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  1. 77 points
    Skip to... Paper 1 Paper 2 WL1 Literary features Useful Links (cribbed off sweetnsimple786, thanks!) World Literature 1 Marking Criteria World Literature 2 Marking Criteria Other Links (posted by Julie) Literary Analysis and Writing Technical Points Tips for Writing A1 Unseen Commentaries (Paper 1) 1. Learn how YOU work best Unless you've sussed it out for yourself already, your aim throughout the two years of IB should be to establish how you best approach this sort of essay. Everybody prefers to deal with it differently and has their own style -- the ultimate aim for anybody is to produce an essay with a cohesive, well-supported argument, a sound structure, doesn't skip any major points and can be completed within the allotted time. Simple, right? There are two major areas in which people differ. The first is planning. How much time do you personally need to plan? Some people like to invest a massive amount of their time into it (e.g. for a 2 hour paper at HL they might spend half an hour or more planning it) and some people much less time, for instance 5 or 10 minutes. Obviously some has to take place as you have to read the poem and formulate an argument; whether you then choose to go straight ahead and start writing (usually to maximise the amount you can write down and give yourself leeway to change things) or whether you like to plan out exactly what you're going to say when (to make sure you have a good structure and are focussed), it's not a big deal. You have to work out for yourself what the optimum sort of time is going to be. The second area is the style in which you deal with the text. This can either be done by theme (and incidentally tends to pair well with somebody who plans a lot) in which major points of discussion are stuck into dedicated paragraphs, or line-by-line which is literally dealing with the text in a linear fashion and therefore tends to require a lot less forethought. Each of these has its weaknesses -- for the former you can easily find yourself spotting something you should've discussed earlier but will then need to break your structure in order to include. You're less likely to come across things as you're writing, can write comparatively 'shallow' essays (i.e. less deep analysis) and of course you do need to plan things like crazy. An acronym often related to this is SCASI (Setting/Character/Action/Style/Ideas), where you do roughly a section of your essay on each of those. Weaknesses related to the line-by-line are largely time management (you end up writing a lot more) and making sure you pick up on overarching themes as well as structuring it in a cohesive manner. Use any practice commentaries you do to test these out! Which do you prefer? More importantly, with which of these methods/time distributions do you get the best results grades-wise? You might be at an extreme or somewhere in the middle, but you're going to have a style which suits you and it's extremely important you're secure and confident in your personal approach before you enter the exam. On a final note, a lot of teachers will tell you that there's only one way to write a commentary. This is wrong. I've seen 7s with good employment of both these styles and the examiners will reward essays which fulfil the marking criteria, not your teacher's favourite way of doing it. 2. Don't pick between poetry/prose in advance This might seem reasonably obvious, but there is a considerable chance that the poem/prose which comes up will not be to your liking. With the poetry you might not understand it... and with the prose you might not really see what there is to write. There are exceptions to this rule, some people know what they're doing and can go for their favourite every time, but as a general rule if you don't know 100% that you are an exception (and you'll know, trust me!) my advice is to practice both. Don't pick prose or poetry prior to seeing what they are like, that's a pretty crazy tactic because you're taking away your own options! 3. Have a line of argument This gives your essay purpose, direction and is something for you to constantly refer back to. It's easier to do an analysis if you treat the whole essay as building up the case for WHY your analysis is correct. Imagine that you've announced "this poem is about X and now I'm going to show you why". This way you'll analyse, you'll give examples and you'll have cohesion because your essay will keep returning to the same central points. At no point in the exam should you be sitting scratching your head wondering where on earth to go next. You have an introduction (your declaration and brief overview of why you believe X to be the case) and a conclusion (briefly how you believe you've proved it to be so). Excellent stuff, having a line of argument. 4. Make sure your argument makes sense If I am correct, in the USA and some other places, they call an argument a thesis statement. Whatever. Call it what you like, it is extremely important that you project your own 'vision' or interpretation of the poetry/prose. What this does NOT under any circumstances mean is that you see one bit of a line, think "ooo I like that idea!" and start inventing things or deciding that the word 'interpretation' is some kind of arty excuse for making mystical-sounding comments. World Literature is an analytical subject at heart, and whilst there's no technical right and wrong in that several versions of something can be correct, there's definitely a wrong and the word for that is misinterpretation. You do not want to misinterpret the whole thing. Some people are lucky and will never misinterpret because it comes naturally to them; for other people, no worries, there is a litmus test. Decide what you think the main theme of the poem/prose is and then with your decision in mind, and prior to writing anything, go through the whole text and think at every point "does my interpretation DEFINITELY make sense in light of this section?". Sometimes you might find something contradictory -- for instance a note of joy in a poem which is otherwise quite depressing. In that case, your argument can no longer be that the whole poem is centred around bitterness (or whatever, I'm making this up) but rather you'll have to alter your argument to the poem being about the randomness of fate (because on reflection it turns out that the contrast between the depression and the joy makes this the message you receive). Clearly this is an invented example, but the point I'm trying to get at is that the former interpretation wouldn't fit the whole text. The second interpretation DOES fit the whole text. Always make sure that your main line of argument fits everything, or your entire essay will be out. 5. Use language you understand Okay I'm not going to lie, some people say some really stupid things. If you don't know what a word means, don't know how a phrase is used (and this happens to some native speakers as well as non-native speakers) for the love of whatever higher being may or may not be out there… don't do it! Please. If you've been exposed to a lot of phrases around you in everyday life, and read a lot of books, you'll probably find this kind of thing like second nature to you, and you're very lucky. If not, please don't try and impress anybody. It's better to use straight forward sentences and make sure you're definitely getting your point across. You will not be rewarded for speaking with the kind of Elizabethan flourish which would've made Shakespeare proud of his handiwork. They're going to be more impressed by the whole thing making sense than by you using verbs in conjunction with the wrong prepositions etc. 6. PEE! Also go to the toilet before the exam. I always assume everybody has heard of this; if you haven't, listen up! PEE is the best way to approach anything. Point, Example, Explanation! Live by the code of PEE and you should never make a crappy point (because if it's crappy hopefully you'll realise your explanation sucks and therefore not write it) and never make a point without explaining it (without that extra E, PEE just wouldn't be the amusing urination-based acronym we all know and love, would it?). To break it down with a (flippant) example: Point --> Seamus Heaney (a poet) uses potato-based puns to enforce his love of potatoes Example --> He says: "Without potatoes/I would not be rooted in this life" (yes this is made up) Explanation --> The word "rooted" refers back both to the author's roots and also to the nature of potatoes themselves which are root vegetables. He also uses a very effective sentence structure to emphasise the significance of potatoes by making them the start of the phrase, the verb in the middle and then with "life" as the last word in the phrase, the stresses fall in such a way that the two seem linked…. etc etc etc. It's amazing what you can bull**** really 7. Manage your time wisely Okay I mentioned this with planning earlier. Know when you're going to have done stuff by and keep an eye on the clock. An essay is not an essay without a conclusion and all of its contents, and these things cannot be put into place if you run out of time! When I used to do my A1 essays I went line-by-line and said more or less to leave 5 mins at the end to conclude have 5 mins at the start to plan and intend to be halfway through the poem by the time I got halfway through my time. Never failed to finish an essay with this (very non-technical but useful) tactic. Don't be caught out. 8. Make points, don't score points! (aka don't drop in literary features if you don't know what you're doing) I wrote that mostly because it sounds catchy, but basically what I mean is that you should realise you get marks for making points. Not for using special words. Obviously you want to use some special words throughout (and by special words I mean the World Lit lingo: alliteration, metaphors, caesuras etc etc) but they should be coincidental with you making a point. I used to fit them in as part of the second E in my PEE. When explaining why my point was valid I would casually mention that it was mightily effective on account of the simile and so on. In other words, they can be slotted in casually. What you should avoid is point scoring, which is kinda like name dropping only using special words. Just because you know a word to describe a literary feature and what it means, it doesn't mean it's always going to be there! The major victim of people trying to point score is "irony". In actual fact, irony is not all that pervasive in literature. It crops up every now and again, but not particularly frequently and definitely not in 80%+ of things. I'm not going to bother inventing a statistic for how often it does crop up, but just remember it's not everywhere. DO NOT say something is 'an example of irony' unless you A) are sure it's definitely an example of irony and that you know what irony is B) are willing to explain how it's an example and why this is effective This goes for any special word. If you know something is effective but don't know the special word for it (and often there isn't one), there's no harm in explaining it out. It is better to do this than to invent things or to go out of your way to include literary features just for the sake of them being there! If something if effective, just explain why. You don't need a technical term for it every time, and if you see something you know the technical term for but it isn't really effective... don't go out of your way to mention it. Tips for Writing A1 Essay Responses (Paper 2) 1. Look at past questions and use them to break down your texts for revision If you look through past paper questions, you'll spot that the sorts of questions you receive will always be about generalised things. Off the top of my head, things like Setting, Character, Beginnings and Endings, Death, Love, Chronology etc. all tend to crop up with reassuring regularity. So, this is the way in which you should approach your texts when revising them. Remember that in the actual thing you'll come across one of these sorts of questions and you will either have to sit and think for the very first time of exactly how the minor characters influenced the play (...for example...) or you'll have handily thought of it all before. Hopefully you'll agree that the second scenario is much better than the first. My advice is therefore to go through all of your texts and pick out the main points to do with these themes. Not only will you familiarise yourself with the texts in the process, but you should also find that a lot of the points can be easily recycled into your actual essay in the exam and that's the aim. Get a piece of paper, head it up with the theme you're looking at and then divide it into columns. Think of a point from one of the texts and simultaneously whether that same point can be made in another text -- i.e. compare and contrast. You might draw a blank, or you might think "well they DO mention the minor characters, but they play more of a role in narrating the life of the main characters than in providing any of the action..." = et voila, a contrast! That kind of thing. 2. Prepare all of your texts Do not favouritise texts. You will note that the questions ask you to write about 2 or more of the works you have studied. So yes, technically you only have to learn about 2. What, however, if the question in the exam asks you about Death, and nobody dies in one of the texts. You'll be stuffed. Unless you can see forward in time to know what the question will be, don't do just 2 of the texts. Do all of them. Revising them isn't really very time-consuming or difficult, and at the end of the day you'll be able to make the best comparisons if you're able to choose the best texts to compare. Simple as. 3. Use the exam time as a guide to which texts to use Again going back to the "only doing 2 texts" thing, there is NO optimum number of texts to do. You can get a 7 comparing 2 of them, and you can get a 7 comparing all 4 of them. Also 3. It depends on the question you get and how much you know to be able to write! Sometimes you'll be able to say a lot about 2 texts, sometimes you'll be able to say a little about all 4. Provided your answer is high quality and makes some good points, it'll be okay. 4. Avoid the format Text A. Text B. Text C. End. This also applies to the World Lit essays: do not write everything about Love in Text A and then everything about Love in Text B. It is infinitely easier to make good points and score better if you follow the model: Point A about Love in Text A, Point A about Love in Text B. In other words, each paragraph(ish) should be a comparison of a specific point across the texts, and you should be constantly flitting between the two or more texts. This'll give you good structure and make your essay cohesive. It's similar to the line-of-argument thinking, really. Hopefully that makes sense. 5. Learn roughly 5 quotes per text (minimum) You don't have the texts with you in the exams (unless your school is being super lax with the IB rules), however it is always good to A) do some language analysis B) show your amazing knowledge of the texts Of course you can (and definitely should) show knowledge by explaining where your examples sit in context within the texts, how they're supported or repeated throughout the text and all that sort of thing which shows the examiner that you clearly know the text well, without quoting. However, quotes are important. I would recommend you learn 4-5 quotes per text. The reason for this number? Well it's random, however it should also be sufficient. Remember that YOU are in charge of putting them in, so for all the examiner knows, you might know every word of the whole book but have just chosen to put in 2 or 3 quotes -- you can show off what you know and totally skip on what you don't know by simply explaining it rather than quoting it. Consequently, you don't need to remember lots, and you can base some of your points around your quotes to make sure you nip them in. For this reason, your quotes need to be well-selected. I would recommend that you have quotes to convey the main themes, important things about the main characters, examples of the author's style if they have a distinctive style, and at least one quote which you can do a tiny bit of literary analysis on per text. You can find these by flicking through the books and just thinking of the most important things your teachers picked out in lessons, or you'll also find that sites like Sparknotes often contain 'key' quotes which you can use to inspire you. Picture them appearing in your essay and the points you'll make from them and it'll help you pick They don't have to be long... even just 3 words long if it makes your point! 6. Make sure the essay has a sound, planned structure In my experience, people rarely run out of time for this essay. There's no line-by-line version where you can ramble on to make your point, you'll have to structure it. Again you should practice how long this is going to take you, but you should do it a bit like Tip 1. Columns to compare points across as many texts as you're going to include. This shouldn't take you too long, but make sure you introduce with a mini line-of-argument, as in Paper 1 (it's a bit harder in Paper 2 so your introduction will probably just be some major generalising about the way in which the theme pops up in the texts) -- this'll also provide you with a way to conclude. Always think how to link the previous point to the next point so your essay flows well. 7. Remember what your texts are called and who wrote them... It does not in any way shape or form help impress the examiner if you cannot get these right!! You'd be amazed what sorts of things you assume you know but will blank on in the exam, and the names of texts and authors are right up there with major things people forget. Part of this is due to the fact you'll be giving them all slang names by the end of studying them (e.g. 'Handmaids' instead of 'The Handmaid's Tale', and suddenly you'll be in the exam wondering who on earth wrote it, how many Ts there are in "At(t?)wood" and whether it was 'a' Handmaid's Tale or 'the' Handmaid's Tale or whether there was ever an extra word there at all). Really stupid things but you'll get stuck! Make sure you're spelling all of the titles, character and author's names right (don't assume you've been calling them the right name for 2 years, for instance many people reading The Outsider are very freaked that 'Mersault' has secretly been called 'Meursault' the whole time). This is the thing you will absolutely kick yourself for not getting right. 8. Always refer back to context and give examples Show you know the texts! Without retelling the story, pop in a little bit of context with all your examples, and make sure you give an example (not necessarily quoted, remember, it can just be explained) for every point you make. Don't waste your time by going into insane detail, just make it subtly obvious you know the texts with context and examples. 9. How many paragraphs should my essay have?? Okay, lots of people ask this. The answer is AS MANY AS IT NEEDS. The reason for this is the intrinsic structure of your essay. You want each paragraph/section to be illustrating a new compare/contrast point. For instance, if the Question you're given is something like... "In the texts you have studied, what is the role of time?", you want to instantly come up with comparators/contrasts. E.g.... - in Long Day's Journey Into Night, the setting changes over time to show the passing of the day and the 'journey into night' - in Waiting for Godot, the setting never changes to reflect how despite changing time, nothing actually changes - in Long Day's Journey Into Night, the mother lives mentally in the past and regresses further and further as the play goes on - in Waiting for Godot the characters are confused about the time and how long they've been there (...and then obviously a lot more points!!) Having done this you want to look at the points of comparison and contrast you've created. I would say that the points are 1. the way that time affects setting 2. the character's view of the passage of time Et voila! 2 points and ~ 2 paragraphs. Hopefully this illustrates the idea of the structure: your paragraphs/sections should represent your points, and your point should compare/contrast across all the texts you're using. In this way you end up with a good, well-structured essay that very tightly and neatly answers the question. Your points and ideas are very clear! This is, essentially, PEE again. Got to love PEE Really though, there's no point in doing X number of paragraphs as some optimum number. You'll have no idea how many points you're going to have and how many paragraphs your writing will take up until you've written it. Otherwise it's like saying that you're going somewhere nobody's ever been before, but nevertheless want somebody to advise you on the exact walking time. Just plain old bizarre. Tips for Writing WL1 Essays 1. Get your question right! "Thesis statement" or question, whatever code name it goes under, it is absolutely absolutely essential it's right. You have several things to look at to get it 'right', and these are as follows A) You will be able to write 1,500 words in answer to your question. WL essays are short and if it's not 1,450-1,500 words minimum I would suggest you've not set yourself a very good question or have failed to answer it thoroughly enough. You should be editing out minor words like crazy trying to trim it down, and definitely not stopping short of the mark. B) You will be able to answer the question extremely thoroughly within 1,500 words. If you think "oh and I could've said that, too, but I ran out of space..." you didn't set yourself a very good question! Your question must be FULLY answered in the word count. C) It will be a question! I personally think the phrase "thesis statement" can be misleading in terms of including the word statement. There should be no stating, narrating or retelling (unless it's part of briefly establishing context). You're trying to prove something by answering a task you've set yourself. If you're having difficulty finding a question, I would suggest looking again at major themes and characters as you'll invariably find at least something to compare between those. 2. Thoroughly integrate the two texts As with Paper 2 (Tip 4) make sure you constantly put one text against the other and do your best to avoid half your essay being about Text A and then half your essay being about Text B. You can't really do an analytical comparison that way, you end up just listing facts about 1 and facts about 2 -- if you're good you might be able to link Text B back every single time you spot an overlap, but that makes for difficult and messy reading and is generally not what you want to be doing if your aim is to impress. 3. Keep quotes short, simple and sweet Definitely quote! Just remember that quotes take up your word count, so the more professional you are about integrating your quotes the better. Don't quote a whole sentence if the bit you want is only in part of it. If you can edit out/in words so it makes sense in the context of what you're writing, that not only shows that you are proficient at writing and will get you brownie points for that, but also saves your word count (yay). To show an example of quotes being integrated well and quotes being integrated less well, I shall give an example -- for instance, if the sentence in the book was "Fred's tortured past was long behind him now" A 'worse' version of this might be By saying 'Fred's tortured past was long behind him now', the author contrasts the fact that his past was bleak with the fact it happened a long time ago .... A better version: Here Fred's past is described as "tortured" but the author also contrasts it with the fact that it is "long behind him now" Not the best of examples but hopefully you can see that by chopping and changing, you can quote as part of your explanation rather than quoting something and then explaining it. In the long run it reads better, saves words and is generally more efficient. 4. SHOW your knowledge of the text The best way to do this is by putting all of your examples in context. It's very important to appear to have a good working knowledge of whatever it is you're writing about and you should note that the IB specifies an appreciation of culture as one of its little keywords in the WL1 blurb. Although you should put all of the examples into the context of the novel/play/whatever itself, it's possibly worth putting some points of the novel in a more global context -- for instance if you were to pick out an example from Animal Farm with one of the pigs talking, you could extremely briefly mention the propaganda of Orwell's time and the message which he intends to convey through the character of the pigs being very relevant to its original readers. With Antigone or one of the Ancient Greek plays, pointing out how useful the Chorus is as a narrative technique given the mechanics of Greek theatres. This kind of thing is good because it shows you appreciate the style of the piece and also its original cultural context. Whatever you do do NOT go on about this for any longer than absolutely necessary. It's a World Literature piece, so any reference to non-WL stuff should be the tiniest of comments, but it's a good idea to nip in this sort of thing somewhere as it shows the examiner you appreciate a very large context to your understanding of the literature. 5. Take advantage of presenting the characters (added by Tilia) Present the characters. Don't write "X eats a potato together with Y". Instead write "The 16-year-old protagonist X eats a potato together with his best friend and neighbour, the blonde Englishman Y". This is how you show knowledge of works, criterion B. (And handily use hardly any of your word count in the process! Good tip or what?) Literary features bucket list: a short list of essentials literary features you can add to... but it's definitely useful to know these ones! Hopefully those're all helpful hints. Please feel free to post some of your own and I'll edit them into this thread with some credit -- only if they're decent, of course, although I'm sure they will be (so no "bring a pen" comments!) xP Or if you have constructive comments to make on the tips already up there, those are also welcome.
