Comparative Essay Example Ib Bio


Paragraph 3:Point of view.

It is necessary to determine whether the writer is the narrator of the piece, thendetermine their relationship to the reader (that's you). They could take up a

superior, distancestance or a more intimate relationship,

but remember to explain why (e.g. "to stir thereader's emotions by getting close to them"). And don't forget a quote to show what you're talkingabout. You can also mention whether it is first-person or third-person, whether the writer is


and if we can trust them.

Paragraph 4:Tone.

Read the pieces well to determine the tone (

acrimonious, joyous, sardonic,pompous, pensive, etc

). Use quotes to show your conclusion. Explain what effect this has on you as the reader. Does the tone change? Is the atmosphere the same as the writer's tone?

Paragraph 5:Diction.

Are there

active or passive verbs, superlatives, lots of adjectives

? Explain why the writer might have chosen this sort of diction. Technical pieces usually have

 jargon e.g. asports article.

Are there any diction motifs? For instance:

a diction motif of hell

can beshown by words like fire, flame, and torturous heat.

Paragraph 6:Imagery.

This paragraph is easy; just pick out

any similes or metaphors

in the pieces. Orperhaps they have none, and only display literal images like the black cat leaped onto the sofa. Why is this? Imagery can be useful in persuasive pieces to appeal to the audience, by formulatingimages in their minds.

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. 

The basics

Sample questions

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. 

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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. 

  5. '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. 

  6. With regards to at least two literary works, explain how the setting both influences the characters and reflects the author's own context.

  7. How are the characters from at least two literary works representational of people from the time and place in which they were written?

  8. Why might two of your Part 3 works be considered 'timeless'?

  9. With regards to two literary texts, explain why authors may have chosen to depict events in a particular sequence or order. 

  10. How do two literary works both reflect and challenge the spirit of the times in which they were written?

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