Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Website

Hi everyone!

IB Screwed has transferred all our material over to one new website: www.ibscrewed.org

You can find a collection of English information at: English

We will be uploading video tutorials to YouTube starting in September 2014. You can view them at our YouTube channel: YouTube

In the meantime, connect with us on Twitter @ibscrewed4ib or on our Facebook Page

Good luck with your studies!

IB Screwed

Monday, April 1, 2013

Writing Tips for IB English Students

As a recent IB graduate, I know how intimidating the sheer volume of written assignments can be. I went on to join a natural language processing startup in San Francisco called Grammarly, where I get to do a lot of research on how students write essays.
Here are a few of the key insights I’ve come across that will help you most.
• Use a framework for your essay - write an introduction, a development and a conclusion. A quick plan is always a useful way to help you do this; I recommend spider diagrams . These will give you areas around which to structure your writing and these areas then become the main paragraphs of your development. Write an introduction, but don’t go into much detail here. Outline what you are going to write about, that’s all. The introduction sets out your stall. The development section is where you expand ideas. Your conclusion should summarise your arguments.

• Next, as you write, make sure you are answering the question. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many students don’t do that. For example, if you are asked to compare two or more texts then make sure you look at similarities AND differences.

• Another important feature of writing successful essays is the topic or linking sentences. These make reference to the question you are answering and introduce the topic you are going to discuss in the subsequent paragraph. In other words, they make you answer the question! I like the ‘glue’ analogy best - topic sentences are the ‘glue’ that sticks your essay together, and without them your answer will fall apart.

• When writing English essays you must make reference to the text(s). This is done either through direct quotation or re-writing in your own words, which is called indirect quotation. A few words of caution - do not retell the plot. The examiner knows the plot! And don’t pad out your writing with quotations - use them selectively as evidence. Try to incorporate a quotation into your own sentence. Here’s an example: Hamlet puts on an ‘antic disposition’ in his efforts to discover the murderer of his father.

• The other big trap to fall into is known as ‘feature spotting’. This means that you just list technical words such as metaphor, or simile, or alliteration. They sound great, and yes, mentioning these shows you have an awareness of some technical features of the English language but you MUST link them to the EFFECT that the writer is trying to create. This is where you ‘unpack’ words. If you are talking about a simile, for instance, discuss the connotations that an individual word might have. Look at this example from Antony and Cleopatra: ‘The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, Burned on the water.’ The words in the simile I want to unpack here are ‘burnished’ and ‘throne’ - ‘burnished’ suggests to me something that shines while ‘throne’ has connotations of royalty and status.
This is analysing language use and it will gain you a lot of marks. It’s even better if you can include differing interpretations, not only of individual words, but also themes and ideas related to a text. Remember, words say different thing to different people and they respond to them in a variety of ways.
Lastly, make sure your essay is written well. As an IB English student your writing needs to be accurate in terms of grammar, spelling and punctuation. If it’s an important IA, check out the automated proofreader we’ve built at Grammarly to give your work that final bit of polish and impress the examiner!

By Nikolas BaronNikolas Baron

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SlideShare Presentation

I'll be making more like this in future I think. I'd like feedback, though.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Helpful Links

IB A LITERATURE
http://ericmacknight.com/ibalit/

INTENSE COGITATION
http://intensecogitation.info/

PAPER 1 ADVICE
http://www.angelfire.com/wizard/ib-notes/English_paper_1.html

SPARK NOTES
http://www.sparknotes.com/

CLIFFS NOTES
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/

COMMENTARY ADVICE
http://www.slideshare.net/mtalspaugh/ib-english-written-commentary

ACADEMIC WRITING
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/intro.html

ONLINE WRITING ASSISTANCE
http://www.powa.org/

WRITING CENTER
http://writingcenter.unc.edu/resources/handouts-demos

WRITING PAPERS
http://www.roanestate.edu/owl/

GRADE SAVER
http://www.gradesaver.com/study-guides/

ONLINE WRITING LAB
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS
http://www.virtualsalt.com/litterms.htm

Friday, June 11, 2010

Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to IBscrewed4english, the blog for information, ideas and help for IB English A1.

Don't forget you can email me on ibscrewed4@gmail.com - questions? comments? anything you want to add?

Please remember that I am an IB student too, so I'm not perfect, and can't promise to constantly update. You need to bear with me :)

Good luck, and happy learning!!