IB English A: Literature and IB English A: Language and Literature

Whether you are taking IB English A: Literature or IB English A: Language and Literature, we all have to write Paper One.  This means we need to read critically, explore authorial choices, and consider their implications and how they shape meaning.  

This page is organized as follows:

  • Quick tips for all students can be found at the top.
  • Language and Literature text types with sample responses come next.
  • Literature videos for all forms come after that.

Paper 1 – Quick Tips and Tricks For All Students

We get it. Sometimes you don’t have the time to watch lots of videos and sort through lots of documents. If that describes you, then Andrew and Dave highly recommend checking out the videos below. They are short, sweet, and have loads of critical tips and tricks to help you succeed on Paper One.

Watch this before your next Paper 1 for important reminders.

Ten Tips for Paper One

Don't make these mistakes! Easy fixes that add points.

Ten Pitfalls to Avoid for Paper One

Nobody wants to sound like a robot. Add some voice, would you?

Adding Voice to Academic Writing

Start with a firm handshake and finish strong.

Sample Intro and Conclusion

Remember: Discuss HOW the author USES text to impact the READER.

Discussing Reader Effect

Criteria B demands evaluation of the effectiveness of authorial choices.

Adding Evaluation

Language and Literature - Countdown to Paper 1!

Do you have a summative assessment or mock exam coming up?  Are you cramming content at the last minute?  If you are a Language and Literature student and this describes you, then you have come to the right place.  Each of the following TEN text types has CLOSE READING and SAMPLE RESPONSES WITH EXAMINER COMMENTS.  There are also documents with text type conventions and various other resources you need to achieve academic success.  Watch the videos and crush Paper 1.

TEXT TYPE 1: WEBSITE

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 1: WEBSITE

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 2: SPEECH

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 3: LETTER

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 3: LETTER

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 4: PRODUCT REVIEW

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 4: PRODUCT REVIEW

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 5: COMIC

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 6: FILM REVIEW

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 6: FILM REVIEW

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 7: BROCHURE

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 7: BROCHURE

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 8: PSA

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 8: PSA

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 9: TRAVEL WRITING

Conventions

Stimulus Text

TEXT TYPE 9: TRAVEL WRITING

Student Response

TEXT TYPE 10: TABLOID COVER

Conventions

TEXT TYPE 10: TABLOID COVER

Student Response

More Nonliterary Text Types:

Wow, that was quite a playlist!  But…there’s more to learn.  Don’t worry!  Dave and Andrew LOVE nonliterary text types.  Political cartoons?  Check.  Film, photos, and documentaries?  Yes, please.  Opinion articles and advertisements?  You betcha.  If those sounds interesting, that’s because they are.  Check out the nonliterary text types below and rest assured that your Paper One exam performance will be one that you can celebrate.

Political Cartoons

Political cartoons are self-contained commentaries on an important current event or key aspect of society, and they’re humorous.  Look out for colors, symbols, and other hidden ideas lurking in the subtext.  Remember: just like literary authors, cartoonists make a series of choices in their work intended to shape meaning.  Look carefully.  Detect nuances and implications.  Evaluate.  Ace Paper 1.

Learn how to deconstruct political cartoons.

Cartoon Terms

Cartoon of Cartoon Terms

Now that you’ve learned some basic terms, let’s apply them to more cartoons.

Apply your new cartoon skills to academic writing.

Cartoon and Sample Writing

Sentence Stems for Analysis

Put it all together and check out this 7.

Student Response

Advertising

They’re everywhere on our phones and screens.  Advertisers work to cut through the clutter, grab our attention, and subtly influence us to make choices to buy, buy, and buy some more.  Accordingly, Dave and Andrew believe it’s essential to learn the tips and tricks companies use to manipulate our attention and persuade us to act.  Check out these videos.  Not only will you improve your Paper 1 performance, but you will also be a more skilled and savvy consumer who is attuned to the features our favorite brands employ in their ads.

