Languages  : English

blueline

Useful Links

by marie on Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:51 pm

Here are some useful IB English Links:

Sparknotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/

Classicnotes: http://www.classicnotes.com/

Monkeynotes: http://www.monkeynotes.com/

Just What Is IB English All About? http://www2.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/king/home.html

How to Write a Bibliography http://www.yis.ac.jp/Library/bibliography.htm

IB English Oral Presentations http://www.courseworkbank.co.uk/IB__International_Baccalaureate_/English_Orals/

IB English Revision Notes http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/IB/English/

Mr. Rohol's English IV IB Homepage http://www.stormloader.com/users/brohol/ib3/rohol2.htm

Notes for 'The Seagull', 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich', 'The Great Gatsby', 'The Remains of the Day' http://www.angloeuropean.essex.sch.uk/e

Notes for 'Heart of Darkness', 'The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man', 'Death of a Salesman' and a bunch of quotes http://homepage.mac.com/stray/ib/english/

Notes on Revision-Notes.co.uk http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/IB/English/index.html

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by alia on Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:04 am

Woot! My next World Lit is going to be on "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"!! Thank you for the great link

alia 


by dina on Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:40 pm

oh, Thanks for your links.I think I know what to do now.

transfer dvd to iphone

download dvd to iphone software

dina 

blueline

Literary Term Quizzes

by alia on Sat Aug 21, 2004 4:52 pm

I spent a VERY long time making these quizzes, so please try them out. I hope they will help when revising. More quizzes are to come!

If you haven't signed up for the moodle already, a very simple procedure is required.

Good luck

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

Know Your Literary Terms!

by alia on Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:29 pm

My English teacher emphasized the importance of this many, many times. Knowing the correct literary terms will not only impress the examiner, but will also help you understand the texts better, and will give you more to write about.

I got the literary terms from the literary glossary that my teacher (Ms Halfpenny of Yokohama International School) made for us. This is available on the internet. It proved to be tremendously useful in the exam!

Link: http://www.yis.ac.jp/English/literary_glossary.htm

Before the exam I made flash cards with the literary terms. If you are a visual learner like me, here is a small tip: draw pictures next to words that you are unfamiliar with. For example, to help me remember the word 'georgic' (meaning a poem about farm life) I drew a cow . Also, don't forget the classic way of remembering words - mnemonics! Here is what my flash cards looked like:

cover

Cover

Flash 1

On the right, test word 'Georgic'; on the left, definition of previous word, 'didactic'.

Flash 2

Flick over the card: definition of 'Georgic' on left, next test word on right.

Later this month I intend to make a Moodle quiz of English literary terms, so be prepared!

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Levi on Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:27 am

I agree that using such terms definitely can and does impress examiners, but I have a few words of warning, and a somewhat different view regarding literary terminology.

Firstly, it is better to stick to the terms you know that to mis-use a more complicated term. Refer to 'repetition', rather than 'epanaphora', if you are unsure of all the connotations of epanaphora. Therefore make sure you do not go overboard — the dicussion of literary features, rather than the producing a list of different literary flourishes employed, is what is important.

Along these lines remember that although more complicated terms look good and can be fun to use, they are not essential. I know more literary terms than my mother (PhD in English Lit, and examiner of World Lits), yet she is clearly my superior when it comes to literary analysis. She simply has never bothered memorising terms such as parataxis, asyndeton, polysendeton, aretology etc.

Essential terms are [anyone feel free to suggest additions to this]: imagery, simile, metaphor, symbol, irony, alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme, metre, antithesis, connotation, monologue, dialogue, discourse, foreshadowing, tone, flashback, mood, oxymoron, paradox, personification.

Optional but very useful: dramatic irony, hamartia, synethysia, synecdoche, metonymy, alegory, epanaphora (aka anaphora), juxtaposition, apostrophe, caesura, enjambement, end-stopped, denouement, deus ex machina, double entender, euphemism, hyperbole, hubris, soliloquy, stichomythia, idyll, pathetic fallacy, rhetorical question, in medias res, malapropism, leitmotif (aka motif), onomatapoeia, topos (plural topoi), sibilance, trope, paraleipsis, chiasmus.

Almost completely useless (but lots of fun nonetheless): parataxis, polysyndeton, asyndeton, aretology, thaumaturgic, prosopopoeia (one might as well use the simpler term 'personification'), pericope.

Levi

Location: Cambridge

blueline

IB English Unseen Commentary Oral Advice

by marie on Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:41 pm

What students have to say:

Marie (English A1 HL):

Tips on practising

I started practising 3 weeks before the exam, and it seemed just about right. Any less probably wouldn't be enough and any more would make you stale. I got together with my friends and we drilled each other for about two hours at a time.