  2. 72 points
    My classmate sent me this for tomorrows exam and I found it to be most helpful, so I wanted to share it with you guys A good way is to discuss the following for both prose and poetry: · The five W’s – What? Who? When? Where? Why? · Ambiguities · Diction · Imagery · Tone · Mood · Structure · Pattern · Voice · Syntax Prose-specific: · Plot · Narrative point of view · Characterization · Chronology (Use of time) · Setting · Paragraphing Poetry-specific: · Layout · Stanzas · Metre · Sound Organization of Time: 30 minutes – Read the passage, over and over again until you feel confident about the passage and have absorbed its contents. Then analysis and structure your commentary with a thesis statement. Exemplary Thesis Statement: A’s work B shows C through the following devices D to achieve overall effect(s) E. Outline: Introduction – Opener containing author and title. Discuss the main issues of your commentary, e.g. devices, in such a way that you are “attempting” to understand the meaning of the work (e.g. the overall effect). Do not present yourself in such a manner that you seem entirely self-assured in the introduction, but rather you have noticed something and plan to explore it further through the commentary. Conclude with the thesis statement. Literary devices #1 (e.g. Structure, Diction, Imagery) – Open with the general intent of the paragraph – e.g. A uses archaic diction to rectify the Victorian setting. Then, discuss the evidence for this, showing the effects of these devices and the author’s intention with this. The closing sentence should present what device you were exploring and the overall effect you feel this had for the passage, and in its heightening of the “overall effect and intentions” of the passage. Repeat this for every group of literary devices, mentioning all the relevant devices and aspects (see previous lists). Conclusion – state that extent of the effect’s effectiveness. Then state the devices that contributed. Then conclude with a clincher. 90 minutes – Write, using proof from the text, in accordance with your previously made outline. Discuss the effects of the devices and show “professional” personal interpretation. Ensure that your vocabulary is eloquent and coherently verbose. Tips: 1. The structure of your commentary is probably the single most important way of gaining (and losing marks). Write a strong Introduction and Conclusion (in a similar format as previously described) and ensure that every body paragraph has a strong opener with the intent of the paragraph and a clincher which emphasizes the addition to meaning that the devices provide. This is incredibly easy to do - but if forgotten, it will make a difference in your grade. 2. ‘So what?’ mentality – every single device you mention should have you thinking “So what?” what does this device do for the passage? How does it contribute to the overall effect or meaning? This will strengthen your discussion of the effects (key for HL). If you cannot mention the effect or the significance DO NOT mention the device! 3. Do not seem definitive, rather seem to “struggle” – use words like ‘perhaps’, ‘seems to’, etc, to ensure that you do not say “This is what the poem is, take it or leave it.” The examiner has most definitely read the passage well and will not be pleased to see a butchering of the text, which is definitive (and most likely pompous in their eyes). Also, this will allow you to point out the text’s ambiguities and describe their significance. 4. Use ‘the reader,’ ‘the audience,’ and possibly even ‘we’ to reinforce the reader. 5. Do not state the obvious – show your thought process and analysis. Example, in commenting on a passage from Life of Pi, where the author mentions the tiger and child are scared: “link 1: the boat is sinking and tiger is too (obviously) link 2: the tiger is scared (clearly implied by text) link 3: fear is an emotion, therefore the tiger is experiencing human emotions (low level thinking) link 4: if the tiger is experincing human emotions, the author is trying to humanize the tiger (slightly higher level thinking) link 5: why is the author humanizing the tiger? perhaps the tiger is supposed to be a metaphor for a concept (higher level thinking) link 6: what is the concept and what are the author's reasons? (thesis statement) link 7: since these emotions are humans, there is personification going on (more higher level thinking). An example of an explication written for a timed exam (non-IB specific): The Fountain Fountain, fountain, what do you say Singing at night alone? "It is enough to rise and fall Here in my basin of stone." But are you content as you seem to be So near the freedom and rush of the sea? "I have listened all night to its laboring sound, It heaves and sags, as the moon runs round; Ocean and fountain, shadow and tree, Nothing escapes, nothing is free." —Sara Teasdale (American, l884-1933) As a direct address to an inanimate object "The Fountain" presents three main conflicts concerning the appearance to the observer and the reality in the poem. First, since the speaker addresses an object usually considered voiceless, the reader may abandon his/her normal perception of the fountain and enter the poet's imaginative address. Secondly, the speaker not only addresses the fountain but asserts that it speaks and sings, personifying the object with vocal abilities. These acts imply that, not only can the fountain speak in a musical form, but the fountain also has the ability to present some particular meaning ("what do you say" (1)). Finally, the poet gives the fountain a voice to say that its perpetual motion (rising and falling) is "enough" to maintain its sense of existence. This final personification fully dramatizes the conflict between the fountain's appearance and the poem's statement of reality by giving the object intelligence and voice. The first strophe, four lines of alternating 4- and 3-foot lines, takes the form of a ballad stanza. In this way, the poem begins by suggesting that it will be story that will perhaps teach a certain lesson. The opening trochees and repetition stress the address to the fountain, and the iamb which ends line 1 and the trochee that begins line 2 stress the actions of the fountain itself. The response of the fountain illustrates its own rise and fall in the iambic line 3, and the rhyme of "alone" and "stone" emphasizes that the fountain is really a physical object, even though it can speak in this poem. The second strophe expands the conflicts as the speaker questions the fountain. The first couplet connects the rhyming words "be" and "sea" these connections stress the question, "Is the fountain content when it exists so close to a large, open body of water like the ocean?" The fountain responds to the tempting "rush of the sea" with much wisdom (6). The fountain's reply posits the sea as "laboring" versus the speaker's assertion of its freedom; the sea becomes characterized by heavily accented "heaves and sags" and not open rushing (7, 8). In this way, the fountain suggests that the sea's waters may be described in images of labor, work, and fatigue; governed by the moon, these waters are not free at all. The "as" of line 8 becomes a key word, illustrating that the sea's waters are not free but commanded by the moon, which is itself governed by gravity in its orbit around Earth. Since the moon, an object far away in the heavens, controls the ocean, the sea cannot be free as the speaker asserts. The poet reveals the fountain's intelligence in rhyming couplets which present closed-in, epigrammatic statements. These couplets draw attention to the contained nature of the all objects in the poem, and they draw attention to the final line's lesson. This last line works on several levels to address the poem's conflicts. First, the line refers to the fountain itself; in this final rhymed couplet is the illustration of the water's perpetual motion in the fountain, its continually recycled movement rising and falling. Second, the line refers to the ocean; in this respect the water cannot escape its boundary or control its own motions. The ocean itself is trapped between landmasses and is controlled by a distant object's gravitational pull. Finally, the line addresses the speaker, leaving him/her with an overriding sense of fate and fallacy. The fallacy here is that the fountain presents this wisdom of reality to defy the speaker's original idea that the fountain and the ocean appear to be trapped and free. Also, the direct statement of the last line certainly addresses the human speaker as well as the human reader. This statement implies that we are all trapped or controlled by some remote object or entity. At the same time, the assertion that "Nothing escapes" reflects the limitations of life in the world and the death that no person can escape. Our own thoughts are restricted by our mortality as well as by our limits of relying on appearances. By personifying a voiceless object, the poem presents a different perception of reality, placing the reader in the same position of the speaker and inviting the reader to question the conflict between appearance and reality, between what we see and what we can know. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT: The writer observes and presents many of the most salient points of the short poem, but she could indeed organize the explication more coherently. To improve this explication, the writer could focus more on the speaker's state of mind. In this way, the writer could explore the implications of the dramatic situation even further: why does the speaker ask a question of a mute object? With this line of thought, the writer could also examine more closely the speaker's movement from perplexity (I am trapped but the waters are free) to a kind of resolution (the fountain and the sea are as trapped as I am). Finally, the writer could include a more detailed consideration of rhythm, meter, and rhyme. Hope this helps, best regards from Teresa in Iceland
  3. 71 points
    Okay, so I found a bunch of notes I took when my teachers were giving us IA tips and format..etc. Some of the below I had to copy of the board, so you may find these in the books. So, Biology IAs should follow this general format: DESIGN 1)Research Question 2)Hypothesis/Predictions 3)Variables 4)Apparatus 5)Method/procedure DCP 1)Collected data 2)Data processing 3)Data presentation CE 1)Conclusion 2)Evaluation Design Research question: This should be a clear focused question that says exactly what you are investigating. It shouldn't be too long and it must include the dependent and independent variables. Eg. What is the effect of pH on the activity rate of salivary amylase? Dependent variable: activity rate Independent variable: pH Hypothesis: This is a paragraph or two where you explain your research question. You are going to say something like: "Salivary Amylase is a an enzyme that digests starch into di- and monosaccharides. Since it's a salivary amylase, the enzyme works best at an alkaline pH of 7, in other words, the optimum pH is 7. At this pH, the rate of amylase activity will be at it's highest. A pH that is much lower (very acidic) or much higher (very alkaline) will denature the enzyme permanently (specifically the active site), and the enzyme can't function anymore. The activity of the enzyme will decrease as we increase or decrease pH." You may also want to include a graph to show this if this possible. Variables: A list or a table that include: -Independent variable: this is the variable you're changing. In the example above, the pH. -Dependent variable: this is what changes when you change the independent variable. Eg. Activity rate. -Controlled variables: these are all the other variables that must be kept the same in order to get an accurate results. For example, Temperature, pressure..etc. Apparatus: This is the list where you include everything you are going to use. Make sure you don't forget anything. My teacher always told me to include a diagram of the apparatus, so you may want to add that too. When listing the apparatus, be specific: 1)'A beaker' wont work, you have to specify the type and the volume. Same for any other apparatus of this sort. 2)When listing chemical substances like enzymes or starch solutions. Include the volume and the concentration. 3)For Solid substances used, include the mass in 'g' 4)When mentioning the thermometer, you may want to say it goes from -2C to 100C just to be specific. Method: I always prefer the method being in a list format rather than a paragraph. It makes it much easier to read and understand. I would advise you to not use the first person. For example if you want to say "I will measure 50ml of starch solution into a beaker" you should say "Measure 50ml of starch solution into a beaker" Please make sure you include every single step, don't miss one because it seems like an 'obvious' step! Also make sure that your method controls the controlled variables and allows the collection of raw data. After finishing your design, take a look at the table below (from the syllabus) to make sure you didn't miss anything: Data Collection and Processing (DCP) Collected data: This is normally given in one or more tables. Make sure your table is clear and easy to read and follow. Trust me, it makes a difference. Do not forget to include the units at the top of each column in brackets and the error! Here's an example: Data processing: Data processing is where they want you to do something with the data. Find an average, do one of the hypothesis test, calculate the standard deviation...etc. It normally depends on the experiment. Errors/uncertainties: This is the calculation of the % error in your experiment which you're going to discuss in CE. The uncertainty of each apparatus should be printed on it. If it's not, then the uncertainty is the half the smallest division. For example, a ruler that with 0.1cm division will have an error of +/- 0.05cm. Data presentation: This presentation should be of the raw data and the processed data if possible. Bar graphs and line graphs are one of the best way to present a data in most cases. A pie chart or a scatter graph may also be used. When adding the graph, make sure it has a title, labelled axis and legends. If you are for example investigating something at two different environments or situations, you should have a graph for each and then a third graph with the both, to show better comparison. In most cases, you are going to have to do at least 3 or 4 trials, include the graphs for each, then a final one of the average results. When appropriate include the uncertainties in the graph. Please make sure the graph/chart is suitable for your type of data before using it. Here are examples: Bar Graph: Pie Chart: Once again, take a look at the criteria for a last check: Conclusion and Evaluation (CE) Conclusion: The first point about the conclusion is that it should directly relate to the hypothesis. In other words, your conclusion must restate and discuss the hypothesis. You are not going to say why the results weren't accurate in this section. You're going to do discuss your results. Does it support the hypothesis? Were you predictions correct? Make sure you mention them again. I read this in one of the documents it got, and many people make this mistake: when talking about a hypothesis you're talking about whether the results support or refute the hypothesis, not prove the hypothesis. In your conclusion, make sure you discuss the graphs, the charts..the data processing..etc. Evaluation and improvement methods I would organize this part in this way: 1st paragraph: the weaknesses and limitations. In other words, all the possible reasons you could think of as to why your % error is too big (if that applies), why you results didn't perfectly support the hypothesis, why you results weren't accurate...etc. So basically, you're going to talk about all the weaknesses in your design and the effects these weaknesses had on the results. When mentioning the possible errors, I suggest doing it in bullet points because like I said they're much easier to read and understand. 2nd paragraph: improvements: This is basically the "The errors above could be avoided next time by.....". Then just start suggesting all the things you would do differently next time to get better results, for example: 1)Repeat the experiments more than x times. 2)Control temperature and pressure more carefully. 3)Try to reduce human errors. 4)Use more accurate apparatus for volume measurements. and so on. Criteria table: EDIT: Criteria tables added.
  4. 56 points
    Basic guide to writing the essay ReferenceThis guide is adapted from the works of Richard van de Lagemaat: http://www.cambridge...ets/pdf/TOK.pdf Writing a TOK Essay Tones of people freak out over the TOK essay when they see the topics. I know I did. It took me a lot of investigation, tips, and going to talk to my professor to figure out the process. In the end, my teacher gave me the best advice, which I have given bellow. It helped amazingly. Where do I start? What do I write? How many paragraphs should I have? How many examples should I have? What about counter-arguments? Can I use outside sources? How do I define terms? Do I even need to define them? All of these are common questions asked by TOK students. I have given the information bellow that I find most important for writing a solid, well-rounded, critical and organized essay. If anyone would like to add in advice or information, or give me suggestions of advice and information to add into this document, feel free, and I will get right on it. How to Remember the Assessment Criteria Keep in mind the Assessment Criteria when writing your TOK essay. Use it as a checklist throughout your writing process. Does your essay contain each criteria, A, B, C and D? A. Understanding knowledge issues You essay is focused on knowledge issues You have made links and comparisons You have only relevant information Your understanding of the prescribed topic is sophisticated B. Knower’s perspective Your thinking and reasoning is independent You demonstrate self-awareness You mention different perspectives about specific issues Your examples are varied, well-explained and relevant C. Analysis of knowledge issues Your writing style and organization demonstrates insight and depth Your main points have been justified You essay contains both arguments and counter-arguments Your essay clarifies assumptions and implications mentioned D. Organisation of ideas The essay is well-structured The key concepts are explained Your facts mentioned are accurate Your essay contains a Reference Page Remembering the each criteria throughout the writing process may be difficult; therefore, another method of keeping the basics in your mind while writing is by using the "4 Cs" explained below: CONTENT (criterion A)- incorporation of Knowledge Issues CREATIVITY (criterion B)- incorporation of Personal Thought CRITICAL THINKING (criterion C)- incorporation of arguments and counter-arguments CLARITY (criterion D)- well-structured essay Choosing a Question from the Prescribed Titles and Brainstorming When choosing a question for your essay from the IBO Prescribed Titles, make sure the question you choose can fulfill the following: You understand the question If you don't understand the question, than don't try to figure out what it means. Just don't choose that question! Choose something easier! You should be clear about what the question means, what knowledge issues it raises and what is and is not relevant to it. You are interested in the question How can you write about something you are not interested in? You will encounter many difficulties and also become very bored. Remember, one goal in writing an essay it to keep it interesting for the reader! You have something to say about the question Can you come up with knowledge issues, possible examples and explanations for the question? You need to display confidence in your essay, if you cannot identify it's features, you cannot display that confidence. Try not to choose a question that covers a topic you did not study in your TOK class. Now it is time to Brainstorm your ideas: Read exemplar essays Keep in mind the TOK diagram (if you have trouble remembering it, print it out and have it in front of you at all times) Keep in mind the Assessment Criteria or the "4 Cs" Jot down ideas that come to mind when thinking about the question Compare and contrast the ideas, than get rid of unimportant ideas. Think about how your ideas are related to each other Create a mind map to visualize your ideas, and connect them Start giving your main ideas sub-points Don't start writing by using a textbook with information. The essay is all about your ideas, and your reflection on the question. Writing and Organizing the Essay Now that you have brainstormed your ideas and have a good idea about what you want to write. Begin writing. Structure: Introduction Body Paragraphs Conclusion Introduction Tell the reader what you are going to do in the body paragraphs of your essay There are three steps to a solid introduction: have an attention grabber at the beginning of the introduction to hold the reader's attention explain what you understand by the question outline how you will approach the question and undertake the issues [*]In order to explain yourself, you should: write the question you are undertaking in your own words explain key terms/give definitions for key terms (in order to avoid ambiguity throughout your essay) state why the question is important [*]impose your own limits on the question (you can never cover everything, so choose the main fields you wish to work work with) Thesis Statement the fundamental claim you are making in your essay write a rough Thesis Statement before you start writing your Thesis Statement will most likely need to be changed a the end of your writing Paragraphs Purpose of the paragraphs (i.e. the body) of your essay- break down, and set apart major new points in your arguments Organization of the paragraphs of your essay- a group of arguments and evidence that have to do specifically with the point of the main argument being discussed in that specific paragraph How long should each paragraph be and how should they be or set-up? Make sure your paragraphs don't have any irrelevant information Major points will, obviously, be longer paragraphs; meanwhile, minor points will be shorter, possibly only 4-5 sentences Transition smoothly from paragraph to paragraph (i.e. from point to point). Use appropriate transition words and concluding sentences in your paragraphs to achieve this smooth transition Since it is a long essay, you may want to occasionally recap on what you have written, as to not lose the reader in many points, examples and information. Conclusion Wrap up your essay; do not end abruptly. Do not briefly restate what you have already said in your body paragraphs Formulate a new way to state your major insight/argument Mention unresolved issues Have a striking concluding sentence, giving the reader a positive view on your essays argument. Style Clarity Economy Precision Clarity- make sure the reader can understand what you are saying. Do not feel the need to use complicated words, which would brake the flow of your essay. Economy- make your essay flow, but also eliminate irrelevant adjectives and other words that are unnecessary and take up your limited word count Precision avoid clarifying too many words; people will get overwhelmed by definitions make sure to use language that is correct. Some words have subtle differences, others sometimes are inadequately used Key Features that Should Appear in Your Essay Content- Key Question: could your essay have been written by someone who has never taken a TOK class? If yes, than you have a problem: there is not enough TOK content (vocabulary, arguments, areas of knowledge, issues of knowledge, etc.) display TOK-type critical thinking abilities the central question: How do you know tell about the subject, not just facts compare and contrast difference sources, knowledge issues and areas of knowledge Personal Thought- Key Question: does the accumulation of your examples and personal thoughts to justify your arguments give your essay a distinctive voice? If your essay sounds bland and boring, you have a problem: go back, be creative and thoughtful. Demonstrate your personal thoughts through: specific positions you take and the points you make for the positions your well-organize, structured essay your comparisons your choice of examples your use of language your awareness of bias Definitions- Key Question: Does your essay begin with explanations/definitions of possible contested concepts you will be utilizing throughout your essay? If someone was to highlight the definitions in your essay, would they be in the introduction, before the reflection? Define the contested concepts Definitions should be at the beginning of the essay, and a reflection should end the essay Explain why the definition is important and what hangs on it. You may need to refine your definitions after you finish writing your essay. Steps for a good definition: look into typical examples find common characteristics test the concept Arguments- Key Question: Are your arguments a connected series of statements? Do your arguments gives premises to support your claim (your conclusion paragraph) "Therefore" test- put therefore in front of your statements, and the series makes sense, then it is an argument. Evidence- Key Question: Do you have examples for your arguments that give your reader a typical, real-lie event to identify with? As a rough guide, you should give supporting evidence if what you are saying is: central to your argument disputable or surprising. [*]The more that hangs on an assertion and the more disputable it is, the more evidence you should give in support of it. [*]Approach your sources critically: Who says? Do they have the relevant expertise? Are they trustworthy? Do they have a vested interest? What’s the evidence? How plausible is it? Do they show both sides? Do they use emotive language? Do other experts agree? Counter-arguments- Key Question: Did you give substantial counter-arguments and refute them successfully? Pretend like your essay is a dialogue: someone is trying to contradict your argument, and you are refuting them Once you have given a counter-argument, you will need to decide how it affects your original argument. There are two main types of response you can make: Refutation- reject the counter-argument, proving its mistakes, unlikeliness or unimportance Concession- You allow that there is some truth in the counter-argument and qualify your original argument to take account of it. Sound Reasoning- Key Question: Go through your essay and identify all of the arguments. Have they been properly justified? To have a well-justified argument, be careful for: Hasty generalization- generalizing from insufficient Black-and-white thinking- fallacy of going from one extreme to the other. Inconsistency- Check the overall consistency of your essay and ensure that your various points do not contradict one another. Depth- taking your analysis to an upper level; giving the essay weight Think about 5 main factors: Depth of dialogue try to not go back-and-forth between arguments and counter-arguments, and think of a response to the counter-argument and a counter-response to that. Think about: the quality as well as the quantity of such exchanges, at what point to bring them to a close. Weight of evidence The more supporting evidence you can give for your arguments the more conviction they will be. Relevant distinctions Introducing relevant distinctions will add subtlety and finesse to your argument. Key implications By exploring the implications of your argument, you show that you are thinking around the issue. Ask yourself what follows from the point you are considering. Background assumptions What assumptions am I making? Be willing to question them. Try not to confuse what is cultural and what is natural Breadth make connections consider both similarities and differences consider different perspectives think beyond your own assumptions bring in hidden assumptions in your own thinking Examples use varied and effective examples Keep in mind when giving examples: Hypothetical examples Clichéd examples Representative examples Varied examples Brevity of examples Examples vs statistics- use both if you want Quotations According to the IBO definition, plagiarism is ‘the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own’. You will not be awarded your IB Diploma if it is discovered that you plagiarized your essay. To avoid plagiarism, the IBO says that: ‘Candidates must always ensure that they acknowledge fully and in detail the words and/or ideas of another person.’ Be sure to, therefore, reference (give credit) to any quotations written in your essay.
