Paper Two

Paper 2 is back!  That’s right, we all have tackle this beast in May 2023, so it’s time to master the basics about comparative literary analysis.  Remember that this task demands attention to authorial choices and how they shape meaning.  So, when reading your literary works, pay attention to the moves the writer makes to communicate important ideas.

Part of our IBDP English A Student Toolkit, The Complete Study Guide for Paper 1 and Paper 2 includes:

  • 250+ pages of updated review material!
  • The best of our website videos and documents 
  • NEW content not available on our website
  • 20 highlighted papers with examiner notes 
  • Discussion videos justifying marks on sample papers
  • Full assortment of graphic organizers
  • Sentence stems and guidance for analysis

Paper 2 Exam Review Video Course

Looking for more detailed instruction?  Our Paper 2 Exam Review course leverages two short stories and guides you step-by-step through the writing process in 10 videos.  In the end, you will have written a strong sample response for your selected texts.  This course is for dedicated students looking to do the hard work necessary to improve their Paper 2 skills.

Part of our IBDP English A Student Toolkit, this resource includes:

  • Step-by-step approach to building the Paper 2 response
  • 10 asynchronous lessons and 2 hours of NEW video
  • Two short stories with completed graphic organizers to model the entire Paper 2 writing process
  • Blank graphic organizers to use with your Paper 2 texts
  • Guidance on using generative AI for Paper 2 revision

Paper 2 From Start to Finish

In this 9-video series, we’ll show you the entire process from start to finish.  We’ll use two short stories as our model and follow the “we go, you go” protocol.  We’ll show you the steps with our sample stories, and then encourage you to do the same steps with your chosen Paper 2 texts.  In the end, you will have written an entire sample paper under our guidance.  So, be sure to download and complete all the graphic organizers.  Stay with us.  Follow the models.  Do like we do.  Paper 2 success is within reach!

Breaking Down Text 1

Document: 1-Text Organizer – TEXT 1


Breaking Down Text 2

Document: 1-Text Organizer – TEXT 2

Comparing Texts 1 and 2

Document: Comparative Organizer

Writing the Outline and Thesis

Document: Getting ready to write

Writing the Introduction:

Document: Writing the Intro

Writing Body Paragraphs.

Document: Body Paragraphs

Writing the Conclusion

Document: Paper 2 Conclusions

Scoring the Sample Paper 2

Document: Examiner Scoring

Paper 2 - Breaking Down the Skills

Sure, we understand that you want to see sample papers and examiner comments.  Those are coming.  However, none of those support materials matter unless you know the basics of Paper 2.  Watching the videos and reading the accompanying documents will put you in an excellent position to showcase your best comparative writing on assessment day.  Once you have mastered, these skills, then it’s time to move on to practice papers.

Meet the assessment and understand how to achieve success on Paper Two.

Paper 2 Details and Tips

Learn how to break down the question and get stay focused.

Document: Breaking Down the Question

Don’t forget to brainstorm and mind map!

Document: Brainstorming and mindmapping


The thesis is important…watch this video!

Document: Writing the Thesis

Block style or alternating style?  Watch this video to find out.

Document: Structuring the Response

How can I get off to a strong start in this paper?  We’ve got the answer.

Document: Writing the Intro

It’s critical to write strong comparative body paragraphs.  Watch this!

Document: Body Paragraphs

Mr. Giles always says to “end strong.”  Watch this video and find out how!

Document: Writing Conclusions

Paper 2 - Refining Our Skills

Now that you’ve seen the entire process from beginning to end, let’s combine some of these ideas and refine our understanding of the key skills needed to master this assessment.  

How can we quickly understand the question, brainstorm ideas, and get to the thesis?

Document: From Question to Thesis

Still stuck with that introduction?  Here is some more support.  Watch and nail this important step!

Document: Introduction 2.0

The more body paragraphs we read, the better we get at this difficult task.  Watch the video!

Document: Comparative Body Paragraphs

Once you have all the skills in place, it’s time to make sure you understand all the key tips and details of this important assessment.  Looking at student and teacher models is also helpful, and we will continue to populate this section as the year progresses.

In this video, notice how the student approaches the work, maintains focus, and shows complete command of references, features, and the language of the question. 

Document: Paper Two - Student Sample

This video presents 10 important tips students should remember when getting ready to write Paper 2.

Document: Paper Two - Top Ten Tips

This video shows students how to formulate their own sample questions. Give it a try!

Document: Spitballing Paper 2

Watch this video right before exams. Don't miss this checklist!

Document: Paper 2 Checklist

Scroll to Top

IB English Guys

Newsletter Signup