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Detailed Study - IOC

Page history last edited by Matt Peterson 12 years, 6 months ago

A Commentary on the repeated literary features and ideas as they specifically emerge in that extract

  • theme
  • character
  • details and imagery
  • style and tone
  • interplay of elements
  • interpretation


IOC Models 


IOC Tips


  1. No idea of context—before or after extract
  2. Discussions of entire text, not extract
  3. Generalisations about author’s work or life inessential to extract
  4. No focusing idea or organisation
  5. Line-by-line translation, not analysis
  6. Lack of attention to literary features—focus only on plot, characters, and ideas
  7. Little attention to language—no concept of tone or style
  8. Little connection made between features, ideas and extract's significance
  9. Equating the author with the extract's speaker


Context--it's more than plot

  • What happens before/after the extract
  • Character development or revelation
  • Thematic development
  • Interplay of work's imagery with extract's: context's imagery sets up, is significant to, or  is made significant by extract;
  • Change in tone;
  • If poetry, compare themes, imagery, tone in poet's other poems.

Check out how former CIS teacher Mr. Frost begins his commentar: --need to upload .mp3


The Extract--Interpretation

  • Establish a focus/thesis and a roadmap to organize and synthesize your observations.

Thesis should link ideas with literary features.

Examine the significance of the extract as a whole.

Annotate with highlighters and symbols to force you to make these connections

Beware of a line-by-line anlysis without carefully developing a thesis. It's easy to forget to connect the pieces to the whole in a meaningful way— i.e., not in a lame conclusion. 

Identify contrasts, shifts, developments, and velocities (of character, atmosphere, language, imagery, theme) to help shape your commentary.

Listen to the passage in your head to hear and feel the texture and pace of the language. Then connect with other features and ideas.

Always discuss the effect of the literary features.

Analyse how literary features contribute to the overall effect of the extract. 

Use transitions to help you link observations and themes with devices and structural features.


Big Terms and Features:

theme, diction, tone, irony, imagery, sound, pace, syntax, sentence structure, metaphor, symbol, foreshadowing, conflict, point of view, characterization, character development, character flaw, narrative structure, new information, the first or last time, a discernible pattern, echoes, allusions. Able commentaries synthesize these—they're concerned with the overall effect of the devices and features of the extract and extract's significance to larger work or context.


If a DRAMA, you MUST explore the audience's experience.

If POETRY, don't neglect TONE; it's often fundamental and essential. How it's created, along with its specific and broader importance to the poem and its poetic context.


Moderator's Comments

  • "too many candidates have basic difficulties in recalling the plot in detail.”
  • "Competent candidates proceed very quickly to contextualise by themes and issues.”—not just the plot
  • "coherent, individual interpretation based on key points and lines.”
  • "identifying an overall conception or artistic purpose.” 
  • clear purpose in developing and connecting points.”
  • apply the principles of literary criticism more thoroughly.”
  • avoid the current reductive tendency: ‘Basically she is saying that…’”
  • Too many candidates still fail to recognise the artistry of their passage. Clear identification of techniques and comments in their effects remain a disappointingly small time-proportion…”
  • Dramatic and poetic variations of tone, attitude, speed and so on need to be located and reasons given for them.”
  • (never) fail to distinguish author from narrator.”
  • analysis of the rhythms, the uses of grammar, and the syntactical organisation is needed to show how meanings and emotions have been artistically created.”


 IOC Tips.rtf


IOC Criteria.doc 

This is a refresher:

On Close Reading in The Handmaid's Tale


I went back to look at the extracts you highlighted yesterday, the ones I wrote on the board. In general, I would not select a number of them for a commentary. Remember, I'm on the lookout for segments that would allow you to speak unimpeded for twelve minutes. That means a lot must be going on so that you have enough to select and analyze.


It must be rich in several ways:

1. Likely it's significant to the plot, but that can't be the only part, or you'll be forced to paraphrase and speak about the book more generally when your main focus should be that passage. You need to deal with plot, but if that's mostly what the extract forces you to deal with, I will have done you a disservice. IB IS INTERESTED IN HOW THE WRITER USES LANGUAGE (ITS SOUND, STRUCTURE, WORDS, PUNCTUATION, SYNTAX, PARAGRAPHS, IMAGES, PACE, ETC.) TO CREATE AN EFFECT AND TO MAKE A POINT (THE EFFECT HELPING TO MAKE THAT POINT). However, think seriously about seemingly obvious things: who's in the scene, the location of the scene, how the people are positioned and how they move in the scene. Is the scene actually happing or remembered or imagined--or is it some combination? Where is it happing? When is it happening? Is this setting in any way significant, building on a pattern, establishing a pattern, foreshadowing, connecting to a past idea or mood?