  5. 45 points
    There are many threads around this giant forum that offer help, tips, advice, places to ask questions and get answer etc. etc. but like I said, it's a giant forum and finding them all, or finding the very one YOU need can be difficult. So here's a quick list of some awesome threads that you can use to help you with anything you might need. General IB Awesomeness 1. How To Not Fail at Writing Essays - READ THIS. Don't start your first essay without reading this. It's amazing, you just don't know it yet. 2. Citing The Sources - READ THIS TOO. If you do not cite right, it's plagiarism. Plagiarism =Fails and possible kick from the IB Programme. 3. Cutting Down Your Words - Tips to avoid going over the word count for Essays. Some words simply aren't necessary. History 4. The History Internal Assessment - General information about the History IA as well as specifics about the various parts of the IA 5. The Gritty Details and Tips to the History IA - Very detailed outline of what the investigation is, how to write it, how to form a question, you can find all of your answers here probably for this IA. 6. Tips for taking notes, remembering facts, and approaching P1. - Some details on how to take efficient notes and remembering them, not just writing. Also a nice run down of Paper1 and how to approach it. 7. The History Help Thread - Have some history questions? Ask them here. Mainly for providing facts to aid in your argument. 8. Evaluating Your Sources (OPVL) - What to think about when evaluating the Origin, Purpose, Value, and Limitations of those pesky sources. Mathematics 9. The Different Maths - The difference between the 4 Math classes, information about what each is as well as general information about which to take when wanting to look good for a university with your chosen area of interest. 10. The SL and HL Portfolio, a howto - Formatting, what to do, what to focus, how to make yours better than the other person's next to you 11. The Math Help Thread - When math is just too hard, let some other math nerd help you figure it out! NO IA DISCUSSION! 12. The Math Studies IA - What you need to do for the Math Studies IA. Unlike the SL and HL Math this IA does not change except for the variables you choose. This gives general tips on how to easily get a 7. 13. Fancy Math Notation for IBS - So you can make 5pi/4 look like Tok+EE+CAS 14. The Extended Essay for Dummies - Self explanatory? Most EE questions can be answered here, can't directly help you with any ideas and/or analysis, sorry. 15. ToK Presentation Guide - Read this if you're just getting started on your presentation!. 16. ToK Presentation Past Experiences and Tips - Other peoples embarrassing presentation moments! Or not, either way, the dos and don'ts for a good ToK presentation. 17. ToK Essay Prescribed Titles and Guidelines - What the essay is, how to approach it, why it's even there. 18. Writing the ToK Essay - How to approach, write, analyze, cite, whatever. If you need to know how to write the ToK Essay, click above. 19. ToK Essay Checklist - Have you read this? Have you done these things? All of them? No? Don't turn it in yet! 20. Other's CAS Activities and Potential Ideas - List of many people's activities they have done for CAS hours, you are able to repeat stuff they do 21. Howto CAS - Plan the event. Reflect upon it. Keep Records. The Natural Sciences 22. The Biology Help Thread - Have a Biology question? Ask here. 23. The Chemistry Help Thread - Have a Chemistry question? Ask here. 24. The Physics Help Thread - Have a Physics question? Ask here. 25. SL+AHL Physics Videos for Topic13 - Topic 13: Quantum and Nuclear Physics (Radiation, Phtotoelectric Effect, Atomic Spectra/Energy States, and Nuclear Physics/Radioactive Decay) 26. Tips for Making Lab Reports - General tips and advice for making a nice lab report when you really have no idea what you're doing! 27. Uncertainty Calculator - This will do your basic uncertainty calculations when adding, subtracting, dividing, or multiplying values. 28. Chemistry internal assessment resources and guide - What they really want you do for the Chemistry Designs, DCP and CE. 29. Group 4 Project Ideas - List of what some people have done. Might help when you just don't understand how to connect three sciences into one lab. 30. Biology Exam Tips and Studying - Tips to beast your exam and several links to topic specific revision resources. - More Tips from Mahuta 31. What to choose?! - When you just start, you don't know what these are so here's a good preview of all of them to help choose A1 Languages 32. Basic Guide to Analyzing Texts - Things to know before analyzing any text. 33. A1 Language Tips for Paper1, Paper2, and WL1 - Specifics and how to's for A1 Language exam Paper1, 2, and World Lit. Essay #1 34. A1 Language IOP Information - Information about the Individual Oral Presentation for your A1 Language. What to do and what not to do as well as tips to staying calm during the presentation. 35. A1 Language IOC Information - Information about the Individual Oral Commentary for your A1 Language. Still what to do, how to approach, tips for using your prep time etc. 36. How to Read - These books are meant to challenge your thinking. It won't be easy. Read this first Economics 37. Economic Portfolio Resources - List of links for various economic resources for the portfolio. 38. Economics Portfolio - Tips for the Economics IA Portfolio thingy. Every little bit helps. The Arts 39. Visual Arts Workbook Guidance - How to make a not sucky workbook! Psychology 40. The Psychology IA - Tips and reminders for carrying out the Psychology IA. Got to be nice to people 41. More Links - A few more links specifically for Psychology. Includes Syllabus, IA Information, and how to study for the exam. 42. Psychology Essay Formatting - Some tips on how to write a Psychology essay for tests. There are key things you need to include A2/B/AB Languages 43. Paper 1 Tips (The Texts) - Tips written by a friend of mine on what is on the Paper 1 exam for B languages and how to approach them and what to look out for. 44. Paper 2 Tips (The Essay) - More tips written by the same friend on how to show off in Paper 2. Examples and tips are french oriented however the tips apply for all languages. 45. The Oral IA - Formatting the IA. What to say to make the grader know that you know what you're doing. Yes, when he says "dock" they will SUBTRACT points even though IB is positive grading. I was unable to find anything to link for Business Management so if you know some links to help with this subject feel free to PM me and I'll add them or if there is something I missed just let me know! Hope this list helps during your two years of happy fun times
  6. 43 points
    The title is pretty much self-explanatory (lol) but if not, this is a post about writing an a1 language ee, primarily focused on english obviously, and based largely on personal experience. If you have any questions about this post (turned out longer than I expected!) or the ee itself, send me a message. Also, if you have a draft and are looking for feedback, I might be able to help. Ground rules first - you need to have a good grasp of your the language you are writing your extended essay (latin and ancient greek possibly excepted) -- and this probably means a good grade in the relevant class. Choosing good supervisor, and one you are on good terms with, is also a good idea. You should download the Extended Essay guide as soon as you have decided on your subject and read the introductory bits, as well as the parts specific to Group 1 languages, several times through. You should also probably set up a folder on your computer for extended essay related files - I have for subfolders 'resources', 'example essays', 'quotes' (from the book I used), and then the various stages of the draft. Organization will eventually become key in the process - you'd be amazed at how many people send off the wrong version of their essays, year after year, and even more waste dozens of sheets of paper printing different versions. The extended essay can probably claim the dubious honor of being effectively responsible for hectares worth of deforestation. Also, there are two categories of extended essays in group 1 - involving writing in its original form, and involving a comparison between writing in translation (or from a foreign language, if you speak it well) and writing in its original form. I wrote the former, so this guide will probably be biased in that direction. Won't hurt to read it though. On to the process. I'll set it out as a list because it's easier to read in pieces (quantized form, as my physics-filled mind suggests), and because it's easier to find the place you're at for reference. Choosing the text(s). Some people will suggest choosing the literature you love best, but as this generally tends to be either Tolkien or Rowling (or, god forbid, Meyers), I wouldn't recommend it. Enthusiasm is no substitute for originality and literary value. You are best off going, I think, for a little studied and recent novel that won't have been critically exhausted but is clearly literary. Your supervisor can probably recommend some good books; (more or less) contemporary writers to look out for include Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Mario Vargas Llosa (nobel 2010), Haruki Murakami, Zadie Smith, Philip Roth, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and David Mitchell (off the top of my head). Looking back I realize it would have been far easier to compare two books - look for a common theme, motif, etc. - and another good idea is to find a point in the critical context you can argue with. The classic example of the latter would be proving/disproving racism in Heart of Darkness, which, by the by, I seriously counsel you against doing. Classic texts have been done so many times that the examiner will be annoyed and most likely you will end up repeating something that has been said before. That said, you should try to find text(s) you like. Drama and poetry are interesting in this sense because you can achieve quite a bit of comparative depth and you won't necessarily be unable to look at the texts involved when you're done - novels are probably harder to deal with, if ultimately more rewarding. Research (i): the text(s). First thing to do is to read the novels, plays, or poems you are looking at. And then read them again. I have an odd phobia of highlighting or even breaking the spine of for that matter anything that's been printed, so I copy out entire quotes and make notes on them in a word document. Takes forever - but it helps understand the novel, and it makes writing the damn thing a lot easier. Whatever works for you - make liberal use of post-its, highlighters, or keyboards in your quest to form a complete understanding of the text(s). Understanding the text (henceforth referred to in singular) also implies understanding the critical context, which you will need to briefly outline in your introduction and probably refer to in your arguments, so try to find university documents and stuff like that. Also important to understand the literary context a little bit; intertextuality is basically in every book you read these days, to various extents. To writers like Joyce or Eliot intertextuality is not just useful, it's fundamental. Research (ii): extended essays. The other thing you should probably get familiar with is the general way extended essays work. We have a decent database; other than that, your supervisor might be able to give you some examples. Ask her also for the examiner's report, which gives invaluable feedback in terms of what to avoid. In terms of the examples, read both the really good ones and the really poor ones, and maybe make some notes on what people did right/wrong. Timing. This is somewhere between more crucial than people think and not as crucial as supervisors claim. For example, not doing it during the summer is not really a problem, unless you enjoy sleeping. If you're smart you'll do it during the summer, if you're lazy and/or otherwise preoccupied, like I was, you can get away with doing it later. More important is doing it in one bit. You can't do bits and pieces and over the courses of months end up with a good ee -- to some extent you have to be able to hold everything you have written/are going to write in your head during the process. My suggestion is to finish it in a week or two, after you have completed all the research and so on, and work on it intensively. After maybe one round of corrections, maybe giving a printed copy to your supervisor and changing it a little, set it aside for two weeks. This tip I technically learned from Stephen King, who apparently does it when he writes his books. How well it works for him is debatable; what is not is that setting the essay aside is an invaluable aid in getting a detached and objective perspective. Be heartless with your essay when you're correcting it. Ask random people you know who are good at English (this forum might be a good resource) for feedback, even if it's just so much as whether it feels like an A or a C. Redrafting and timing sort of go hand-in-hand - for example, the earlier you finish it, the more time you have to redraft. My best guess is that about 65% of your final grade is how good the first draft was, and the other 35% how well you revised. The implication, of course, is if you play the deadlines right you can get almost a third of the marks (12 points of 36) just by polishing it properly. That's more than the difference between a D and a B. Organization. As I mentioned before, it's a good idea to have a folder on your computer to organize the relevant files. A physical folder is a useful addition - first because it's a pain flipping back and forth between word documents, second because you can highlight, post-it-mark, or otherwise annotate printed notes, and third because it's nice to have a copy of it all afterwards. Depending on how the process goes you might also feel like destroying everything to do with the extended essay after it's handed in, in which case it's much more satisfying to burn a lot of physical papers than pressing the delete button. Research (iii): research question. This is probably the hardest part of the entire process. When I wrote my extended essay I had a sort of essay written without a research question at all, and then I was trying to reverse-tailor it to make it make sense. Didn't come out to well (ended up rewriting the entire thing from scratch!) so my advice is get a solid research question phrased and set in stone even before you begin your essay itself, especially considering it has to form the basis of the introduction. Freewriting (see next point) is quite useful for this stage of the process, but apart from that it's purely a question of writing down and crossing out ideas. With luck you should be able to bounce a couple off your supervisor, but mostly it's a solitary process, and here past extended essays as well as the IBO's guide will come in useful. Make sure it has a self-evidently literary focus - key words like theme, motif, lexis, etc will help you in this respect - and also that it's not too long or awkwardly phrased. Freewriting. You can probably google this and find out a fair bit about it, but the fundamental idea is to set a timer - 10 minutes at least I'd suggest, 25 at most - and write fluidly, non-stop, for the whole time. The idea is to leave behind all considerations of form, structure, elegance, eloquence... and just write. The brain is a much faster instrument than the fingers, so after a while - almost magically - you'll find that it's harder to get everything down on paper than keep writing for the set time. Freewrites can be extremely useful for brainstorming and planning essays, and when you realize that after a couple of 25 minute freewrites you basically have around the 4000 words you will need at the end, it makes the whole task seem much easier. The best way to mine freewrites, I find, is either to bold sections you might want to use, and maybe collect these arguments in a document dedicated to setting out the structure, or to use comments (i.e. in MS Word) for bringing attention to the most important ideas. The thing about freewriting is it's completely customizable to your needs - some people like using them, some people don't, and a lot of people use them in a completely different way from me. Like everything else I say in this document, take it with a grain of salt. These are my ideas, developed out of the failures of my own extended essay writing process, and in the end, they really are only mine. Writing. Getting down to the actual writing process can be a bit of a pain. I tend not to work in my collected ee document simply because it's large and messy - I copy and paste out into a "current" file which helps me work more cleanly, and also lets me keep an eye on the various word counts. Apart from that the best thing is to remove distractions, get prepared with some water and a coffee if you like, and get to writing. Turning off the internet is probably a good way to keep facebook out of the equation, but it can slow you down when you need wikipedia or google. Personally I just killed the internet because I wasn't able to control myself, but this is another area where you should find whatever works for you. Another good idea is to read what you're writing aloud to get more of a sense of the rhythm and the diction of the whole thing. You have a lot of elements to balance - tone, syntax, sentence length, literariness, conjunctions, etc - and it can get a bit lopsided sometimes. My sentences tend to come out long and complex, because I write the first half and then look at something else and then look at the last few words and keep writing and so on. It's best to keep the essay tight and flowing easily, and conjunctions are especially important here. However is useful but it sounds less clumsy if you don't start sentences with it (i.e. This point, however, must also be considered in light of...); furthermore and moreover are best used sparsely. Other good words or phrases to keep in mind, in the interests of variance: nevertheless, at the same, doubtless, regardless, in retrospect, therefore (use like however), whereas, nonetheless, similarly. Structure. If you've seen the examples you'll have realized that there's no really set pattern here (apart from what the IBO requires of you). I used subheadings to make the essay easier to read and understand, but mostly, to be honest, it was helpful for breaking down the actual writing process into bits. It's best (though not always possible) to have a clear relationship between consecutive sections, and since the essay must be structured as an argument sections can help you make the development of thought clearer. Purely technical points include having the abstract on a page of it's own, putting a page break after the contents page, etc. To make counting the words easier, I had an excel document with three columns - name of section, anticipated word count, and current word count - with autosum functions at the bottom of the latter two columns. As I changed a section in the "current" page I would keep the word count file updated, so I always knew where I was with respect to the word count - and this also helps with the writing, that is, knowing how many words you intend to 'spend' on each section. On the subject of word counts, briefly -- you should keep it under or at 4000; there's a certain symmetry to hitting the target perfectly but also consider the fact that this has absolutely no importance in the grand scheme of things. Examiners will only count the number of words if it's obvious you've given a false one (i.e. far over or far under), so high fidelity is not particularly essential. I would counsel you against, however, actually citing a word count about 4000. Examiner's get paid by the document and they are, at least in our imaginations, easily irritated. Deal with them as you would with an angry wild beast - take no risks. Introduction. The IBO criteria in this respect is quite clear: your introduction must not be the same as your conclusion. The main focus should be your research question and why you've chosen it, and the word 'significance' is best mentioned here explicitly to hit the criteria. You can give some critical context, and I'd suggest mentioning the sources you are going to be citing in your actual essay. If your text is not well known, and it's probably best if it isn't, you can also use the introduction to give a brief (brief!) summary of the novel's themes, topics, ideas, et cetera. It might be a good idea to go back to the introduction once you've written your essay, maybe mention the main points or structure of the argument in some way, but avoid implying your conclusions - the understanding of the reader should develop with the essay, and the introduction is more of an orientation marker than a summary of the essay. You already have an abstract to write for the latter. Citations and references. Again, the IBO gives you a lot of freedom in this area, partly because it's an international curriculum, and probably also because if they made it stricter people would invariably mess up. The basic idea is to choose a citation system early on, maybe indicate it near the top of your biography - standard are stuff like MLA, APA, or Chicago. There's a great website which allows you to automatically generate them and it's quite useful, but be sure to make sure the formatting is correct when you've actually pasted them in. Footnotes are probably better than endnotes, and using inline references is intelligent as well (e.g. Leavis insisted that criticism should involve the shaping of contemporary sensibility (Bilan 61)). Page numbers in your main text could be accomplished with just the number in brackets, though if you have multiple it might be a bit more complex. Using footnotes for page citations is awkward and wasteful; and since examiners aren't required to read footnotes, it would not make sense to write anything crucial to your argument there. I used mine mostly for clarification or context; some people avoid them altogether. The actual bibliography is a must, though, and avoid web pages here - especially wikipedia and sparknotes. If it looks a bit thin, you might be able to through-cite using the wikipedia bibliographies at the bottom of the page. Conclusion. Your conclusion is supposed to be neither a summary of your arguments nor a reiteration of your introduction; rather, it should be a new 'synthesis' in the light of your arguments, whatever that means. There's a fair bit of freedom in terms of the relative sizes of your essay's components - my introduction and conclusion were both fairly long - but I'd suggest having around 400 words here at least. It's a good idea to recycle some of the key words of your argument, as well as those integrated into your research question, and if possible mention a nice point that follows from your arguments but is not necessary equivalent to them -- something that's not included in your abstract and makes the essay worth reading; to give it a bit of shine, so to speak. If you're aiming for the highest grade it would be good not make a point that is too obvious, if that makes any sense. The ee is a very long process; it would be nice to come up with something original and interesting in the final part of your essay. But if that doesn't sound like you at all, don't sweat. As with IB labs, it's more about the process, the various components, than the final result. Abstract. The IB has pretty stringent requirements for the abstract, which you should follow to a T, including the word count. If you've followed my guidelines as well, this should be a fairly easy part of the essay, since all you're doing, essentially, is summarizing your ee's arguments, preferably in the order the essay presents them. Take your time here with the language and the construction of the sentences; this is like the cover of your essay in a lot of ways, and a good abstract can inject coherence into a very poorly organized essay. Your abstract, unlike your introduction, will also contain your conclusion, and for this reason it will force you to shrink down your entire essay into it's fundamental lines. Re-reviewing it after writing the abstract is recommended; it may change how you see some parts of the organization, and how the argument flows. Revision. If you time it properly, you should have a lot of time left for this (I didn't!). You will also, probably, be completely sick of anything to do with the damn document. But force yourself to come back to it, at all costs, and it's a good idea to print out copies for hand-written corrections. Ask your teacher to do this for you; ask your mother, etc. Then go back and work on the document itself. If there's a paragraph you think really doesn't work well, take it out, open a new document, rewrite it differently and put it back in. Being able to look at a small part of the essay at a time will make revising it seem like a far more manageable task. Another useful tip is to describe each paragraph in one, or at most a couple, of words. For some this will be easy; for others, almost impossible. That gives you an idea of how structurally rigid your essay is, how clearly the arguments follow each other, and how well you have paragraphed. It should also - hopefully - give you a direction in which to revise. Divide paragraphs that are made up of two distinct ideas; and, obviously, join two that are made up of one. Above all, leave yourself sufficient time for revision, and try to come back to it with new eyes. If you worked on it very intensely for a short period of time (like me: one weekend) you will basically know long passages off by heart, and your ability to look at it objectively will be completely gone. All it takes to regain that is to wait. Finalization. Eventually, in a moment of breathless, orgasmic joy, you will realize that it's time to finalize and submit your ee. Drink some champagne. Make sure the readability of the essay is good (i.e. large spacing, no weird (orange, yellow) colours, headers and footers all sorted out -- that you have your name, candidate number, page number, and various other details on each page. Read it over one last time, in a printed version, and do it very slowly. I guarantee you will find a typo. I had a really embarrassing one I only caught after I had sent it off. It didn't kill my grade, but it probably didn't help, so if you can avoid this ... do it. Then, print it off (probably a good idea not to double-side the final copy) and be done with it! PS - This post is about 3600 words long. The 4000 word target is not that bad, really!
