2 Assessment Overview 25 total points Comparative essay on two of four part 3 worksChoose one of three questions for your genreQuestions 1-3: drama (that’s you)4-6: poetry7-9: prose novel and short story10-12: prose other than fiction
3 Previous informationfrom assessment overview at the beginning of the year
4 Overview Exam date: 5 May 2015 2 hours Comparison of two works studied Addresses literary conventions of a genreGood plan of attack30 minute plan80 minute write10 minute reread/fixThese types of questions will also be used for seminar.
5 p2 Rubric “adequate”—not pejorative indicates reasonable fulfillment of the criterion in meeting the expectations of the taskshows study and preparation, but not necessarily personal insight or engagement with the text
6 Criterion A Knowledge Understanding “Perceptive” best revealed by the use of detailed textual evidence to support analysis and opinionsUnderstandingshown in the extent to which the candidate makes some sort of proposal based on supporting examples“Perceptive”show independent and/or incisive thinking in answering the question
7 Criterion B Genuine comparison vs. side-by-side comparison Evaluation (levels 4 and 5)an attempt to suggest which writer works more effectively with the designated convention“Subtleties of the question”—candidate will eitherprobe in depth the aspects of the convention under discussion, orchallenge a proposition such as “a play should make you laugh or make you cry”
8 Criterion C “literary conventions of a genre” Sense of the genre as obviously that genre“in relation to the question and the works used”How conventions contribute to meaning
9 Criterion DNot evaluation of textual comparison (Criterion B) or of appropriateness or accuracy of examples (Criterion A)Effective, logical structuringSupport well-integratedSmooth transitions between and among ideasLevel 3: five-paragraph essays or three-point (or four-point, etc.) thesis statementsLevel 5: “persuasively”Organization must in some way contribute to strength of argument
10 Criterion E“It is possible to score well here even if candidates have scored in the lower levels in the other criteria, and vice versa.”Meaning/impact dividepersistent errors in register, diction, grammar, syntax, spelling or punctuation do not generally score in the 3 band
11 Questions you’ve seen so far (modified for seminars on one author or authors of different genres)
12 Ondaatje seminar(2014a) Discuss the techniques with which [Ondaatje] establish[s] a clear picture of unfamiliar settings and/or experiences in [his] work?Original non-fiction question: Discuss the techniques with which the authors of at least two works you have studied establish a clear picture of unfamiliar settings and/or experiences in their works?
13 more Ondaatje seminar(2013b) [How has Ondaatje] made use of anecdotes and/or analogies to achieve [his] purposes[?](2013a) While fiction is sometimes thought of as the work of an individual imagination, non-fiction often relies on the experiences of others and can thus be seen as the result of a group or communal effort. How far and to what effect have you found evidence of this “communal effort”?(IBO sample) Discuss the way [Ondaatje has] structured [his] work to make [his] material clear and interesting to [his] audience.
14 Adichie/Ondaatje seminar A writer once said that the reader should be able to return to the first pages of a novel or short story and find resonances of the entire work. Consider the importance of the beginning to the work as a whole.A writer in the genre of novel and short story has many tools at hand for developing character. In the characterization of two minor but important characters, show how two conventions you consider important have been used to make the characters memorable in spite of being minor. [in seminar, stick to developing a few characters][Discuss] the means by which writers establish mood and atmosphere.Writers often import or adapt historical material in writing their works. Explore what or how this material contributes to the work.
15 Whitman seminar(2013a) Explore the means by which [Whitman] create[s] a distinctive voice or voices in [his] work.(2013b) A poet’s use of imagery may involve any of the senses, not just the visual. Discuss the use and effects of non-visual imagery [in Whitman’s poetry].(2013b) How do[es Whitman] make use of detail to present a realistic or unrealistic representation of the world?(2014a) Poets address a vast range of subject matter. Discuss the means and techniques by which [Whitman has] distilled something focused and personal from a broad and/or impersonal topic, such as love, knowledge, work, nature and so on.
17 Breaking down questions Read the WHOLE question to find your focusCertain words are going to appear over and over again BUT it is important to know that there are two elements to these questions:A central or recurring element such as the one describedA particular angle for this exam, one that includes the recurring element but asks for something specific to that element
18 For exampleA writer in the genre of novel and short story has many tools at hand for developing character. In the characterization of two minor but important characters in two works you have studied, show how two conventions you consider important have been used to make the characters memorable in spite of being minor.A major convention used by novel and short story writers in developing their characterizations is a moment of revelation or epiphany. In the works of two writers you have studied, examine closely such a moment and the effect it has on the creation of the character.
19 What about character am I being asked to discuss? A writer in the genre of novel and short story has many tools at hand for developing character. In the characterization of two minor but important characters in two works you have studied, show how two conventions you consider important have been used to make the characters memorable in spite of being minor.A major convention used by novel and short story writers in developing their characterizations is a moment of revelation or epiphany. In the works of two writers you have studied, examine closely such a moment and the effect it has on the creation of the character.