2. It will have thematic resonance. I want you to be able to connect plot and literary techniques with the work's big ideas. So it's important that the selection have a number of deep sandboxes for you to dig around in—but don't get lost; stick to the text to light your mole holes.


3. It will be stylistically rich. Offred is an interesting narrator whose register changes, depending on what she's telling, remembering, reconstructing, or imagining—and who she's telling. Likewise, notice if register changes in a relationship. That likely indicates one or both of the characters are changing; that's usually important on several levels. Also, Atwood plays with time so often in this novel to make a thematic point—how the past and our imagination shape our present experience—that there are often structural commentary possibilities by noting the organization of the extract; notice how often Offred escapes the present. She's not just being helpful to fill us in on past info; she often digresses/tells stories to cope.


4. There will be literary features. Note the devices and features as though reading a prose poem, and consider how they shape and enrich the extract and the story. What are the thematic and structural connections to these features and devices? Finally, a quick nota bene on discussing diction: an efficient way to frame talking about diction is to say something like, "Offred's informal diction in the second paragraph is striking since she is addressing Serena Joy..." or "The Handmaids' public religiosity is apparent in the constantly pious diction they employ when addressing one another, that is, until they make eye contact..." Notice the specific adjective that frames what sort of diction it is and thus frames what you will explore. Instantly you connect literary feature to specific example to your interpretation of this feature. The same goes for discussing description and imagery. Deploy a specific adjective to frame your analysis.


This is by no means an exhaustive bit of thoughts, but they may help you decide what's important and may help you read in a certain way.


Othello, Marbury and The Onion

A must read: Stephon Marbury Embroils Celtics' Big 3 In Elaborate Shakespearean Intrigue


Othello Collaborative Notes 

Link to Student-Posted Notes: Act 3 Scene 3 Notes


Act 1, Scene 3 Lines 297 [Roderigo: Iago.] - 387

Othello - Put money in thy purse [Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh - dir. by Alan Parker]

Note: With any of the Branagh clips, an incredible amount is cut. Don't follow along in your text, just enjoy.

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Act 2, Scene 3 Lines 303 [Iago: And what's he then that says I play the villain] - 329

Iago's Monologue [Kenneth Branagh - dir. by Alan Parker]

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Act 3, Scene 3 Clips 

3.3.303 [Emilia: Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.] - 325 [Iago: As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.]

Othello - 'What Handkerchief' [Kenneth Branagh - dir. by Alan Parker]

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3.3.316 [Amelia: I am glad I found this napkin.] - 3.3.414

Othello: Iago (Ian McKellan) tells of a handkerchief, 1/2 [dir. by Trevor Nunn]

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3.3.414 [Nay, stay: thou shouldst be honest] - 3.3.521 (end of 3.3)

Othello: Iago (Ian McKellan) tells of a handkerchief, 2/2 [dir. by Trevor Nunn]

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3.3.102 [Iago: My noble lord--] - 3.3.304 [Othello: If she be falso, O, then heaven mock itself! / I'll not believe it.]

Othello: Iago and Othello Speak [Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh - dir. by Alan Parker]

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3.3.266 [Othello: Why did I marry?] - 3.3.411 [Othello: O monstrous world! Take note, take note, o world!] 

Shakespeare's Othello - Laurence Olivier, Act III bits

(This clip stops at an odd point)

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5.2.343 [Lodovico: To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.] - 366 [Othello: Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.]

Othello directed by Alan Parker [Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh - dir. by Alan Parker]

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Othello (1995) Redux Trailer [Fishburne and Branagh]

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"O" Trailer

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Note: The movie takes liberties with scene order

Note: Be mindful of your surroundings, there is a lot of profanity!

NOTE: Recommendation: SKIP PART 5 - 0:00-2:55 

          This is a disturbing sexual assault scene between O and Dezzie. Enough said.


Othello: "O" - Odin (star basketball player at an otherwise all-white prep school)

Desdemona: Dezzie (daughter of the Dean of School)

Michael Cassio: Michael (a sophomore, chosen co-MVP by Odin)

Iago: Hugo (a senior, who's been O's go-to guy)

Emilia: Emily (Dezzie's roommate, Iago's girlfriend)

Roderigo: Roger (son of a big donor to the school, picked on by Michael)

Duke: The Duke (Hugo's Father, the team coach)


"O" Part 4

3.3.103 [Iago: Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady, know of your love?] - 3.3.341 [Iago: A good wench; give it me.]

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"O" Part 6


3.3.366 [Othello: Avaunt! be gone! though hast set me on the rack:] - 3.3.468 [Othello: I'll tear her all to pieces]

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Part 7 - Beginning of Act 4

Bianca-Cassio-Iago-Othello Scene

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RSC: The Othello Rap

(Reduced Shakespeare Company)

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Other Othello clips here.



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