  7. 42 points
    I haven't seen any IA tips around so I guess I would share some tips gathered from my Mathematics HL teacher's suggestions, some IBSurvival members' suggestions, my own knowledge and my own experiences. Cover Page Unless this is set by your school, I recommend that your cover page includes: • School Name (e.g. Sekolah Tiara Bangsa – ACS) • School Crest, if available • Subject & Level (e.g. Mathematics HL) • Portfolio Type (e.g. Portfolio Type I) • Portfolio Title (e.g. Patterns Within Systems of Linear Equations) • Candidate Name (e.g. Desy Kristianti) • Candidate Number (e.g. 001863-002) • Examination Session (e.g. May 2012) Header and Footer I recommend that your Header includes: • Candidate Name (e.g. Desy Kristianti) • Candidate Number (e.g. 001863-002) • Subject & Level (e.g. Mathematics HL) • Portfolio Type & Title (e.g. Portfolio Type I – Patterns Within Systems of Linear Equations) I recommend that your Footer includes: • Page number in "Page X of Y" format (Page 3 of 20) • (Note that your cover page is not included in the page number) Formatting I recommend that you have the following formatting: • Font : Times New Roman or Arial • Font Size : 12 or 11 respectively • Font Colour : Black (Automatic) • Line Spacing : 1.5 lines • Alignment : Justified • All variables and constants typed using the Equation feature in Ms. Word • The portfolio should be printed in colour Introduction I recommend you to do the following in your introduction: • Define some terms where appropriate (e.g. define Stellar Numbers). If you do not come up with the definitions by yourself, citations should be included as footnotes. • Introduce the problem in the task • Briefly describe what your portfolio is all about • Mention the purpose of the portfolio • Name the software or program(s) that you are going to use • Include a logo of all the software or program(s) used (e.g. Figure 1) Figure 1 Autograph Body I recommend you to do the following in your portfolio: • Answer all the questions in the order of how the questions are presented in the task sheet. However, do not write your portfolio in question-answer form. There should be a nice flow throughout your portfolio. • Define relevant variables clearly. Usually x∈ℤ or x∈ℝ. If x∈ℝ and you are asked to put in different values of x, try all possible kind of constants such as: Integers (e.g. −12, 0, 23)Fractions (e.g. −13/19, 1/2, 21/4)Surds (e.g. −√2, (√5)/7, √(107) )Logarithm (e.g. − log5 8.5 , (log 9)/6 , ln 4)Pi (e.g. − 2π ,5/π , 7.3π3)Trig functions (sin 2π ,−tan 100° , 2 cos2 45° , cot 35°)Euler's number (e.g. − e, 2e/9 , 6.8e2)Complex number (e.g. √(-7), 3.8+4i)• Explain what you are going to do before performing a calculation • Show all the relevant steps for calculations. Any calculation performed should be shown. • Calculate everything using your calculator except for rudimentary calculations (e.g. use calculator to find the inverse of a matrix but do not use calculator to calculate 2+3) • If you are using a calculator, put a screenshot showing just the part showing the mathematics. You do not need the program interface. These figures should be big enough that it is readable by unaided eyes but not too big. • Use mathematical notations and terminologies where appropriate (e.g. arithmetic sequence, discriminant, augmented matrix, asymptote, infinity, etc.) • Use a graphing software to plot graphs • Use different colours if you plot more than one function on the same set of axes. Indicate clearly which function is which colour. Legends should be put on the same page with the graph. • Put the graph and the caption on the same page. If you need to rotate the graph, rotate the caption too so that the examiner know how they should see the graph. • Do not describe step by step how to plot the graph using your graphing software. Instructions on how you got the graphs you got are not necessary, as what the examiners are focusing on is your mathematical process, not the tools you used for the process. Just describe briefly what you are doing with that software. • If you are asked to develop a model function, develop any of the following: LinearQuadraticCubicExponentialLogarithmicSinusoidal• Write in third person. Do not use I, YOU and WE. • Go the extra mile, if possible • A good portfolio should be 16-28 pages long Conclusion I recommend you to do the following towards the end of your portfolio: • Tell them that this is the end of your investigation • Conclude your answers in 1-3 sentences • Mention the software or program(s) used in bullet points Calculator I recommend you to use any of the following software or program(s): • TI-Nspire Student Software (http://education.ti..../detail?id=6768) • Any Graphic Display Calculator that you have Graphing Software I recommend you to use any of the following graphing software or program(s): • Autograph (http://www.autograph-maths.com/) • GeoGebra (http://www.geogebra.org) • TI-Nspire Student Software (http://education.ti..../detail?id=6768) • Wolfram Mathematica (http://www.wolfram.c...atica/features/) • Microsoft Excel • Winplot (http://math.exeter.e...is/winplot.html) • Graphmatica (http://www8.pair.com/ksoft/) Some other graphing software or programs you could possibly use: • GraphCalc (http://www.graphcalc.com) • Graphing Calculator 3D (http://calculator.ru...ing-calculator/) • Logger Pro (http://www.vernier.com/soft/lp.html) • Maxima (http://maxima.sourceforge.net) • Fung-Calc (Linux only) (http://fung-calc.sourceforge.net) • Graph (http://www.padowan.dk/graph/) • Graphical Analysis (http://www.vernier.com/soft/ga.html) that is all from me. the full version of the tips is available in this file and there are also details of the assessment criteria in that file. if you guys have any other tips please post them below thank you!
  8. 39 points
    Both in question 3 in Paper 1 and in Section C in the Internal Assessment, you will be asked to evaluate sources for their Origins, Purpose, Values and Limitations. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself when you are faced with a particular type of source:
  9. 38 points
    Skip to these useful links: 1. ToK Presentation Guide by Keel 2. How to pick your TOK presentation title by Sandwich 3. Past TOK Presentations - what people chose ToK Presentation Guide Knowledge Issues 'Knowledge issue' i.e. issues about knowledge. It would be appropriate here to consider what ToK is all about. Many naturally assume that anything philosophically based is ToK. Understandable, but wrong. ToK is based around three main questions: What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? How do we know what we know? In layman’s terms, a knowledge issue is a very general question which aims to explore the problems of knowledge and evaluate it. Thus, knowledge issues are usually formatted in the form of ‘How do we know…?’ (this deals with question 3) However, there are other forms such as ‘What is the role of [a way of knowing] in [an area of knowledge]?’ (this deals with question 2). The knowledge issue must be stated in the introduction of your presentation as it is what your presentation is all about. For example, ‘To what extend is euthanasia ethical?’ is not a knowledge issue as it does not attempt to answer any of the three basic questions. ‘What ways of knowing can aid us in determining whether euthanasia is ethical?’ is not a well formed main knowledge issue because it is too specific, but at least it is a knowledge issue which deals with question 2. ‘Derived / Sub-’ Knowledge Issues These are knowledge issues in themselves but are connected to the main theme or main knowledge issue of the presentation and are possibly more focused in nature. For example, if your main knowledge issue is ‘What is the role of reason in History?’ a linking knowledge issue you could explore would be ‘How can we use Historical knowledge and inductive reasoning to predict future events?’ Your entire presentation should be based around the main knowledge issue and your main theme, but this sub-knowledge issue will allow you to explore one small aspect of 'the role of reason in History'. Claims and Counter-claims These are statements which are answers to your knowledge issue or sub-knowledge issues. They are then proceeded with evidence that supports such a point. In a way you can treat this as a paragraph in an essay, its structure is similar to the Point Evidence Explaination (PEE) or Statement Evidence eXplaination (SEX) which you may be familiar with. For example, for the knowledge issue ‘How do we know whether homosexuality is ‘natural’?’ A claim would be ‘deductive reasoning can tell us that it is not natural. the natural goal of all living things on earth is to reproduce; homosexuality does not allow the possibility of biological reproduction; therefore homosexuality is not 'natural'. A counter-claim would be that ‘deductive reasoning has its limitations in aiding us to determine whether homosexuality is natural.’ A discussion on the flaws of premises and reliability of deductive reasoning would then take place. Real Life Situation A real life situation is a realistic event, object or scenario that allows you to extract knowledge issues from it or supports your claim, a possible answer to your knowledge issue, by providing evidence. Real life situations can be drawn form anywhere ranging from the news to a book your read to an event that happened on the school playground. The possibilities are endless. Always try to make your real life situation related to you in some way; an incident which happened to you would be perfect. For example, for the knowledge issue ‘How reliable are our sense perceptions in determining what is true.’ For the claim/counter-claim: ‘Sense perceptions have their limitations in determining what is true,’ a real life situation would be, ‘The time when I was small and saw a ghost’s face appear in the curtain, upon further inspection, it was the folds of the curtain that had shaped into something similar to a man’s face. With the combination of flawed inductive reasoning, sense perception had hindered my knowledge of truth.’ Getting Started There are two main ways to get yourself started. is to find a real life situation which really interests you. You will extract one knowledge issue from it and simplify it to make it into your main knowledge issue your presentation will be based on. From there you find sub-knowledge issues and more real life scenarios to support your claims and counter claims. is to think of a broad knowledge issue, derive sub-knowledge issues which you wish to explore and find real life situations from there. There are many ways to do your presentation. It can be a simple lecture, a power point presentation, (if your are in pairs) a dialogue, a role play ect. The entire presentation should be like a verbal essay, with a focused introduction introducing the main issues, your methodology and how the presentation is structured. A claim should be given first, evidence to support the claim, then the limitations of the claim or a counter claim. The conclusion should sum up the main points in the presentation, it is an opportunity to give your opinion (great for scoring marks on the Knower’s Perspective criteria). Presenting As with any presentation, practice makes perfect. Make sure you can be heard clearly and that you articulate yourself well. The nice thing about the presentation is that since it is verbal it allows you to create a lot of links. E.g. ‘referring back to the first slide of the presentation’, ‘this scenario is very similar to the tax the government is enacting next month isn’t it?’ Create a set of notes to aid you so that you know what you will be discussing next. With power points do not cram everything onto the slide, each slide should only have a max of 5 points, they should not be sentences. When showing pictures, make sure it covers the entire slide, what’s the point of having a picture when it's of minute size shoved in the corner? Most people are scared of the questions at the end, don’t be. The questions asked by your teacher are there to help you. If you’ve missed something in your presentation that is key to answering the knowledge issue, this is the opportunity to gain back marks. If you can’t answer the question simply make a statement or give an opinion. A classic way of avoiding questions is to make your own question, ‘That’s a very good question, but I think the main issue here is….’ But try to answer them because they are very likely to be beneficial. Secondly, the audience can ask questions too. Do not plant a question in the audience; it is obvious and creates a bad impression. © Keel, http://www.ibsurvival.com
  10. 37 points
    Tips on writing a good Historical Investigation Suggested word count for each section: A. Plan of Investigation: up to 150 words B. Summary of Evidence: 400-500 words C. Evaluation of Sources: 200-350 words D. Analysis: 600 - 800 words E. Conclusion: up to 200 words F. Bibliography: Not counted in the word count. Total word count: 2000 words maximum The above section-by-section word count is a suggested allocation of words only, and it is not necessary to stick strictly to it. However, the bulk of your word count should be in the Summary of Evidence and Analysis. While it is not necessary to choose a title within the syllabus you're studying, it would be useful if you do. This is because you'll have to do research on this topic only to write 2000 words. You may as well make sure it overlaps with what you will eventually need to know for your exams otherwise all the time you spent researching this topic would just go to your IA and then never be used again. That said, it is also important to choose a topic that you think you'll enjoy working on. You also need to make sure you will be able to have access to sufficient resources to research your essay. For a subject like history, sources like the internet is usually not looked as fondly upon as other hard sources such as history books. If you can get primary sources, such as interviews with actual people to do with your topic, that would be excellent. However, this is not a must, it just gives you a bit of an edge against other essays. Keep your topic as narrow as possible. You only have 2000 words to cram in rather a lot of different forms of essay-writing, so make sure you don't have a topic that's too broad. You want to address your question as fully as possible and question that's too broad will not fit in the 2000 words. It is not necessary to have your title in the form of a question but that may help you focus your investigation. Do not explore the obvious. A title like, "Was Lenin an important figure in the Russian Revolution?" is redundant because everyone knows, without exploring or investigating anything, that he was. Remember, this is an investigation. Your title should enable you to explore and investigate different views of the historical period you choose. "Lenin's political ambitions was more important in bringing about the Russian Revolution than the failures of Nicholas II's reign. To what extent is this assertion true?" would be a more appropriate title. Try to choose a title that's relevant to the country you're living in. It's usually easier to find sources when you're exploring the historical events of the country you're living in. Also, examiners like a variety of titles, see you exploring the area around you and not just focus around a cliched area of history. Try to look for a title that has a new and fresh view to it. In other word, avoid cliched titles in areas that are commonly investigated. You may want to start with a working title and then change it as you do your research and fit your title in with the information you find. Don't expect to be able to come up with a perfect title right away. Abide by the different sections strictly. Know what each section requires and only put in the information relevant to the corresponding sections. In the end, try to come to a clear conclusion and make it precise and to the point. Good luck!
