Unit 7 - Higher Level Essay -

Goals today : 23rd Nov 
Silent reading in The Nickel Boys =>28th Nov end chpt 8 pg 94
SL students = Woots listening practice 
HL students =introduction to the HL essay
HL students = you will understand the requirements of the HL essay 
You start to consider your lines of inquiry
You share your ideas and get and give feedback 

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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 4,5

This lesson contains 32 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 50 min

Items in this lesson

Goals today : 23rd Nov 
Silent reading in The Nickel Boys =>28th Nov end chpt 8 pg 94
SL students = Woots listening practice 
HL students =introduction to the HL essay
HL students = you will understand the requirements of the HL essay 
You start to consider your lines of inquiry
You share your ideas and get and give feedback 

Slide 1 - Slide

Slide 2 - Link

Central question
What is a Higher Level (HL) essay and what is a good line of inquiry?

Slide 3 - Slide

Coming up .. 
Over the course of the next weeks, you are going to write an HL essay (draft due in on 3rd Feb) 
The topic of the essay is yours to choose but must connect to the course. 

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What is an HL Essay? [1/2]
The Higher Level Essay is a 1200-1500 word essay completed internally but externally assessed by an examiner. It is a processed piece of writing that is completed over time and with guidance from the teacher. It is the only opportunity for Higher Level students to write an essay that is not under exam conditions, and as the title suggests, this is for HL students only.

Students may write about non-literary texts (BOW) studied as part of their course. Alternatively, students may write about a literary work studied as part of their course. Students may select any texts or works already studied as part of the course, but texts and works used for the internal assessment (individual oral) are not acceptable choices. The IB is clear here. That’s not allowed. Also, students may not use texts intended for Paper 2.

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What is an HL Essay? [2/2]
Where students decide to focus on non-literary texts and consult a number of texts, it is important that these texts are of the same text type, and that the texts are the work of one writer or producer. Also, at least one of the texts must have been studied in class as part of the course. Students may base their essay on texts or works in translation. These should be professional translations. Texts and works in other languages that have not been translated are inappropriate. 

You may choose to use the course concepts to help students narrow down their topic, title, line of inquiry, and thesis. However, the HLE must be the student’s own work and thinking. They cannot be prescribed topics or titles.  

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HL Essay in short
  • The HLE is a 1200-1500 word formal, academic essay.
  • The HLE is a researched essay and will take time to develop.
  • The HLE is based on work(s) or text(s) studied in the course.
  • Students select their own topic, title, line of inquiry and thesis although the teacher will guide and give support. However, there is only one feedback moment on the (draft) essay. 
  • Students cannot base their essay on any work or text that was used for the Individual Oral or that will be used for Paper 2.
  • It is not a requirement to use or consult secondary sources.

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Grade boundaries 
Grade boundaries transform the number of marks into grades on a scale of 1-7. To determine the final grade, marks are scaled to percentages. 4 is considered passing. The HL Essay counts toward 20% of the final grade. (paper 1 = 35% , paper 2 = 25%, IO = 20%)  There are 20 marks available. The following grade boundaries are not official IB grade boundaries; however, they give an indication of what the boundaries could look like next year. 

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Non-literary BOWs
Literary works 
Liza Donnelly social commentary cartoons
A Doll's House - Ibsen 
Lauren Greenfield photography - Generation Wealth 
The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald 
Michelle Obama speeches 
Woman at Point Zero - El Saadawi  
Banksy - street art 
Bob Dylan selected lyrics 
Persepolis - Satrapi 
The Nickel Boys - Whitehead 

Slide 10 - Slide

Slide 11 - Link

Slide 12 - Video

Questions to ask 
1. What is a text that you love?
2. What are some main ideas that resonate with you? 
3. Which of these topics do you want to work with? 
4. What moments in the text portray one of these main ideas? 
Which moment do you really want to work with? 
What key authorial choices do you see at this moment? 

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Line of inquiry
You can read five good lines of inquiry on page 301 ex 7.1
Write down what makes these lines of inquiry good. 

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7.1 What are some of the characteristics of a good line of inquiry?

