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    Although people have mentioned it in the 2010 English Applicants Thread, I thought I'd create a thread where we could talk specifically about the ELAT.

    So, how's everyone preparing?

    I've read 'How to study a Poem' and am going to read 'Practical Criticism' by John Peck, which should be quite useful.

    What we're assessed on:
    (Original post by ELAT_website)
    ELAT is designed to assess close reading, including paying attention to the language, imagery, allusion, syntax, form and structure of the passages set for comment.
    Useful Links:

    Sample Paper

    A 19 page discussion from last year's applicants

    Results information from 2008

    MSB's super informative post It's post #55 of this thread.

    2007 ELAT Applicants' thread
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    :sad:
    Did you try contacting Oxford/UCAS/the exam board?
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    (Original post by English_Applicant)
    Did you try contacting Oxford/UCAS/the exam board?
    Yes. There's nothing they can do. I'm over it.
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    I was going to make a super-informative thread on this nearer the time (i.e., the end of this week). You've beaten me to it. I'll post in here instead.
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    I want a super-informative post!

    Reading Eagleton's 'How to Read a Poem'. Blew my mind and made me realised how bad I am at English. Good though......
    :'(

    I'm terrified about it, but hey, it's only one choice - right kids?
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    Good luck guys!
    My best friend has to do it and she's crapping herself.
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    (Original post by MSB)
    I was going to make a super-informative thread on this nearer the time (i.e., the end of this week). You've beaten me to it. I'll post in here instead.
    Awesome! When you do, I'll draw attention to it in the original post.
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    Don't expect anything amazing.
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    (Original post by alecangeltess)
    I want a super-informative post!

    Reading Eagleton's 'How to Read a Poem'. Blew my mind and made me realised how bad I am at English. Good though......
    :'(

    I'm terrified about it, but hey, it's only one choice - right kids?
    What sort of things does Eagleton's book talk about? The books I've read aren't that helpful; they basically just tell you to find the opposition/tension at the heart of the poem!
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    This is the kind of plan I'm looking at:

    Imagery

    Compare and contrast images in the extracts

    Language

    Look at register, formality, syntax, diction

    Form/Structure

    Interesting juxtapositions?
    Poetic form - rhythm, rhyme etc

    Perspective

    Who is the narrator/persona? To whom are they talking?

    Themes/Conclusion

    How do the extracts differ in the way they approach the theme?
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    I don't like that sort of thing.
    I'm just going to do it theme by theme. So, let's say I'm looking at tyrannical fathers in Clarissa/Roth from the practice paper:

    -Nature of tyranny-

    Compare the extracts

    -Reaction to tyranny-

    Compare the meerkat

    -Effect of tyranny-

    etc

    Conclusion.


    And Eagleton takes a philosophical approach, really getting in to subjectivity/how form can deviate from content. Imo that will be what really sorts the "wheat from the chaff" - the people who twist form to fit into their ideal sense of content are not going to do well.
    And I hate the whole tension/opposition thing.
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    this makes me want to cry.

    a lot.
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    posting in order to subscribe...
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    (Original post by sundogs)
    this makes me want to cry.

    a lot.
    Any particular reason why?
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    i just don't like unseen
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    Good luck everyone. I sat if lat year but I'm afraid I have no advice to give.
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    I forgot about this completely -
    Well I have Lennard's 'The Poetry Handbook', and my English A-Level. Hope those two things will carry me through
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    I read the Palgrave poetry book and I started off thinking "cool, this is really good" before realising it only tells you how to analyse one poem at a time, and briefly recommends if comparing two to write about them one-at-a-time. :facepalm:
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    (Original post by English_Applicant)
    This is the kind of plan I'm looking at:

    Imagery

    Compare and contrast images in the extracts

    Language

    Look at register, formality, syntax, diction

    Form/Structure

    Interesting juxtapositions?
    Poetic form - rhythm, rhyme etc

    Perspective

    Who is the narrator/persona? To whom are they talking?

    Themes/Conclusion

    How do the extracts differ in the way they approach the theme?
    This is a terribly pedantic and fussy point that I am making, so don't take it too seriously. In almost any criteria, making a set plan before is a good way of being thorough and will mean that you are unlikely to miss anything before you decide which you wish to talk about. I am only using your idea as a springboard against which to launch a different point that I think is important.

    But:

    It is very important that you don't point things out for the sake of pointing them out. It is very easy to get carried too far on the little swell of glee one feels on identifying a certain technique or feature and so pointing it out to the examiner, without mentioning why it is relevant or showing how it fits into your argument. The only danger of approaching the ELAT with a set list of things to look for (which is, in all other regards, a fine idea) is that if you can't find anything of a certain type of feature that's relevant, you'll feel like you're missing something and so mention anything that comes under that banner regardless of its relevance. It's important that you're flexible so that you only focus on (in the limited time available) the crucial features, because, really, you won't have time to make a comprehensive list of all stylistic features.
 
 
 

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