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The IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) is a dual year educational programme pursued in 140 countries around the world and is recognized by many universities worldwide. The programme provides a chance for 16-to-19-year-olds to get an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education. The IBDP Paper 1 exam is one of the most difficult papers for IBDP students.

About Textual Analysis

Textual analysis is the method used generally to describe and interpret the characteristics of a recorded or visual message. The textual analysis reveals the content type, structure, and functions of the messages inside the texts. For IBDP Paper 1, IB evaluates the ability of the candidate to analyse a visual text and write an essay based on their findings. Textual analysis for IBDP can come from a plethora variety of contents like magazines, editorials, speeches, interview scripts, instruction manuals, blog articles, campaigns. for both IB English Literature SL and HL & IB English Language and Literature SL and HL. For IB English Literature SL and HL, two unseen texts are given which are between 1 and 2 pages in length. One text is usually a poem, while another text is usually a prose extract from a unique or a brief story.

Textual Analysis for IBDP Paper 1 boils down to 3 separate parts and they are:

1. An introduction containing a thesis & an outline of your points

2. A body comprising your points

3. A conclusion/inference that wraps up the essay

4. SL only: Guiding questions

Selecting the thesis

The thesis/ subject statement is a single sentence in the introduction stating the overall purpose of the writer. This becomes your main argument to prove in your write up. The examiner usually judges the strength of your analytical skills just by seeing your subject statement alone, so it must be well-written

Steps to Write a Textual Analysis

Point 1

Figure out the genre of the text by looking at it minutely. Determine the text category whether it is a blog post, a newspaper editorial, a donation website, an iTunes page or else. Identify the specific language choices if any.

Point 2

Concentrate on the structure after you’ve established the type of text. To analyse the structure of textual analysis, you notice the structure even before you first look at the text.

Colour Psychology: The elements requiring focus in this section are the text’s colour scheme contrast, what impact does the reader have or if it is drawing the reader’s attention?

Logo(s): Look for the logos that illustrate the structure. They may relate to a segment of business or social media website.

Headings: Note the order of the headings and subheadings whether the fonts are bold, italicised, or underlined. A bold heading immediately draws the reader’s attention to the text below it.

Images and Hyperlinks: Most online contents have hyperlinks to demonstrate the authenticity of their work. Hence when you see a picture, comment on it and explain the reason for placing it.

Point 3

The last and final step is to focus on the writer’s content in this section. Try to search for literary devices, persuasive techniques, testimonies, examples and true events throughout the text. Literary devices such as metaphor, hyperbole, simile, analogy, foreshadowing etc which when used identify those for analysing. Persuasive appeals with Logos persuade an audience with reason, using facts and figures. Ethos convinces the audience with the credibility of the persuader (maybe a notable figure or celebrity). Pathos enhances the emotional response to an impassioned plea or an insisting story thereby convincing the audience of an argument.

Essay as a part of Textual Analysis

A thorough breakdown of the given text you will need to write. First, you analyse the structure, make inferences, and interpret the content and then present your findings in the form of an essay. You can organise your essay by:

• ideas/themes

• techniques

• section

• the ‘Big 5’


So that’s how you are to complete your textual analysis for IB paper 1. An understanding of how IB English Literature analysis works become vital to crack the IB English Papers. By learning and applying the 3-step approach for textual analysis has helped many IB English students to bag high marks in their IB English exams.

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