Paper Two

HL Paper 2: Essay

Duration: 2 hours

Weighting: 25%

  • Paper 2 consists of six questions based on the literary texts studied in part 3 of the language A: language and literature course. Students are required to answer one question only.
  • The format of paper 2 and the six questions are the same for both SL and HL students. However, there are specific assessment criteria for each level, reflecting different expectations in terms of the complexity and depth of the students’ responses.
  • Students will be expected to respond to questions in a way that shows their understanding of the learning outcomes demanded in part 3 of the course. They are expected to refer to at least two of the texts they have studied in class, analyzing the works in the light of the way in which the contexts of production and reception affect their meaning. The following examples pinpoint some areas of discussion that students need to consider in their classwork while preparing for the assessment.
    • Which social groups are omitted from a text, and what might this reflect about its production?
    • What do you think of the assertion that the meaning of a text is fixed and does not change over time?
    • How does a particular term or concept, such as childhood, change in the way it is represented in the texts you have studied?
    • How is our critical perspective on literary texts affected by cultural practices?
    • To what purpose do authors sometimes choose not to follow a chronological sequence of events in their literary works?
    • How valid is the assertion that literature is a voice for the oppressed?
    • To what extent is the critical approach taken to the analysis of a text itself influenced by specific cultural practices?
  • These ideas may be used interchangeably with those given at SL.The maximum mark for paper 2 is 25.


SL Paper 2

SL Paper 2: Essay, first examinations 2015

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Weighting: 25%

  • Paper 2 consists of six questions based on the literary texts studied in part 3 of the language A: language and literature course. Students are required to answer one question only.
  • The format of paper 2 and the six questions are the same for both SL and HL students. However, there are specific assessment criteria for each level, reflecting different expectations in terms of the complexity and depth of the students’ responses.
  • Students will be expected to respond to questions in a way that shows their understanding of the learning outcomes demanded in part 3 of the course. They are expected to refer to both of the texts they have studied in class, analysing the works in the light of the way in which the contexts of production and reception affect their meaning. The following examples pinpoint some areas of discussion that students need to consider in their classwork while preparing for the assessment.
    • How can we explain the continued interest in a particular work in different contexts and at different times?
    • What do you think of the assertion that the meaning of a text is fixed and does not change over time?
    • If beauty is a relative term, how do one or more of the works you have studied explore this idea?
    • How valid is the assertion that literature is a voice for the oppressed?
    • To what extent do male and female literary characters accurately reflect the role of men and women in society?
    • To what purpose do authors sometimes choose not to follow a chronological sequence of events in their literary works?
    • Do works of literary merit both reflect the spirit of the time and challenge it?
  • These ideas may be used interchangeably with those given at HL. The maximum mark for paper 2 is 25.


Excerpt from the Language A: Language and Literature subject guide, first examinations 2015

Sample Paper Two Prompts

Sample Paper Two Prompts (Click on link)

HL Paper Two Rubric (Click on link)