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English HL - P1 Unseen Commentary

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Just a quick question guys..when you're writing your commentary for a poem, would you organize your essay based on literary devices or by the structure of the poem? I know it's frowned upon to go line-by-line when analyzing a poem, but my teacher used to tell me that sometimes it would be best to organize arguments based on devices and sometimes based on the form of the poem, if the poem is structured (eg. a sonnet).

What do you guys think?

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Just a quick question guys..when you're writing your commentary for a poem, would you organize your essay based on literary devices or by the structure of the poem? I know it's frowned upon to go line-by-line when analyzing a poem, but my teacher used to tell me that sometimes it would be best to organize arguments based on devices and sometimes based on the form of the poem, if the poem is structured (eg. a sonnet).

What do you guys think?

yes, our teacher told us to definitely stay away from line-by-line analyzing, she told us to analyze in terms of literary devices used. sort of like organize your essay according to the significant aspects of the poem, for example the mood and tone and what are the characteristics of the poem that further emphasize the mood of it. or patterns of meaning in the poem, like shifts in the focus of each stanza and what that symbolizes.

hope this helps =)

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For poetry commentary, it is always easier to go for theme and literary devices analysis first, because tehre is more to talk about always, except if you are looking at a modern poem where structure comes first.

Whichever it is, you need to look at both structure and content, but focusing more on one and then mentioning the other and its importance.

Best hting to remember is to be fancy: use fancy words, synthax. Be pretentious!

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Guest iber2468

I always go in order

1. Context (for the oral anyway)

2. Content/character/narration

3. Thesis

4. Structure (meter/rhyme)

5. Language

6. Imagery

7. Themes

8. Literary devices (incl. punctuation)

9. Mood/tone

10. Effect/purpose

11. Title

10 +1 bonus steps for success! :yes:

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Guest entrancer

this is too late (congrats to everyone who wrote this morning!) but we have a set guideline to follow from our school

1. context

2. purpose

3. explain (further clarify purpose)

4. analysis (devices etc)

5. personal response (ib eats this up)

6. conclusion

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I got a 7 for my P1 and I had a line by line structure of sorts, I find it a good way to go because obviously the author of the extract or poem has given planned the structure, which gives your writing structure. As long as you don't say "In line 4 such and such occurs".

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I just did the May 2008 paper and the poem was soooo long. Therefore I couldn't do what I usually do and that is to arrange my essay in terms of one theme per paragraph. I went line by line this time and wrote around 1000 words, so I guess it was ok.

@ Crystal: how can you analyze themes without analyzing literary devices and imagery?

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I always go in order

1. Context (for the oral anyway)

2. Content/character/narration

3. Thesis

4. Structure (meter/rhyme)

5. Language

6. Imagery

7. Themes

8. Literary devices (incl. punctuation)

9. Mood/tone

10. Effect/purpose

11. Title

10 +1 bonus steps for success! :D

This is really handy for people like me who are terribly disorganized. Thanks a lot!

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How exactly would you begin an unseen commentary?

You read the entire poem/passage and mark all the literary features that your eye can see on the text itself. After that, you sit with a blank piece of paper and decide what is the central theme of the poem/passage that jumps out at you as being key. Once you've decided that, you choose various instances (evidence) from the text to back your idea of the central thesis and argue about it being the idea that forms the backbone of the author's intent. Couple this evidence with literary analysis that spans all the important points (Style, Author's Intent, Diction/Syntax, Imagery, Structure, and Tone/Mood). Keep going until you feel you've lived up to your Outline and proved your thesis.

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Just a quick question guys..when you're writing your commentary for a poem, would you organize your essay based on literary devices or by the structure of the poem? I know it's frowned upon to go line-by-line when analyzing a poem, but my teacher used to tell me that sometimes it would be best to organize arguments based on devices and sometimes based on the form of the poem, if the poem is structured (eg. a sonnet).

What do you guys think?

As far as I know there is no set structure, as prescribed by the IB. You can write your commentary however you want! It's not frowned upon to go line-by-line at all. On the contrary, I have been told, and I know this from my own experiences, you can include SO many more techniques, devices, and features if you do a thorough, line-by-line analysis. I used to do the whole "split by literary feature" but I realised after doing my IOC (line by line I might add!) that I'm missing out all of the other significant things in the poem, I started writing based on stanza, or mood change. It makes it so much more thorough, and allows you to have a less superficial analysis. Good luck :)

EDIT: Wow did not see the date on this.. Whoops >_>

Edited by ChikkyD

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This topic has been closed by a moderator.

Reason: This topic is 3 years old. If you need commentary tips, see this thread.

If you disagree with this action, please report this post, and a moderator or administrator will reconsider it.

Kind regards,

IB Survival Staff

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