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vanilla chai

IOP
Slaughterhouse-Five or Catcher in the Rye?

Alright, so I still have quite a bit of time (around 2 months?) to come up with a good idea, but so far I'm just really confused.

I'm thinking of doing it on either Slaughterhouse-five by Vonnecut or The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. For The Catcher in the Rye I was thinking of psychologically analyzing Holden, but I'm afraid it might be overdone and that I might get too much into the psychological perspective. For Slaughterhouse-Five I want to do something on the time travelling of Billy Pilgrim.

Any advice?

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My advice would be that your IOP subject isn't that important, provided you find it interesting and stick to the mark scheme. It doesn't have to be complicated, interesting or brand new and original provided it ticks all the criteria. Show that you know the novel well, analyse language and make note of literary features. That is all :P

It can be as basic and choosing one of the most common themes in the book then going through every circumstance where it comes up, analysing it and ending your presentation. If you're going to do character analysis, definitely don't become too psychological unless this is illustrating some profound knowledge of the text. One way to stop yourself going off-piste is to make your presentation "the author's presentation of X character" and then talk about it the whole way through as the different ways Salinger or whoever goes about showing you Holden's psychology.

Make your whole IOP "what the author did and why" for any theme, character, plot point, section, symbol, whatever, and you'll be fine. Definitely don't stress out about it and relax :) Preparing two months in advance is a loooong time!! I think we did ours the week before. One thing I know I found really helpful was that we did some practice IOPs on the other novels we were covering but not using for the IOP. It really helps you grow in confidence re: speaking style, give you a bit of practice responding to the questions, knowing how long to go on for, how you personally do best in terms of presenting (how you have your notes etc.) and get some feedback on these things from the teachers who can tell you what you did and didn't include. It's a great way to bypass the fact teachers can't help you at all with your actual presentation. Seeing as you have two months, asking your teacher to do a practice (assuming one isn't planned) can only be beneficial :)

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Sandwich covered most of it, but I would really like to emphasize that you should not do a psychological analysis. English Lit classes are all about the writing. They're about the style, the way the author constructs the text. Yes, it is possible to do some what of a psychological analysis in that form - but you'd be analyzing the way the author uses various techniques to create these various character traits - and it wouldn't really be a psychological analysis anymore if you get my drift. Anyway, doing something like that for an English presentation would be risky and my advise is: don't risk it.

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The Billy Pilgrim topic sounds very interesting but might also be quite psychological depending on what angle you take. I actually think the psychological analysis could work but only if you kept a thematic structure to it. For example, someone in my class did her IOP on the different forms of vanity in The Government Inspector, which is quite psychological, and she scored well. I, on the other hand, focused very much on the style/tone of my novel and ended up doing quite badly. I think the reason that focusing on the subject of the writing rather than the writing itself is also acceptable is because it shows a deeper understanding of the topics/themes of the book and what the author is trying to say etc. Every event in the book was purposefully put there by the author, and (in most good books) put there for a reason.

Of course, sticking to the literary devices is a lot safer considering that it is an English class but I think that it might be worth a shot. Go and ask your teacher about the validity of the topic and hopefully he/she'll approve!

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I would actually argue that it's more important to take a step beyond the literary analysis on a purely mechanical level, and instead look at something beyond. For example, examining Holden's psychological state would be a good topic if you connected it to something else, such as the culture in which Catcher is set, or something else. Also, be creative!

For example, I did my IOP on The Awakening and created a three-minute radio show, which I stopped every 30 seconds or so to analyse the actions of the two main characters, but in my analysis I focused heavily on the roles of masculinity and femininity that are predominant in the Creole culture depicted in the book. A girl the year ahead of me actually put the main character on trial for her own suicide; we both scored fairly well. I don't know what she ended up getting but I got a 27 (which I believe is mark 7?).

Also, know your book very, very well. Rehearse, but do not memorise; but do not read off a piece of paper either. If you can come up with some sort of connection to the book or direct quote on the spot, unrehearsed, it's obvious and it looks really good to the teacher because it's clear that you absolutely know what you're talking about.

Good luck! You have plenty of time to prep, use it well. :)

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[quote name='Cavy' timestamp='1267370692' post='63958']
I would actually argue that it's more important to take a step beyond the literary analysis on a purely mechanical level, and instead look at something beyond. For example, examining Holden's psychological state would be a good topic if you connected it to something else, such as the culture in which [u]Catcher[/u] is set, or something else. Also, be creative!

For example, I did my IOP on [u]The Awakening[/u] and created a three-minute radio show, which I stopped every 30 seconds or so to analyse the actions of the two main characters, but in my analysis I focused heavily on the roles of masculinity and femininity that are predominant in the Creole culture depicted in the book. A girl the year ahead of me actually put the main character on trial for her own suicide; we both scored fairly well. I don't know what she ended up getting but I got a 27 (which I believe is mark 7?).

Also, know your book very, very well. Rehearse, but do not memorise; but do not read off a piece of paper either. If you can come up with some sort of connection to the book or direct quote on the spot, unrehearsed, it's obvious and it looks really good to the teacher because it's clear that you absolutely know what you're talking about.

Good luck! You have plenty of time to prep, use it well. :)
[/quote]





Hey! So when I saw this post, I was like "YES!", because I'm doing my IOP about [u]The Awakening[/u] as well. However, I don't know what to talk about yet since I can't talk about a topic that our class had already discussed.. I can't think of anything else. I need help!!!! :(

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Well mine is in two days and I am seriously screwed. My teacher told me to ask for the advice from classmates, they say it is good, creative, worthy of good marks, then my teacher looks at it and says it needs serious help. So essentially. Help!!!

Well thats just great...I panic like crazy constantly coming up with new IOP topics and thesis-is because none are fully acceptable only to come to the conclusion that my original one was most powerful. Thanks for that mind. Thank you == Sorry for panicking on earlier post - Still panicking though.

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Hey, i think the idea of doing an IOP on Cather on the Rye is very vague because as far as i think, this book is not considered as a hl/sl english literature. and i studied this book in grade 8. So yes, i would recommend you to read some books like "Being There" by Jerzy Kosinski since it is very short and easy to do an IOP on. :) hope this helped you a bit. Or you can either do the IOP on Slaughterhouse-Five too! :)

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