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Friday, March 9, 2012

A level-7 essay for ib english exam paper 1 - commentary.


Very helpful. Thank you :).

woow realy nice

hmmm....i think you're being kind of arrogant setting this up as the perfect commentary. for the most part your language is clumsy, you state the obvious and narrate rather than interpret. also, too much moralizing and flaunting of your personal opinion. you have hardly any ideas and have not grouped them together - very incoherent on the whole. I'd say this was a level five. If your teacher actually marked this as a seven, your school's obviously not a very 'quality' place.

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous. Of course, we all know that the humanities are always very subjective. This essay was written for me after graduation by a student who got level 7 in IB English, and since IB papers are graded by IB examiners, not the school, we will have to assume that the writing is worthy of a level 7. Hopefully these posts have helped some IB students improve their literary analysis and writing skills. But since the course has changed, I'll be taking these IB posts down soon anyway.

I have my Engligh HL P1 exam tomorrow and I just read this essay and found it very helpful. I think that everyone has a different writing style, mine is certainly very different to this, but it is still very helpful to see the different ways in which you can approach an analytical commentary. Yes the course has changed, but I still found this very helpful! Thank you very much and congratulations to Nerdvark for getting a 7 in English, I know that is very hard!!

Super helpful! Thanks loads and wow that's brilliantly written!!

There is either a typo or a misspelling where he talks about " "Fulfilling themselves" shows no evidence of animals needing to please a superior power. The Earth itself is thier reward their reward to walk" ". Thier.

Fixed - thank you!

Hello! I'm just starting my commentary and I'd just like to ask.. Are we not allowed to voice some connections? For example, would this be considered imposing my own opinion?: Through the repetition of the words “one man”, (lines 153, 155, and 157) Cassius emphasizes the incapability of Caesar to rule over Rome alone. [Due to Rome being a powerful empire, it would be unsuitable for one man to control the land without the counsel of others] The sentence in the square brackets, is that imposing my opinion? Is that acceptable to writei n a commentary? Ty and please answer as soon as possibleif you could... it's due in 2 days and I'm hoping I'd get some professional help! :) Thank you!

Hello, Anon. That's certainly a good way to analyze the writing. It would be improved by giving the effect on the reader, by the addition of a sentence: "This use of repetition shows the reader that Cassius is adamantly against Caesar, and encourages the reader to feel the same way." For more on this, see my post on PEEing (31 Jan, 2013) Giving your personal response would be more about how effective the writing was on you, such as "I found the repetition to be very persuasive. The more times I read the words 'one man,' the more I agreed that Caesar would not be able to rule such a vast empire." Thanks for reading! Good luck in your studies. -the Nerdvark (Nardvark's hidden nerd)

I have trouble completing my commentaries in the time given for the English IB examination. Can this commentary be written in 1.5 hours?

This was a Higher Level commentary, written in two hours, but keep in mind that practice makes perfect! Make sure you use The Writing Process - pace yourself and give yourself some time to PREWRITE (read and make notes on the extract), PLAN (memorize the five-paragraph essay plan so you can just plug your ideas into it), DRAFT (write the essay), REVISE (re-read your essay and add anything you can think of to improve it) and EDIT (re-read it again, checking for errors.) For more on this, check my posts on The Five Paragraph Essay Format (2 October, 2012) and Writing a Five Paragraph Essay (19 October, 2012). Thanks for your comment!

This is a pretty good analysis of the poem. However, the language and the sentence structure, I partially agree with one of the comments, is quite clumsy and lacks a formal structure. Considering the strict markings of the IB literature papers, I consider him to be quite lucky to be getting a 7. Though I appreciate his effort in demonstrating an effective method to tackle paper 1 commentary. Overall, it's a very good presentation of what is expected to be said and analyzed about a literary work.

just finished my paper 1. I read this 20 minutes before the exams, and it was really helpful. :)

Hi, I like the way you have analyzed the poem and would like your inputs on my own writing. I have done an analysis on "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen which is an interesting poem but I can't seem to substantiate any concrete ideas. Pls help me out with the ideas along with the structure.

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Fisher Library Homepage

IB Language and Literature: IB Language and Literature General Resources & Information

Language and Literature

literary analysis essay example ib

2021 Scope & Sequencing

IB Excellent Extended Essays

literary analysis essay example ib

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literary analysis essay example ib

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literary analysis essay example ib

Bloom's Literary Reference Online Database

literary analysis essay example ib

New York Review of Books - Read it in the Fisher Library

The New York Review of Books is published 20 times each year. It contains, not surprisingly, reviews of books, plus poetry, essays and literary articles. The two most recent editions are displayed in the Fisher Library. Older copies are kept in the vault.(Please ask if you wish to see them)  Many articles also appear online.


