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Part 1....5

General Introduction5-8

Part 28

Selecting the Article.8-10

Appraising and Evaluating the Article11-12

Part 313

Writing the Commentary.13-52

Commentary 1.........................................................................14

Commentary 221

Commentary 327

Commentary 433

Commentary 538

Commentary 643

Commentary 748

Part 1

General introduction

For the new syllabus, for first examination in 2013, there have been several changes
although the overall rationale of the component remains the same.

The weighting of the IA component is now 20% for both HL and SL. The number of
commentaries for both HL and SL has been reduced from 4 to 3.

There is no longer a minimum word count only a maximum of 750 words, but this word count
does not include any data presented in tables, diagrams, headings or labels (up to 10 words
for headings and 5 words for labels), equations and calculations, references, citations and
acknowledgements and, as before, the cover sheet. Definitions and quotations must be
included in the main body of the commentary and are therefore included in the word count.
(Footnotes/endnotes are exclusively reserved for references)

Each article must reflect a different section of the syllabus although some overlap is

The article must be contemporary and relating to current events (must not be published
more than 1 year prior to use in the commentary) and each article must be from a different
source (preferably newspaper, journal or internet but not television or radio broadcasts). The
BBC, however, is accepted as a source.

Each commentary must be accompanied with a cover sheet that records: the title, source
and date that the article was written, the date that the commentary was written, the section
of the syllabus (microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics or development
economics) and the word count. A copy of the article also needs to be attached to the

The main focus of the commentary should be to provide a logical connection between the
content of the article and the economic theory appropriate to the section of the syllabus that
the article relates to. The student needs to provide economic interpretations of the content of
the article together with identification of the economic implications and ramifications of the
events that are discussed and presented in the article.
Each commentary is now marked separately according to five criteria, with a maximum total
of 14 marks. In addition, the completed portfolio is judged by a 6th criterion awarded up to 3

The overall marks for the portfolio thus reflect the IB diploma marking scheme with a
maximum of 45 marks being awarded.

The 14 marks for each individual commentary are awarded as follows:

Diagrams 3 marks

Terminology 2 marks

Application 2 marks

Analysis 3 marks

Evaluation 4 marks

The student should make sure that each of these criteria is given the necessary weight with
the greatest emphasis on evaluation. In order to ensure that the criteria can be addressed it
is paramount that the article selected is suitable for the application of all the criteria.

An article is only suitable if the student can identify at least 2, but preferably more, diagrams
that can be used to illustrate points mentioned or implied.

Diagrams must be clear and accurate and provide some insight or relevance to the
commentary. Diagrams are worthless if they are not clearly and fully explained. Each
diagram should be numbered, fully and clearly labeled, and given a title where appropriate.

Wherever possible, the student should try to identify economic concepts and provide clear
definitions using the terminology appropriate to the section of the syllabus.

As well as identifying concepts or theories with the correct terminology, it is necessary to

apply them effectively within the context of the article. Concepts and theories also have to be
analysed and explained at an appropriate level.