Works in translation essay NOTES AND TIPS FOR STUDENTS General Overview: Works in Translation (WiT) This part of the course is a literary study of works in translation, based on close reading of the works themselves. Students are encouraged to appreciate the different perspectives of people from other cultures and to consider the role that culture plays in making sense of literary works. Part 1, (WiT) of the course aims to deepen students’ understanding of works as being products of a time and place. Artistic, philosophical, sociological, historical and biographical considerations are possible areas of study to enhance understanding of the works. Number of works studied: Two at SL, three at HL. This essay constitutes 25% of your English grade. This Presentation: The following pages remind you of the marking criteria, and each criterium is followed by some practical ideas and suggestions on how to best succeed in each of the individual criteria. Attached are also two examples of WiT papers. These examples were written by previous RISS studetns, and while not perfect, should give you an indication of what you should strive for. Criterion A: Fulfilling the requirements of the reflective statement To what extent does the student show how his or her understanding of cultural and contextual elements was developed through the interactive oral? Note: The word limit for the reflective statement is 300–400 words. If the word limit is exceeded, 1 mark will be deducted. Marks Level descriptor 0 The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below. 1 Reflection on the interactive oral shows superficial development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements. 2 Reflection on the interactive oral shows some development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements. 3 Reflection on the interactive oral shows development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements. Teachers’ Tips for Reflective Statement Do not re-tell your interactive oral, rather demonstrate your understanding of the cultural and contextual elements of the work. You are encouraged to use the first person pronoun (‘During the interactive oral, I discovered how important the gods (Antigone) or religion (Chronicle o/a DF) are to appreciating the work’ or ‘My perception of time was altered after the discussion in class when Shukov describes one day of his imprisonment . . .’ ; or ‘My understanding of the aspect of family honour was deepened when . . . ‘ You are also allowed to indicate whether or not you need to reconsider a certain aspect of the work as long as you indicate clearly what that aspect is and why it is something you need to reconsider. The RS is the place to make your voice/appreciation of the cultural and contextual aspects be heard. See attached example of a successful RS with teacher comment Format of Reflective Statement RS should precede the actual WiT Essay in you final essay. The following question must be written at the top of the page. “How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?” Indicate in some way (in the opening sentences) which work you are reflecting on. Use paragraphs! Indicate the word count at the bottom of the page. (300 – 400 words, maximum!) Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding How effectively has the student used the topic and the essay to show knowledge and understanding of the chosen work? Marks Level descriptor 0 The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below. 1–2 The essay shows some knowledge but little understanding of the work used for the assignment. 3–4 The essay shows knowledge and understanding of, and some insight into, the work used for the assignment. 5–6 The essay shows detailed knowledge and understanding of, and perceptive insight into, the work used for the assignment. Teachers’ Tips on Knowledge and Understanding. Show thorough knowledge of the text by using original quotations, and not only the obvious ones. Take a risk in your analysis – dare to make a statement which has the reader sit up and take notice of what you are saying. There should be no factual mistakes in your work. ( e.g. names of characters, plot misunderstood) Do not retell the plot, but select only the important aspects to substantiate your argument. Construct an argument, and develop it logically; do not just narrate or retell the plot. Provide evidence from the work to make your argument clear. Do not even attempt to write an essay without again rereading the work carefully and critically with your own topic in mind. Constantly connect your arguments and examples (quotations from the work) to the topic of your paper, making it clear how you connect what you are saying with your understanding of the topic itself. Criterion C: Appreciation of the writer’s choices To what extent does the student appreciate how the writer’s choices of language, structure, technique and style shape meaning? Marks Level descriptor 0 The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below. 1–2 There is some mention, but little appreciation, of the ways in which language, structure, technique and style shape meaning. 3–4 There is adequate appreciation of the ways in which language, structure, technique and style shape meaning. 5–6 There is excellent appreciation of the ways in which language, structure, technique and style shape meaning. Teachers’ Tips on Writer’s Choices Focus here is not solely on the content, but how the work is presented. Know your literary techniques, but do not just identify them, rather analyse their effect on the work. Literary techniques also include sentence structure. Discuss and consider word connotations (the emotive implications of language used in the work). Look at the language – is it simple, old fashioned or formal? Think of the tools the writer has used, and the effect it has on the reading of the text. Include at least one mention of the writer’s technique per paragraph – tone, setting etc. Criterion D: Organization and development How effectively have the ideas been organized, and how well are references to the works integrated into the development of the ideas Marks Level descriptor 0 The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below. 