Incredible Machines

April 18, 2006

Nice contraptions. Click here to watch them.


April 15, 2006

Hola a todo el mundo.

Me gustan los idiomas y también escribir. Por este motivo, uso este blog para publicar las entradas en español. Utilizo también los otros blogs para publicar las entradas en otros idiomas.

En todo caso, bienvenido a mi blog y a esta primera entrada.

Things to Consider When Writing the World Literature (WL) Assignments

April 14, 2006

Things to consider when writing WL Assignments:


1. Aspect(s)
2. Approach(es)
3. Structure(s)
4. Character(s)
5. Theme(s)
6. Linguistics feature(s)
7. Dramatic technique(s)
8. Historical context
9. Social context

that may be of help when assessing and comparing the texts.

Things you need to do now:

1. Choose a topic area and narrow it down
2. Devise a title for your paper
3. Produce an outline (you may want to post it here in this thread so others might give feedbacks/comments)
4. Read closely and attentively the criteria descriptors in the A1 English syllabus and keep them in mind as you write!

Analysing Fiction Checklist

April 12, 2006

1. Vocabulary
-choice of individual words
-various registers

2. Grammar
-relationship of words in sentences e.g. -use of adjectives for description -verbs to denote action -switching between tenses (present, past, and future)
-any <span style="font-style: italic;">unusual</span> combination of words or phrases to create special effects

3. Syntax
-arrangement and logical coherence of words in a sentence
-possibilities for re-arrangement are often used for emphasis or dramatic effect

4. Figures of Speech
-rhetorical devices used to give decorative and imagive expression to literature
e.g. -simile

5. Literary Devices
-used to give added depth to a work
e.g. -imagery
-point of view

6. Tone
-author's attitude to the subject as revealed in the style and manner of the writing
e.g. -serious

7. Narrator
-person telling the story
-maybe the author
-omniscient or
-or a fictional character telling the story
-there may be multiple narrators
-make a clear distinction between author, narrator, and character

8. Narrative Mode
-either first person singular or third person singular

9. Narrative
-history of events, characters, or whatever the narrator wishes to relate to the reader

10. Characterisation
-physical appearance
-psychological characteristics
-direct speech
-opinions of the narrator or other characters
-etc. things that the author uses to characterise his characters

11. Point of View
-the literary strategy by which an author presents the events of a narrative from the perspective of a particular person
-maybe consistent or maybe not
-do not mistake point of view for opinion

12. Structure
-planned underlying framework of a work
-relationships between its parts in terms of arrangement or construction

13. Theme
-underlying topic/issue
-it should be possible to express theme in a single word or phrase
e.g. -death
-coming of age

14. Genre
-literary category of style
e.g. -short story
-we become aware of genre through cultural experience
e.g. -in detective stories, murder mysteries are solved
-we can surmise what sort of things may happen if we know the genre

15. Cultural Context
-culture/historical context and circumstances under which the work was produced

Source: Analysing Fiction: A Checklist of Literary Terms.

Japanese Innovations–Dancing Robots

April 12, 2006

See here.

Close Reading: The Essentials

April 12, 2006

Four Levels/Types of Close Reading:

-features that make up a writer's styleSemantic
-deeper level of what words mean
-what they denote and connote
-what information they yield

-possible relationships between words within the text
-structure: linear, thematic, etc.

-relationships of any elements of the text to things outside it
-social or cultural history
-philosophy or psychology

Four Phrases/Stages of Close Reading:

Linguistic reading
-largely descriptive
-noting what is in the text and
-naming its parts for possible use in the next stages of reading

Semantic reading
-understanding what the words tells us
– both at a surface and
– implicit level.

Structural reading
-assessing, examining, and judging a large number of items from within the text in their relationships to each other.

Cultural reading
-offering judgements on the work in its general relationship to a large body of cultural material outside it.

The Checklist for Close Reading:

Close reading – ChecklistGrammar
The relationships of the words in sentences

The author's choice of individual words

Figures of speech
The rhetorical devices used to give decoration and imaginative expression to literature, such as simile or metaphor

Literary devices
The devices commonly used in literature to give added depth to the work, such as imagery or symbolism

The author's attitude to the subject as revealed in the manner of the writing

The author's particular choice and combination of all these features of writing which creates a recognisable and distinctive manner of writing.


Source: What is Close Reading.

Notes on How to Study a Novel

April 12, 2006

1. Method
-deep and attentive reader
-reading, then re-reading
-active engagement with the book
-taking notes

2. Approach
-read novel quickly to get an idea of the storyline
-read it again more slowly
-take notes

3. Make Notes
-some written in book (highlighting details, etc.)
-others on seperate pages or notebook (summaries of evidence, collections of observations, page references for study topics or quotations, etc.)

4. Notes in the Book
-use pencil
-brief note saying 'why' or 'how' something is interesting

5. Separate Notes
-chronology of events
-major themes
-stylistic features
-narrative strategies

6. Characters
-relationships to other characters
-any special features of main characters

7. Chronology of Events
-summary of each chapter
-chronology of what happens
-general plot

8. Major themes
-think about themes
-look for references
-effects of themes

9. Stylistic Features
-choice of vocabulary
-imagery and metaphors
-shifts in tone and register
-use of irony and humour

10. Quotations
-support for arguments
-pages of quotations
-record page number and a brief description of the subject


The above is condensed notes from this How to Study a Novel guidance notes.