Paper 1: Guided Literary Analysis Literary Commentary
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Paper 1: Guided Literary AnalysisLiterary Commentary
Goals, Process, Assessment:
Goal: Students show how they, as readers, have made their own meaning from a previously unseen text; they are required to analyse a passage and produce an interpretation supported by an evaluation of the writer’s choice of language, technique and style. HL students construct a literary commentary.
Process: practice during two-year course.
Assessment: externally assessed, according to different sets of criteria at SL and HL. A combined mark out of 20, based on four criteria.
Task: compare the assessment details for SL and HL, referring to pages 36 and 44 of the Literature Guide.
How are students at SL and HL assessed differently?
SL & HL: response to an unseen passage
Students choose either poetry or prose
SL write for 1.5 hrs; HL write for 2 hrs
SL are given two guiding questions
HL are not given guiding questions
SL write a “guided literary analysis”
HL write a “literary commentary”
SL and HL
Paper 1 consists of two previously unseen passages; students write a literary commentary on one of these passages. One passage will be poetry; the other will be taken from works such as:
A novel or short story
A journalist piece of writing of literary merit
SL and HL
The passages for analysis may be either a complete piece of writing or an extract from a longer piece, and wherever possible they will not have been written by authors listed on the PLA nor be taken from works likely to have been studied in class
Standard Level: Guided Literary Analysis
Examination: 1 hr 30 minutes
Two guiding questions are provided: one on understanding and interpretation, and the other on style. Students are required to respond to both questions in their commentary. Students may also respond to other aspects of the text (see p. 29, Guide).
SL sample material
Poem: “Ballad of Birmingham”
Which of the “writer’s choices” – of language, structure, technique and style – would you hope or expect the student to explore in response to the questions?
What other questions might you recommend for this passage?
Higher Level: Literary Commentary
Examination: 2 hours
The term “literary commentary” is used to refer to a close reading of a passage that is presented in the form of an essay. Students need to explore aspects such as content, technique, style, structure, theme and language and they are assessed on their ability to:
Demonstrate understanding of thought and feeling in the passage through interpretation that is supported by detailed reference to the passage
Analyse and appreciate how the passage achieves its effects
Applying the assessment criteria
Task: read the HL student sample on pages 62-65 of your workbook, and give the script a mark out of 20.
Moderation in pairs / groups
What marks might this script be rewarded if assessed by the SL criteria?
If this were a SL exam, what two guiding questions might you anticipate? Formulate two guiding questions, using the guidelines on page 29 of the Guide.