Sunday, October 11, 2015

How to Kick IB Language A: Literature Part 1: Written Assignment's Butt -- Step 3

For Step 1 of the Written Assignment, click here. For Step 2, click here

Step 3 is called Developing the Topic - Supervised Writing

Your teacher will give you a few writing prompts at the beginning of the supervised writing session. These prompts are designed to help you think about and develop a topic for your written assignment.

Your school will keep your supervised writing on file, and the IB assessment board might ask to see it later, but it is not sent in or assessed. Use it to come up with an independent topic and title for your essay. 


As you can imagine, when examiners are marking two hundred essays, they won't be impressed if they see the same generic topics over and over again. Try to come up with something unique and personal. A question that you had about the work makes an excellent topic, since you have been working to answer that question since step one. As you write your Supervised Writing, you should use it to consider and explore a few topics.

Here is an example from the International Baccalaureate Organization teacher support materials:

Prompt: How does the writer convey a sense of time passing in the work? This is a general prompt that your teacher might give you. 

You can now customize it according to the work you read and your ideas generated in the Interactive Oral and Reflective Statement.

Let's say you read the work One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Apply the prompt above to this work.

You might come up with a title like: "The significance of time for Shukhov in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich." This is a specific title derived from applying the prompt to the work studied. 
Nardvark doesn't realize it, but he's doing a great job of personalizing
the work he's studying. 

Now think about your questions raised and explored in the Interactive Oral and Reflective Statement. In this work, Solzhenitsyn seems to be using a short time span of one day to show the monotony of the seemingly endless days for the prisoner. Thus you might adjust your title to "The Significance of Time for Shukhov in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: How One Day can Symbolize 3,653 Days." 

Looks good! You now have a specific title and subtitle. Now you just have to go on to Step 4: Production of the Essay, which we'll look more closely at next time.

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