  11. 34 points
    Reading, Notetaking and Knowing in History The following information was given to me by my HL History professor who is also an annual IB grader for History and it is also my own advice that I use all of the time fr my History HL class. These are the major tips my professor has given my classmates and I on creating class-notes and study-notes from books,historiography, etc. that are incredibly organized and the methods aim at reaching each type of persons study-style and note-taking style. I hope this is beneficial. It really helped me. Quick Tips to Utilize: Dividing notes Internal (Micro) vs. External (Macro) Capitalizing Arguments/ Marking Arguments in a Specific Way Compare/ ContrastResult/ EffectsCauses/ Origins Use analysis to understand Coercion, Persuasion, Consent analysis for capitalized argumentsRetrospective Determinism Chronological and Thematic organizationGive the sections titles after you finish making the notes After realizing what the text is about Breakdown the Effects Long-term vs. short-term Major Tips In General for Reading: Look for the Main Theme publisher's commentcontents pagesubheadingintroductionconclusion Active Approach Be clear what you are looking forRecognize the form and structure of the book (this helps discover the central of the book) Use the SQ3R Method when reading A sequence formula for effective reading What is the SQ3R? SurveySurvey the chapter (using the Major Tips for Reading) [*]Question Notice and question the writer's interpretations and argumentsDecide what is needed for your purpose Read, Recall, ReportRead: This is not surveying or skimming. This is in-depth, slow, comprehensive readingRecall: Move away the book and recall what you have learned (say it aloud or in your head)Report: Write it down! Major Tips for solid/comprehensive Noting: (this is done after the "report". You go back and fix up your jotted-down notes) Make heading and subheadings larger Don't use complete sentences - Use bullet-points - Use contractions Use legible handwriting only for yourself - Who cares if someone else can't read it? You are the one who will study from it Space out your notes - What if you have to add something in later? Graded Indentation - one of the most vital features Structure your notes Note the book title, author and page number you are on How to Approach Paper 1? What should you know going into your exam? Question 1.a Do you understand what the source says?Display literacy and understanding of the source. Question 1.b is always about the last source (table, photograph or cartoon)- what does the source convey? Make more than 2 points, but not more than 4, in order to make sure you get the 2 full points you needDo not explain the source, say what is conveys. Question 2 Always asking to compare and contrastIf you are uncomfortable with writing: compare in one paragraph, contrast in the second paragraphIf you are comfortable with writing: run-on comparison/contrast (gives more points because it shows that you can think and write about the sources) Question 3 Origin, purpose, values, limitationsspecific/sophisticatedIf you have nothing to say, be clever about how you say it so it sounds goodAvoid the word "biased" Question 4 Combines all of the sourcesUse both the source and your own knowledge; make sure you have all of the sources"mini essay"Must write an outline for your systematic writingTake about 20 minutes to write the essayUse transition words and phrases between sources and ideasIf you run out of time for the essay, write it in note form (outline, neat, indentations)- only do this if you truly messed up Moving through the source: read actively (read, annotate, write, underline, etc.)Be able to summarize each source into about two sentencesQuality, not quantityDo not be repetitive with different wordsHow to Approach Paper 2 and 3? What should you know going into your exam? Make an outline to organize your thoughts - Students who do not make an outline generally donot do well because they lose their train of thought half way through the essay Introduction - Short - State exactly what the essay will be dealingwith - Set the frame - Be very clear about the language Body paragraphs - Add in natural, subtle details to paint apicture - Give evidence in support of statements/arguments - Vital; makes a huge difference between a lowerand a higher mark - Evidence, for instance numbers/statistics toback up arguments show that you know the material - Don't just tell the story; analyze the situation - Reference back to the question Remember for the Exam: Be able to use historiography (names of historians and their arguments).Define words mentioned in the question (ex. Revolution)Three rules of writing:Coherence/Consistency (Reinforcement)New IdeasHistoriography (Argument) Writing a History Essay (Quick Tips Only) NOTE: Everything in history is a question you are trying to answer. Tips: do not write the essay as if it were an English paper (meaning, no need fr voice and style usage to a great extent)the title should be the actual question (turn the question into a statement for the title)do not volunteer knowledge that is not asked for in the questionbe very sure, concrete and specific in what you are explainingdo not hide you weaknesses in History behind you knowledge in writing styleyour audience: intelligent people, yet have no knowledge about the topic Three Aspects You Essay Must Contain: Clarity- think of the easiest and most precise way to say thingsPrecision- if there is a word or way to say it precisely, say it. Be straight to the point.Concision- if you can say it in two words than do not say it in fifteen. Use the right words In you History Essays, never... use first personchange tenses (always write in past tense)use passive voice
  12. 30 points
    Here are some tips and suggestions for reading books (for A1 languages ) during IB. Not comprehensive; all suggestions and additions appreciated! 1. Read the books early. If possible don't leave the book reading too late... i.e. preferably before you begin working on it in school, and the first time (more about this later) if possible before the start of the school year/term. This takes some of the load off of you during the school year, when you will have homework and other time-erasing responsibilities. 2. Read the books often. In the simplest terms, more is better. There's no universally accepted 'magic number': you can read the books as many times as you want. But I'd suggest at least one preliminary reading to get an idea of the plot, characters, and general development of the novel, then a second reading (if available, while reading the Sparknotes as you go along). If you are doing a book in an exam, it is a good idea to read it a final time as late as possible before the exam - if you have several books here, work smart. It is easier to read the Great Gatsby than Anna Karenina, so if you 'get' the book - or at least like it - then it might be better to focus on re-reading the shorter books. 3. Use available resources! Some teachers - most teachers, I'd hazard - don't like Sparknotes. Mainly because students tend to rely on it too much, especially when writing essays. But the thing about Sparknotes is that the chapter summaries, for example, are really useful in jogging your memory. The quotes section often helps clarify obscure or confusing fragments. I would read the entire Sparknotes for a book more than once, particularly to try to keep a large number of events and characters in mind. The fundamental edge you need when it comes to novels is to know them backwards - and Sparknotes is useful! Just close it when you start writing... 4. Read novels in as short a time as possible. This is mostly my own opinion... the thing is, it's easier to get through a novel, especially something like Madame Bovary, Catch-22 or War and Peace, chapter-by-chapter. It's tempting to read a little bit at the end of the day, and pretty much forget the book otherwise. But this sort of reading doesn't really exercise your mind, since you're sleepy as you do it.. a small test: when you open up the book the next day, check back and see how much you remember. When I read before going to sleep I found that the last few pages were increasingly hazy; I could barely remember what had happened and none of the specifics of the language. This is up to you, but I'd suggest reading the book in as few chunks as possible: this enables you to see connection, patterns, motifs, etc. The more you stretch the reading the less complete your understanding of the novel will be. 5. Take notes. As you go through the book during the more thorough reading, it's useful to make your own notes in some sort of structural pattern (i.e. chapter-by-chapter, organized by section, and so on). This helps you use certain sections of your mind that aren't employed during just passive reading, and makes it much easier to remember the actual storyline, etc. Also you should try to select important passages and quotes - the perfect exam essay includes specific quotes, and the best way to learn them is to write them down repeatedly. The earlier you identify them, the better. Some specific passages you should always be especially aware of: the opening/introductory passage, the climax, the end of the book, long monologues or soliloquy, and I guess moments when somebody dies (i.e. in Madame Bovary when Emma commits suicide). But there are usually lots more too. 6. Create lists. This is book-specific, so use your own good sense to decide when it's necessary. For some books like Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, it's really helpful to create lists of foreign words with definitions. Or sometimes, as with Joyce's Portrait, a lot of very specific vocabulary will be used, in this case to do with religion and churches, and if you've been secularly raised (like me) these may be confusing or, at the far end of the spectrum, completely meaningless. Lists and definitions are good because you can fold them and keep them as a bookmark in the book, and refer to them whenever you need to (or add to them) during subsequent readings, or even later in the book. 7. Write Journal entries. This is a bit of a personal choice as well. I've seen it suggested several times but I've never done it myself in so many words, but it sounds helpful: writing occasional informal journal entries about specific scenes or passages. These can be pretty individual, spontaneous and unstructured. It has to do with the active thinking principle and also finding a personal response to books.. for example, you could even write about what you like and don't like in a book. Making neural connections is good, because it helps you remember things, and active thinking builds neural networks. 8. Pay Attention to Specific Features of Novels. I could write a lot here, probably too much, so I'm just going to try to make a short list with some notes of the specific features of books it's a good idea to pay attention to, because they come up often in essays. A really useful reference book here is The Art of Fiction by David Lodge, which you can probably order on Amazon to arrive tomorrow, and lists 50 of these with examples and notes. But basically narrators are important, and the narrative 'tense' (is that the right word?) is very important. For example, first person narrators tend to be more personal than third person narrators, and that has an effect on the reader's perception of the story, how closely we identify with the characters, etc. Stream-of-consciousness is a particularly 'close' form of narration, but also look out for free indirect discourse, when the third person narrator takes on the speech mannerisms and opinions of a certain character. Setting/weather/landscape is also important; in some books it has symbolic importance, in others weather closely mirrors character's thoughts/emotions (look also for the pathetic fallacy) and time is significant too. Some books take place in twenty-four hours, others over years or even decades, and authors use these for specific reasons I guess. Also very significant are changes in any of these, like a sudden change in setting. And many, many books have changes in the passage of time - for example in Johnny Got His Gun, the first section is very specific and seems to take place over a few days or weeks, while the second suddenly leaps out to the scale of months and years. Changes in the passage of time, for example, often mirror other underlying shifts in the story, and I guess are good indicators of an important change. Also finally I've included a list of books that may be useful for studying novels, in the form of an attachment of a screenshot from the Oxford Study Courses guide. This can be purchase for something like 20 pounds and shipped to wherever you are, and might be a good investment by the way, even if you're good at your A1 Language. Good luck!
  13. 29 points
    Hello, As staff at this site, we realise how much of a distraction the internet in general, and IBSurvival in particular, can be when it comes to exam time. If you find that IBSurvival is distracting you from your studies too much, or that you spend too much time procrastinating on here, you can request for a ban to help you concentrate on studying for exams. We will ban anyone who voluntarily asks to be banned to concentrate on their studies. Simply PM an admin or a supervisor stating the amount of time you want to be banned (e.g. 1 week, 2 weeks, until date X) and leave your email address. We will email you with our email so that you can contact us if you want to be unbanned before the date you mentioned. This 'service', so to speak, can be used at any time, even when you have school exams or just working on your IA. IBSurvival is here to help you, not to make you spend all your time procrastinating on here so that your grade drops . Happy studying! IBSurvival team
  14. 28 points
    Here are some tips that I think will help with formatting paper 2's for language B. Sorry it's not very well edited. Paper 2 Tips Overarching tips: -Register: Who are you talking to? Should you use “tu” or “vous”? Are you being subjective or objective? -Linguistic elements: Always remember to include a variety of tenses and colloquial language. However, when considering tenses always make sure to stay consistent and match the tense that the prompt requires. -Structure: For structuring, always make sure your paragraphs are cohesive and transitions are solid. As Lower would say “Give their eyes a break”. -Principal ideas: This is very important. So important it needs to be bolded. STAY ON THE SUBJECT. Do not deviate from the subject and make sure you UNDERSTAND what the prompt is saying. Don’t write on it if you don’t understand a word that you feel is the key word. Start underlining the prompt while reading it, picking out key words and phrases. Be sure to use these phrases within your paper. Journal entry -Make it familiar: Journal entries are usually seen as more intimate than a letter. You can write it in letter form, or you can have fun with it. Write diagonally if you feel that it will boost the score (who knows sometimes it helps). If you are writing a letter begin with a familiar phrase such as “Cher journal” or “Mon cher ______”. - Utilize mainly past tenses and future tenses: A journal entry is usually kept simple, as it is a recollection of an event that has recently passed. Remember to talk about what happened and what will happen and what you’re feeling. - Cute pictures: No I’m not even kidding. Draw pictures. It helps with the aesthetics. - Date and signature: This is a journal. Always remember to date a journal entry and sign it. This should be located in the upper right hand corner usually. Remember everywhere but the US uses dd/mm/yyyy. -Ask self-questions: You’re being personal here. Ponder. Do some soul searching on paper. It’ll show the grader that you actually have a soul and emotions . Talk about what you fear, what you hope for, what you dream of. You know, the works. -Name journal (optional): Give your journal a name “Chere mon petit Bob”. Formal letter -Formal: Well…considering this is a formal letter. USE VOUS! You have no choice. Sorry. End of discussion. - Formatting: In the opening, don’t use “cher” just open with “Monsieur” or “Madame”. Always include the address for both you and the other person. Make it up. Also include appropriate dates and times. - Vocabulary: You can throw in s****y words here! Do it!! Don’t forget transitions. - Objectivity: This isn’t personal. In contrast to the journal entry, you don’t get to use the pronoun “I” too much here. Don’t go into your experiences. If it’s a formal letter, the other person will not care. Imaginative discourse/speech -“It has to be deep”: Not really though. But a speech should be thought provoking. So write in a way that provokes independent thinking of the grader. These are one of the harder essays to write but if you can get the grader to think about what he/she is reading in a way that is independent of what you have on the paper, you’ll major points. - Be persuasive in your arguments: You are making a speech. Odds are, unless you’re a crazy lunatic, this speech is to a crowd. Make it good. - Use “vous”: Just assume your speech will have more than one person listening to it. - Utilize proper salutations: Remember, crowds = plural strangers. You don’t know them. Don’t write like you do. -Subjective opinions: More opinionated writing. Yay! Make it some good opinions. You’re going to want to come on fast and strong. You only get one chance to get your ideas across so write it loud and proud. -Artistic effects: Exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make it exciting! Roar! Informal letter -Format : Use « tu ». You’re not writing to your school superintendent. Also use informal language. - Proper salutations and closing : « Bisoux » is quite normal for a closing. Try mixing it up “chaleureusement” (with warm regards) and “bien a toi” (best wishes) are some better ones. -Format: Always date it, it may be informal but it’s a letter. Use your first name to enhance familiarity. Address it as you would. - Friendly: Ask them questions. You want to get everything you want to say in this letter. Ask them about their lives, their work, their friends, their family. (Don’t be a creep) - Subjective: This is your friend. You can throw your opinions in there. -Experiences: Maybe you have some experiences with this friend of yours you can share. Make them up. Brochure -Format: Fold the page. No, really. Fold the page as you would a real brochure. Draw some pictures. Change up the font. -Give personal opinions: In other words, make up quotes. - Make it dramatic: MORE EXCLAMATIONS! And use figurate language. Over exaggerate. Propagate! - Organized: Don’t write paragraphs. Nobody wants to read that in a brochure. Make bullets and bold face them. Then if you need to write the description on the back. Make your space organized and make it seem well thought out. - Command form: You’re going to want to say “come” so use “vous”. - Be sure to include contact info, prices, phone numbers and other necessary information about the business the brochure is propagating. Newspaper article - Well structured: Vous. Always vous. You’re a journalist, be professional! And use past tense. This is a story you’re telling. -Be sure to refer to school/city/organization if you’re making up cites and sources. -Subjective: Once again, if you need to, make up some quotes from people who are biased. It makes your essay stronger. -Change the fonts: Imagine a page off the newspaper. If you’ve never seen one now’s a good time to go look. Make sure you have COLUMNS when you write. - When you end the article end with the date followed by your first and last name.
  15. 28 points
    Greetings humans. The following are some tips I've compiled in order to make your oral a less painful and rather care free process in which you talk with the examiner (which may or may not be your teacher) about a topic that you have chosen (or not). So here we go with the tips... The Format Alright. The oral for language B consists of 9-12 minutes of you purely talking in your chosen foreign language. Whether it be French, Spanish, German, MAndarin, etc. the list goes on and on, the format will mostly be the same. (Unless I'm delusional in which case it isn't). It is also divided into three 3-4 minute chunks. These 'chunks' if you will each have a different component to them. Chunk #1 So you sit down you say your name and candidate number. And then you start. This part is 3-4 minutes wherein you provide some background information about the subject you have chosen. Let's say I was doing my Spanish oral and I wanted to do it on the concept of the siesta. Alright so in this portion I would talk about the siesta, what it is, where it is practiced, when is it, etc. So the basic who what when where. Don't try to be too specific and don't try to be too deep. I know IB has made us robots and that "everything must be deep". But don't do it! There's time for that later . Tips for this chunk: Don't memorize your presentation: Just don't do it. NEVERRRRR. Now reread the last sentence. Here it is again. NEVERRRR. The examiner and the grader will know when you've memorized your presentation and they will dock points. Dock I say, DOCK! So just don't do it. Instead know what you're going to talk about, and say it. Don't memorize every single word you're going to say because if you happen to miss a sentence it'll trip you up like no other. Just be natural and if you have to pause don't insert space fillers such as "uhm" "ah" "oh" "ee" "oo" "eek" "omg" "gasp" you get the point. Just let it be silent for a few seconds while you recollect your thoughts and then continue like nothing happened. Also I would suggest using the formal conjugation of all verb tenses. Your teacher (like mine) may allow you to use the informal tense. No. I don't think the graders like that. Finally, stay on track. Don't be so robotic that you have no emotions but also don't be so giddy that you fill the 4 minutes with laughter instead of speech. Always remember to use a variety of tenses and colloquial language. Sprinkle in some idioms and bake at 350 degrees till perfection. Chunk #2 Alright then. You'd think the first chunk would be the hardest eh? Ya no. The during the second chunk, your examiner asks you questions about the topic you just presented. They could transcend cultures and these questions get a lot deeper. For example if you were doing that oral on siesta's your examiner could ask you "How do you think this tradition has affected the psyche of those who practice it" or "how do you think the people who practice the siesta differ from those who do not if at all". You get to improv. Yay! Tips for this chunk: Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. You will not be able to cover all basis. Always remember that the grader, if you are taking a B language, will not expect you to be fully fluent. They will expect pauses for you to think and they will expect that you will not be able to answer some of the more complex questions. If you can, good for you. In the event that you cannot however, there are ways to work around it. If you cannot answer the question asked say "I'm sorry can you reword that?" or "I am not able to talk about that aspect however I can tell you about another aspect...". In the first way, you can backtrack and allow the examiner to ask you the question in a different way while in the second you can avoid the question altogether and talk about something different that you have more knowledge or know how to word better. At the same time you will be showing the examiner and grader that you know how to navigate in a conversation in a language you are unfamiliar with. Let's see what else can I ramble on about in this...Oh! Ok, try to speak about one question as long as possible. If your answers are too short you'll be seen as incompetent but speak too much and they'll think you're rambling. Leave room for about 3 questions and you'll be good.Once again, just act natural (MOOOOO!). Chunk #3 Yayyyy. Now that the hard part is over, you get to have fun. Theoretically...In this section the examiners will ask you questions about your life. Where you want to to go to college blah blah blah. You know the generic type of questions. Another 3-4 minutes will make up 9-12. Tips for this section: Once again, no rambling. Leave room for 3 questions. Use a variety of tenses. If your life is boring and you have nothing to talk about pull a Duy (thats me) and make up stuff. Not outrageous mind you. Just spice up your life with stuff that you'd never do. It's exciting and shows of your vocabulary that you wouldn't use otherwise. So doooo it. Pull stuff out of the air. Dooo it. Thats pretty much it. Keep it consistent and you'll be good for this section. So I hope this helped. That's pretty much all I know. Maybe. I dunno. MAybe I'll add more stuff later...Meh.
