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Literary and Non-Literary Text Pairings for the IO Proposal

Not sure how to pick texts for your IO?

Choosing texts for your IO is a bit daunting, especially when you are under pressure. So, it is important to know where to start! Some students like to pick their global issue first, and then consider which works or texts on the syllabus (or outside of it) will reflect on the chosen issue.

Others will pick one of the texts first (either literary or non literary), especially if a text is extremely comfortable to work with, and then try to fix their global issue depending on the themes being explored in the text. Both the methods work fairly enough!

Technically, you can choose any of the literary works you have gone through in school, and also any of the non-literary bodies of work you have studied in class. However, the works you choose might depend on the timing of your IO, because you cannot re-use works for your assessments.

This means that once you use a text for your IO, you cannot use it again for Paper 2 or the HL Essay. This is not a huge obstacle, especially if you are an SL student for the subject, but do think ahead while picking your texts.

This article will give you a list of 5 Literary, as well as 5 Non-Literary Texts that you can use for your text pairing.

Photo by Jason Wong / Unsplash

Choosing the Literary Text

When you are choosing a novel, a play or a poem as your literary text, you need to make sure that the extracts you pick are reflecting the global issue. The extracts should be containing enough literary features for you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the author's choices.

If it is a novel, for example, you will only be picking a 40-line extract from the whole book. Choose the extract carefully so you know you will be able to expand from the extract you choose and move into discussing the broader text as a whole.

If you are picking a poem, make sure to pick a poem that is very reflective of the poet's style of writing. This way, you can easily expand onto the collection from which the poem was taken from, and be able to discuss the relevant aspects of the broader body of work.

Key tip:

Keep track of the passages that you study in class, in your learner portfolio. This means you can narrow down the larger literary works into single extracts that you can use for the IO.

In some cases, the school will not be allowing you to pick any of the literary texts that you have studied. Your teacher may ask you to pick a literary work of your choice, and this can be bit tricky since you need to pair the text with other works for the global issue.

Here are a list of literary texts you can use for your IO, and if you have any doubts on how to pair them effectively and speak about them, let us know with a quick message and we can clear your doubts for you with a quick session. Press the button on the bottom-right corner of your screen and type in your query.

And here goes the list:

1) The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Written in Berlin during the 1980s, the story is great for students who are speaking about issues within the following Fields of Inquiry:

  • Politics, Power and Justice,
  • Culture, Identity or Community, or
  • Art, Creativity and the Imagination

2) Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Written in the heat of the Cold War, this story is great for students who are speaking about issues within the following Fields of Inquiry:

  • Beliefs, Values and Education,
  • Politics, Power and Justice, or
  • Science, Technology and the Environment.

3) Chronicles of a Death Foretold

Based on a true story, in the form of a pseudo-journalistic reconstruction, this story is great for students who are speaking about issues within the following Fields of Inquiry:

  • Culture, Identity and Community, or
  • Politics, Power and Justice.

4) A Dolls House and Other Plays by Henrik Ibsen

A three-act play set in a historical context, this story is great for students who are speaking about issues within the following Fields of Inquiry:

  • Culture, Identity and Community.

5) The World's Wife: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy

A collection of poems published in 2000 to highlight the predominant notions of gender roles within society, this work is great for students who are speaking about issies within the following Fields of Inquiry:

  • Culture, Identity and Community.

We went out to get to know this amazing city, full of amazing artworks. Penang’s walls are full of surprises. This photo makes me want to come back.
Photo by Anelale Nájera / Unsplash

Choosing the Non-Literary Text

Picking your Non-Literary text and body of relevant works, usually happens after you pick your Literary text and global issue. This might be the usual method since there is a general notion, that finding non-literary is a relatively easy task - or so it is assumed.

Most often, if the literary text is taken from the set of prescribed texts, your teacher might ask you to find your own non-literary texts.

If you are unsure about good non-literary texts to pick for your IO, take a look at the artists below so you can start off with your text pairing! They are all used by IB teachers, and are good choices for you to pick for the IO.

1) Cartoons by Kevin Kallaugher

Kevin Kallaugher is a cartoonist for The Economist and the Baltimore Sun, and he is internationally acclaimed for his political cartoons. His cartoons shares his unique take on current events, politics and the economy.

He draws on themes like the uniqueness of our political system and the role of cartoons in freedom of speech. He utilizes his perspective to speak of political issues with humour as well as precision art.

Global Issues and Field of Inquiry - Politics, Power and Justice

2) Cartoons by Clay Butler

Clay Butler is the cartoonist who created Sidewalk Bubblegum, a political comic strip which ran from 1993 to 2001 in a variety of publications, especially the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

His political cartoons speak of issues that include human rights, war, police violence, racism, sexism, capitalism, workers’ rights, the environment and consumerism.

Global Issues and Field of Inquiry: Politics, Power and Justice

3) Cartoons by Patrick Chapatte

Patrick Chappatte is an editorial cartoonist for The International New York Times, which has published his work since 2001. His editorial cartoons view the tragic, the farcical and the absurd with the usage of humour.

He has worked in graphic and comic journalism, a genre of reporting using the techniques of graphic novels. Recently, he has collaborated with editorial cartoonists in conflict-ridden countries with the goal of promoting dialogue through cartooning.

Global Issues and Field of Inquiry:

  • Politics, Power and Justice, or
  • Culture, Identity and Community

4) Visual texts by Ann Telnaes

Ann Telnaes uses various mediums - such as animation, visual essays, live sketches and traditional print - for her editorial cartoons, and she creates them primarily for her column in The Washington Post.

Her cartoons encourage and provoke insightful discussions about social and political change. She also contributes her humorous drawings to a Comic Strip titled Six Chics, which she produces collaboratively with five other women cartoonists.

This strip is interesting for you guys to work with, since it highlights the perspectives of the contemporary woman in her everyday happenings. The other five cartoonists also create interesting contributions, if you will like to explore them.

Telnaes seems to particularly use the theme of fairy tales because “they are inherently sexist.” She usually turn them into contemporary parodies to highlight situations women observe in the workplace, at home, in relationships, and as consumers.

Global issues and Fields of Inquiry:

  • Culture, Identity and Community
  • Beliefs, Values and Education

5) Visual texts by Margaret Sartor

Margaret Sartor is a writer and photographer. Throughout her career, Sartor has examined the power of stories to explore and illuminate questions of personal identity and belonging.

Her visual texts focus on human behaviour, and delves into a variety of themes with a keen eye for observation. She uses her texts to communicate about numerous social issues, especially about women, family and creativity.

Global Issues and Field of Inquiry:

  • Culture, Identity and Community
  • Art, Creativity and the Imagination

What next?

Now is the time for you to connect the global issue to the texts you have chosen, and create your IO Outline with clear and concise bullet points.

If you are feeling stuck with this particular assessment, and you are not sure about how you can create an outline or speak about the texts you want to chose, you can press the bottom right button or click here to get clarity on your chosen texts and your global issue.

It is known that the IB can be a very challenging curriculum and sometimes you may require the help of an expert tutor or a mentor, to help you score the best grade possible. Vidyalai provides live, one-to-one classes from the comfort of your home, with handpicked IB teachers. Click here to get in touch with us, and find yourself fully prepapred before you enter your examination.

Literary and Non-Literary Text Pairings for the IO Proposal
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