HL Essay

HL Essay

HL External Assessments, first examination 2021, SL does NOT do this essay, only HL.

Students submit an essay on one non-literary text or a collection of non-literary texts by the same author, or a literary text or work studied during the course. The essay must be 1,200 - 1,500 words in length. (20 marks) 20%

  • The HL essay offers students an opportunity to develop as independent, critical and creative readers, thinkers and writers by exploring a literary or language topic over an extended period of time, refining their ideas by means of a process of planning, drafting and re-drafting. The essay requires students to construct a focused, analytical argument examining the work from a broad literary or linguistic perspective. It also requires them to adhere to the formal framework of an academic essay, using citations and references.

Producing the HL Essay: IB External Assessment (April-May Junior Year)

Outlining Your Ideas

Seeing Exemplars by Score

HL Exemplars by Score (Meridian Students Only Have Access)


Self or Peer Review of HL Essay

Research: Find a couple of articles in addition to your primary texts to help you support your analysis.

Ms. Van Winkle offered some helpful tips on researching for your HL essay.

Researching about Film: Check out these sources

  • Google Scholar (proceed with care - you will find wonderful articles, but the paywalls will break your heart; Ms. Van Winkle may be able to find articles though, so check with her)

Using these database supports will:

  • Reduce useless search results

  • Get you to better information, faster

  • Hone your scholarly sleuthing skills

Need a refresher on search techniques like Boolean operators, truncation/wildcards, etc.? Watch research tutorial videos here.

UT Austin has an interactive tool to help you generate search terms.

Did you know that Gale databases allow you to:

  • Highlight and annotate the text of an article

  • Export the full text of the article to Google Drive - OR export just your notes and highlights

Any articles you send to your Google Drive during the same browser session will automatically go into a single folder - keep all your research together without even thinking about it!