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CIE IGCSE English Literature - 14th May 2012

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    Hey,
    So I have my CIE IGCSE English Literature exam on Monday and I am studying: Tennyson's Poetry, The Great Gatsby and Julius Caesar.

    I was just looking for different tips on how to analyse my different pieces of literature in preparation for the exam on Monday and maybe even some useful essay structures, that makes a good quality piece of work. Also what kind of things to they look for in a top A* answer, how it should be formatted etc.

    Thanks!
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    hey, the only one im studying the same as you is great gatsby, but this is what im doing:

    try and learn the different themes of the play, the ones i got taught were:
    -appearance vs. reality
    -desire for transcendence
    -old money vs. new money

    appearance vs reality is the major one which is shown throughout the novel, in gatsby's huge house which is only used to hold parties, in daisy's relationship with her daughter, daisy's marriage with tom which seems good but in reality is a shambles

    desire for transcendence is less noticable, but you need to look at gatsby's attempt to get back with daisy and be more than he really is, and the societys' attempts at being extravagant and classy but ends up messy and pathetic

    old money vs. new money is shown through the different islands, west egg and east egg, one with old money, one with new money.

    for essay structures, try and make sure you link each of your paragraphs together, even if its just a simple line -- it will help make your essay flow better and gets you more marks

    always try and do your essay
    -introduction
    -Point Example Explain (P.E.E) on all of the the different examples you can find/remember about everything
    -conclusion, which is just summarising everything you have explained in your essay

    hope this helps and good luck!
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    (Original post by kristianabanana)
    hey, the only one im studying the same as you is great gatsby, but this is what im doing:

    try and learn the different themes of the play, the ones i got taught were:
    -appearance vs. reality
    -desire for transcendence
    -old money vs. new money

    appearance vs reality is the major one which is shown throughout the novel, in gatsby's huge house which is only used to hold parties, in daisy's relationship with her daughter, daisy's marriage with tom which seems good but in reality is a shambles

    desire for transcendence is less noticable, but you need to look at gatsby's attempt to get back with daisy and be more than he really is, and the societys' attempts at being extravagant and classy but ends up messy and pathetic

    old money vs. new money is shown through the different islands, west egg and east egg, one with old money, one with new money.

    for essay structures, try and make sure you link each of your paragraphs together, even if its just a simple line -- it will help make your essay flow better and gets you more marks

    always try and do your essay
    -introduction
    -Point Example Explain (P.E.E) on all of the the different examples you can find/remember about everything
    -conclusion, which is just summarising everything you have explained in your essay

    hope this helps and good luck!
    thank you that was very helpful! do you by any chance have a copy of an exemplar A* answer just so me and anyone else viewing this thread can see what an A* answer looks like and what kind of quality to aspire for?

    how are you revising also?

    i appreciate your help very much, thanks!
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    (Original post by xoxlovelifexox)
    thank you that was very helpful! do you by any chance have a copy of an exemplar A* answer just so me and anyone else viewing this thread can see what an A* answer looks like and what kind of quality to aspire for?

    how are you revising also?

    i appreciate your help very much, thanks!
    i dont actually have any examples of an answer other than my coursework and i never got told my final mark so i dont know how good it was, sorry -- one thing i know will be a major part in gaining or losing marks is grammar, they're extremely tight about grammar and if you don't use even rudimentary grammar skills you wont get a mark above a 'C' despite how good the rest of your essay is

    as for revising, im going over notes that my teacher has given me on the different texts we've been learning and writing down quotations based on different essay questions that i've found on the internet so that i have a basic idea of what i can use depending on what sort of question i get, how about you?
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    Do you guys just write your passage-based answers by going chronologically through the passage? This is the way I've always done it but apparently that's a poor way to structure essays? Thanks!
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    (Original post by ohalicey)
    Do you guys just write your passage-based answers by going chronologically through the passage? This is the way I've always done it but apparently that's a poor way to structure essays? Thanks!
    For passage based ones I do it chronologically but if there are some points in the text that link to it then I add them in regardless of where it is in the passage...and if necessary then I sometimes shuffle things around to link paragraphs together

    Hope it helps
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    (Original post by ohalicey)
    Do you guys just write your passage-based answers by going chronologically through the passage? This is the way I've always done it but apparently that's a poor way to structure essays? Thanks!
    i generally do it chronologically, if i can find references from other areas then i include it, but i don't understand how that's poor? who said that?
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    (Original post by kristianabanana)
    i dont actually have any examples of an answer other than my coursework and i never got told my final mark so i dont know how good it was, sorry -- one thing i know will be a major part in gaining or losing marks is grammar, they're extremely tight about grammar and if you don't use even rudimentary grammar skills you wont get a mark above a 'C' despite how good the rest of your essay is

