Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tips for Kicking Butt on IB English A1 Paper 2 - Essay



1.       Narrow it down: You open the exam paper and are confronted with what seems like a huge list of options. Actually, you can only choose from six. You must write about works that you studied in Part 3 of the course. In the case of Nardvark’s class, they studied dramas. So Nardvark can choose from the questions for Drama (first section) or General Questions on Literature (fifth section.) Having only six questions to choose from is much less daunting.
2.       Choose a question:
a.       Take a few moments to read each of the six questions. Underline keywords or use a highlighter to make sure you know exactly what each question is asking you to do.
b.      For each question, think about how you could answer it using two of the works you studied in Part 3.
c.       Choose a question that you definitely understand and can give a strong, balanced answer to based on two of the Part 3 works you studied.
3.       Plan your answer: Nerdvark recommends two basic structures for this essay. For either structure, you will need an introduction stating your thesis (the answer to the question), at least three body paragraphs containing at least three main points to back up your thesis, and a solid conclusion summarizing your main points. Your discussion of the two Part 3 works has to be balanced; you shouldn’t talk more about one than the other.  The difference in structure depends on how you will outline your body paragraphs.
a.       Block Structure – use this if your main points from one of the Part 3 works are different than your main points from the other Part 3 work you’re going to discuss in your essay.
                                                               i.      Intro
                                                             ii.      Block 1: all about Part 3 work (a)
1.       Main point 1 illustrated by Part 3 work (a)
2.       Main point 2 illustrated by Part 3 work (a)
3.       Etc
                                                            iii.      Block 2: all about Part 3 work (b)
1.       Main point 3 illustrated by Part 3 work (b)
2.       Main point 4 illustrated by Part 3 work (b)
3.       Etc
                                                           iv.      Conclusion
b.      Point-by-point Structure – use this if your main points can all be illustrated by both of the Part 3 works you’re going to discuss in your essay.
                                                               i.      Intro
                                                             ii.      Main point 1
1.       Main point 1 illustrated by Part 3 work (a)
2.       Main point 1 illustrated by Part 3 work (b)
3.       Any comments you want to mention about a Part 2 work of the same genre
                                                            iii.      Main point 2
1.       Main point 2 illustrated by Part 3 work (a)
2.       Main point 2 illustrated by Part 3 work (b)
3.       Any comments you want to mention about a Part 2 work of the same genre
                                                           iv.      Main point 3
1.       Main point 3 illustrated by Part 3 work (a)
2.       Main point 3 illustrated by Part 3 work (b)
3.       Any comments you want to mention about a Part 2 work of the same genre
                                                             v.      Conclusion
Confusing? Watch the excitement of choosing a question here!

Thanks for reading! Reward yourself for a job well done by taking a study break.