1 There is some attempt to organize ideas, but little use of examples from the works used. 2 Ideas are superficially organized and developed, with some integrated examples from the works used. 3 Ideas are adequately organized and developed, with appropriately integrated examples from the works used. 4 Ideas are effectively organized and developed, with well-integrated examples from the works used. 5 Ideas are persuasively organized and developed, with effectively integrated examples from the works used. Teachers’ Tips on Organization and Structure Stick to the word limit. Mention the work and author in your introduction. Include your thesis statement in the introduction. Use paragraphs – one main idea per paragraph. Connect paragraphs with linking words as this helps to logically build up your argument. The argument should be presented logically; take the reader by the hand and make sure everything you mention is clear and helps to develop your argument. You must use quotes and integrate them seamlessly into your writing – see attached example (How to use quotations effectively from Teachit.) Avoid large chunks of quoted text. Short integrated quotes show your skill in writing essays The Conclusion Your conclusion is not a summing up or just restating of your essay. Your conclusion should refer to your essay question and take it to a more philosophical level without adding any new ideas. Try to make an impact on the reader. You should have come “full circle”: address your initial thesis statement in an original and profound way. Criterion E: Language How clear, varied and accurate is the language? How appropriate is the choice of register, style and terminology? (“Register” refers, in this context, to the student’s use of elements such as vocabulary, tone, sentence structure and terminology appropriate to the task.) Marks Level descriptor 0 The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below. 1 Language is rarely clear and appropriate; there are many errors in grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction, and little sense of register and style. 2 Language is sometimes clear and carefully chosen; grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction are fairly accurate, although errors and inconsistencies are apparent; the register and style are to some extent appropriate to the task. 3 Language is clear and carefully chosen, with an adequate degree of accuracy in grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction despite some lapses; register and style are mostly appropriate to the task. 4 Language is clear and carefully chosen, with a good degree of accuracy in grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction; register and style are consistently appropriate to the task. 5 Language is very clear, effective, carefully chosen and precise, with a high degree of accuracy in grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction; register and style are effective and appropriate to the task. Teacher’s Tips on Language Do not try and write too formally – the language should be precise and not full of verbosity. ( Big words used to only for the sake of being big words.) Use the correct choice of literary language for the genre – novel or drama. (e.g. work not book, plot not story, audience not reader.) Be careful of sweeping statements or statements that do not say anything (e.g. The writer’s word choice is effective – be specific.) Do not praise or criticize the work without clear evidence. ( e.g. This is the most important work of Sophocles) Always use present tense when discussing literature. Do not use any contractions. The title of the work (novel or play) is in italics. (Antigone is a character in Antigone) Your language should be formal in the sense that you avoid informal expressions (e.g. not kids but children.) Spell check is there for a reason. Do use appropriate literary language such as protagonist, audience, setting, climax and conflict, etc. Format of Assignment Cover page: assignment title in middle of page. Student’s name, candidate number, date, teacher’s name on bottom right hand side. Use 12pt Use an unobtrusive font: Times Roman Use double spacing. Put the school exam number and candidate number in the footer on every page Our school number is 000627 Format of Assignment Indicate the word count at the bottom of the final page. (1200 – 1500 words, maximum!) Please be truthful about your word count. The word count does not include the word count of the reflective essay. The word count does not include the bibliography. Format of Assignment Use a Bibliography – essential Use MLA style – Owl in Purdue is an excellent resource: see online writing lab for details Bibliography: - an example: Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. London: Penguin Books, 2007. Print. Acknowledge all sources you have used in the essay. Finally: Let your work “rest“ for a day or two and approach it again with a fresh and objective mind. RE-READ YOUR WORK CAREFULLY !! Give the work to a peer or parent (someone who does not know the work) to read and check for Clarity of argument Grammar and sentence construction Logical build up of your argument Spelling Submitting You have to hand in two printed copies of your WiT essay to your lovely teachers on or before the due date. You will be given a coversheet at a later stage to fill in, and to indicate that the work is all your own.