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Analysing short prose extracts – Useful tips for IB English Paper 1

Form: characterisation Language

We learn about character The central focus Choice of vocabulary?
through what s/he says and Formal or informal, everyday or
does, how s/he speaks, what What is the author’s specialist?
other characters say about purpose? What themes and Positive or pejorative connotations of
him/her, narrator’s/authorial key words?
comment. issues are explored? What
does s/he want the reader
Imagery – similes, metaphors,
to think, feel or know about personification, symbolism?
Form: use of settings
Can be places, times, seasons,
the themes and issues Aural impact – alliteration and
assonance, sounds of key words?
weathers, communities, or explored? What attitudes
cultures. Often used to contribute Sentence types – simple, compound,
to mood and reveal underlying
and values are conveyed? complex?
attitudes and values. Sentence functions – declarative,
Then, how are these ideas interrogative, exclamative,
conveyed through choices imperative?
of language, structure and
Form: narrative technique form?
What type of narrator?
Omniscient? 1st or 3rd person? Structure
Reliable or unreliable? Character
inside the action or detached? Dramatic structure – sequence of
Multiple narration? events building up to a powerful
Logical structure – sequence of ideas
connected by addition, result,
comparison, contrast, passage of time,
Form: events Form: genre enumeration, example, summary?
Consider significance of individual What kind of novel is the extract Problem-solution? Question-answer?
events and their relationship to taken from? How has the writer Cause-effect? Thesis-antithesis-
each other. How do the events used or adapted its conventions? synthesis? Method-result-conclusion?
selected help to reveal the theme? How does this shape your
interpretation of the themes?
Analysing short prose extracts – Useful tips for IB English Paper 1

Form: characterisation


The central focus

Form: use of settings

Form: narrative technique


Form: events Form: genre