  16. 27 points
    What is an IA? An internal Assessment in Economics is a written commentary based on an economics article that you have chosen. The article you choose should allow you to explain and analyze economic events. For Economics SL, your IA represents 25% of your total IB score for Economics. For Economics HL, your IA represents 20% of your total IB score for Economics. How it is assessed: There are 5 IB Criteria on which your commentary will be assessed: A - word limit+ IAs cover more than 3 sections of syllabus. [2 marks] B - 4 different sources + appropriate use of diagrams. [4 marks] C - Economic terms are used and are defined correctly. [5 marks] D - Theory explained and applied [5 marks] E - Evaluation [4 marks] The first three criteria of your portfolio should be no problem for you. Mistakes are possible here, but if you are careful A, B and C should be fine. What separates the top students is the analysis and evaluation they show in D and E. How to write your IA Step 1: Pick a news article I'd recommend a new article which is pretty specific. It should either focus on a specific event, community or can just be anything you feel would make a good commentary. One thing I would recommend is to stay simple. If you don't know what an article is saying, don't try to bs your way out of it. You'll lose marks, and there are plenty of simple articles around. For your first IA, you mostly need to find an article that will allow you to use the concepts of supply/demand, elasticity, and market failure. In your internet search, it would be useful to search for the price of a commodity. price of coffee, price of oil, price of cocoa, etc. Yes, finding a good article is important. Even if it takes you hours to find a good one, it's better to do that than to quickly find a not-so-good one and then realize that there's not much to say about it. Personally, it took me a while to find good articles. Tip: choose article that doesnt say much , so you can fill in the lines and expand. If the article is long, you need to highlight the sections you use A few sites I'd recommend: Google News BBC Guardian Reuters ... or your local newspaper, there are quite often many relevant articles in there. Step 2: The Introduction A lot of people find starting a economics commentary hard. Here's my step-by-step approach: Summarise the article in a line or two Define some key terms which are going to be relevant to your discussion In one sentence summarise what you are going to say (eg what effect the event will have) Don't forget to define your terms correctly!! The easiest way to do this is to just copy the definitions word for word out of your textbook/notes. Step 3: The Body Draw a diagram You NEED a diagram (usually) if you want to do well, just make sure your diagram is relevant as you will need to refer to it when you discuss your article further. Next you want to expand on the specifics on how your news article (or technically what the news article is reporting) will affect the economy. Will it increase demand for giant two-headed pens? Will the supply fall for goblin ears? How is this going to affect the price of that good (use elasticities, etc). Draw more diagrams if relevant. The more the merrier, as long as they are justified, don't shy from drawing another diagram. 1. Include quotes and footnote them correctly. If you continue quoting the same article just write i.b.i.d (latin for: same as previous). 2. Make sure that you stay within the wordcount of 650-750, aim for the 750 though ( all words even titles and labels must be counted). This and following the general guidelines of the IB (minimum of three different sections in all four IAs, one can be done twice e.g. microeconomics) should net you the two easy marks for criterion A. 3. Use preferably two diagrams. Diagrams will save words if implemented appropriately and convey your economic understanding better. Consider: 1. Short term versus long term implications 2. Effects on different stakeholders 3. Prioritise the arguments 4. Question validity of a theory/data presented 5.Can you detect contradictions/limitations between economic theory and the real world problem at hand. 6. Are there winners and losers 7. Is there any bias in the way the article was written 8. Can you predict what will happen in the future based on what happened in this article? Step 4: The conclusion Briefly conclude by stating what's going to happen and maybe speculate more on the future, say what you might happen to counter this, etc, etc. Also in your conclusion remember to remark and talk about the effect on the different stakeholders i.e consumers producers the governement etc For the evaluation, you could also mention long term and short term effects along with stakeholders. and the advantages and disadvantages of whatever solution you suggest. Also, you need to submit an electronic copy of the commentary and the article, for ISB records. Tadaa, you now have yourself an economics news commentary If anyone wants to add to this, feel free to post below and i'll add it in Thanks to: Julia32, Summer Glau, Eastcoast93 and nuka for contributing via the comments
  17. 27 points
    Tips for the A1 Individual Oral Presentation (IOP) Skip to: Marking Criteria 1. Topics can be quite general This isn't like the World Literature papers where your question has to be absolutely dead on target. You can pick from themes, characters, symbols, sections and so on. You're at liberty to make this into something of a discussion topic and you shouldn't fret too much about what title you give to the presentation, provided you can give it a decent introduction and conclusion. Even something as simple as "the theme of Death in Book X" should be fine. Remember the IOP is pretty chilled out (which is why it's often the first thing to be tackled). 2. Use your presenting skills When you're presenting to somebody, you have to use basic presentation skills. If you learn them now, you'll have them for later life, courtesy of IB Finishing School Absolute basics include being audible (not mumbling, not whispering, trying not to stammer or stutter such that your whole thing is incomprehensible etc.) and making eye contact with the audience. Some quick tips for how to raise your game above the absolute basics include... - Varying the tone of your voice so you're not speaking in a monotone. People will sit up and pay attention. - Trying to look at everybody at some point during your presentation, even if they're asleep on their bags or something, because you'll be showing the teacher your extreme eye contact skills. - Using props where necessary, or perhaps a powerpoint presentation (these are nonessential... lots of presentations won't really need props at all) - Use body language. Stand up and stand confidently (not hunched over wishing you weren't there). Use your hands to aid your speech as you would in normal conversation, perhaps slightly more. 3. Think about your own visual cues Don't read off a piece of paper! However, this doesn't mean you have to be totally off-paper (that would be crazy). Some people can go without any notes at all, and they will be the people who've memorised what they're about to say. Good for them, but no worries for everybody else, it's not compulsory! Besides, it's easy to drop into a monotone when you're just repeating things. The majority of people sit somewhere in the middle, and I would urge you to think about what works for you, and to remember one simple thing: it's not about what you have with you, it's about how you deliver it. They say not to read off paper because of the sort of delivery it produces (total lack of engaging the audience, stumbling whilst trying to read your own terrible handwriting etc.). You could technically have it written out word for word but only look down at it twice and it would be brilliant. SO what I'm really trying to get at is that you should go with whatever visual cues will best aid you being able to present in an engaging manner with minimal reference to said cues. To give my own personal experience, I liked to write out reasonably detailed notes (not word for word, but more sentences than just bullet points) because I felt much more secure presenting if I knew that looking down would put me back on track instantly without having to worry about what my bullet point meant, or having a mind blank. Use your cues to work for you and not against you and avoid lapsing into either reading or terrible silence. 4. Refer to the text Just because you're presenting something, it doesn't mean you can forget about literary analysis. Include examples in the form of quotes from novels, i.e. don't forget the basics. 5. Express enthusiasm or prepare for audience apathy You don't actually lose marks for doing something boring but it's so much more rewarding (and easy) to present if you can get the audience on side. You'll probably have to sit and watch each other's presentations for several lessons until everybody has finished and the audience will therefore be split into 2: people who're nervously clutching damp pieces of paper because they're in the firing line for going next, and people who're sleeping contentedly on their desks. Neither of these groups are likely to want to listen to you unless you're telling them something interesting, but if they DO start listening and you spot them doing this, you'll feel your nerves melting away. So if you at least pretend to be enthusiastic about a topic (or even better select something interesting!) I guarantee you'll find that not only do they pay more attention and enjoy it more, but you'll also get more positive feedback, nicer questions (if they ask questions), and will give a much better delivery. 6. Although the option is there, don't feel you have to make it too interactive You can be really interactive and creative, or not interactive at all. If you are not interactive at all, you should ask for questions at the end. You don't HAVE to be interactive if there's no point or you don't want to be. If it's clearly idiotic and a sop to the concept of interactivity to take a poll on who the class's favourite character is, don't do it! You don't have to do polls or ask questions throughout your presentation if you don't want to. 7. Think about how to make your preparation work best for you Some people like to practice their presentation over and over again before giving it so they feel secure in what they're doing. Other people find the whole thing much easier if they don't practice it before so they don't get distracted or monotonal by thinking how they did it the previous times. Do what's best for you, not what's best for whoever you're talking to about it. If you DO like to practice it, practice with a friend or family member so they can tell you what you should change (if anything). Regardless of whether you do or don't like to practice it in advance, a really good idea is to ask your teacher to let you do a practice IOP on a different topic before you sit down to devise the actual thing. It'll build up your confidence and let you have some individual feedback. 8. Time yourself! ... or if you don't like practising it, think very hard about how long it might take and what you should do if you find yourself going over time. Don't forget about this bit! 9. If you're nervous... Imagine it's just a conversation like you'd have with your classmates at any other time! Or imagine you're somebody else, or that you're performing on a stage in the character of somebody else... really, imagine whatever helps you. Make sure you feel secure about the amount of supporting material you have, make sure you think you've done a good job with the topic (even better that you're enthusiastic about telling everybody what you've found) and if you find practice useful, that you've practised well in advance and are happy about it. Then just chill out. People tend to pick up lots of marks in the IOP. Relative to other assessments for A1, it's very light-hearted and relaxed. The more nervous you are, the less likely you are to perform at your best, so build up your confidence in what you're doing and how you're going to do it. Hopefully those're all helpful hints. Please feel free to post some of your own and I'll edit them into this thread with some credit, or if you have constructive comments to make on the tips already up there, those are also welcome! Marking Criteria These are taken directly from the syllabus. Ask yourself all these questions and see if you're hitting all of the marks! As with everything Lit A1, the criteria are somewhat vague and difficult to self-assess, but do your best to aim for these as goals.
  18. 26 points
    Ya hi. This is really effing late. My laptop is having issues so I had to get it fixed. Please don't hate me forever. Anywho I'll just explain to yall the format of the paper then give you some of the normal question formats that will be on the test. Mkay.Ready? Let's go! The Format Yall Ok so the paper 1 is divided into 4 different texts: A, B, C, and D. Each of these texts have their own set of questions and prompts. This paper tests two things: Your ability to respond to text based question and a written response to a text. The texts will be all in the language that you have taken and will be chosen externally. You have no say whatsoever in what they pick. Sorry. Although if you get lucky, one of the papers might have a ton of vocabulary from something you've studied already. So you win! But that's lots of luck so just be prepared. By reading the rest of this guide :*. Some Question Formats Ok yes I know. You all take different language B's. But in my experience a lot of the language paper 1's use the same questions. Sooooooo I'll cover what I think is pretty overarching and how to study for them. OR rather...how to BS them...cus let's be honest we don't know what to study for. Multiple Choice This one is always in a paper 1. Each text (minus text D) will always have at least one multiple choice in it. If you can figure this out you're guaranteed at least one point on that text :DDDDD. Alright, so the multiple choice is almost always directly within the text or paraphrasing a section of the text. The multiple choice could ask you to choose the best option that summarizes a certain paragraph in the text, or choose from a list of things that are most relevant to the paragraph in question. I know this is a little vague but before I get clearance from some higher ups I'm not going to go around posting specific examples. Unless you PM me and ask for them because then I'll explain them to you all you want. A really good tip for the multiple choice that works about 60% of the time. Read the longest answer first. A lot of the times its the right one. Matching Sometimes the matching is really easy while others it's a brutal pain in the tuchkis ( did I spell that right?). But the format of this is usually very straight forward. On the left side of the page you are given a list of words from the text with a blank box on the side of the word as well as the line number to the right. To the right of the page is a different set of words that is not within the text. Your directions are to match the words on the left with the words from the right. I find this to be somewhat challenging as you have to know what the words on the left AND right side means in order to match them. Ok after typing that I feel really stupid but I do find it hard. Another type of matching could be "Fill in the letters of the events that occurred within the passage". Here they give you blank boxes on the left and phrases on the right. You are to select the ones on the right that best match up with the passage. Sometimes it must be in order and other times the order does not matter. READ THE DIRECTIONS TO DETERMINE WHICH. Some very useful tips for matching. The most important thing is to use context clues. Fine the word in the passage and read the sentence it is in, it may help you find the connotation of the word. Another important thing to do if you don't know the words on the right is to use root words. Some words branch off of other words so you can find root meanings and even get connotations from them. Remember don't panic if you don't know a word or what a phrase means. Just relax, take some deep karmic breaths and try again. Sometimes words pop out of nowhere at you and you reach epiphanies and want to scream during a test. Just don't L). Fill in the blanks of the passage I freaking hate this part of the test. HAATEEEEE IT!!! Me le choca. While reading the passage you'll come across some blanks in the form of some numbers. These numbers in the passage correspond to the number of the question. For each question you are required to select, from a word bank, which answer best fits within that blank. You think having a word bank is easy don't you? Ya no. The blanks are usually for transition words which are always so vague. Some of the answers sound like they can fill more than one blank and then some of them sound like they don't fill a blank at all. The only tip I have for this is to brush up on your transitions. Memorize all of the ones you can because come test time its a nerve wracking section. Thankfully the max I've ever seen was 5 of them. Get through it and you'll be home free. Short response Self explanatory, you get a question you respond to it using text. The only I have to say for this is try not to use uber long quotes to cover your butt. Be sure of one good sentence and quote up to one sentence. Don't be paranoid and quote 2 words either that won't do. True or False Oh THIS is always fun (hear the sarcasm?). You get boxes to chek true or false then if its true you have to back it up with text from the passage or if its false you have to say how its false and then back it up with text from the passage. It's just straight up text quoting. Make sure you don't quote the wrong thing. Do your best to understand the phrase and don't over think it. Extended Response This part is the only question in text D. It's basically a mini paper 2 where they have you respond to a prompt using quotes from the passage you just read. And....you only get 100 words...For more formatting information on essay responses please refer to my other guide on paper 2. Tips tips tips. Quote lots. You can't misquote here. I've never seen them dock points for quoting too much. But if you don't cover all the points on the markscheme you won't get as many points as you can get. Formatting is like half the score and the other half is quoting. [space reserved for future additions to tips. which there will be. promise] Questions about the guide or want some examples? PM me.
  19. 25 points
    For the Math Studies IA the student is to pick 2 variables they believe are related to each other in some way and test this using statistical analysis calculations. You can literally pick any two variables. I for example chose how many hours people play video games on average per week and the amount of words they could remember in a 1 minute interval. You want this to flow like a story, no one wants to grade something where you just throw numbers at them. Explain what they mean. Explain why you did this (I don't care if it's simply saying you simplified a fraction, do it). I'm not saying the graders suck at math, I'm saying that you don't know who's getting it so assume your grader is an idiot. Here are the criterion and for each one I'm only going to post the most points possible because you want a 7... Criterion A: Introduction 2 The student produces a title, a clear statement of the task and a clear description of the plan. - Don't make a dumb title. Make it relate to your investigation. I should be able to read your title and know 3 things. Both of your variables and your guess on if they are related or not (gives drama to a math IA sort of...on a nerdy level). - Your statement. It should be explicit. It should be clear. It should outline what you are going to do with the 200 numbers you a likely to collect. I should now know 4 things. Both of your variables, a small prediction, and the math you plan to do to it. - Now to make the grader happy (happy grader=happier grading, yes it's bias but you might as well use it for your advantage ). Make an introduction. Make it like a story. Maybe there is a reason you chose these variables? Are you interested in something about them? If they are related to sports for example, did you pick them because you love that sport? Explain these things. Also you can give a brief explanation of WHY you think they should be related. You're testing this after all, always fun to start with a guess and be proved wrong Criterion B: Information/measurement 3 The relevant information collected, or set of measurements generated by the student, is organized in a form appropriate for analysis and is sufficient in both quality and quantity. - Alright, quantity. It's vague I know. Let me say this. Chi Squared test=100 data points. Just go get 100 sets of data and you're set. - Put it in a chart for the love of god. A nice columned chart (if you are doing Pearson's/Linear Line of Regression you may also include the xy, x2, y2 and the averages/totals you will need later) - Relevant information...if you stated your variable was flight distance, don't collect how far the car traveled... Criterion C: Mathematical Processes 5 The student accurately carries out a number of relevant sophisticated processes. - Simple and EASY 5 points. Do at least 2 calculations, do 3 even! Chi-Squared, Pearson's, Linear Regression Line. If you know how to do those 3 and do them correctly, perfectly, you just got yourself a free 5 points! DO IT Criterion Interpretation of results 3 The student produces a comprehensive discussion of interpretations and conclusions that are consistent with the mathematical processes used. - Don't be dumb. If your Chi-Squared value was way under your critical value, don't say your original hypothesis was right...because it wasn't. - Draw conclusions using ALL the calculations you did. Maybe your chi-squared value says they have no relationship but just barely (just slightly below your critical value, very slightly) but your Pearson's value says there is absolutely no correlation between the points (this is a value between -0.3 and 0.3) - Explain your interpretation. Some people may think that a correlation coefficient of 0.6 is pretty good but other's might think it's terrible. Relate the value to what you collected (this is why it says discuss), are there reasons that your value could be lower than what it should be? You can discuss (if this happens, I don't know if it's even possible) why your correlation coefficient suggests a decent relationship but your chi-squared test says there is none. Which one do you trust more? Etc... - This is where math meets practicality. Be practical. Take the conclusion out of the number world and into the real world. Criterion E: Validity 2 The student has made a serious attempt to comment on both the mathematical processes used and the interpretations/conclusions made. - Why you used the math you did. How valid are the results from the math? did you do it by hand? Did you do it by a calculator? Did you do both to double check your work? Explain what you did to ensure that your math is perfect. Criterion F: Structure and Communication 3 The student has produced a project that is well structured and communicated in a coherent manner. - STORY. This needs to flow. I know it sounds weird, stories in a math class, but you can make a coherent IA. You did it for your group4 IA after all - This is grading you on how you connected the math to the real world and how you communicated the numbers but as words and sentences. Criterion G: Commitment 2 The student showed full commitment. - How do you get these 2 points? Make an IA that LOOKS like it took more than 2 hours to make (you could BS data and do this in 2 hours, but you didn't, did you?). Things that show this are the collecting of 100 data points. Taking the time to make the story flow. Adding in background information in the introduction. Spell/grammar check the dang thing. If there are errors you obviously weren't committed enough to proofread... If you have more questions or still don't understand something related to the IA itself feel free to ask. Any specific math questions (questions regarding Criterion C and involve numbers) should be asked in the Math Help Thread Edit: I've continued to get messages regarding personal cases and, as much as I'd like to help, I do not check back here often. That being said - Send me a message with the understanding that you can't rely on my reply. Apologies.
  20. 24 points
    I keep getting the same question, about how to do well in HL Biology, so thought I should just put it out in a topic. Remember that this is what I am predicted, not sure what the real one is. From what I have seen these are the important points. 1) TRY to like it..and find interest in it. It really helps. If you do like Biology then that’s a bonus! 2) NEVER EVER go to a lesson before you are certain you understand the things covered in the previous one. A main factor of doing bad is keeping things to just gather up on you, and before an exam you struggle to unerstand soo many things when you should be doing past papers. Do whatever it takes to understand something, trust me, it may sound like a pain in the ass but its very important, take a word from me. Having said this, it happens sometimes that you understand something only after you learn another, as it completes each other. However, what I mean is, don’t leave the MAIN CONCEPT not understood! 3) Make good notes that you can go back to anytime. I used to rewrite notes if they are bad and unclear. Having clear good complete notes is an important factor. 4) Read over your notes every now and then. It is really nice to find out that you remember the things when you’re doing the revision, it gives you confidence. On the other hand, if you only touch your notes before an exam, you come to revise and you find that you have forgotten many things, it crushed me in other subjects…so don’t want it happening to you. 5) Ask your teacher anything, I used to ware out my teacher with my questions (yeah I know Aboo ), but it all came out good, so yeah. A good teacher wouldn’t mind any of your questions!  6)You can try reading the topic before you start it, thats is what I used to do. 7) I recommend the OXFORD Study Guide, I found it really useful and very very helpful. So you may want to get that. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER: 8) FOLLOW YOUR SYLABUS POINT BY POINT. You can never go wrong with the syllabus. ANYTHING that’s ever going to be asked in the exam is in the syllabus, except for Data Analysis in the SECTION A of PAPER 2. Know the syllabus point by point, it’s vital and you will do good trust me. If you have any question about anything in Biology, SL & HL, you can always ask around here and I promise to answer once I see it. Biology Help thread For last minute people: Why oh why did you leave yourself till the last minute? You have to go through the syllabus even if you have 3 days left. Go through it and at least get a clear idea about them rather than going blank to the exam. For Paper 1, I would only revise 'obj 1 and 2' points, 'obj 3' wont really come up a lot. For Paper 2, you should still be remembering the 'obj 1 and 2' from Paper 1, so concentrate on 'obj 3' points, they are the 6-8 mark questions you get in some questions in section B. Go through past papers even on the night of the exam, it still helps trust me. Some questions are repeated every year (or almost), so you may get lucky and do a question that you'll find in the exam the next day. Once again, if you don't understand something, please ask. I may have missed some of the things, so I will put them down when I remember more. Goodluck to you all!
