These events can be referred to as the plot. But this is only half of the whole story. The above list of three things would be very sufficient if you were just having a casual chat with your friends. Your analysis must go deeper than the surface meaning.
In this blog post, I want us to focus on Paper 1 overall. You need to discuss the characters, themes and plot of the chosen text. Structure — How does the author structure the text? Is there anything visually appealing? For each of these, I would write either two paragraphs, one point for each text. If I was rushing, I might squeeze both points into one paragraph. This is all the stuff that got me an overall level 7 in HL English.
Up there is basically done for you plan. You should centre your analysis and reading around the plan I gave you above. Why would the author target them? Is it stated obviously or can I assume it?
What historical aspects does it refer to? How about the mood that this afflicts on the reader? What can I say there? What kind of devices are used to achieve this effect? What can I say regarding this point? English is all about interpretation. So long as you have a solid argument, you can interpret the texts in any which way you want. Try not to stray too far into the broad themes of the passage because the examiners are always looking for a focus on the linguistic features of the text, and the exact techniques by which the author is conveying their overall meaning.
Criterion C — Organization and Development You should avoid a line-by-line approach to your commentary: instead organise your paragraphs around specific themes and features of the text. Criterion D — Language Write in a formal fashion, using as much precise vocabulary as possible.
Avoid slang and make sure you quote frequently from the passage — around three times each paragraph. How to write a commentary in 14 steps When you open the paper, look at each of the extracts and decide which text you will focus on. You should aim to practice various different types articles, adverts, travel writing etc. Pick the text with the most substance you feel you can comment on in an intelligent manner.
Spend a maximum of 5 minutes making this decision. Give an initial reading of your chosen passage and try to identify its overall message. Helpful questions you can ask yourself at this stage are: What is the essence of the text? What meaning is the author trying to convey? What is the central emotional resonance? What can you infer about the context? Spend some time thinking about this, and then formulate a thesis statement: a single sentence that states very clearly your exact impression of the text.
Think of this as the what section of your commentary. Go over the text, this time asking yourself the question: how is the author accomplishing this aim? This should not be an attempt to spot features randomly, but considering how language has been used to fulfil the essential meaning of the text. Annotate thoroughly, scouring the text for as many different linguistic devices that serve your thesis statement as you can. After about five minutes of close reading, you should hopefully have found three or four major linguistic areas.
Select three quotations from each of these areas and organise them under headings, trying to add adjectives before them to make your points more specific: e. Now you are ready to begin your plan. Write your full thesis statement.
Hopefully the process of writing the commentary has prompted you to think something in addition to your original thesis statement. Oh were you not looking for IB English Paper 1? Back to my point. What is the central emotional resonance? In a Paper 1 exam, you are given two mysterious, unseen texts, both of which are between 1 and 2 pages in length.
You should spend around 30 minutes on your plan: this may seem like a lot but it will mean that when you come to writing the commentary you will be able to do so much more fluently and will save yourself time. Beyond that, Elite IB are happy to offer you flexible and effective tuition to bring your skills in Paper 1 up to a very high level. This adaptability is something you can acquire by doing lots of practice on different types of text, going above and beyond the mocks you do with your teacher. Next, go into your first paragraph.
Higher Level This is a great chance to display your skills in comparison and contrast, something you will be familiar with from other parts of the IB. Think of this as the what section of your commentary. Anecdote A short account of an particular situation or incident Apostrophe Where a speaker addresses a person or object that is not alive Archaism Intentional use of a word or expression no longer used to evoke a sense of a bygone era Bias Promoting on specific point of view in a text and deliberately excluding others Connotation Suggestion of a word meaning beyond what it explicitly denotes Cliche A stereotypical expression which is overused Diction Choice of words Ellipsis The omission of words necessary to complete a sentence … or - used for dramatic effect, tension, confusion, etc.
You realistically have about 15 about 10 or so for SL minutes by now. Your analysis must go deeper than the surface meaning. Finally, remember to keep quoting directly from both texts. Avoid going off into broad comparisons between ideas in both texts, and remember to keep your commentary grounded in the language that is being used, and the relationship that has to the overall meaning of the text.
What can I say there? Paper 2 you say? Spend a maximum of 5 minutes making this decision. English is all about interpretation. Once you have completed this for all your paragraphs, you are ready to start writing!
Think of each paragraph as being a mini-essay. Done with reading? See my comprehensive list of Lang Lit text types in my Quora answer. Is there a theme you can detect? Oh were you not looking for IB English Paper 1?
Euphemism a word or phrase that is used in a place of a more direct term that might be offensive.
Style — What kind of style do they write with? Not in any other order. So basically each paragraph has to be of similar length to each other unless you have your points in the same paragraph. Exposition Where an author interrupts a story in order to explain something.
You should aim to practice various different types articles, adverts, travel writing etc. What can I say there? Overall this will mean around nine quotations, each of which you will analyse in turn throughout your commentary.