How to write an English literature Dissertation

How to writing English literature essays and how to write an english literature dissertation introduction and english literature dissertation methodology proposal example
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Dr.CherylStam,New Zealand,Researcher
Published Date:04-07-2017
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Chapter 1 Keys for Success on the AP English Literature and Composition Exam It was July 1995, after my first year teaching AP English. My son had taken a phone message from one of my students who was very excited to tell me the results of her exam. He said, “Mom, one of your students called and said she got a four on some test.” Confused by what appeared to be a very low score, he then asked, “Is that good?” I smiled. Not good. It is greatOVERVIEW The Odyssey by Homer is considered the first epic poem. The first English novel is often said to be Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe written in 1719. Walt Whitman, who lived and wrote in the 1800s, is said to be the father of free verse. There is a long, complex history of world literature, and there is so much to know. Even college literature professors do not study the entirety of the literary field but instead specialize in a particular aspect, such as British Romanticism. You are not expected to know it all, either. How could you? The AP English Literature and Composition Exam (AP Lit) presents many challenges, and even if you had read every book ever written, you might not be prepared for what is in store for you. So, knowing that you can’t study it all, the purpose of this book is to give you the most important keys to success. In the chapters that follow, you will get content specific help, tips for success, and general insight about what you need to know. This chapter gives you a glimpse into the structure and scoring of the exam as well as general ways to prepare yourself for the big day in May.STRUCTURE OF THE EXAM Part I: 55 multiple-choice questions in 60 minutes, 45% of the total score Part II: three essays in 120 minutes, 55% of the total score Test proctors will give a short break between Part I and Part II. Your AP English Literature and Composition instructor is not allowed to proctor your exam.SCORING OF THE EXAM The multiple-choice section is scored by machine. The three essays are scored by AP readers in early June. Readers include college professors and experienced AP English teachers, who meet for this purpose. These readers work in teams to read and score essays using scoring guides provided to them. Your essay is not identified by name or geographical location. Every effort is made to ensure objectivity and fairness in assessing essays. The scores from Part I and II are combined to create a composite score. See how to estimate your score later in this chapter. Scores are reported to students and designated colleges in July.AP SCORE SCALE 5 Extremely well-qualified 4 Well-qualified 3 Qualified 2 Possibly qualified 1 Not qualified Qualification is to receive college credit or advanced placement. In its information to AP students, the College Board writes: “You may be very surprised to see that your composite score can be approximately two-thirds of the total possible score and you could still earn a grade of 5 ” Earning that score on other exams might translate to an “F” at worst and a “D” at best. In other words, you do not have to get all the multiple-choice questions right or write perfect essays to get a high score on the exam. In the 2006 figures reported by the College Board, 62.1% of all students who took the exam scored a 3 or higher. And while fewer than 10% of students scored a 5 in 2006 (which says a bit about the difficulty of the exam), you should focus on the high number who passed. A 3, 4, or 5 will earn you college credits. (Check with your intended colleges for their AP credit policy.)2006: ENGLISH LITERATURE GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS English Lit./Comp Examination Numbe r of Te st Take rs Pe rce nt of Te st Take rs Grade Achie ving Score Re ce iving Score 5 19,890 7.1 4 58,490 20.8 3 96,309 34.3 2 83,702 29.8 1 22,720 8.1 Number of 281,111 Students 3 or Higher / % 174,689 62.1 Mean Grade 2.89 Standard 1.05 DeviationESTIMATING YOUR SCORE The following form is intended to help you estimate your score when using practice exams. It can only give a general prediction and should not be taken too seriously as an indicator of your potential success. For one thing, if you are scoring your own essays, you may be too hard on yourself. Also, ranges for composite scores can change from year to year as the exam itself changes. Part I: Multiple-Choice Part II: Essays Estimating Your Composite Score: Translating your composite score into an AP Grade: Composite AP Score Grade 102–150 5 91–101 4 71–90 3 43–70 2WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT EXAM DAY What you can (should have) and cannot have in the exam room: Ye s No Several no. 2 pencils, sharpened, with good Cell phones, mp3 players, or any other electronic erasers device, including calculators One or two reliable blue or black pens; avoid Cameras or other recording devices pens that clump or bleed A watch, so you can monitor your time Books, including dictionaries Your social security number Scratch paper Water (No bottles with paper labels are Notes you’ve made in advance allowed.) Highlighters Preparing yourself personally: 1. Eat well in the weeks prior to the exam. Get used to eating breakfast, so that you can eat a good breakfast on exam day (the AP Lit exam is generally scheduled in the morning). A good breakfast for your brain consists of fruit, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. Also, drink water not sugared drinks. 