20 Strategy 1 Make a list of all the elements included in each question. Identify both the center of each question (the recurring element) and the particular angle for this examFinally, make a list where you prioritize the elements of each question. What is central? What is secondary?
21 Strategy 2Re-write the question in other words.
22 PracticeStrategy 1 (5m)List all elementsIdentify center (the recurring element) and particular anglelist priority of elements: central, secondaryStrategy 2 (5m)rewrite the questionSetting can often reflect the underlying ideas in a play. In the light of this statement consider the importance and use of setting in two or three plays you have studied.
23 More practiceIn what ways and to what extent does characterisation in the works you have studied depend on the use of dialogue? Compare and contrast at least two works in your answer.Symbols and/or motifs are essential conventions of many novels and short stories. Compare the ways either or both of these devices have been used and, in your opinion, how successfully, in at least two of the works you have studied?Explore how visual imagery contributes to meaning in poems you have studied. You must compare the work of at least two poets in your answer.
25 Prompt 1“Drama is created by placing ordinary people in situations of crisis.” Explore some of the methods used to create drama in this way in at least two of the plays you have studied.Break down the question.Brainstorm.Read sample essay.Score.
26 Prompt 1 marking notes An adequate to good answer will identify and compare moments of drama which are created by ordinary characters placed in situations of crisismake a reasonable case for the “ordinariness” of the character and the critical nature of the situation in a considered discussion of relevant examplesA very good to excellent answer mayclearly identify and thoughtfully compare judiciously chosen examples evaluating their dramatic effect in the chosen worksRevisit score.
27 Prompt 1 subject area report Some responses became a re-telling of the plot of the plays without close attention to the idea that drama is created because the character is ordinary and because this ordinary character has a crisis. A re-telling of the story often only gave an implied response to the question.At the same time, many candidates wrote well about plays such as Death of a Salesman, Master Harold and the Boys, and A Streetcar Named Desire.Some candidates made interesting cases for the ordinariness of characters such as Hamlet and handled the question well.
28 Prompt 1 sample: score A: 4 good understanding here, shown through a strong discussion of major issues in the works supported by pertinent detailsan understanding of the main tensions in the plays as well as some key dramatic moments
29 Prompt 1 sample: score B: 3 starts off well in relation to the question but quickly veers into other methods of creating dramaat times, discussion of elements such as new characters and setting are not clearly relevant to the questionresponse is adequate, though, in that the implication often remains that these elements are effective because they are tied to the ordinariness of these “heroes”
30 Prompt 1 sample: score C: 3 some key conventions are discussed, but not a very strong sense of the works as dramatends to focus on what happens rather than on dramatic presentation and particular conventionse.g. description of the setting is evocative but not clearly the description of what might be a “set”.
31 Prompt 1 sample: score D: 4 E: 4 argument feels somewhat underdeveloped in the end, buta strong focus and a clear progression to the discussionE: 4language clear throughoutsome of the words used to describe the play and the characters lack precision
32 Prompt 2“Playwrights often employ stereotypes in their creation of characters, but most often their techniques are directed to the presentation of individuals?” Discuss how far such a ‘rule’ is demonstrated or not in plays you have studied.Break it down.Brainstorm.Sample and score.
33 Prompt 2 sample: score A: 5 candidate has selected material from the plays that indicates a high level of perception about the larger works and the characters' function and development within themfamiliarity with relevant detail enabled the candidate to provide considerable depth of exploration in relation to the question
34 Prompt 2 sample: score B: 4 provides a description of the stereotypical aspects of Blanche and Joegoes on to show how other characters support the self-images of these two characters and how the images come into conflict with the reality of their individual weaknesses, producing, finally a tragic effectremains focused on the question throughout and makes frequent points of comparisonvery little sense of evaluation of the two works in their treatment of this topic so a mark is lost
35 Prompt 2 sample: score C: 4 use of stereotypes permeates the essay as its central conventionawareness of the use of stage directions, entrances and exits, dialogue and metaphor all contribute to a sense that the candidate is seeing the playwright at work to create meaning and impact
36 Prompt 2 sample: score D: 5 opens with a clear angle on the question, going on to specify the two characters that will serve as examples of the argumentimage conveyed by Blanche Dubois and Joe Keller is first point of comparison, followed by an examination of what lies behind these images, which serves to create conflict and interestideas well-developed with good evidence and incorporation of relevant detailamply developedconcludes with a suitable closing paragraph
37 Prompt 2 sample: score E: 5 a few slips clear and correct manner of expressionvaries vocabulary and expresses ideas precisely and fluentlyappropriate register and terminology of literary criticism
38 Prompt 3Dramatists often utilise entrances and exits in different ways and with differing effects. Compare or contrast the entrances and exits of characters in at least two plays you have studied and consider what dramatic use is made of these devices.Break it down.Brainstorm.Sample with annotations and score.
39 Conventions chartIt’s useful. Keep up with it. Be as specific as possible. Trust me.
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