Paper One


  • SL Paper 1: Textual analysis of ONE Text (1 hour 30 minutes) 25%
    • The paper consists of two unseen texts.
    • Students write an analysis of one of these texts. (20 marks)
  • HL Paper 1: Comparative textual analysis of TWO Texts (2 hours) 25%
    • The paper consists of two pairs of unseen texts.
    • Students write a comparative analysis of one pair of texts. (20 marks)

SL Paper 1: Textual analysis

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Weighting: 25%

  • Paper 1 contains two previously unseen passages from non-literary texts for analysis, of which students select one. Students are instructed to write an analysis of one of the texts, including comments on the significance of any possible contexts, audience, purpose and the use of linguistic and literary devices. In addition, two guiding questions are provided, encouraging students to focus their response on aspects of the passage. A passage for analysis may either be a complete piece of writing or visual text, or an extract from a longer piece. The texts for analysis are not necessarily related to specific parts of the syllabus.
  • Different non-literary text types are included, for example:
    • advertisement
    • opinion column
    • extract from an essay
    • electronic text (such as social networking sites, blogs)
    • brochure (such as a public information leaflet)
    • extract from a memoir, diary or other autobiographical text.
  • Students are required to analyze and comment on the text in the light of their understanding of its possible audience and purpose. In order to achieve this, students need to analyze structure, language and style in addition to aspects such as text type, context, bias and/or ideological position.
  • There are many acceptable ways of approaching the analysis of a text. Regardless of the approach taken the analysis should be continuous and structured, and should include relevant examples from the text. Rather than simply listing formal aspects, students should focus on how such aspects are used to create particular effects, the recognition of which may contribute to a reading of the passage.
  • The paper is assessed according to the assessment criteria published in this guide. The maximum mark for paper 1 is 20.

HL Paper 1: Comparative textual analysis

Duration: 2 hours

Weighting: 25%

  • Paper 1 contains two pairs of previously unseen texts for comparative analysis. The pairing could include two non-literary texts or one literary and one non-literary text. There will never be two literary texts in a pair. Each pair will be linked in such a way that invites investigation of similarities and differences. Students are instructed to compare and analyze one of the pairs of texts, including comments on the similarities and differences between the texts, the significance of any possible contexts, audience and purpose, and the use of linguistic and literary devices.
  • A pair may include complete pieces of writing or extracts from longer pieces, or a combination of these. The provenance of all texts will be clearly indicated. One of the two pairs may include one visual text. This could be an image with or without written text. The texts for analysis are not necessarily related to specific parts of the syllabus. The links between texts will be varied and could include theme, genre features or narrative stance. Different text types are included, for example:
    • advertisement
    • opinion column
    • extract from an essay
    • electronic text (such as social networking sites, blogs)
    • brochure (such as a public information leaflet)
    • extract from a memoir, diary or other autobiographical text
    • poem
    • extract from a screenplay
    • extract from a novel or short story
    • press photograph
    • satirical cartoon.
  • Students are required to analyze, compare and comment on the texts in the light of their understanding of audience and purpose. In order to achieve this, students need to analyze structure, language and style in addition to aspects such as text type, context, bias and/or ideological position.
  • The comparative analysis should be continuous and structured, include relevant examples from the texts and be balanced in its comments on the similarities and differences between the texts. Rather than simply listing formal aspects, students should focus on how such aspects are used to create particular effects.
  • The paper is assessed according to the assessment criteria published in this guide. The maximum mark for paper 1 is 20.

Paper One Past Examinations

Excerpt from Language A: Language and Literature Guide, first examinations 2015