Slide 15 - Open question

A good line of inquiry should:

  • Preferably revolve around any of the seven concepts: Identity, culture, creativity, communication, transformation, perspective, representation.
  • Study language use
  • Study literary techniques or relevant stylistic devices
  • Consider audience
  • Consider purpose
  • Be based on work studied in class (primary source), although not limited to the texts studied in class. Other texts and producers are allowed and even encouraged to inform the argument. 

Slide 16 - Slide

7.2 Pick one line of enquiry and improve it using the list in the previous slide. Write it down below:

Slide 17 - Open question

Concepts: Good lines of inquiry explore one or more of the seven concepts: identity, culture, creativity, communication, perspective, transformation and representation.
Topic: Criteria A and B assess you on your ability to explore a 'topic'. A topic may be an issue, theme, real-life situation or... topic. What the essay is about should be clear from your line of inquiry.
Purpose: What is the author's purpose? A good line of inquiry focuses on why the writer writes. For this reason, you must include the author's name.
Language: A good line of inquiry may include verbs such as 'represent', 'construct' or 'use' which focus on the author's choices.
Primary source: Remember that an analysis of a primary source and an evaluation of the author's effectiveness is central to the essay. Don't forget to mention the name of the work or body of work. The essay must explore the whole work or body of work, and not a single cartoon or photograph. 

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Tip on page 302
Read the tip. This is important to bear in mind. Read the components and points for a good line of inquiry. Complete 7.2 and post your line of inquiry on the padlet board. 

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Timeline HL essay 
Hand in your line of inquiry on 8th December in class. 
Draft ( as complete as possible) on 3rd February 
Feedback given by 13th February 
Week starting 20th February upload to the IB website 

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Next week
You are going to consider topics for your own essay. 
You might already think back on what interested you in English class in the past few months or last year. 
You can use your class notes and your portfolio to do so. 

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You now know
That the HL essay is a 1200-1500 word essay based on a line of inquiry related to the course content. 
You are free to choose your topic, as long as it is related to the course and is sufficient for a full essay. 

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HL Essay tips 
1. Look back at your learner portfolio. What literary work(s) and non-literary text(s) jump out? What interests you? Alternatively, look at the 7 concepts of the course. What do you find interesting or worth exploring in greater depth?
2. Narrow your ideas down into a possible topic, title or question you want to answer. Talk with your teacher, with your peers, with anyone who will listen. Clarify your ideas and arguments through discussion.

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HL Essay tips 
3. Once you have decided on a line of inquiry, draw a spider diagram for it. Branch out from each aspect of your thinking and answer all parts of it in relation to the text or work you are focusing on. Share your thinking with others to clarify your ideas even more.

4. Write a thesis statement which will come at the end of the first paragraph. In your thesis statement, provide a focus for your essay. What are you arguing and why?

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HL Essay tips 
5. Quote hunt. Find quotations from the primary source that help you explore your line of inquiry. Rewrite them on pieces of paper. Look for similarities between the quotations and start to cluster them. What is the guiding idea behind each cluster of quotations? Could this ‘guiding idea’ become a ‘topic sentence’? How might these tie in to the thesis statement?
6. Write an outline to your essay using your spider diagram, thesis statement, quotations and more. Make sure you stick between the 1200-1500 word limit

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HL Essay tips 
7. Assess several samples using the assessment criteria. Review the expectations and what quality looks like.

8. After you have written the first draft of the essay, think about how you can revise, edit, and proofread (and not just the night before!). 

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Exercise 7.4
Read the question. In your exercise book or in your class notebook, explore what you already know about your topic, and what you want to find out. 
It is tempting to only think of this without writing it down. However, this is a big essay that takes a long time to write. If you write everything down you are able to go back to this table later on when you need inspiration or when you need to build on previous ideas. Also, writing things down allows you to make connections to what you wrote down seconds before. Therefore, your brainstorming becomes more efficient.

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Ex 7.5 
Read the question. In an exercise book or in class notebook, explore your sources by answering the questions from assignment 7.5.

Again, write this down. You need this information later on when you start writing your essay. 

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Research skills
Research skills are much more encompassing than typing in Google and clicking on the first hit you find. You need to manage a legion of other skills to be able to do proper research. Besides searching, you must also be able to monitor information streams, do some critical reading and manage your sources. 

Look at the word web on page 304 to see what skills you will need to do proper research.

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7.6 read the sample essay
Write on the padlet board three things that this essay does well and which you can learn from. 

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Slide 31 - Video

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