So far, you have done the Interactive Oral (not as exciting as it sounded), the Reflective Statement (more exciting than it sounded), and the Supervised Writing.
If you haven't done these, then you're getting ahead of yourself and need to go back. Click on any of the topics above to go back. Otherwise, you're ready for...
Step 4: Production of the Essay
Yup, this is it... the moment you've been waiting for, preparing for, most probably dreading: your first IB essay.
This essay is submitted to the IB board for marking, and it has to be done entirely by you. Your teacher can help you to a certain extent, but there are rules for how much your teacher can get involved:
- The teacher will support you by discussing your topic and ideas, and by providing you feedback on your first draft.
- The teacher may not annotate or write directly on your draft or give you feedback on subsequent drafts.
|Teachers tend to go by the rules. The rule here is, your teacher is not allowed|
to do corrections on your Written Assignment. It's all you!
So if you think your teacher is being really mean when he or she returns your first draft to you with NOTHING WRITTEN ON IT, you're wrong. Your teacher is just protecting his/her butt by following the rules.
Usually students get to this point in their school career by memorizing formulas for written assignments and plugging new thoughts/information in. While the IB markers do pay attention to your structure, there is no formula for the Works in Translation Written Assignment. However, if you want some guidelines, check out the Five-Paragraph Essay Structure here.
Keep in mind that the Written Assignment has a word count: 1200 - 1500 words. If you write fewer than 1200 words, your grade will suffer. If you write more than 1500, you'll have a problem because the marker will stop reading at word # 1500. So your amazing WOW finish will not be considered.
A lot of students get so hung up on word count that they don't pay attention to the rest of the factors surrounding the grading of their work.
Here's Nerdvark's tip for word count: first, follow the writing process. You have already done step one, PRE-WRITE, through the interactive oral, reflective statement, and supervised writing.
You may have already done a PLAN for your essay. If not, do it next. The five-paragraph essay structure is a great outline.
Third, DRAFT your essay without counting words.
When you've finished your first draft, check the word count.
Next, read and REVISE your essay. If you have too few words, look for places where you need to add details. If you wrote a five-paragraph essay and remembered to PEE, you should have enough words, though. If you have too many words, look for places where you have been too wordy (remember, KISS -- keep it simple, stupid) or where you have repeated the same idea. Yes, you need to link your ideas, but simply repeating them doesn't produce effective links.
Still too many words? Go through and take away any extraneous words. Often descriptive adverbs or adjectives can be removed from an essay. Essays should be clear and concise, not flowery prose. You don't get extra marks for showing off an extensive vocabulary or using long, complex sentences.
While you're doing this, check for errors and EDIT (correct, proofread) your essay.
If you have trouble with any of these steps, then you can ask your teacher for suggestions when you hand in the first draft. If you just write a bunch of crap and give it to your teacher, guaranteed his or her feedback won't be very helpful. If you do your best to construct an awesome essay and ask your teacher for specific advice, your wish will be granted.
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