  21. 24 points
    Extended Essay for Dummies How to Start Your Extended Essay, How to Avoid Last Minute Panics, How to Effectively Get Help with your Extended Essay and More About to start your EE? Have you read the IBO Extended Essay Guide yet? If not, read it before continuing! Also please note - start a new thread if you want help with your EE! People do not regularly read this thread and you may not get a response. 1. So what exactly IS the Extended Essay? This is actually an extremely important post for many people to read, because many people fail to understand the significance of exactly what makes the Extended Essay unique, and go off in completely the wrong direction! It is not simply a very long version of a normal essay. The key point to understand is that the Extended Essay is specifically a research based essay. So this implies a few things. Firstly that your RQ (research question) should indeed be a question and not any kind of statement or prompt. Secondly that the essay must be investigating something -- it is NOT a narrative essay. If you try and write a narrative essay, you will find yourself with a very bad mark indeed. Unlike a normal essay the Extended Essay requires an element of research (look at external sources) and also a much more formal structure than any other type of essay you write in the IB. For instance it's probably the only thing you'll write for the IB which contains a Contents Page, and the only thing you'll write an Abstract for! It's actually excellent practice for writing proper essays at University. So, the Extended Essay is a 3,600-4,000 word research essay. Once you have understood this you've probably avoided the worst mistake you can make with the EE (bar one, which I'll come onto later) so congratulations! 2. How to ask people to help you with your EE on the IBS forums... Point number one - we are here to help you with your work, but not to do it for you. So think about your EE before you ask for help. Posts like "Help, my EE first draft is due in 2 days, I have no topic, please help me choose a topic" are likely to be ignored. AT LEAST have a subject and a vague/general area within that subject you're interested in. We will comment on all your ideas and make guiding comments, but we don't come up with the title for you. You are, after all, marked on your choice of essay title! To get a good response I suggest you do the following: A) Make your post title descriptive -- more "History EE - Stalin's rise to power" than "EE help needed!". Naming the subject area and the general area you're interested in in your title will help the people who have expertise in that subject find your post. B) Be specific! "Hi I am doing an EE in X, but I don't know where to start" is useless. If you're stuck on something SAY what it is you're stuck on! If you're not stuck on something then I suggest you put a bit more thought into it and spend an hour or two working out your ideas before asking for help. C) Make sure you've read the IBO Extended Essay Guide. Don't ask questions about format etc. until you have done because it tells you in there! Questions like, "what doesn't count as words" and "should i do an experiment" are 99% of the time answered in that guide. These are the kind of questions/issues we'd be more than happy to help with (not limited to just this though): We're very willing to help you if you can show us you've at least put some work into your EE. If you expect us to put in the work to help you, we need to know that you're putting in the work too. 3. How to find a topic and start writing your EE! 1. Choose a subject. Make sure it's a subject you enjoy. No point doing a literature EE when you hate the subject. Also at this point it's worth considering who is going to supervise your EE. If they are your favourite teacher it's great, but if they already have a reputation for being unhelpful/evil/not willing to put time into things, it's realistic to take into account the fact you probably want to avoid them. I know I avoided doing a science EE because my school's science department was so bad and went for humanities instead! If you're after top grades, it is easier to get them with good supervision and advice. 2. Choose a topic area in the subject you are interested in. Read the subject-specific guidelines published in the IB's Official EE Guide (free for all members to download in the Files section), these are invaluable and will help you confirm that your topic area fits well within the subject. If the topic almost identical to the example that is provided by the IB in the EE guide booklet, don't do it. Originality is something they really do look for. Even if you fall in love with a topic that's listed in the EE guide, avoid it. 3. Research the area. Read around. The internet is a nice place to start even though internet sources are not always the most reliable. If you are interested in Theory of Relativity (I'm not saying you should go out and do an EE on the Theory of Relativity, but for example), then go online, read about the topic - anything from wikipedia articles (though for the love of god, please don't use wikipedia as a source in your EE) to forum discussion, to fan sites etc. Don't rule out books either but I'm not saying you go and borrow 1000 books on the subject before you even have a topic. Just skim around. I think the term is 'look for inspiration' . You cannot just come up with a topic by sitting there and going, 'ZOMG, what should I do?????'. Instead of wondering what to do, actually go and do something! Talk to supervisor, look around, see what past IB students have done. Believe it or not, the EE will not be the last essay where you'll have to think of your own topic! Many university essays are also designed in a way where you are given a general area but have to focus the topic yourself! The EE is practice for this - not only practice in writing but also practice in research, analysing research, forming thesis - which is exactly what you do when you choose an EE topic. 4. You do not have to have a perfect title right away. Once you've identified an area you're interested in, you can start with a very broad question that can be narrowed down later. Go from something like: History >> European history >> Hitler >> The rise of Hitler >> Three most important factors leading to the rise of Hitler. Sometimes you may find that even the last topic is too broad and/or not appropriate for the EE, so you narrow it even further: To what extent was X more important than Y as a factor leading to Hitler's rise to power? Once you've got to about the 'Rise of Hitler' part, we can start to help you define and narrow your question. We probably can help you get from European history to Hitler but don't expect us to just take you from History to Hitler. (See part III for more details). 5. Once you've got your topic, think about a general theme or thesis you want to analyse or prove. Then start planning. Outline your main points and try to put them in some sort of logical order. 6. Then write. Don't worry about word count, don't worry about introduction, just write the 'meat' of the essay first. You can have different main points in separate documents and piece them together later. Most like you should end up with at least 1000 words over the limit and that's fine. Actually I'd rather you have more than less. Once you have all your main points, you can start piecing them together, refine your title/thesis, take out fluff and unnecessary things and polishing it. You may find, while doing this, you need to narrow your title down even further and that's perfectly fine, make the title suit the essay you've written if you need to. Of course, to do all this, you cannot write it 12 hours before the deadline, so plan your work accordingly!! (Contributed by Ruan Chun Xian, Vvi and biochem) 4. How do I avoid last minute panic?? All schools approach the EE differently, but here is how to avoid 'Oh **** my EE draft is due in 12 hours'. You may still opt to have a blind panic whilst doing your EE - this is for those who don't want to! Some tips... 1. Ideally, you should start brainstorming about your EE during your first year. Also your topic should be narrowed down and research question chosen before you finish IB1. If possible start gathering info during IB1 so that during the summer you only need to refine your research to suit your topic. Finish all research and start writing your first draft during the summer and pray that your EE adviser will take a look at it before school starts again (pick the best EE adviser you can, if they have no idea what they're doing it's not much comfort to the student and you're better off choosing a different subject, unfortunately). 2. Lay the groundwork for your essay in advance. I did all of this and my EE was practically done before IB2 started. I had already read the book I chose and gathered quotes along the way in IB1. I wrote mini essays analysing key characters that I used as my foundation for the essay which made writing my first draft incredibly easy. If you are doing a Group 4 (Science) EE, do the experiment before the summer so you can analyse and prepare the data over the holidays. 3. Do an outline. A proper one. 4. Ask tonnes of different people to read it and MAKE TIME for this to happen. Classmates too. The examiner it gets sent to might not know the topic at all, so it has to be explained in a way that is understandable by everyone. 5. Proof read it many times, and ask classmates/teachers/parents to do that too. Especially if English isn't your first language. I read a friend's EE that got a C , and his grammar was horrible. Maybe that contributed to his grade (at least indirectly), since the overall impression was shoddy. 6. Stick to the criteria. Make sure your essay is going in the right direction, and isn't on the line with another subject's criteria. This will result in either a bad grade or a lot of your precious time wasted re-writing it. (Contributions by Vvi and blindpet) Menu I. On How to Effectively Get Help on the Extended Essay on IBSurvival, Or Read this before making a thread! II. On How to Start Your Extended Essay III. On How to Avoid Last Minute Panic IV. How should the essay be presented? V. Where do I find examples? Subject-specific advice History Mathematics Group 4 Business First and golden rule: Do not leave it to the last minute!! I. On How to Effectively Get Help on the Extended Essay on IBSurvival, Or Read this before making a thread! For examples, see this thread. From Ruan Chun Xian: The EE forum is probably one of our busiest forum but I have a feeling many people may not find they get as much help as they would like when seeking help here. It's not that we don't want to help you, it's that often the ways you ask for help makes it extremely hard and/or off-putting for us to really help you. So here are some tips on how to effectively ask for help on your EE. Think about your EE before you ask for help: The threads that get ignored the most are those going along the lines of: 'Help, my EE first draft is due in 2 days, I have no topic, please help me choose a topic.' Erm...how exactly do you propose we choose a topic for you when we've never met you, never spoken to you before, don't know anything about you? I say this too many times but we are here to help you, but that does not mean we do work for you. We can help comment on your ideas, titles but we will not come up with titles for you. At least know what subject and general area of the subject you want to write about before asking for our opinions on it. If you absolutely have no idea, go and ask someone around you - teachers, friends, supervisor - first before coming to us because we can't conjure a topic out of thin air for you. Make your thread titles descriptive: Look, you would think this was obvious, but please don't just name your threads something like 'Biology EE' or "I need help' - there are so many, I can't stress this enough, threads with these kind of names and it's not motivating people to go in and find out what the thread is about. When there are about 3 threads called 'Biology EE', people would just go into one and miss the other. If you know your EE is about Stalin's rise to power, then for everyone's sake, put that in the title. I don't know why people can't grasp this concept that thread titles are supposed to say what the thread is about. When you're in the EE forum, a thread titled 'I need help on my EE' or even if you specify it as a Biology EE, it wouldn't say much. Do not type in CAPSLOCK: This is one of the forum rules but it appears people forget the moment they're panicking about the first draft that is due in 2 days. Seriously, typing the caps, bold and size 6 font is NOT going help you get an answer faster. In most cases, it annoys people and they don't answer you. From cereja: Don't ask about format unless you have already read the IBO guide and you don't understand something: Questions like, "what doesn't count as words" and "should i do an experiment" are 99% of the time answered in that guide. Be specific: "I don't know how to start" won't get you an answer. Ruan Chun Xian adds: Threads/posts that say things like "Help, I am writing an EE on topic X and I need help" or "My topic is X and I don't know what to do, help!" makes me want to just slap the person on the head and say, "What the **** do you need help WITH?" We are not mind readers. So SAY what you're having trouble with if you want help. The fact that you have a topic means you have something to work on, so if you don't know how to start, read around, do research, don't expect us to just tell you what to write! From Ruan Chun Xian: Ok all this sounds like we won't help you, but I'll tell you this. This is the kind of questions/issues we'd be more than happy to help with (not limited to just this though): My question is X: - Do you think it's narrow enough? - How can I make it more narrow? - Do you think it's appropriate for EE? My argument is X for topic Y: - Do you think it's reasonable? I'm having trouble with writing part X of topic/title Y, can you give some tips? [but give us some idea of what you've written in other parts] We're very willing to help you if you can show us you've at least put some work into your EE. If you expect us to put in the work to help you, we need to know that our help/time is going somewhere that is worth it. II. On How to Start Your Extended Essay From Vvi and biochem on choosing the topic: If the topic almost identical to the example that is provided by the IB in the EE guide booklet, don't do it. I was about to do my EE on the significance of balls (as in dances) in Jane Austen's literature, and then my EE supervisor told me that the same question was in the EE booklet. I was made to change it. If it's there, it's not original. Originality is something they really do look for. I fell in love with the topic they had in the Bio booklet for EE - something along the lines of analyzing the evolution of a symbiotic relationship of a fungi and bacteria. It sounds amazing, but I knew I had to do something else. From Ruan Chun Xian: 1. Choose a subject. Make sure it's a subject you enjoy. No point doing a literature EE when you hate the subject. 2. Choose a topic area in the subject you are interested in. Read the subject-specific guidelines published in the IB's Official EE Guide (free for all members to download in the Files section), these are invaluable and will help you confirm that your topic area fits well within the subject. 3. Research the area. Read around. The internet is a nice place to start even though internet sources are not always the most reliable. If you are interested in Theory of Relativity (I'm not saying you should go out and do an EE on the Theory of Relativity, but for example), then go online, read about the topic - anything from wikipedia articles (though for the love of god, please don't use wikipedia as a source in your EE) to forum discussion, to fan sites etc. Don't rule out books either but I'm not saying you go and borrow 1000 books on the subject before you even have a topic. Just skim around. I think the term is 'look for inspiration' . You cannot just come up with a topic by sitting there and going, 'ZOMG, what should I do?????'. Instead of wondering what to do, actually go and do something! Talk to supervisor, look around, see what past IB students have done. Believe it or not, the EE will not be the last essay where you'll have to think of your own topic! Many university essays are also designed in a way where you are given a general area but have to focus the topic yourself! The EE is practice for this - not only practice in writing but also practice in research, analysing research, forming thesis - which is exactly what you do when you choose an EE topic. 4. You do not have to have a perfect title right away. Once you've identified an area you're interested in, you can start with a very broad question that can be narrowed down later. Go from something like: History >> European history >> Hitler >> The rise of Hitler >> Three most important factors leading to the rise of Hitler. Sometimes you may find that even the last topic is too broad and/or not appropriate for the EE, so you narrow it even further: To what extent was X more important than Y as a factor leading to Hitler's rise to power? Once you've got to about the 'Rise of Hitler' part, we can start to help you define and narrow your question. We probably can help you get from European history to Hitler but don't expect us to just take you from History to Hitler. (See part III for more details). 5. Once you've got your topic, think about a general theme or thesis you want to analyse or prove. Then start planning. Outline your main points and try to put them in some sort of logical order. 6. Then write. Don't worry about word count, don't worry about introduction, just write the 'meat' of the essay first. You can have different main points in separate documents and piece them together later. Most like you should end up with at least 1000 words over the limit and that's fine. Actually I'd rather you have more than less. Once you have all your main points, you can start piecing them together, refine your title/thesis, take out fluff and unnecessary things and polishing it. You may find, while doing this, you need to narrow your title down even further and that's perfectly fine, make the title suit the essay you've written if you need to. Of course, to do all this, you cannot write it 12 hours before the deadline, so plan your work accordingly!! See Section III. III. On How to Avoid Last Minute Panic From blindpet: I don't know how most schools approach the EE but here is how to avoid 'Oh **** my EE draft is due in 12 hours'. You should start brainstorming about your EE during your first year. Also your topic should be narrowed down and research question chosen before you finish IB1. If possible start gathering info during IB1 so that during the summer you only need to refine your research to suit your topic. Finish all research and start writing your first draft during the summer and pray that your EE adviser will take a look at it before school starts again (pick the best EE adviser you can, if they have no idea what they're doing it's not much comfort to the student and you're better off choosing a different subject, unfortunately). I did all of this and my EE was practically done before IB2 started. I had already read the book I chose and gathered quotes along the way in IB1. I wrote mini essays analysing key characters that I used as my foundation for the essay which made writing my first draft incredibly easy. If you are doing a G4 EE, do the experiment before the summer so you can analyse and prepare the data over the holidays. I cannot stress how important proper planning is if you want to do well on your EE. Almost everyone in my class who struggled with it and were nowhere near done at the beginning of IB1 got C's or worse. From Vvi: -Do an outline. A proper one. -Ask tons of different people to read it. Classmates too. The examiner it gets sent to might not know the topic at all, so it has to be explained in a way that is understandable by everyone. -Proof read it many times, and ask classmates/teachers/parents to do that too. Especially if English isn;t your first language. I read a friend's EE that got a C , and his grammar was horrible. Maybe that contributed to his grade (at least indirectly), since the overall impression was shoddy. -Stick to the criteria. Make sure your essay is going in the right direction, and isn't on the line with another subject's criteria. IV. How should the essay be presented? This is a suggestion only. On the whole, your essay should look neat, professional, and easy to read. Sample_presentation_of_a_document.pdf V. Where do I find examples? It can be useful to look at Extended Essays other people have done to get a feel for the approach you should take and the depth of your analysis and thinking. If you are a VIP member or have purchased a paid subscription to IBSurvival you can use the Files system and download EEs uploaded by members. You can also find examples for some subjects by Googling "50 Excellent Extended Essays" and finding the IB's official exemplar essays posted online. These are EEs the IB considers top quality, so are an excellent way of judging the standard your own EE should attain. If you have good tips on anything about the EE, please feel free to post them and we will add them to the main post. Please keep this thread constructive, so if you have nothing better to say than just 'This is awesome!' then don't post at all.
