JJ'S EXTRA SESSION FOR _STASILAND_ SAC PREPARATION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH, 2014
A SAMPLE TOPIC:
DESPITE THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL, _STASILAND_ EXPOSES THAT MANY IN THE FORMER GDR STILL HARBOUR A SENSE OF INCARCERATION AND ENTRAPMENT. DISCUSS.
"Discuss" means: look at both sides of the argument but ultimately choose one to support more than the other.
Paragraphs are based on "hooks" in the topic - parts of the topic that MUST be responded to.
You may totally disagree with a topic but you still need to prove that it is NOT true.
In the above topic, what MUST we have paragraphs on:
Now, is there a "rebuttal" or "exceptions" point/argument you'd like to make?
Now, form topic sentences based on those ideas and order them logically.
Usually, paragraphs are ordered from obvious to not so obvious. We usually finish with the rebuttal/exceptions paragraph.
Sometimes you might be able to discuss the topic through a chronological treatment of time/history, or paragraphs might be based on:
Character types (but not single characters) e.g. Stasi, victims, those who want to forget the past etc.;
Parts of the central idea in the topic e.g. memory = awful experiences, forgetting, remembering;
Purposes of the text in relation to the topic e.g. to expose the horror of the Stasi's treatment of ordinary citizens, to show the long-term effects on sufferers; to show how it is possible to progress in life despite this.
So, for our practice topic, organise the three above ideas into a logical sequence, using clear, simple, full sentences that outline ideas only. Do not name characters or events yet:
Add LINKING WORDS/COHESIVE TIES to show the progression of points e.g.
Sadly, Unfortunately, Therefore, Consequently, Most obviously, Clearly, This leads to, Undeniably, More heartbreaking perhaps is… and so on.
Ultimately, your three topic sentences should make sense as a sequence and respond fully to the topic.
Now, find TWO DIFFERENT EXAMPLES from the text to prove the above points are true. They should come from different parts of the text, be above different people and events and should not appear too closely together in the text (shows scope of knowledge and ability to synthesise). List them above after your topic sentences.
QUOTES must be accurate, short and built into the grammar of your sentences. They appear WHILE you are discussing a character or event, not separately from it or in a separate sentence. It's better to use your OWN words for information, but quotes when discussing Funder's writing style. All quotes need to be analysed for tone, register, imagery and so on. This is where you might use METALANGUAGE to describe the way the writer writes and is intending to have AN EMOTIONAL EFFECT ON THE READER (see p. 19 of your pack and all the prose in the pack and try to find how we have built in short quotes and analysed the effect of certain writing styles on the reader)
AN EXAMPLE OF A FULLY DISCUSSED EXAMPLE:
"Herr Bock seems sinister and petty when he sits in 'his conspirational room' in a 'dark room' in a 'dark street', waiting silently with Funder for her taxi. The reader feels unease and fear with this repetition of 'dark' and the spy word: 'conspirational'; indeed, we hope that Funder does not become yet another victim of the Stasi's malevolent control."
IN THE ABOVE EXAMPLE, FIND THE FOLLOWING CONTENT:
Adjectives to describe the characters;
Metalanguage to describe the writing style of the text;
References to the intended effect on readers through Funder's writing choices.
NOTE ALSO THE STYLE OF THE WRITING:
Use of the present tense;
Use of punctuation;
Use of linking words to give the writing fluency.
CONCLUDING SENTENCES OF PARAGRAPHS must be SHORT, return to the topic BUT use different words from the topic sentence. Again, do not name characters or events here; simply wrap up the idea...
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