2. Get your sleep and not just the night before the exam. Establish good sleep patterns in the weeks prior to the exam. Teens typically do not get enough sleep. Aim for 8–9 hours a night. 3. Wake up early enough to be fully awake and ready to go on exam day. Set your alarm so you don’t oversleep. You don’t want to be groggy. 4. Caffeine or energy drinks may help you to be more alert, but overdoing them can make you jittery and make it harder for you to focus. If you are not used to caffeine, you shouldn’t have any on exam day. 5. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes on the day of the exam. Prepare for fluctuations in room temperature by wearing layers that you can adjust. See more in Chapter 2 about what you can do to prepare for exam day.Chapter 2 Students’ Tools: What You Bring to Your Own SuccessSUGGESTED STRATEGIES FOR USING THIS BOOK 1. Read the entire book, noting which topics or chapters will require the most study time. Focus on what you need to know instead of what you already know. 2. Make a goal sheet, listing specific tasks for the upcoming months. For example, read three novels and two plays and fill out a Remembering Major Works form for each one (see Chapter 4). practice annotating all the texts you read. 3. Good goals have time limits, so be sure to say when you plan to meet your goals. 4. Re-read this book as often as necessary to reinforce ideas. Most people will not remember everything they read the first time. 5. Make a short list of the five most important skills you need to improve before test time, such as reading complex texts or understanding figurative language. Find ways to practice those skills. 6. Form an AP Lit study team with friends who will be taking the exam. Learn from each other. Here are some reasons to form a study team: Team members can quiz each other on subject terms. Members can share essays to review them. Peer review can help team members to see strengths and weaknesses in their writing. They can also learn from the reading of each other’s work. Members who choose to read the same books, can discuss them, which helps everyone to understand a text more completely. 7. If you get frustrated, try these strategies: Analyze the reason for your frustration. Why are you frustrated? What can you do to alleviate your frustration? Take a short break to refocus: go for a walk outdoors, with no headphones. Let nature (or the city) help you get out of yourself for a while. Talk to your study group and vent. Then, together, find ways to get back on track. Ask your teacher for help.MORE TIPS Penmanship counts: not everyone has good penmanship, but in preparation for the exam, you should do as much as you can to improve yours. If you do not write legibly on your essays, you are jeopardizing your score. You cannot expect tired, overworked, AP readers to struggle with your essay needlessly. When you write your practice essays, always use blue or black ink and always write with an imagined reader in mind. This exam is about scholarship. You should think of yourself as you embark on this “quest” as an upper level scholar—a college student, really. If you wear the garb of scholar, even metaphorically, it will influence how you think about things. Your attitude is more important than you think—it influences everything, even your physical well- being. A positive attitude will give you energy and confidence. A negative attitude will ▶ limit your ability to read carefully (you’ll want to rush, skim, get it over with) ▶ lead to frustration and fatigue ▶ keep you from having an open mind ▶ possibly infect others, giving them doubt about their own abilities You need to study hard and take the exam seriously, but also realize that it is just one test of what you know—at one point in your life. It is not the most important thing you will ever do. Try to keep it all in perspective.OVERVIEW Literature might be thought of as the creative measure of history. Great writers, poets, and playwrights mold their sense of life and the events of their time (their own histories) into works of art. It seems impossible to disconnect most literary works from their historical context, but the themes that make their work universal and enduring perhaps do transcend time in that they speak to people of all time, ensuring us that we are all part of something much larger than simply the here and now. When you look at the literary concepts below and study the timeline, you will see that shifts in literary theory or tradition are often precipitated by major events in history, most notably wars. The ways that history is linked to literature are endless, and this chapter only hints at some of them. This chapter is not here for you to memorize. In fact there are rarely questions on the exam that expect you to know particular literary periods and their characteristics. However, it will not hurt you to have a sense of how literature (particularly Western literature) has evolved over time. And this timeline and the representative authors will help you determine a reading list for your study.A FEW MAJOR CONCEPTS OR “ISMS” The following list is given in chronological order. th Romanticism (mid-19 century) Valued feeling over reason Valued the individual, but recognized the alienation of the individual Literature characterized by elements of the supernatural, appreciation for the beauty of nature, personal introspection th Transcendentalism (mid-19 century) An offshoot of American Romanticism led by Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Favored self-reliance and non-conformism Sought to see the sublime in the ordinary Believed that to transcend was to reach beyond ordinary experience—self perfection was an aim th Realism (mid- to late 19 century) Pre–and post–Civil war Writers rejected sentimentality, wanted to represent true life experience, including the way people really acted and spoke Shunned flowery diction and romanticism The rise of the women’s movement also significant th Regionalism (19 century) Extension of Realism Focus on local setting, customs, and dialects th Naturalism (19 century) Extension of Realism Themes are darker: crime, poverty, prejudice, etc. Naturalist writers tried to understand scientific or psychological reasons behind behavior th Imagism (early 20 century) Movement in poetry that favored the use of images as the things themselves Motto: “The natural object is always the adequate symbol.” Willingness to play with forms Most notable poets: Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams The Lost Generation (1914–) The Lost Generation is the phrase coined by writer Gertrude Stein and later made popular by Ernest Hemingway Referred to the generation who lost fathers, husbands, sons and brothers in World War I and who feltaimless and without foundation Many of the lost were disillusioned by traditional American values and became expatriots, who chose to leave the United States for Europe, Mexico, and elsewhere. (Paris was an especially favored destination.) The Harlem Renaissance (1920s) The explosion of African American visual art, dance, music, and literature in the 1920s, primarily centered in Harlem, New York Poet Langston Hughes is often seen as the symbol of the period. Modernism (1918–1945) The prolific period between the end of World War I and the end of World War II Other historical context: ▶ The industrial revolution and the age of machines ▶ Mass immigration to the United States th ▶ Women’s rights (19 amendment) ▶ The Great Depression Alienation and the loss of the individual to the machine are major themes. Post Modernism (1945–) Begins with detonation of atom bombs in Japan to end World War II Key markers: ▶ Post-apocalyptic themes ▶ Satire ▶ The absurd ▶ Anti-heroes ▶ The rise of multiculturalism and diverse voices Themes: ▶ Alienation due to race, gender, and sexual orientation ▶ Intolerance ▶ Political and social oppression The Beat Movement (1950s) Led by poet Allen Ginsberg and novelist Jack Kerouac Rejected mainstream American values and embraced nonconformity and Eastern philosophy The forefather of the 1960s counter-culture movement (Hippie Movement) Gonzo Journalism (1970–) Named by Hunter S. Thompson in 1970 Refers to a new kind of journalism where the writer can be part of the story, blending fact and fiction Magical Realism (1960’s–) Magical or supernatural elements appear in otherwise realistic circumstances First considered an element of painting Mostly associated with Latin American writers, especially Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, and Isabel Allende450–1066 World Literature Haiku poetry in Japan British Literature (Anglo Saxon Period) Beowulf1066–1500 World Literature Italian writers: Petrarch: sonnets Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy Boccaccio: The Decameron British Literature (Middle English Period) Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales German Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press1500–1660: The Renaissance World Literature Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish writer: Don Quixote British Literature Shakespeare Christopher Marlow: Dr. Faustus Ben Jonson, known for satirical plays and lyric poetry John Donne, known for metaphysical conceits Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queen Andrew Marvell: To His Coy Mistress John Milton: Paradise Lost1660–1785: The Neoclassical Period World Literature Molière, French, Tartuffe Voltaire, French, Candide Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer British Literature Alexander Pope, British poet Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal Samuel Johnson The rise of the novel American Literature (Puritan/Colonial Period) Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (sermon) Anne Bradstreet, poet Puritan writing was God centered, plain in style, instructive in purpose.1750–1800: American Literature (The Age of Reason/Revolutionary Literature) Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine: Common Sense Benjamin Franklin African-American poet Phillis Wheatley, Poetry on Various Subjects Period recognized by emerging nationalism; characterized by persuasive, philosophical writing: speeches, pamphlets, and the beginnings of newspapers in America.