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How to Analyse a Feature Article? (IBDP Paper 1)

Paper 1 in English appears challenging and nerve-wracking for students. It is without a doubt one of the most difficult papers for IBDP students. You have no idea what the questions are being asked. That is, after all, the challenge of this paper. The IB evaluates your ability to analyse a guided textual analysis and to write a commentary based on your findings.

What is a commentary?

It's a thorough breakdown of the visual text. The students must make inferences, analyse the picture, and interpret it. They should present their findings in the form of an essay.

What are the types of questions in Paper 1?

For IB English Literature SL and HL, Text A is always a poem and Text B is always a prose excerpt from a novel or short story.

For IB English Language and Literature SL, Text A and Text B can come from a broad variety of sources, including magazines, editorials, speeches, interview scripts, instruction manuals, cartoon strips, and more.

How to analyse a feature article?

The following objectives must be commented on while analysing a feature article. And they follow this order.

1. Context(s)
Identify text is intended for online or print interest for people in that subject matter.
Feature article is a result of lengthy research and editing. So all the information provided will be well investigated.

2. Purpose(s)
The writer’s intent can be to inform the people about a person, place or phenomena.

3. Stylistic Device(s)

  • The heading and subheading should be catchy, this can attract the attention and curiosity of the reader.
  • In most of the cases there will be an image in the feature article. Comment on the image and the caption below the image usually it will be related to the topic or context.
  • Notice the writer’s use of language and how he’s trying to convey his point through methods such as: sympathy, tone, emotive language etc.
  • An introduction should hook or lead the reader. Lede can be used here, it is the opening sentence or paragraph, summarizing the most important aspects of the story.
  • A body tells the story through combining facts, background research, personal discoveries, interviews etc. It is the main part of the article.
  • A conclusion should leave an impression on the reader, by showing some enlargement of understanding that the writer has discovered through the investigation.
  • You should comment on the figurative language, elements of narrative, imagery, direct and indirect speech if any.

Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and the more you practise writing and perfecting your essay, the better it will become. After you've completed the first analysis, go through it again and again until it's perfect. Then articulate the same in a coherent and effective way. Paper 1 requires more effort, it’s natural that you practice with more past papers.

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How to Analyse a Feature Article? (IBDP Paper 1)
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