Note: The following article is relevant only to students doing English A. An article about preparing for the English B IA will be available next month.

To begin work on the English IA, it involves you selecting one literary text – usually the one that you have completed reading and discussing in class – and a non-literary text – usually provided by your teacher in conjunction with reading the literary text. From here, you are to find a common global issue found in these two texts.

So what constitutes a global issue? The word ‘issue’ can be misleading as we frequently think of a problem, often in the form of a topic like poverty, global warming, gender inequality etc. However, global issues can also be positive and focus on the impact it has on our world.

The following are IB stipulations of the global issue:

The global issue must be: Fields of inquiry for guidance in crafting global issue:
  1. Transnational
  2. Significant on a large scale
  3. Impactful as a day-to-day issue in local contexts

It can be derived from any of the fields of inquiry in the next column.

  1. Culture, identity and community
  2. Beliefs, values and education
  3. Politics, power and justice
  4. Art, creativity and imagination
  5. Science, technology and the environment

The first thing to do is to find a common theme that is shared between your two texts. It can be subjugation of minority communities, loss of identity, stereotypical assumptions of women etc.

Then try and think of a causal relationship (cause-and-effect) that exists between the two works. It helps to use “how” or “the extent to which…” as a sentence starter.

Here are some examples:

  • The extent to which the historical subjugation of minority communities leads to long-standing repercussions on future generations.
  • How colonialism leads to a loss of identity on the persecuted.
  • The extent to which stereotypical assumptions of women can result in empowerment for the community.
  • How the selfishness of mankind has devastated the climate and led to irreparable damages.
  • How those in power hide behind a façade to create more chaos and unease in the world.

Next week, we will provide you with some tips on how to make a successful presentation.