Tips on annotating

Always write your introduction on the top so you have a nice strong start. Writing down the conclusion is a good idea too.

Twenty minutes doesn't really give you much time to write notes in detail, so as soon as I got the passage I immediately underlined the places I knew I wanted to talk about. Practise annotating the passages as much as you can, and time yourself, because a lot depends on the passage. For example, if I were to get Jane Austen's 'Emma' (which I did end up getting) I knew I didn't have time to write detailed notes because there was so much text. So for that I knew I really had to rush and underline the points. But I knew that if I got a poem (by John Donne or Robert Frost) I'd have some extra time to write down more details.

Use coloured pens! Makes it so much easier to look at your passage.

Tips on the commentary itself

I commented on the passage line by line. In all of the passages that were given to us the author developed a theme or idea chronologically, so if you jumped around all over the place you'd lose major points. Especially because some of the likely poems were by John Donne, and his brilliance in technique lies in his presentation of logical arguments, line by line. You can score full marks using this method and it's easier for the brain (however some people do not agree with this method).

Use plenty of adjectives to make sure you score top marks for the personal response section. E.g. 'this perfectly chosen word', 'Austen's cunning technique' etc. It's also good to say how you felt about the passage now and then. For example if I had gotten Virginia Woolf I would have said something like 'being a female reader Woolf's words became all the more powerful'.

Don't worry about saying 'umm' and 'aaahh' occasionally, even the best students say it.

Use plenty of literary terms — juxtaposition, onomatopoeia, assonance, etc. Yes a duh, but it's a must!

If you get a poem it's nice to make an allusion to other poems by the same poet, though it's not necessary.

Even if you do miss out on some points, don't worry because the teacher will give you questions to help you address them.

I hope this helps!! Feel free to ask anything else! FYI, I had to study 'Othello' by Shakespeare, 'A Room of One's Own' by Virginia Woolf, works of John Donne and Robert Frost, and 'Emma' by Jane Austen.

Linda from Norway (English B HL):

I didn't go line by line (then again I was analysing a short story). I talked about the main themes, what the author was trying to say (message of the short story), existensialism (the author was a friend and student of Kirkegaard) and the language/grammar used. In Norway we have two official languages, nynorsk and bokmål, while the short story was written in riksmål which later developed to bokmål. However there are some major differences in grammar, because bokmål has been influenced by nynorsk and then we talked about that for a while...

for instance, in English you say

the party while in bokmål you say

den festen (party = fest).

and in riksmål you would say

den fest (which gramatically, I think is much more beautiful).

Marie's Comment:

In spite of our completely different approaches, we both received 7s.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK


by Levi on Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:32 am

I think Marie has covered most he important points already, but I would further emphasise that my experience is that you should structure your discussion on the passage along the lines of the passage itself (eg. look at one section at a time). This may not be the most sophisticated literary approach, but chances are you won't have the time to carefully plan out a thematic exposition of the passage. Unless you are VERY good at talking on your feet such an approach is likely to lead you into repetitions, and will also ommit important observations. If you go line by line, or stanza by stanza, you may well notice new literary features during the exam, and can easily slip these in.

Levi

Location: Cambridge


by marie on Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:28 pm

Oh, and another thing:

To revise, I looked on the internet for the texts I was going to get (or I actually performed the arduous task of typing the whole thing out from the book), and printed many copies out so I could practice annotating it over and over again. This was great practice.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

World Lits

by Levi on Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:04 am

This is meant to be a general set of guidelines for how to write a good World Lit. These are by no means extensive, nor are they all required to do well in your World Lit. However, they are based on my experience (in the two markings of my World Lits I got given 38 and 40), and that of my mother who examines English HL World Lits.

World Lit 1

This is perhaps the tougher of the two, and is required for SL and HL with very similar criteria. The requirement that you compare two works may seem, and in fact is rather abritrary, but it helps reduce chances of plagiarism, and makes students study a greater variety of literature. Basically the point of the assignment is to understand two different works well, and show an appreciation of the similarities and differences between the two. One of the key factors to highlight is how the cultural, social and literary milieus in which they were produced has influenced the authors' different approaches.