    as for revising, im going over notes that my teacher has given me on the different texts we've been learning and writing down quotations based on different essay questions that i've found on the internet so that i have a basic idea of what i can use depending on what sort of question i get, how about you?
    i'm planning on going through aspects i didn't understand very thoroughly and develop my own opinions more and find links in the book. kind of similar to you.
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    What would you write in the introduction of the question?
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    (Original post by LusterMX)
    What would you write in the introduction of the question?
    i guess you would probably introduce the topic of the essay and what you're trying to find out in the essay and you could probably link it into the topic so if it's on a character give a brief intro on the character. i think it's meant to be fairly short because obviously the main points you illustrate in the essay are important.
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    (Original post by StarryInk07)
    Hey, I'm studying The Great Gatsby, Tennyson, and Death of a Salesman. Pretty nervous for tomorrow, especially about Tennyson. I don't know if any of you guys are doing Salesman, but for Gatsby and Salesman, the myth of the American Dream is a major theme we were told to discuss in our answers. Also, the endless cycle of consumerism and the influence of advertising (eg. the eyes of Dr TJ Eckleburg) are two strong points to make. Don't know if that helps.

    I have no idea how to revise Tennyson. I know each essay already has a practically premade introduction about Tennyson himself and the context in which he writes. But I'm pretty bad at analysing poetry and quite worried about which poems are actually going to come up. Do you have any tips?

    Thanks so much.
    hey! looks like we're studying two of the same pieces of literature! join the club, i'm pretty nervous too. do you mind perhaps elaborating on what you said about the "endless cycle of consumerism and the influence of advertising" like share your thoughts and how it affects the characters etc.? it sounds very interesting and i'd love to hear!

    have you done annotations on the poetry? i'm sure you have, if not that's the first place i would start. the way i tackle poetry is by trying to understand the poem thoroughly and get the jist of it, that way i form my own opinions on what i think tennyson is trying to say and whether i agree/disagree. looking at his language is good too, perhaps the use of similes, methaphors, pathetic fallacy and why it's effective, draw it into the poem. i think poetry is quite a lot about personal opinion.

    if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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    So on the exam, we need to answer one passsage based question and one essay question. (The third one we can do whatever I think...)
    I'm planning on doing an essay question for the poetry, but the passage based for the prose and drama. I'm trying to take the easy way out... Hope it works!
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    (Original post by LusterMX)
    So on the exam, we need to answer one passsage based question and one essay question. (The third one we can do whatever I think...)
    I'm planning on doing an essay question for the poetry, but the passage based for the prose and drama. I'm trying to take the easy way out... Hope it works!
    i think that's a good plan. i sometimes try and decide beforehand but it's really hard because you don't know what passage or question they'll throw at you and whether you'll be comfortable. i think for the drama i'll be doing an essay and for poetry and prose it depends on the extract that's given and the questions.
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    (Original post by xoxlovelifexox)
    i think that's a good plan. i sometimes try and decide beforehand but it's really hard because you don't know what passage or question they'll throw at you and whether you'll be comfortable. i think for the drama i'll be doing an essay and for poetry and prose it depends on the extract that's given and the questions.
    I see. It's because with the Poetry, I think they could ask a question on a poem in which we'll have the open book to guide us directly there (Last year, they asked a simple question 'Explore how the poet powerfully communicates the pain of loss in either The Voice (by Thomas Hardy) or Sonnet 29'. For me, I need a passage to guide me on the prose and drama... I'm kind of useless on my own
    How is Gatsby revision going for you? I am just looking at a load of quotes blankly and hoping it will magically just go well tomorrow...
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    (Original post by xoxlovelifexox)
    hey! looks like we're studying two of the same pieces of literature! join the club, i'm pretty nervous too. do you mind perhaps elaborating on what you said about the "endless cycle of consumerism and the influence of advertising" like share your thoughts and how it affects the characters etc.? it sounds very interesting and i'd love to hear!

    have you done annotations on the poetry? i'm sure you have, if not that's the first place i would start. the way i tackle poetry is by trying to understand the poem thoroughly and get the jist of it, that way i form my own opinions on what i think tennyson is trying to say and whether i agree/disagree. looking at his language is good too, perhaps the use of similes, methaphors, pathetic fallacy and why it's effective, draw it into the poem. i think poetry is quite a lot about personal opinion.

    if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
    Sure. I think that, basically, the eyes of Dr TJ Eckleberg on the advertising billboard looking over the Valley of Ashes (a barren wasteland, the result of decaying society, reflects the failure of the American Dream etc) could represent judgement and criticism of the immoral American society of the time. In addition, the advertising itself suggests that you can buy happiness and that they're living in a world where you're defined by material success. For example, Myrtle trades her body for material wealth and tries to secure happiness through purchases eg. her attempt to fashion her house with lavish furnishings that make it seem pretentious and overcrowded. There was also that passage where she went on a spending spree with Tom and the fact that she bought a long list of items shows that material wealth is hollow and you're never satisfied. Her earthy quality changed as she spent more time in Tom's upper-class world and it shows how damaging upper-class American society and how Tom and Daisy are drifters with no purpose in life. You could also mention Gatsby who improves himself to win Daisy's love and his parties where he kind of uses his money to buy companionship. I hope that makes sense - I'm not very good at explaining!