  22. 24 points
    Jump to Frequently Asked Question About the International Baccalaureate General IB Downloads Here are some useful files for IB students. Download is available to all members. If you want to donate and contribute files to our archive, please see this announcement or this FAQ section. Syllabi Diploma Statistics Other IBO documents Useful links to get you through IB Some advice to new IB students Note: Please don't take this starter pack for your bible. It's a guide. The extent that this can apply to individuals will vary, because different schools run IB differently. Enjoy your IB! You'll only get stressed if you leave things too late. The more you hate it, the more it becomes a chore and then it just gets into a mess. Don’t hate it (or try, anyway). Starting off organised is the best advice.. A lot of students start off the IB very lazily and didn't really spend as much time organising work etc. as they could. This simply means more long nights later, mainly from doing homework the night before its due etc… If you can start motivated and maintain it throughout then you will find the work more manageable. It's important that if you're one of those people that like to perfect their work and score full marks on everything, that with the IB, you really have to draw yourself a line. At a certain point, you've got to tell yourself that you're okay with some relatively bad grades once in a while, and not fret over grades. Another tip is to not play any video/online games or get involved in those stupid little blog things on the Internet… From seeing what some people have been addicted to in past experience, it does seriously sidetrack you from the main task of getting the work done. Don’t give up (too much) sleep. Seriously, you need to get a decent amount of sleep each night - aim for between 7-8 hours. If you don't get enough sleep, in the long run it messes up your body system and you will feel tired all the time, and won't be able to concentrate on your studies as much. An all-nighter (curse procrastination) is acceptable in extremely small doses, but don't make late nights and early mornings a habit. Relax once in a while and go have some fun. Don’t give up your social life. Go out while you can, have fun, enjoy your time. Keep your sense of humour. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember, IB is a learning experience. If you have confusions about the formatting or structure of any IA or anything to do with the programme at all, ASK and seek confirmation before you do the wrong thing and get into a mess or have to do it all over again. There are plenty of people you can ask: your IB Coordinator, your subject teachers (if your school is experienced and organised enough with the IB programme that they know what they're doing), your friends who have gone through IB before, or us, here at the forum. This is what we're here for, after all. Learn how to appreciate your breaks. To most students, IB isn't harder than what they were used to before but rather, it is just more intense in terms of workload.Your marks may fluctuate at the beginning due to the heavier workload, higher expectations and simply your getting used to the programme but they shouldn't drastically change in the long run. Also, depending on your work ethic, the hours of sleep you get will be in decline the more you procrastinate. Don't worry about not 'getting' TOK. Just when it comes to your essay, question your own points. It'll snap into place eventually. Stay on your coordinator’s good side. Pay attention to internal deadlines. Don’t miss them. Your school might even be really nasty and not take your work if you miss the deadline. There goes the diploma then. Do well on your first year final exams, as for UK universities, this is what your predicted grades are based on. Don't think that they don't really count much. Many people in my school did this, and it ruined their chances to get into some universities even though they were really good students. Revise properly for mocks. They show you your weak spots, let you try an IB paper under exam conditions and show you just how long it takes to revise a subject inside out. But don't forget that your mocks won't be based on the full syllabus as you won't have done it yet so add extra time to it. Choose the easiest subject if you haven't done so. Don’t do hard subjects unless you need them for university or they are your passion. Make things easier for yourself. Get free 7s where you can. Aim to get coursework finished at least a week before your deadlines so you and your tutors have more time for tweaking and editing. Do your extended essay in the summer. Don't leave it until you get back in the second year and don’t end up working on it after Christmas. It is not impossible to get an A this way, but really, it's not worth the stress, the hassle, the tears and the lack of sleep. Make sure as far as you can that you finish all your coursework before January of the final year (for May exams). As many deadlines fall in the space of a week, and will be too much to handle at one time. This gives you loads of free time to revise for the mocks/midterms, as well as preventing clashes of deadlines. Schools spread IA deadlines as sparsely as from September through to March but get whatever you can done early. You will be patting yourself on the back when all your friends are stressing about the late nights they have to put in, to finish three coursework in the space of a week. If possible, get all your coursework given to you before the summer, and do as much as you can during the summer. Yes, yes we know. It’s easy to talk about time-management being the most important thing, and diss procrastination, but it's something that really is difficult to avoid. So you might as well put effort into working AROUND all the procrastination you do rather than try avoiding it altogether and doing it anyway...This means procrastinate but in moderation. You can wait a while to start the assignment but don't leave it so late that you end up with no sleep. Don’t give yourself the expectation in exam time that you will get a certain grade. Remember, in class you're being marked against your class. In the real exam you're marked against the whole world. Your predicted grade can vary very much from your real grade that you will get. Don’t get into the frame of mind that you're capable of a 7 in class and end up not working as much as you should in exam time. Once you've finished your syllabi for your (subjects, but) Sciences in particular, start doing past papers - there a specific style of questions the IB almost always use - by the exam you should understand them all. Speaking of past papers, do them!! Get to know the styles of questions, get familiar with what the exams ask for. Doing past papers get you familiar with the exam format, and also what you have to do in the exams. This goes for every single subject. Do past papers!! Acknowledge the Syllabus' existence for your subject. Don't go, "Sylla-what?"... The IB only asks things which are in the syllabi, nothing else. The objectives for each topic will also guide you in your studying to know whether you must only define, describe, explain or perhaps analyze/justify. This really helps you to stop wasting time in things that may only require a definition and focus on those which will need some sort of extended response. Sometimes with syllabus revisions, you can get unexpected questions. Even with unrevised syllabi, they might suddenly feel like they want to try a new style of question. Don't get totally stumped (try anyway) by an expected question in the exam. They sometimes throw in this weird question that’s never been in any past paper before, that's supposed to make you think. The difference might just be the wording or slightly different way of presenting the problem but essentially they are still asking all the same things – things that are in the syllabus! So know the syllabus. If you do get a little shock by an unexpectedly weird question, calm down and think rationally about what it might be asking. If you’ve studied well and know your stuff, you should be able to answer. If you know you're well rounded, and are pretty much certain to get around sixes/sevens for your IB subjects, concentrate on your EE/TOK. Even though 3 points doesn't seem like much, it will when it makes a difference between a 42 and a 45... The IB isn't just about concentrating on your academic subjects, but it's also about concentrating on the whole. Don’t spend more than 150 hours on CAS. For each additional activity you do you got to do an evaluation form for it. They're just nasty. Of course, if you're committed to something, you always end up with loads of hours, but if you've got enough hours, slow down on the CAS and concentrate on the work. Try to get all your hours done in the first year (really its not that hard) so you wont have to worry about them in your exam year. When doing your labs for science subjects, don’t stress too much about your actual results. Don’t go crazy if you don’t get the results your hypothesis says you’re supposed to get. Examiners look at your method, conclusive and evaluative skills. They do not care about the data you receive as they pretty much know about the experiment already and what the results would be like. You can get the wrong results but if you mention that in your evaluation telling what you did wrong and throw in terminologies such as random and systematic errors you can still get full marks. Just make sure the nitty gritty things like graphs and significant figures are right. If you are doing two sciences, do not give more importance to one than the other, try to get your lab reports done on time to avoid work accumulating later on, do try to get work done the first year, it really helps. Use your time wisely and importantly, don't let IB run most of your life. Of course you're going to invest more time into schoolwork but remember, these are your last years of high school. If you spend most of your time just studying and doing homework, you're obviously missing out on something. Yes, there's university but there may be friends you're going to miss ... family that you're going to move away from. Make the most of your time, and balance between work and play. If you want to get far in the IB, the best advice is to study. It’s the only thing that will help. Relying on your genius intellect and leaving things to luck and miracle is not going to help. Be persistent and devoted. Collected from various sources.
  23. 24 points
    Menu Exam Tips Data-Analysis Questions Revision Links Exam Tips These are some tips to tackle Biology questions with respect the action verbs. (BTW, this is taken from the Oxford Biology Study Guide pp.178). Before we start with this, you need to know that there are three types of examination questions; - Multiple Choice Questions (Paper 1): You choose the answer from four possible choices. Read them all, eliminate any unwanted answers to narrow them down. Always give answers and never leave questions empty. Leave the hard ones till the end and focus on the straightforward ones. - Structured Questions (Paper 2 + 3): Each question is broken down to sections. Answers are written in spaces or on lines. If you run out of space, complete elsewhere on the examination sheet itself, but clearly indicate where you wrote the rest of the answer. In paper 3, you are allowed to have extra paper. The marks are alloted at the end of each question; useful for you to know how many points and details to include in the answers. An example on this type of question is the data-analysis question (beginning of paper 2). It requires you to analyze graphs and compare results. (See Data-Analysis Questions). - Free response questions (Paper 2): These questions require long and detailed answers on lined paper. You are the boss on the style of answer (whether the prose - best choice, tables, carefully annotated diagrams..). Usually the questions will direct you. Sometimes ( Section B ) you are given choices. Read them carefully to choose the question that best suits you and you know you can answer the best. Always follow a logical sequence in arranging your answer and avoid irrelevant information. Try to make your handwriting as much legible as possible. These are the three types of questions. Basically, 50% of the questions require factual recall. So recharge your memories!! . These questions require direct answers start with LIST, STATE, OUTLINE or DESCRIBE. The other 50% invloves expressing ideas that are more complex or involve using your knowledge for things you haven't been taught. These questions usually start with: EXPLAIN - Sometimes it involves giving the mechanism behind things with a logical chain of events. It is a 'how' sort of explanation with 'therefore' being the keyword. However, sometimes it involves giving reasons or causes; a 'why' sort of explanation with 'because' being the keyword. DISCUSS - Sometimes, you have to include arguments for and against something. Try to give a balanced account. Sometimes, you might include a series of hypotheses indicating how each one is without making a final choice. SUGGEST - Mostly never taught. Use your overall biological understanding to find answers. As long as they are possible, they will receive a mark! COMPARE - refer to previous posts to see a detailed explanation. DISTINGUISH - Include only the differences in your answer. Use 'whereas' to help. EVALUATE - Assess the value, importance or effect of something. How useful is the technique/model? What are its impacts on others/environment? Use your own judgment and criticism as long as it's valid and biologically correct. Other action verbs are more straightforward and you'll probably answer them easily. Data-Analysis Questions Ok.. I know many of us suffer from these types of questions (especially me! ). Come to think of it, you have to group some techniques together and practise as much as you can. Practice makes perfect, right? Anyway, these are a few techniques that I guess might help; - Read the question carefully. Underline any keywords in the question (sometimes, there are hidden facts that examiners put to see if you pay attention or not ) - Always underline action verbs in the questions (discussed above). This helps in case you forget or get messed up. Trust me. - Start with the question, see how many marks are allotted and solve accordingly (2 marks > 2 major points in the answer ...etc) - In case of graphs, always read the title of the graph, each axis and its units. - In case of calculations, show your working and always indicate the units. - Study the data presented carefully many times (but watch out for the time). Be familiar with it and start solving. - Practise such questions in your free times. They might really be annoying, but it really helps on the long run. Trust me, again! Revision Links Thought you might want some help with Biology topics, so here are some links to reinforce your knowledge!! CHEMICAL ELEMENTS AND WATER Carbohydrates, proteins and lipids http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...s_b/index.shtml Proteins http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...res/index.shtml Enzymes http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...s_b/index.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...s_c/index.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...s_d/index.shtml CELL THEORY Prokaryotic cells http://www.omatclasses.com/cellcomparisons/index.html Eukaryotic cell http://www.omatclasses.com/cellcomparisons...lant_cells.html Membranes http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=AP1101 http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...ane/index.shtml Cell division mitosis http://omatclasses.com/cellcycle/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...sis/index.shtml http://www.csuchico.edu/~jbell/Biol207/ani...ns/mitosis.html HUMAN HEALTH AND PHYSIOLOGY The Transport System http://library.med.utah.edu/kw/pharm/hyper_heart1.html Defence Against Infectious Diseases http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~terry/Common/phago053.html NERVE AND MUSCLE CONTRACTION http://www.brookscole.com/chemistry_d/temp...es/muscles.html MEIOSIS http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072...nimations.html# DNA REPLICATION AND PROTEIN SYNTHESIS http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072...nimations.html# http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=AP1302 http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/asguru/biol...sis/index.shtml http://www.csuchico.edu/~jbell/Biol207/ani...nscription.html Hope they help. Have a nice day everyone.
  24. 23 points
    CAS Planning/Organizing and CAS Journal Writing *In-Depth Information and Suggestions on Planning a CAS activity effectively and reflecting on the activity in your CAS journal after the activity has finished. CAS Project Organization What? Who? When/deadline date? Publicity Information Venue Materials Needed Other Details to be arranged? Teachers' Permission Transportation Permission Slips Money Envelopes Cash Box, etc. etc. General CAS Evaluation Form Student Name: Activity: Supervisor: NOTE: Write the following answers for each question in a short paragraph form What did you do at your activity? What were you hoping to accomplish by this activity? Were your expectations met? What difficulties did you encounter? What did you learn about yourself and about others? Did anyone help you? If so, how? How did this activity benefit other people and the institution? Is there anything about the activity that you would change to improve it? Total time spend on Activity? C hours=? A hours=? S hours=? Date: Student's Signature Supervisor's Signature Specific CAS Form- Creativity Reflection Form Name: Date: NOTE: Fill in the following blanks as clearly and as detailed as possible. The activity I carried out for Creativity was: _______________________ I have learned these new skills/techniques:_____________________ As a result of learning these activities I am now able to: ____________ The biggest difficulty I faced doing this activity was:_________________ I overcame this difficulty by:__________________________________ What I have learned about myself from this activity: ________________ Specific CAS Form- Action Reflection Form Name: Date: I completed the following activity:____________ NOTE: comment on the following aspects. This activity has helped me to improve these areas of physical fitness: Strength Flexibility Stamina How had carrying out this activity helped you to improve: Technique Your self-discipline by fitting into a regular training schedule Your willingness to accept advice Your ability to cope with setbacks NOTE: Fill out the following as clearly and as detailed as possible (paragraph or two) What have you learned about your own competitiveness? What have been your greatest challenges in carrying out this activity? How have you overcome these challenges? Specific CAS Form- Service Reflection Form- no. 1 Name: Date: NOTE: Answer these questions in paragraph form I perform service for the school or wider community by:_______________ My service has helped others in the following ways:__________________ NOTE: Comment on the following in paragraph form Ability to communicate with others:____________________ Organization:____________________________________ Awareness of others needs:_________________________ Ability to listen to other people:_______________________ Leadership skills:________________________________ Specific CAS Form- Service Reflection Form- no. 2 Name: Service: Supervisor: Institution in which you worked and / or name of the person you visited: NOTE: Answer the following questions in paragraph form Short description of your Service:________________________________________________________ Did you find the experience worthwhile? Has it taught you something? Did you feel useful?____________ What / who helped you most in reflecting on what you were doing? NOTE: Comment on the following: In particular, has your Service experience helped you develop the following? Sense of Responsibility Compassion Awareness of different cultures Sense of service to the others and to the needs of the community Initiative Leadership Group cooperation/Teamwork What difficulties have you met? Relationship with: Other students involved in the service: The people you have been assisting: The institution you have been working with: The supervisor of this service? How would you suggest that this service could be improved?__________________ Some CAS Ideas which involve two or more aspects You can always finds some friends who also need C and A hours, get together and do some of the ideas inm mentioned as a group effort and have a teacher monitor you and sign off that you did it. We had something similar to a "humanitarian race" organized in our city, and some students participated by running in the race while also helping advertise and promote the race by making posters, web page designing, etc. In order to run the race, everyone had to pay a small fee, like 2 dollars, and at the end of the race they got a little prize, like a tT-shirt, for participating. Therefore, that activity involve C, A and S. C- the promoting, designing, advertising A- running in the race S- donation to the race (humanitarian cause) and promotion of the race Here are some more specific ideas I can come up with (hope they are possible/help you out): 1. Create an after school read-out-loud for younger students C- make posters for the read-out-loud/advertise it, create small treats for the little children who come (scrap books, etc.) A- the reading and managing of the event S- reading to the little children (this could also be done for underprivileged children, children in orphanages, etc.) 2. Organize a "sports day" for the students at your school C- advertising, organization, posters, activities, maybe design T-shirts/water bottles (our school did that) A- the actual sports S- service for the students, or you could do it for an orphanage, underprivileged children etc. (like I said in the previous idea) 3. Organize a poetry competition 4. Ask someone at your school if you could create a web page for something they may need (this could also involve photography alongside web designing and the service you would be doing for your school) etc etc... there's a lot out there, take initiative and you'll do fine, get people enthusiastic and involve them, you're leadership could really be needed if people just aren't willing to create such an event on their own. There are group effort ideas.
  25. 22 points
    Tips for the A1 Individual Oral Commentary (IOC) 1. Find out how your teacher wants to play it... Okay very technically speaking the rules re: the IOC state that you should be presented with a series of envelopes each containing an extract totally unknown to you from any one of the texts/poems etc. you have studied. However, quite a large percentage of IB schools seem to be into alternative versions of the rules, including some where they will let you choose which texts they'll use and even the odd school where they let you choose your extract. Clearly if your teacher is going to let you select which novel you want to get, you're in with an advantage (and can save yourself memorising the plot lines of 4 novels in the bargain), so make sure you know how they want to play it and make the most of whatever you get! 2. Know the chronology of your texts Assuming that your school hasn't let you choose the extract, you should find you have no idea what you're going to be given until you receive it. The good news is that your teachers are supposed to, according to the IB criteria, select an extract of significance within the novel. The bad news is that it's not always very obvious whereabouts in the novel this is, and you will be expected to put the extract into context. Consequently a reasonably large proportion of your preparation time should actually be dedicated to re-reading the whole text(s) and making sure you're quite clear about what events happen when. For some books this is easy, but for others with very skippy timelines (we all know the sort I mean...) it's really hard, so make sure you put your effort into the right places! 3. Familiarise yourself with the author's style An excellent way to prepare for your IOC is to familiarise yourself with the sorts of literary features and themes most common within a text So a good idea for your preparation is to flick through and look very closely at the author's styles for various things and make sure you're aware of a few key instances where the style is used. As an example (because I realise that's not the greatest explanation), Jane Austen always introduces characters with a few key descriptive words which cause the reader to form a view of a character usually before hearing them speak or seeing them do anything. So, knowing that this is one aspect of her style and that it's possible an introduction or description of a character might pop up in my IOC, I would make sure I was aware of at least one key instance of this happening so I could knowingly refer to it in my IOC. Be sure to look at all aspects of writing style so you literally know enough about the general way the author writes that you can say something about almost any page in the book/poem etc.! You always want to show good knowledge of the novel/poems as a whole body. 4. Use your preparation time wisely You should be given 20 minutes to prepare for the exam and during this time it is imperative that you make the most of it. The number one key thing is not to panic. Panic = wasting precious minutes. It's better to finish early and idle around than panic for 5 minutes and spend the next 15 writing frantically. Ideally, unless you're such a chilled person that you have no nerves, it's a good idea to have a plan of attack. I personally suggest the most simple which is to go through the extract line by line after reading through it once or twice. The important thing is that you remember you probably only have enough time to make notes once, so the first notes you make will probably be the exact same ones you use 20 minutes later. There's no writing up into neat! Going through the extract underlining things is therefore not necessarily going to be that helpful if, once you're on the spot, you can't remember/read your own hand writing as to why exactly you underlined it. So make sure that all the points you make are in a format which will be easy for you to understand in the actual thing. Also, although you only have a short period of time, as I mentioned before it's important to put things into context and match them up with other parts of the novel and other parts of the extract, so if you spot the same thing happening twice within your extract, link them up in such a way that you'll remember to mention both at once as you go through it. This makes your commentary seem a lot more structured than it otherwise would with only 20 minutes to prepare! 5. Imagine it's on paper and structure it Literally imagine that your essay is being written by you rather than spoken by you. What do you need in every essay? Introduction, main body, conclusion. Don't forget to include an introduction (including that all -important putting the extract in context chronologically) and also a conclusion. I strongly suggest you bullet point the contents of these rather than making them up on the spot because nerves can do terrible things when it comes to mind blanks, and the beginning and ending of presentations are both extremely important for the overall impact. You can do a great job but have a terrible ending and it's the lame ending which sticks in people's minds. 6. Don't fail to show outside knowledge! Reading through the extract and find yourself remembering a related fact/incident as you read? SAY IT! It's really important that you make the context (and your excellent knowledge of it) very clear, So if you remember something related, pop it in. Think that something a character does is reflective of something they do later/earlier/their general behaviour? Mention the other event as well. Don't waste loads of time on it, keep all these outside points reasonably succinct, but whatever you do don't overlook them or fail to mention them. 7. Set yourself up to achieve fluency via knowing how you work Just like with the IOP, you want to appear extremely competent and fluent. Generally when in a state of panic, the only way to achieve this (besides obviously making sure you know what you're talking about!) is to make excellent notes so when panic strikes, you can stay on track. I'd strongly suggest you practice going through an extract that you pick at random and making notes on it prior to the actual thing. Then try imagining what you'd say based on the notes you've made yourself after 20 minutes. If the notes you've made aren't enough to stop you blanking, re-consider the way in which you make notes. And finally, take a chill pill because really it's not that hard. IGNORE THE TAPE RECORDER!! Hopefully those're all helpful hints. Please feel free to post some of your own and I'll edit them into this thread with some credit, or if you have constructive comments to make on the tips already up there, those are also welcome! Also check out... http://teach.beaverton.k12.or.us/~jonathan_stoner/ib/oralcommentarytips.html which has some useful hints & tips - I'd especially recommend having a look at the "Parting Shots" section at the end. This is probably as close as you can get to having an insight into the way they actually apply the (somewhat vague seeming) marking criteria.

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