The most important considerations when writing this assignment are the following:

1. Title and subject. These are very important as some topics are essentially unliterary and will take you down the wrong track. Although you must show an appreciation for the different places, cultures and time periods within which the works were written, the essay is not meant to be a cultural history - the focus must remain essentially literary. Good ideas of subjects which lend themselves to such a study are imagery, allegory, rhetoric, discourse, syntax, setting (both phsyical and temporal). AVOID comparisons between two characters; unless you specifically examine the authors' characterisation, this tends to lead to a simple, uninteresting and unliterary comparison of the two characters as if they were living humans (eg. 'Nora is a stronger woman than _____, as is shown by when she tells Torvald to bugger off' [this is somewhat exaggerated, but you get the point])

2. Cultural comparisons. These are very important, but as I said above don't go overboard and make them your focus. Once you have examined the authors' different literary techniques, or thematic approaches, then try to place these within the authors' cultural context.

3. Structure. This is not necessarily a simple matter when you are going between two works. In general it is better to deal with both together thematically. Thus go through the various themes you wish to examine, perhaps dedicatinng alternative paragraphs to each work. For example, if you were looking at setting in two plays you might look at props first, dedicating a paragraph to props in each play, and then move onto lighting in both plays, etc. etc.

4. Language and spelling. Don't get too worked up about these, as this is an essay on literature, rather than a language exercise. Nonetheless, blatant spelling mistakes are sloppy and make it look like you have put minimal effort into your essay. A few careful proofreads should be enough, but make sure your essay is proofread properly.

5. Originality. All examiners like originality, but World Lit 1 is a rare time when you can be quite original and different. Due to the oftentimes arbitrary comparisons you will be making, you will often be comparing genres that have rarely been studied in conjunction. Try to come up with some general ideas of how the two works you have investigated, and the similarities and differences of thw works may typify the general relationship between their genres (eg. Magic Realism and Nineteenth Century Russian Novels as was the case in my World Lit). Finally in terms of originality try to avoid certain topics, such as the 'Role of Women', 'Characterisation', 'Setting', 'Imagery'. While I have suggested that many of these are subjects worth studying, do not make them your topic. Look at an aspect of characterisation, setting or imagery. In general I would suggest avoiding the 'Role of Women' - no one ever would write on the 'Role of Men', so why choose the role of women. If you want to do something like this try to make it a bit more sophisticated, such as 'A Feminist Critique of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Anna Karenina'.

6. Criteria. Look at them, follow them, sleep with them under your pillow if necessary. It is a sad fact that you can write a great essay which does not fit the criteria, or a crap one which does. In terms of your grades it is better the latter than the former, so if necessary sacrifice panache for jumping through hoops and getting extra points. Last edited by Levi on Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:24 am, edited 5 times in total.

Levi

Location: Cambridge


by Levi on Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:27 am This is just a continuation of the above.

World Lit 2

This provides you with a lot more choice, and it is therefore tougher to give absolute advice. The most common choices (at least at my school) were to do a creative piece, to do a literary study on a work, or to do a commentary on a selected passage. It is possible to do a comparative essay like you World Lit 1 (it you wish to do so look at the advice above), but I and most my friends found that exercise arbitrary enough the first time, and therefore took advantage of the greater variety of options available for World Lit 2. As the type of essay you can produce may vary greatly I will post advice seperately.

Formal Essay

This takes the form of a regular essay. General advice is as follows:

1. Title and topic. This is easier to decide on than in World Lit 1, but the same general advice applies. Choose something literary, but specific. For example my World Lit 2 (which was the stronger of the two) was on the role of dramatic irony in Oedipus the King. Another good study I have heard of have focussed on duality in Bloody Wedding, particularly as created by its title.

2. Structure. You have pretty much free reign with this. Just make sure that your ideas develop logically, and if possible try to make your conclusion and synthesis, which includes some new ideas, rather than a simple recapitulation of your thesis.

Beyond that look at the general guidelines re: spelling and criteria above.

Creative piece

Here is where those endowed with a better turn of phrase and imagination than myself can excel. If you like creative writing, you may often find English A1 somewhat suffocating, as it is almost entirely a literature course. World Lit 2 may be your only opportunity for creative writing. HOWEVER, don't get too carried away and keep the following in mind.

1. Subject. As I have consistently emphasised a good topic in essential for any World Lit. This is particularly important for creative piece, because you have to show a literary appreciation through your creative writing. Thus choosing a topic where you can show a sensitivity to the original author's writing style, thematic interests etc. is very important.

2. Showing literary understanding. If you are writing an additional chapter, alternative ending, or suchlike, look VERY carefully at the author's characterisation and writing style and try to emulate it closely. This is essential as you must show an equivalent literary appreciation to someone who is writing a formal literary essay.

3. Rational. Here I have to admit that my knowledge fails me. As I did not do a creative piece, my knowledge stems entirely second hand from my mother and a couple of friends who did creative pieces. If anyone has good advice for the rational, which I know is a required part, please PM me and I will quote you in this space.

