The Official English Personal Study / Dissertation Thread

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thisisrubbish
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#1
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#1
What did everyone else do? I need help with an idea.. we're being pushed to find one early. I want to do Emma, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Predjudice.... but not decided. Or maybe Philip Roth Trilogy. Or maybe Anna Karenina.... ideas?
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national
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#2
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#2
I discussed
"Mr Sammler's Planet" by Saul Bellow and "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood.
I looked at the the purpose of the novel and how the attitude of an author towards their work changes the purpose and effect of the novel.
The difference between Reality and Escapism.
I also discussed a little bit about how the central concern of Time is treated in those novels - same theme but completely different treatment. I then related that back to the writer's intention for the novels.

My best advice for you is do something that you genuinely like and a topic you are genuinely interested in - that way, it's much easier to write about and you'll find that you enjoy writing it.

Also, choose "meaty" books so that, if half-way through you realise you want to discuss something else your books give you enough scope to pull something else out of them.

I love Anna Karenina - very meaty. Although, I reckon you'd need to make sure that you fully understand what Tolstoy was trying to do in the novel before tackling more superficial issues such as character.
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Scots_Law
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#3
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#3
‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ might go quite well with ‘Wuthering Heights’ – you could do something to do with the theme of nature?
Anna Karenina might be difficult as you would want to already have a feel for Russian literature and culture to really dissect the text fully.
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Reverie.
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#4
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#4
I did the themes of human transience and the cyclic nature of nature (worded better than that :p:) in Keats's Odes. Have you considered doing poetry? Most people do novels, so it's nice to be a bit different (well, relatively speaking - 1309 people did prose fiction in 2006, compared to 82 doing poetry, and 84 doing drama).

Having said that, I love Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.
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J'en ai marre
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#5
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#5
I did Ian McEwan's Atonenement, Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day and E.M. Forster's Howards End in relation to changes in English national identity over the first half of the twentieth century, concentrating on emotional repression and social class. I mainly wrote about character, setting, narrative voice and symbolism.

I think that the Philip Roth trilogy would be an excellent choice. I would say they are both more unusual and meatier than Jane Austen. You could perhaps do something about Roth's cynicism: the way history repeats itself, the way society conspires to destroy characters in all three books. You might be able to think of something else. I'm reading American Pastoral just now as it happens.
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thisisrubbish
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#6
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#6
Yeah I agree about AK and Russian literature... i'd quite like to do something with Truman Capote but his themes are so varied not sure how I'd draw 2/3 texts together. Oooh American Pastoral is brilliant. You'll really enjoy it.
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North
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#7
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#7
i was thinking of doing the Outsiders, a Clockwork Orange and the Sun also Rises about how society affects younger generations. but to be honest im feeling overwhelmed and cant really think straight so im not sure if this is a good idea.
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K.T.
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#8
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#8
^ Ooh, interesting, a good set of books there.
(don't panic btw, you have nearly a year to write it!)

My general advice would be:
1) Pick books you really enjoy because you're going to be studying them in depth for the next year
2) Pick books that have enough in common to write >4500 words on the subject
3) Don't forget you can always consult your english teacher for help & support ^_^

You can't really go wrong as long as you put enough effort into it, imo.
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Gregpicard
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#9
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#9
I'm considering doing my dissertation on the themes of 'Ill-fated Love' or 'Revenge' - These are very basic and broad themes at the moment, i shall be narrowing them down. Currently, i have these particular texts in mind:

Revenge: Wuthering Heights, Moby ****, The Count of Monte Cristo, Othello, Hamlet

Ill-fated love: Wuthering Heights, Jayne Eyre, The Phantom of the Opera

Would you say these are good choices? Also, If you have any suggestions for good books relating to these themes, please don't hesitate to post them! I'm still in the process of choosing, so i'm open to all avenues.
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K.T.
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#10
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#10
How keep are you on Moby **** & Hamlet?
I know a guy on here who studied both last year for AH English, so I could always throw him your way if you want.
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Gregpicard
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#11
Report 14 years ago
#11
Oh thats great! Sure, i'm seriously considering choosing those texts, so i'd love to get some info. from the guy you know. Thanks a lot
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thebestest2
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#12
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#12
I'm the guy!

I did my dissertation on Moby ****, though I did not do it on this topic. While I cannot remember big chunks of the book that I did not analyse, I can say that Moby **** is good to write on revenge. Much reference is made to Ahab's desire for revenge after his first encounter with the Moby ****, which resulted in Ahab losing a leg. His single-minded determination to hunt the White Whale results in the death of Ahab, his crew (except for Ishmael) and the loss of his ship.

Hamlet is also an excellent choice, as the play is considered one of the classic revenge tragedies, although at the same time, it points out some of the flaws that can be found in most revenge tragedies. Any English teacher will be able to help you with Hamlet, as chances are all of them have read and studied it in depth.

Both are good choices for the revenge, though like you said, that is a fairly broad topic, and it can be narrowed down to many things.
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K.T.
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#13
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#13
^ don't let the ridiculous username put you off... :p:
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thebestest2
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#14
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#14
cos its all true. :cool:
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national
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#15
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#15
I wouldn't chose books that are in the AH possible class study list.
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Gregpicard
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#16
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#16
(Original post by thebestest2)
I'm the guy!

I did my dissertation on Moby ****, though I did not do it on this topic. While I cannot remember big chunks of the book that I did not analyse, I can say that Moby **** is good to write on revenge. Much reference is made to Ahab's desire for revenge after his first encounter with the Moby ****, which resulted in Ahab losing a leg. His single-minded determination to hunt the White Whale results in the death of Ahab, his crew (except for Ishmael) and the loss of his ship.

Hamlet is also an excellent choice, as the play is considered one of the classic revenge tragedies, although at the same time, it points out some of the flaws that can be found in most revenge tragedies. Any English teacher will be able to help you with Hamlet, as chances are all of them have read and studied it in depth.

Both are good choices for the revenge, though like you said, that is a fairly broad topic, and it can be narrowed down to many things.
Thanks for the info! It sounds like the two go well together, so i shall definately be considering them I have read both before, however i'll need to re-read and take some detailed notes.

(Original post by katrin_tara)
^ don't let the ridiculous username put you off...
Haha, his intelligence makes up for the name :p:

(Original post by Classic,Theodore)
I wouldn't chose books that are in the AH possible class study list.
We were informed by our teachers as to which texts would not be appropriate; luckily my current choices were not included in the 'black list'.
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thebestest2
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#17
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#17
Yeah, I heard from various places that the two AH Shakespeare texts are being changed this year from Hamlet and Lear to Othello and something else.
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thisisrubbish
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#18
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#18
Thanks for all the help but I dropped English today haha. The teacher's a biatch.
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Gregpicard
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#19
Report 14 years ago
#19
I think it's such a shame when people are put off doing something due to the Teacher. Luckily, the English teachers at my school are fantastic. You should stick at it! Dont let him/her factor into the equation.
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Reverie.
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#20
Report 14 years ago
#20
It is a shame, though I can see why it wouldn't be so much fun having to spend a fair bit of time with a teacher you don't like...

Our teacher was great! Well, not exactly teaching-wise (too many discussions about royalty, Cuba, sailing, sharks, chainsaws and horses for that :p:) but such a lovely person. She's like my second mother. :love:
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