Learn key terms and how to break down ads.

Features of Advertising

Mnemonic for Deconstructing Ads

There's more to learn! Add these skills to your toolbox.

15 Techniques of Advertising

More Tools of Persuasion

Put it all together and write an organized piece of academic writing.

The Model Paragraph

Opinion Articles

Whether they agree with what’s happening in our world or not, writers of opinion columns implement a series of choices in their work to maximize their persuasive effect.  A close cousin of speeches, these short and complete texts pack a punch.  Look carefully at how they’re structured, how they use rhetoric, and how they end strong.  Learn this stuff.  It’s Paper 1 gold.

What tools do these writers use? Add these terms to your list.

Persuasive Elements in Opinion Articles

Now that you’ve got some basic skills and some terms under your belt, let’s apply them to three different opinion articles and see what we can do.

Literary Text Types

Regardless of the course you are enrolled in, we’re all studying literature.  How is prose fiction different than prose nonfiction?  What about drama and poetry?  Are there any special skills and tips to learn?  We’ve got the answers to these questions and more down below.  Consume these resources and become a better critical reader and writer.  

Prose Fiction

What’s prose fiction?  Think novels.  Think short stories.  Think “imaginative” writing.  It’s one of the cornerstones of the course for a reason, as it teaches us about the human condition and fosters empathy.  Learn how to be a close reader of prose fiction and let your knowledge shine when you write your Paper 1.

Literature can be tough. This acronym for deconstruction will help.

SCASNI acronym for annotating fiction

Learn more about how our SCASNI protocol can foster deeper analysis.

SCASNI applied to a Paper One Text

Put it all together and check out this full Paper 1 response.


Paper One – Full Student Response

Prose Non-Fiction

This course requires exploration of nonfiction texts as well.  So what exactly is this stuff anyway?  Think memoirs.  Think travelogues.  Think philosophy and other insightful texts that present factual information in an entertaining and literary way.  We love prose non-fiction, and so do our students.  These were our mock exams as well as former IB exams.  

Remember: Paper 1 is a reading test first. Watch this video.

Assessment Text (original)
Assessment Text (annotated)

Yes, diaries show up on assessments. Familiarize yourself with this text type.

Assessment Text (original)

Assessment Text (annotated)

We love a good memoir. Another former IB Lit assessment here.

Assessment Text (original)

Assessment Text (annotated)

Check out what this writer does. They know what they're doing!

Student Response (original)

Student Response (highlighted)

Another strong Lit response. You getting the hang of this yet?

Student Response (original)

Student Response (highlighted)

Our final mock exam in this Lit series. Another strong response.

Student Response (original and highlighted)

Three Different Styles of Introductions

Poetry

Sure, we understand poetry is abstract, but we promise it can be fun! It’s complex and requires deep thinking, but that’s where the magic lives.  Check out the videos and documents below.  You’ll find poetic terminology, close reading strategies, and sentence stems to guide your writing.  Watch.  Learn.  Master.  You’ve got this!  

Just like any text type, poetry has its own set of terms. Learn them!

Poetic Terms

Sample Poem with Annotations

Sentence Stems for Analysis

Let's practice our new skills with a nature poem from Mary Oliver.

Mary Oliver Poem for Analysis

Mary Oliver Poem (fully annotated)

Check out this former IB Exam where we break down a great poem.

Document: Poem – “Tyre Shop” by Bob Orr

Check out the full student response and compare your work to the sample.

Document: “Tyre Shop” – Full Student Response

Drama

Andrew and Dave love drama.  But, you’ve got to remember to pay attention to the stage directions. What can you see and hear on stage?  What props do you notice?  How are costume and staging used for effect?  So many things to explore!  It’s important to learn the basics for now, but stay tuned for more content in the future.  Our students love drama, and so will you.  Immerse yourself in this text type and enjoy!

We'll add more content soon. For now, master these important conventions of drama.

Dramatic Terms

Annotated Passage

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