ISM Language and Literature
Literature Written Task-Major Assessment
This task is potentially one that could be sent to the IB to be externally moderated. There are
plenty of important elements to understand to succeed, but it is crucial to know that the
choices you make to show your knowledge and understanding will have a big impact on your
grade. You are given a great deal of scope to decide how and what to write. Your rationale will
explain these decisions and why they demonstrate understanding of the learning outcomes.
You are to write a written task (800-1000 words) based on a work of literature we studied and
provide a rationale (200-300 words). You should also include a cover page with your name, the
date, the title of the piece, the text type and the word count for the text type.
1. You first need to decide which literary text your written task will be based on. Keep
in mind that if you chose to focus on 1984 in a previous written task (even if it was
for mass communication and news and media) you may not focus on 1984 for this
2. Next you need to identify the following – target audience, theme, purpose and the
text type (again, you cannot choose a text type you have already used on a previous
3. Determine what specific kinds of appeals (logos, pathos, ethos) should be used and
how they will achieve your purposes for the written task.
4. Think about the response/reaction you expect from your target audience as a result
of your written task and how you need to use language to bring about the desired
reaction or response.
5. Your 800-1000 words will either use the literary techniques and language style of the
literary work it is based on, or it will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of
those techniques, so you should identify these literary techniques and devices ahead
of time and set out to imitate or explicate them.
6. Your 200-300 word rationale will explain how your written task fits with the
audience, context, purpose, genre (text type), and literary text on which it is based.
It will also specifically link your written task to the relevant learning outcomes of the
language and literature course (listed at the end of this document).
Suggested Approaches to the Written Task
An additional episode/scene that takes place before the beginning of a novel/play and
provides context for the opening sequence.
An additional episode/scene that takes place after the end of a novel/play and provides
some further sense of outcomes for the characters.
Additional scene episode to be added within a novel or play.
A letter from one fictional character to another which reveals a change in the
relationship between the two characters.
Diary of a character.
Parody of the original text.
Some text type which would exist in the reality of the play, novel, story, and that is a
reflection of the themes and reality of the text.
A series of poems in imitation and faithful to themes, symbols, forms, structure of the
Using off-stage action or implied action as the basis for additional scenes and episodes.
Rewriting some portion of a play or novel, but altered so as to be faithful to the
perspective of one character.
Other ideas as long as you get teacher approval.
Additional Text Types You Might Consider
Poetic communication involves simulating, inspiring, moving, shocking, entertaining or
capturing the imagination of the audience. It is often characterized by literary features such
as imagery, rhyme and narrative structure, and has a finer relationship between form and
meaning than many other types of communication. In this context, “poetic” should be
understood in its broadest sense and refers to literary features rather than the poetic genre.
autobiography biography cartoon
diary drama essay
novel novella parody
pastiche poetry short story
song lyric travel writing monologue
series of poems vignette
Mass communication (be sure you do not choose a type you have used for a written task
in you Mass communication unit).
Mass communication involves informing, persuading or entertaining the audience. It is
often meant to be quickly understood and may be characterized by brevity, precision or
stereotyped language. It is intended to appeal to a wide audience.
advertisement appeal brochure//leaflet
editorial interview journalistic review
letter to the editor magazine article manifesto
news report opinion column speech
Professional communication involves presenting, analyzing or conveying factual information
for a specific target audience. It is often characterized by formality of register, logic, detail
and specific terminology.
guide letter letter of application
police statement report set of instructions/guidelines
IB A Language and Literature Assessment Objectives
There are four assessment objectives at SL and at HL for the language A: language and
1. Knowledge and understanding
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of texts
- Demonstrate an understanding of the use of language, structure, technique and style
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various ways in which the reader constructs
meaning and of how context influences this constructed meaning
- Demonstrate an understanding of how different perspectives influence the reading of a
2. Application and analysis
- Demonstrate an ability to choose a text type appropriate to the purpose required
- Demonstrate an ability to use terminology relevant to the various text types studied
- Demonstrate an ability to analyze the effects of language, structure, technique and style
on the reader
- Demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which the production and reception of texts
contribute to their meanings
- Demonstrate an ability to substantiate and justify ideas with relevant examples
3. Synthesis and evaluation
- Demonstrate an ability to compare and contrast the formal elements, content and
context of texts
- Discuss the different ways in which language and image may be used in a range of texts
- Demonstrate an ability to evaluate conflicting viewpoints within and about a text
- At HL only: Produce a critical response evaluating some aspects of text, context and
4. Selection and use of appropriate presentation and language skills
- Demonstrate an ability to express ideas clearly and with fluency in both written and oral
- Demonstrate an ability to use the oral and written forms of the language, in a range of
styles, registers and situations
- Demonstrate an ability to discuss and analyze texts in a focused and logical manner
- At HL only: Demonstrate an ability to write a balanced, comparative analysis
The above assessment objectives are from page 9 of the IB Language A: language and
literature guide published February 2011