    Haha, thanks for reminding me to write about about the language and its effects. Yeah, we've made annotations in class. I should go over those. What kind of key themes and symbolism do you think they expect us to include in our answers? I guess one of the reasons I find poetry tough is that each poem is different and there aren't that many recurring talking points.
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    Have you guys done the unseen commentary yet
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    (Original post by LusterMX)
    I see. It's because with the Poetry, I think they could ask a question on a poem in which we'll have the open book to guide us directly there (Last year, they asked a simple question 'Explore how the poet powerfully communicates the pain of loss in either The Voice (by Thomas Hardy) or Sonnet 29'. For me, I need a passage to guide me on the prose and drama... I'm kind of useless on my own
    How is Gatsby revision going for you? I am just looking at a load of quotes blankly and hoping it will magically just go well tomorrow...
    no, your reasoning makes a lot of sense! i haven't studied the poem you were referring to but i can see why that question would have been a nice question. it's really hard to decide which one to do because sometimes i say to myself, "ooh, yes, passage definitely" but then an essay seems more appealing, so i guess my final opinion will be made on how easily i can connect with the question thrown. however i think passage based with gatsby tends to be quite a popular choice.
    i'm currently working on my julius caesar revision, bit gatsby is pretty tricky! there's so much in these pieces of literature, it's over-whelming when you think you've got somewhere you haven't.
    how's your literature revision coming now? what kind of questions would you like on the paper?
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    (Original post by StarryInk07)
    Sure. I think that, basically, the eyes of Dr TJ Eckleberg on the advertising billboard looking over the Valley of Ashes (a barren wasteland, the result of decaying society, reflects the failure of the American Dream etc) could represent judgement and criticism of the immoral American society of the time. In addition, the advertising itself suggests that you can buy happiness and that they're living in a world where you're defined by material success. For example, Myrtle trades her body for material wealth and tries to secure happiness through purchases eg. her attempt to fashion her house with lavish furnishings that make it seem pretentious and overcrowded. There was also that passage where she went on a spending spree with Tom and the fact that she bought a long list of items shows that material wealth is hollow and you're never satisfied. Her earthy quality changed as she spent more time in Tom's upper-class world and it shows how damaging upper-class American society and how Tom and Daisy are drifters with no purpose in life. You could also mention Gatsby who improves himself to win Daisy's love and his parties where he kind of uses his money to buy companionship. I hope that makes sense - I'm not very good at explaining!

    Haha, thanks for reminding me to write about about the language and its effects. Yeah, we've made annotations in class. I should go over those. What kind of key themes and symbolism do you think they expect us to include in our answers? I guess one of the reasons I find poetry tough is that each poem is different and there aren't that many recurring talking points.
    no, you have made sense! what you've said is very interesting, i need to read over it now more and try and absorb it more throughly hahaha but it's quite interesting. i think the valley of ashes and dr tj eckleburg as symbols are very interesting, i'm going to have to do some more analysis on that and i'll get back to you on my thoughts of the representation of these symbols!

    naturally, it varies on the poem. for instance in mariana the polar tree is a very big symbol and there's a lot you can say about that, you could talk about how there's just a polar tree represents her one obsessive thought and how the world around her is level and monotonous and how the flatness is broken by one polar tree, something along those lines. in maud i think we can discuss the character's frame of mind, that's rather interesting because obviously his behaviour and how he thinks he's buried inside the ground alive is a concept worth exploring. in memoriam there's a lot to say about hallam and tennyson's relationship, i would say in in memoriam it helps to look at words very closely and dissect them, from the top of my head i know in one of the extracts he questions science and life. it's all about bringing out those points and doing analysis there.

    i would say theme wise the role of women is quite an interesting theme to look at, because obviously women would have been degraded at the time and were looked upon as being the "weaker" sex. you can talk about that in the lady of shalott and mariana especially.
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    (Original post by xoxlovelifexox)
    i generally do it chronologically, if i can find references from other areas then i include it, but i don't understand how that's poor? who said that?
    The best structure is to group ideas. Once grouped and planned the essay's content is made far more useful as the examiner can very clearly see that you have planned. Think about it like this: when a scientific paper comes out you don't just read of a list of ideas, rather many topics that have all been grouped. Same principle.
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    (Original post by gwbraders)
    The best structure is to group ideas. Once grouped and planned the essay's content is made far more useful as the examiner can very clearly see that you have planned. Think about it like this: when a scientific paper comes out you don't just read of a list of ideas, rather many topics that have all been grouped. Same principle.
    that's a good way to look at it, thanks.

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