is not marked

Essay (SL only) 

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will adopt a semi-formal to formal register

* will have an appropriately serious tone

* will have a relevant title

* will use techniques that enable the reader to follow the arguments easily, e.g. methodical structure using cohesive devices

* will have a distinct introduction and conclusion

Interview  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

Embedded

* will adopt a semi-formal to formal register

* will have a relevant headline/title

* will have an introduction and a conclusion

* will use a style aimed at involving and interesting the reader

* will refer to the interview, including direct quotations;

NOTE: interview tasks will not be a verbatim transcript

Intro to debate, speech, etc  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will use a semi-formal to informal register

* will have an appropriately serious tone

* will address the audience and keep contact with them throughout (eg use of “we” and “you” etc)

* will set out to catch the audience’s attention at the beginning, and leave a clear impression at the end

* will include elements of speech rhetoric eg rhetorical questions, repetition etc.

News report  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will have a semi-formal to formal register

* will use a neutral/objective style (eg presents ideas without personal opinion of the writer)

* will have a title/headline

* will have an introduction and conclusion

* will have a clearly structured layout (eg sub-headings, short brief paragraphs/sections, etc)

Official report  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will adopt a semi-formal to formal register

* will use a neutral/objective style (eg presents ideas and facts plainly)

* will have a title

* will have a clearly structured layout (eg a clear introduction, sub-headings, short brief paragraphs/sections, etc)

* will have a conclusion or recommendation.

Proposal (HL only) 

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will be expressed in a formal register

* will use a style aimed to persuade a specified audience

* will have a title which summarises the overall subject

* will have an introduction and a conclusion

* will set out the text clearly using features such as headings, short clear paragraphs, sections identified by letters/numbers/bullets, insetting etc.

N.B.:  the proposal may be presented within the framework of a letter / email - provided the features above are present.

Review  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will adopt a semi-formal register

* will use a tone and style intended to engage the reader

* will include the name of the reviewer

* will have an attractive, catchy title

* will have a short introduction and a clear conclusion

Set of instructions, guidelines  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

* will adopt a semi-formal register

* will directly address the intended audience

* will have a clear and focused heading / title

* will include a short introduction and conclusion

* will set out the guidelines clearly, using techniques such as bullets, sub-headings, numbering, etc

Written correspondence  

The following key features are likely to form the basis of marking for Paper 2, Criterion C:-

Formal Letter

* will adopt a consistently formal register

* will adopt a suitably serious and respectful tone

* will clearly identify the recipient (by name, and/or address, and/or role/title etc.)

* will have a date (and sender’s address)

* will have opening and closing salutations

Letter to the Editor

* will adopt a semi-formal to formal register

* will adopt an appropriately serious tone

* will refer to the original article/issue raised

* will give opinions in an interesting and engaging style

* will include a greeting and a closing salutation

Email

* will adopt a consistently informal register

* will adopt a lively, engaging style, perhaps with some “youth-speak” eg “I’m good”, “Can’t wait” etc

* will maintain clear sense of address to a specific person

* will have an appropriate opening salutation

* will have an appropriate closing salutation.

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