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Sample essays

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Sample essays for IB English A1, some are past paper responses done under exam conditions. The files include essays for both Paper 1 (Unseen Commentary) and Paper 2 (Detailed Studies work).

63 files

  1. Commentary HL M03

    Unseen Commentary – 'Night Wind' HL M03
    Handwritten under timed conditions and then typed up.
    Marks: 25/25
  2. Raymond Carver: Literary Comparison of 'Fever' and 'Cathedral'

    This essay attempts to answer the question: "In what ways and for what purposes does Carver make use of the extraordinary or the unusual in his stories Fever and Cathedral?"
  3. Commentary on Snakes in September (Poem)

    This was one of the last essays I wrote in the IB before the exams. So this represents my commentary writing skills at their very best.
    This is a commentary written on Stanley Kunitz's Snakes in September. I don't have the poem attached to this document, so look it up online and read it a few times before reading the commentary.
    Lastly, I had a 24/25 raw IB score for this essay, so I like to think that it is well-written.
    Hope it helps you,
  4. [Perfume] Grenouille

    An essay on ‘Grenouille the tick’ in the novel Perfume.
  5. Essay on Madam Bovary and The Bluest Eye

    Discuss the interplay between setting and action as part of the meaning of the novels you have read.
    Novels--Madam Bovary and The Bluest Eye
  6. Theme of Past in Long Day’s Journey Into Night

    Explore the significance of the past in the play “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” by Eugene O’Neill
    Grade awarded: 7 (internally marked)
  7. King Lear relationship

    “An Analysis of the Relationship between Goneril and Regan in King Lear”
  8. Outsider - Background

    Marie, Raymond, Salamano and Masson – how do their stories help fill in the background to the end of part 1?
    Based Albert Camus' The Outsider
    Grade awarded: 7
  9. Blake Lamb and Tiger

    Reread The Lamb and The Tiger. Comment on the imagery, tone and message of these poems and state what relevance they might have for the 21st century.
    Sample Essay on Wiliam Blake's two poems: The Lamb (from Songs of Innocence) and The Tiger (from Songs of Experience)
    Grade awarded: 7
  10. Oedipus - Jocasta

    Examine Jocasta’s entrance. What is the significance of the timing and what she said. Comment on the exchanges between Jocasta and Oedipus, lines 707 – 953.
    Based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex
    Grade awarded: 6
  11. Outsider - Mother

    What early indications are there that Meursault’s reaction to his mother’s death isn’t quite “right”?
    Based Albert Camus' The Outsider
    Grade awarded: 6
  12. Oedipus - Chorus speech

    How would you describe the tone of Chorus’ first speech and what linguistic techniques does the writer use to encourage this tone?
    Based on Sophocles' Oedipus Rex
    Grade awarded: 6
  13. Unseen - Things Fall Apart extract

    Extract from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    Sample Unseen Commentary
    Grade: 7
  14. Unseen - The Visitor

    Sample Commentary: The Visitor by Patricia Cresswell
    Grade: 7
  15. HL November 2002 P2 no.1b

    English A1 HL November 2002 Paper 2, Question 1.b.
    A ‘love’ story is often present in drama. Compare and evaluate the manner in which a ‘love’ story, broadly interpreted, either sits at the centre of the plays you have studied or intrudes its concern into the central issues.
    Grade: 7
  16. Macbeth - Witches

    Examine the witches’ scenes. Comment on the language they use and their presentation in the play.
    Based on Shakespeare's Macbeth
    Grade: 7
  17. Salesman - Linda

    Arthur Miller – Death of a Salesman
    Reread pages 41 – 48. Examine Linda’s speeches in this section. What is her message and tone? How does this help with our understanding of the characters Biff, Happy, Will and Linda? What impact does this section have on the rest of the play?
    Grade: 6
  18. Salesman - Stage directions

    Review pages 1-15. Examine the stage directions and comment on them in terms of visual effects, character portrayal and tone.
    Based on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
    Grade awarded: 7
  19. Outsider - Stories

    What do you think is the purpose of the two “stories”? What punishment is being meted out? In what way is “deception” a central to the chapter?
    Based Albert Camus' The Outsider
    Grade awarded: 7
  20. Blake Nature Poems

    Blake was interested in and influenced by nature, flowers and the garden. Choose 3-4 poems reflecting this interest/influence and suggest how we might interpret them.
    Based on William Blake's Song of Innocence and Experience
    Grade awarded: 7
  21. Outsider - Arab murder

    How do you account for the murder of the Arab?
    Based Albert Camus' The Outsider
    Grade awarded: 7
  22. HL November 2002 P1 no1a

    English A1 HL November 2002 Paper 1, Question 1.a.
    Grade: 6
  23. Outsider - Tension

    Reread pg 45-6. How does Camus build up the tension to the final climax?
    Based Albert Camus' The Outsider
    Grade awarded: 6
  24. Commentary on an extract from "The Book of Saladin" by Tariq Ali (N04 SL)

    A commentary on an extract from "The Book of Saladin" by Tariq Ali from November 2004 (SL). This commentary was awarded a 7.
  25. Compare the ways that the treatment of time has been used to shape meaning in two or three works you have studied (N06 HL)

    A comparison of the ways that the treatment of time has been used to shape meaning in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and "Beloved" by Toni Morrison from November 2006 (HL). This essay was awarded a 7.
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