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Oral Commentary

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Hey,

I have my official oral commentary coming up in a few weeks and was wondering if anyone could give some advice!

So some queries of mine:

- How should I structure the presentation?

- What are good things I should definitely mention? i.e, should I put emphasis on historical context of novel etc.

- How can I best put to use the 20 mins I have to prepare? Should I work line by line from the extract or focus on literary techniques?

Also, it would be helpful if anyone had studied the novels I am studying. If so, could you give me some themes/pointers?

So far, I have studied:

- Washington Square by Henry James

- A Mother's Disgrace by Robert Dessaix

- The Winter's Tale by William Shakespere

- Poems by Judith Wright

Of course, people won't be studying the same exact works as I, but if you know them I could use your advice!

Thanks.

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Hey,

I have my official oral commentary coming up in a few weeks and was wondering if anyone could give some advice!

So some queries of mine:

- How should I structure the presentation?

- What are good things I should definitely mention? i.e, should I put emphasis on historical context of novel etc.

- How can I best put to use the 20 mins I have to prepare? Should I work line by line from the extract or focus on literary techniques?

Also, it would be helpful if anyone had studied the novels I am studying. If so, could you give me some themes/pointers?

So far, I have studied:

- Washington Square by Henry James

- A Mother's Disgrace by Robert Dessaix

- The Winter's Tale by William Shakespere

- Poems by Judith Wright

Of course, people won't be studying the same exact works as I, but if you know them I could use your advice!

Thanks.

Some tips:

I would NOT recommend discussing the historical context of the novel generically, unless it specifically relates to the extract you get.

I would begin by contextualizing the extract in terms of where it occurs in the plot development, characterization, atmosphere, theme etc.

From what I remember - a line by line analysis is NOT recommended by IB examiners.

The main purpose of the commentary is to focus completely on the literary significance of the extract.

Focus of the usage of literary techniques in the extract and their effects.

Each person has a different way of using their 20 minutes. Practice doing commentaries on extracts (get someone to pick some) and see how you can utilize your 20 minutes effectively. In some cases you may have to spend a few minutes figuring out where the extract fits in the book (as you aren't told this info).

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