Commentary or ananlysis of a key passage

Look at the advice for Paper 1, which I and/or Marie should shortly be posting.

Levi

Location: Cambridge

blueline

IB Prepared Oral Tips

by rasmoose on Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:24 pm

Dunno if this works for others of course... but helped me!

First things first.. practise a lot. Though I must admit that I only started practise reading three weeks before the day of the examination.

Also, I found notecards to be a lifesaver and all.. but don't use them too much. I'm very much an audio-learner, so just reading the speech to myself helped me memorize it.

In the end... I was still not confident with what I had memorized... I wanted it to flow. Therefore.. I read my speech into a mic and recorded it onto my PC where I converted it to .mp3 format so I could have it playing all night while I slept.

This is not a proven technique as I did it for the first time with my prepared IB oral, and it could have been the pressure that helped me with flow... but if desperate... why not?

What will really establish whether you have an oral you can work with will of course be the topic you choose. Unfortunately, nobody can choose a topic for you that will be workable for you.

But I would recommend something that you can clinically excavate from your chosen work/works. It may be a mundane topic and tedious work, but it may be neccessary. Embarking upon the quest to find the missing theme in the novel or such can have you wasting time which you don't have.

Just don't bore yourself out.

Though I prepared a lot, there came a point during the actual presentation where I was talking a bit too slow, so I cut out one whole section of my speech.. a good 30-40 second section. I would recommend that you try to make each section be able to flow to another one. OR have sufficient lines such as

"this leads onto"

"this is relevant to"

to be used ad hoc.

Good luck!

rasmoose

blueline

English HL World Lit HELP URGENT!!!

by vmorari on Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:40 pm

Hi, i have Waiting for Godot, The cherry orchard, The Outsider and Metamorphosis as my world lit book in English HL, i made a topic and completed my first draft and now my teacher said that i have to change my topic and give her the second draft by tommorow can some1 plzzz help ME!!!!!!!

vmorari

Location: India


by marie on Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:01 am

vmorari wrote:

Hi, i have Waiting for Godot, The cherry orchard, The Outsider and Metamorphosis as my world lit book in English HL, i made a topic and completed my first draft and now my teacher said that i have to change my topic and give her the second draft by tommorow can some1 plzzz help ME!!!!!!!

Have you chosen your second topic?

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

World Lit Paper1

by whizgirl3 on Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:33 pm

I've chosen my topic for the IB paper: alienation in both Sophocles "Antigone" and Enrich's "All quiet on the Western Front". Any suggestions??

whizgirl3

Location: Vancouver, BC


by marie on Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:15 am

whizgirl3 wrote:

I've chosen my topic for the IB paper: alienation in both Sophocles "Antigone" and Enrich's "All quiet on the Western Front". Any suggestions??

Hi, I didn't study 'All Quiet' but I did study 'Antigone'. However this was four years ago, my memory is rusty, and I don't have the book with me

'Alienation' is a tough one, make sure you define the term clearly in your essay. My points are going to be very vague, but off the top of my head:

1) Antigone alienates Creon, Ismene, and the gods as she 'buries' (poured sand over) her brother when Creon forbade it.

2) Creon alienates his family (Haemon and wife) in sentencing Antigone to death. He drives them both to commit suicide (and thus now Creon is completely alone/alienated — he has no more family left.).

However it's important to note that Haemon isn't necessarily dying for his love for Antigone — he is a mysoginist who does not once call Antigone by her name and instead refers to her as a 'woman' (an alienation technique actually). Rather, he is patriotically dying for his country.

3) Creon also alienates himself from the gods for his hubris. According to the law of the gods everyone should be given a proper burial. However, Creon's pride combined with his loathing for Antigone's brother caused him to deny him such rights, angering the gods.

4) In your opinion do any of the character alienate themselves from the audience?

5) Are there any liteary techniques that Sophocles uses to empahsize the alienation?

So these are just a few examples I can pull out of my hazy memory but I'm sure you can find (or have already found) more.

But to get the top marks in IB English you obviously have to explain how these characters' alienations contribute to the overall theme — what Sophocles wanted to convey to his audience.

For example, a major element of Greek tragedy is to provoke the two grand emotions of fear and pity from the audience. Creon alienates himself from the gods which causes them to punish him (Haemon + wife's death) which provokes fear. At the same time we feel pity for Creon who is now left all alone. These two emotions make us think further about the importance of obeying the gods' laws.

And there's so much more.