Intro to Analysis for IB English


LitLearn Voted #1 IB English Resource for 2022

literary analysis essay example ib

To get a 7 in IB English Literature or IB English Language and Literature, you must understand not just how to analyse, but how to analyse properly and correctly . It’s so easy to be confused by all the contradictory advice, but it’s not as hard or as confusing as it seems!

In this introductory guide, I explain the easiest, five-step approach to writing strong IB English analysis. In this guide, I go into the intuition behind analysis and the five simple steps that you can take to transform your analysis from an IB grade of 4 to 7. No more headaches. No more confusion. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get into it!

What exactly is analysis?

Analysis is the act of explaining how and why a writer uses specific language choices .

This is the fundamental task of IB English. If you understand this statement, then you will understand the whole of IB English. Let’s break it down.

“specific language choices” :   We are intensely interested in the specific wording, literary techniques, punctuation, and grammar used by the writer of a given text. All of these aspects fall under language, so we must analyse all of them.

“explaining” : Always seek to explain these language choices rather than just stating the fact. Always go deeper. For example, don’t just say that “The writer uses technique X” and move on. You must go further in analysis, by addressing the two key questions:

“how” : Is it being used to construct an idea or create an emotional effect, or both at the same time? Is the technique being contrasted or combined with another technique to enhance its effectiveness? How a writer chooses to manipulate and utilise a technique is a unique to every text. There are infinite ways in which a technique can be used, but your job is to just consider and explain a particular usage by a particular writer of a particular text.

“why”:  Why did the writer choose to use this specific word (or technique) instead of all the thousands of other capable options in the English language? Why this particular word? What makes this technique so special and important that the writer couldn’t help but use it?

Steps of analysis in a diagram

Teachers never teach English with diagrams, but they’re actually extremely useful in understanding how analysis works.

Here is a diagram to summarise what your understanding of analysis should look like at this very moment . Forget what you’ve learned before reading this guide, because everything that I’m teaching you now is the proven blueprint for IB English analysis. I used it to score high marks in IB English Literature, including a 20/20 in Paper 1.

How to analyse IB English

The next step in this guide is to show you how to address these key questions of “how” and the “why”  in your analytical writing. But first, let me introduce the five step formula that I know you’ve been waiting for.

Want to improve in IB English FAST like Hillary? 🤩

literary analysis essay example ib

Hillary joined Analysis Simplified (get started for FREE!) after staying stuck on a 5 for IB English for so long. Within 2 days of following the 7-Day Analysis Simplified roadmap , she JUMPED to an IB6 (1 mark off a 7!). Hillary is now on a predicted IB7… which is unheard of in her English class. Jackson made a TikTok explaining EXACTLY how she  used the course to improve so quickly.

@jacks0nhuang #hscenglish #vceenglish #ibenglish ♬ original sound – Jackson Huang

The Five Step Formula to IB English literary analysis

So you have a quote that you want to analyse. An example might be:

The wind danced to the music of the autumn birds as it wound its way through every branch, every tree, and every leaf in the quiet forest.

Locked Intro to Analysis Content

To learn the rest, get started with LitLearn’s Analysis Simplified course for FREE!

Jackson Huang

Jackson Huang


Skyrocket Your IB English Grade

Join thousands of ib english students inside litlearn..

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Updated 23 February 2023

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literary analysis essay example ib

literary analysis essay example ib

Sample HL Essay

literary analysis essay example ib

Sample HL Essay with teacher's comments


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  1. Literary Analysis Sample Paper

    Throughout this sample literary analysis, footnotes are used to highlight the key components of a literary analysis paper, including: • a strong thesis

  2. A Level-7 Essay for IB English Exam Paper 1

    Second, Interpretation - Nerdvark then goes into a detailed analysis of the poem, being sure to mention many Literary Features and their Effects

  3. IB Cheat Sheet IB Language and Literature: Paper 1 Textual Analysis

    IB Language and Literature: Paper 1 Textual Analysis ... What running themes or ideas are relevant to the text? ... A Basic Essay Structure - Paper 1.


    In this section you present the paragraphs (at least 3 paragraphs for a 500-750 word essay) that support your thesis statement. Good literary analysis essays

  5. IB English Analysis EXAMPLE

    Get a 7 in IB English: Huang teaches the basics of IB English analysis through a practical example of a

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    The Five Step Formula to IB English literary analysis. So you have a quote that you want to analyse. An example might be: The wind danced to the

  9. Language & Literature: HL Essay: Exemplar 3 (George Monbiot)

    In line with the IB Learner Profile, "Act with integrity and honesty". If you are a student and wish to access these resources, ask your school to subscribe.

  10. Literary Analysis for

    English Literature for the IB Diploma ... Literary analysis for English Literature for the IB ... analysis, and to support your thesis or line of argument