1 For Excellent IB Lit HL Students How to Ace Your IOCFor Excellent IB Lit HL Students
2 PreparationRead the poem carefully - color marking and annotating as you goUse guiding questions to help you focus on key aspects of the poem the examiner considers importantWrite a bullet point planJot down notes on evidence to use (e.g. note line #'s you'll be referencing) under each point you decide to make
3 OrganisationYour IOC should comprise:IntroductionBodyConclusion
4 IntroductionGive some background information (context of poem within Keats’s body of poetry/life/Romanticism) be RELEVANT and BRIEFIdentify your THESIS statementWhat’s the point/theme of the poem?Who’s the speaker? Point of view?Predict the divisions of your commentary
5 Main Body Walk through the poem discuss your main points in detail, one at a time, supporting them with evidenceExplain HOW the idea/theme is presented (poet’s techniques) and WHY (to what purpose?)Connect discussion of literary features to effect and meaning
6 Main Body Optional: Remember: Make small and quick references to other poems by Keats or the Romantics to bolster your argumentRemember:It is pointless to mention techniques UNLESS you make a relevant point with them
7 Poetic Devices to consider Tone, moodPerspective, attitude of speaker or poet toward subjectDiction – word choice, style of languageLiterary features – metaphor, simile, personification, oxymoron, apostrophe, irony, hyperbole, paradoxSensory imagery: visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, olfactory, synestheticSound devices – onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme, meterRepetition – words, ideas, anaphora, structural repetition
8 Poetic Devices to consider Punctuation – dashes, end-stopping, enjambment, caesura, rhetorical questions, colonsForm – stanzas, sonnet form, ode form, etc.Structure – organization of ideas, progression, comparisons, conjunctionsAllusions – how do they function to help Keats make his point?
9 Tone and moodWhat is the writer’s tone? Does it remain the same throughout?Is there a mood (atmosphere) or feeling which pervades the piece - eg gloom, joy, sorrow?How specifically does the writer create this tone and mood – diction, imagery, sound techniques?Is the poet’s attitude the same as the speaker’s?How does the speaker function in the poem?
10 DictionWhat do you notice about the writer’s diction (word choice)? Look for “jump” words. Consider both the denotation and connotation of the words.Are there types of words which recur - eg diction relating to death? childhood?Are there words which seem unexpected?Is there an overall style to the language used?What effect does the diction create?
11 Rhyme, rhythm, sound effects Does the poem have a rhyme scheme? What is its effect? Does it make sense to mention rhyme in this poem? Does it have a distinct purpose?Does the poem have meter? Where might it break? Does it make sense to mention meter in this poem?What sound effects are used and why? Alliteration? Assonance? Consonance? Onomatopoeia?
12 Imagery What kinds (categories) of images are included in the poem? What senses does the imagery appeal to? Sight? Sound? Smell? Taste? Touch?Do the images build on each other? Are they similar or different? Does the imagery change in the poem?
13 Sound devices Onomatopoeia Assonance - repetition of vowel sounds within wordsAlliteration - repetition of initial soundsConsonance - repetition of consonants within wordsRhyme – exact/slant; end/internal; masculine/feminine
14 Form and structureIs this a strict form (Shakespearian sonnet, Petrarchan sonnet, ode, etc.)?How does this form affect its meaning?Does it deviate from the traditional form? Why?How are the ideas of the poem organized? What’s the progression of the poem?How does the syntax affect meaning and organization? Look especially at conjunctions. Long/short sentences?Is Keats making comparisons?
15 Punctuation What punctuation is used and why? Enjambment, end-stopping, caesura? Why?Types of punctuation to consider – dash, question mark, exclamation point, ellipsis, colon
16 Focus on the WriterFocus on how the writer uses language, poetic devicesKeats, the poet, heVerbs (present tense!): conveys, highlights, uses, takes, implies, suggests, explains, describes, stresses, gives, presents, shows, illustrates, indicates, looks, confronts, makes, evokesKeats’s use of alliteration helps to convey . . .
17 Conclusion Brings a sense of completion and closure Affirms your central pointShould NOT repeat what you’ve already saidBetter to omit a conclusion and finish with the last section of the extract than repeat yourself
18 Works CitedCroft, S. & Cross, H. 2003, English for the IB Diploma, Oxford University Press: Oxford. Ms. Cathi Wiebusch (adapted from her original powerpoint presentation)