I hope this will trigger some more thoughts, or I'm sorry if you've already realised this. Please check twice on the accuracy of my statements as I cannot guarantee they are accurate after four years!!

Hang in there,

Marie

xxxxx

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

Paradise of the Blind

by Guest on Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:19 pm

has anyone read 'Paradise of the Blind'. I'm doing it for my WLit 2 along with Like Water for Chocolate, my topic is food as a mofit, but I am having real trouble finding things to write about in relation to the books, so far I have

- how food relates to how wealthy people are

I had a lot of trouble understanding POTB. any help would be great and if you need help i can help you... I hope, as long as I did read that novel.

Guest

blueline

Literary Glossary

by Laura0804 on Wed May 04, 2005 9:34 am

does anyone have the file with the literary glossary? i have my IB AI HL English exam tomorro and Id really appreciate if someone could send that over to me.

Thanks so much!

Good luck to everyone!!

Laura0804


by marie on Wed May 04, 2005 12:34 pm

Laura0804 wrote:

does anyone have the file with the literary glossary? i have my IB AI HL English exam tomorro and Id really appreciate if someone could send that over to me.

Thanks so much!

Good luck to everyone!!

Yea my teacher seems to have taken it down, sorry bout that.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

Need help on English A1 paper 1

by FrozenBoi on Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:52 pm

Hi.. I have read through some of the post by Marie, and I found them very useful. I am just wondering if you can give some suggestion on writing the unseen commentary for paper I. Eng IB exams is in a week

thnx~

FrozenBoi


by marie on Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:57 pm

FrozenBoi wrote:

Hi.. I have read through some of the post by Marie, and I found them very useful. I am just wondering if you can give some suggestion on writing the unseen commentary for paper I. Eng IB exams is in a week

thnx~

Hi FrozenBoi!

Ok it's been a year since I've taken the exam so I'm going to have to squeeze my memory cells here!!

Basically what applies to the oral unseen commentary is very similar to the written unseen commentary.

Annotation

Was the exam 2hrs for SL and 2hrs 30mins for HL? I can't remember. Anyhow, I know this is obvious, but calculate how much time you're going to put for annotation and how much for writing. I took HL, and I think I gave myself a good 20-30 for annotation, but I think during the real exam I finished a bit quicker.

Just as a said in the unseen oral commentary, use coloured pens! Makes it so much easier to look at your passage. They also help you in the limited time you've got. For example, you may want to underline words that pertain to the underlying theme of the prose or passage the same colour, so you don't have to write each time - THEME OF LIGHT etc. Also, for the things that were blatantly obvious I just underlined it and didn't write anything next to it to save time, because I knew if I looked at the underline I'd know what it was. Of course, for other things I wrote notes on the side.

One thing I sometimes found useful was to draw tiny pictures of the poet/author's imagery on the side. It would help me visualize the scene. I only drew one or two though.

Writing the Commentary

I always started off with a statement generally summing up the poem or prose. I remember I'd put some adjectives in to show I understood the general tone of the story eg. in this comical prose. Don't linger on your intro, you have no time. I always wrote one or two sentences and that was it.

BAM! Now you've shown the examiner that you generally understood the text. Now you have to show that you've understood and appretiate the tiny details the author/poet has included to strengthen their points.

I commented on the passage line by line. Author's/poet's usually develop their ideas chronologically, so if you jumped around all over the place you'd lose major points. You can score full marks using this method and it's easier for the brain.

LITERARY TERMS!!! Study them, dream about them, worship them, stick them all over your wall so you'll memorize them for the exam! If you want to test yourself I've made some quizzes on the moodle section so try that.

They do wonders not only for your grade, but knowing them will help you truely understand what the poet is trying to say.

Oh yea, I know I'm just really stating the obvious, but don't forget to state what kind of techinique the writer uses, and why/what kind of an effect it has. How does it contribute to the author/poet's underlying theme?

Use plenty of adjectives to make sure you score top marks for the personal response section. E.g. 'this perfectly chosen word', 'Austen's cunning technique' etc. It's also good to say how you felt about the passage now and then. For example if I had gotten Virginia Woolf I would have said something like 'being a female reader Woolf's words became all the more powerful'.

This is all I can squeeze out of my brain for now! I hope this info helps. If you have more specific questions by all means please ask.

marie

Location: Cambridge, UK

blueline

If you want to read some Existentialistic texts online....

by alia on Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:03 am

If you want to read some existentialistic texts online, go to:

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~boozer/existentialism/existentialism.html

to read The Metamorphosis, Waiting For Godot and No Exit

(It's quite useful...especially if you forgot to bring home your books, you can always go online and find the text!)

alia