Students at both SL (25%) and HL (20%) must produce a philosophical analysis of a non-philosophical stimulus. Students should identify a philosophical issue raised by the stimulus and analyse it in a philosophical way.
Suitable stimuli for analysis include, but are not limited to:
- novels, plays, or poems
- song lyrics
- cartoons, paintings, photographs or other visual images
- films, television and radio programmes
- newspaper articles/letters
Students should select a non-philosophical stimulus. Short stimuli such as newspaper articles can be analysed in their entirety, but where novels or plays are used, no more than two pages should be selected for analysis. In the case of television or radio programmes, no more than two scenes should be selected for analysis.
The exercise is worth 25 marks and the word limit is 2,000 words, excluding bibliography or references. The word limit also does not include the copy/description of the stimulus, which must be included with the response.
When the source material is an image or contains 200 words or fewer, students must include a copy of this material with their response. When the source material contains more than 200 words or is, for example, a scene from a film, students must include a description of the stimulus with their response. Descriptions of stimuli must be no more than 200 words. All stimulus material must be accurately referenced.
(from the IB Philosophy Guide)