The Paper 2 exam consists of six essay questions, only one of which must be answered during the timed period. The essay is to be written about the Part 3 literary texts. Therefore, it is a test of understanding literature in context. Although the questions will change from exam to exam, they will always focus on the connection between, style, form, author, purpose and audience. Selecting good Part 3 texts is therefore essential.
These pages offer an overview of the requirements, the criteria, sample student work and tips on Paper 2 essay writing. Besides familiarizing yourself with these pages, you will want to study previous exam questions, practice writing under exam conditions and research your literary texts carefully. You can find several activities that help you develop the skills you need for the Paper 2 exam on the 'skills' page.
Although it seems as if a quarter of your IB grade is determined in one brief sitting, in fact you can do a lot to prepare for this exam so that it is not so nerve-racking. Careful planning and a clear strategy are half the battle. What one writes is only the tip of a very large iceberg.
Are you curious to see what Paper 2 questions look like? Here is a sample of questions that represent the kinds of questions that could appear on the exam. They are inspired by the sample questions that appear in the Language A: Language and Literature guide.
Explain how the authors of at least two literary works have portrayed a social group in a particular way. How might the contexts of the authors have influenced their portrayal of these social groups?
It is often said that literature is a voice for social commentary. How is this true of at least two works that you have read.
To what extent can the meaning of a literary work change over time? How does this question apply to at least two works that you have read?
To what degree are readers influenced by their culture and context. Explain how at least two works could be read differently depending on the culture of their audience.
'Coming of age' is a common theme in literary works. With regards to at least two literary works, explain how the author's own youth influenced their portrayal of this theme.
With regards to at least two literary works, explain how the setting both influences the characters and reflects the author's own context.
How are the characters from at least two literary works representational of people from the time and place in which they were written?
Why might two of your Part 3 works be considered 'timeless'?
With regards to two literary texts, explain why authors may have chosen to depict events in a particular sequence or order.
How do two literary works both reflect and challenge the spirit of the times in which they were written?
What are you supposed to write about in a world lit essay? I'm doing my essay on antigone but i'm not sure what i'm supposed to write..is it meant to be an argument or..? please help, our teacher hasn't explained anything to us..
Hi, found an example for you:
Generally you tend to choose a theme within the book that you can base a question on.
I believe mine was "How have the authors represented the struggle between freedom and imprisonment in ‘The Outsider’ and ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ ?"
You could however create a statement and say to what extent that statement is true.
It's not so much an argument as an analysis of an extract(s) of the book(s) with respect to your question. By this I mean you must pick one or more extracts and pick apart phrases within them, discussing the significance of the words the author has used and to what effect. Mention lots of literary features e.g. pathetic fallacy, irony, foreshadowing, personification etc. where relevant and correct. These are like buzzwords for whoever will be marking your paper, it shows you understand what literary features are, an important aspect of the course.
E.g. 'the author uses the weather to convey a sense of confinement because the sun is used to highlight the barbed wire and prison bars...' (that's just a quick example, you need to quote and be specific, don't ever be vague).
If you are struggling to come up with a question write down all of the central issues and themes within your book and see if that gives you some inspiration, for example, a common theme between the two books I studied was imprisonment and that's how I came up with my question.
I hope this helps and isn't too confusing
Please help me also. I need to write my World Lit on either " A Christmas Carol" or "Tamas".
I am not sure of what to write or how to go about the essay.
Please help me.!