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    How do you start an IOC? And how do I structure it? How do I end it?

    Is this an OK start?:
    "The passage I received is an extract from the novel ______ by the author _______. This is a key passage because it treats the main theme of the novel which is _______. The author makes use of ______, _____ and, _____ in order to put forward his message, as well as effectively creating theme. And so I will be analyzing this passage in terms of these literary devices.

    And what literary devices should I use? I know it depends on thetext I get, but still. It gets a bit confusing. If I want to talk about, let's say, characatarization and how the author uses diction to emphasis this, should I state in my introduction that I will be talking about characterization AND diction?

    .....and then.... whaaaat do I say after that? Got any good linking phrases/words? Should I focus on each literary device at a time and so jump around in the tet, or should I go chronologically?

    I started with "In this commentary I would like to discuss....". Just keep it formal and don't worry too much about the opening. It's how well you present your points that matter.

    For the most part what you have written is okay, but "as well as effectively creating theme" is just tripe if you don't state what theme the devices convey.You cannot remember any one specific formula for tackling the IOC because it will change depending on what extract you receive, and this includes the introduction - no point in trying to memorize an opening such as the one above.You cannot emphasise characterisation either - doesn't sound right It would be better to say that the use of a certain word reveals something about a character.

    A chronological approach can work just fine, but it's lazy. I was taught that it is better to focus on a few main points which seem significant, and speak about everything that contributes to it. A main point can be a particular device (a major theme perhaps), but don't just speak about metaphors for example if the metaphors themselves have nothing in common with each other.

    Yeah, the IOC is all about practice. Good luck! I hated it.

    Well, I absolutely hated the opening sentences for the IOC, and was advised to do a whole, "Instead of an Interview by Fleur Adcock is a fine representation of her poetry.. (rant)". I just went in and said "Fleur Adcock's Instead of an Interview is a beautiful poem (boring!). Adcock commences the poem with an answer to a question. This is signified by the words 'journalistic probings', and we can see her displeasure by the negative connotation of 'probings', and this results in her ambiguity of the first passage.

    I recommend you address these things in your commentary:

    - meter/rythmn - breaks in meter
    - rhyme
    - alliteration
    - caesuras, ellipses?
    - enjambments or end-stops?
    - syntax - e.g. does the author use inverted sentences for rhetorical purposes?

    - personification, simile, metaphor
    - descriptions, e.g. gothic imagery?
    - allusions, allegories, symbolism?
    - are there any parallels/contrasts?

    - who is it?
    - what is their tone like? what devices contribute to this?

    - what is it like: archaic, colloquial, Victorian, etc?

    Tone (a literary effect)
    - what brings this about? e.g. diction? or the contrasting imagery?

    Theme (since it's required - yuck)
    I usually just discuss the motives of the poem - e.g. sense of chronic dissatisfaction, inability to decide whether Thorndon or Europe is her home, etc.

    Oh, and for an interesting result - try giving the poem a critique:
    is it good? do you feel the author's thematic intentions are justifiable and worthy?
    e.g. Adcock is whining so much in her poem, and is v. naive (she confirms this).

    I just recommend reading a literary terms book, writing down 'useable' words, memorizing them and applying them: saying that assonance brings out a sense of euphony, is more impressive (and more likely to get you a higher grade) than saying the vowels make the phrase sound pretty.

    & most importantly discuss WHAT DO THESE DEVICES DO?

    I just recommend learning terms, and applying them. and reading loads.
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