Wednesday, February 20, 2019

B2 Sample Writing 10 (Letter - Living with Grandparents)
The following sample letter has been written so that exam candidates for a B2 level English examination (FCE now called First for Schools, ECCE, IELTS - 5.5 / 6.0, MSU-CELC, ESB, LRN) can get some ideas about how to organize and argue their writing. 

First take a look at how to use the sample essays and letters that appear on this blog by reading the following post:

What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog?


Remember: such topics can also be used to start class discussions, so teachers might also want to read on to get ideas about a class activity they could set up to improve students' oral skills.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Oracle & Folly du Jour:On Given Facts

C2 Sample Essay 28 (Athletes' motivation)

Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English, make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on Argute Legacy.  

  The topic of this essay is to elaborate on the messages that are sent to young people when they see that athletes' motivation has changed from winning and breaking world records to seeking money and fame.
If you are not taking an exam but need to discuss this topic, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Carol Ann Duffy - Havisham (Overview - Part 3)

This is the last part of the overview to Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Havisham" which covers stanzas three and four of the poem in terms of content, namely: the puce curses, power of words and degeneration to an animal state, the incubus image and vampirism, the white veil, wedding cake, honeymoon, red balloon and necrophilic thoughts and final stutter present in a poem that comes full circle through the choice of words used at the beginning of each stanza.

Part 1 gave a brief biography, discussed the poem's structure (meter and rhymes), the sounds present in the poem and analyzed the persona of Miss Havisham (what is known about her from Great Expectations and how Duffy treats her case).

Part 2 dealt with various points present in stanzas 1 and 2 (enjambment, inability to escape, the notions of time and ageing, Miss Havisham's homicidal thoughts, green pebbles, ropes on the back of her hands, the concept of the spinster, the yellowing dress and slewed mirror, the bed, wall, wardrobe).

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Carol Ann Duffy - Havisham (Overview - Part 2)

This is the second part of the overview to Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Havisham" which covers stanzas one and two of the poem in terms of content. 
Read part 1 which gives a brief biography, discusses the poem's structure (meter and rhymes), the sounds present in the poem and analyzes the persona of Miss Havisham (what is known about her from Great Expectations and how Duffy treats her case) here.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Carol Ann Duffy - Havisham (Overview - Part 1)
A paragon of betrayal, vengeance, self-pity and idiosyncrasy, Miss Havisham is Dickens's most memorable and intriguing character. She was the woman who stayed fossilized in my mind the moment I finished reading the chapter in which Dickens first described her. She mesmerized me in the guise of Martita Hunt in the legendary 1946 film adaptation of Great Expectations starring iconic Sir John Mills, Finlay Currie, as well as a young Jean Simmons and Sir Alec Guinness.

Being thus prejudicially inclined, it was with immense joy that I discovered that a poem had been written to recapture the sound of a shattering heart. Miss Havisham lived on in her agony, yet this time round her thoughts were open to further interpretation not limited to details set down by Dickens's 19th century novel. 

Carol Ann Duffy's 1993 poem does Miss Havisham justice, indeed. So much so, in fact, that I've spent hours drawing up my overview which at 3 A-4 sized sheets of paper is nowhere near completion. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Essay Writing: The Introductory Paragraph
In the first article in this series of posts, Essay Writing: The Overall Organization of an Essay, I pointed out what the general layout of an academic essay should look like. Today, we're going to see how the first paragraph of such an essay should be organized.

By way of reminder, an entirely different organization is possible, but for the sake of helping exam takers sitting timed EFL (English as a foreign language and not the English Football League!) examinations, I stick to one particular style so that test-takers can focus on one kind of layout which should save time. Note also that I'm writing about academic essays and not letters or emails, reports, proposals, newspaper or magazine articles, or narratives. Those varieties of written work have their own traits and therefore need to be discussed in separate blog posts (which I hope to eventually address at some later time).

But for now, let's get back to our academic essay introduction.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Monica Wood - Disappearing (Overview - Part 4)
This is the fourth part of the overview to Monica Wood's short story "Disappearing" which covers the story's themes: body image, assistance, silence, and acknowledgment.

If you want to read an introduction which includes a link to the story, a short biography of the author, the setting of the story as well as the characters that interact in it, click here

Part two deals with the plot and the "growth" process through which Wood intimates how destructive others can be and how -- as traumatizers -- they can permanently stunt development (to read that, click here). 

Part three about the story's point of view and symbolism can be found here.

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