IG Literature was an enjoyable subject however it did not begin for me like that; I didn’t grasp the skills and technique when I first started the course. The main reason is the fact that our education in English up till then is primarily based on language. This subject requires sensitivity to the language; it is through this you must draw implications and ideas from the text. Once I got the hang of that, Literature was a subject I looked forward to because it was not just English, it was a conglomeration of so many fields including History, Geography, Art, Music and even the Sciences.
One of the key things you must understand is that your every response must come truly from your own understanding. Do not expect your teacher to hold your hand and guide you with the analysis and interpretation of the language. In this way he/she is not helping you but rather providing you with an incorrect idea of the subject. You may be able to regurgitate their ideas but you will realize the difficulty when you write your courseworks and wouldn’t have a view to present. A very important fact that my teacher highlighted initially in the course was that your every essay response is in fact an argument. It doesn’t sound right at first but every essay is in fact you arguing a unique idea, theme or implication from your own interpretation and the reader of your essay should be convinced by it. As it is an argumentative piece, you should always be sure to include quotes for evidence but these should be short, well selected pieces rather than complete paragraphs! It is also a good idea to integrate them into a sentence (check some of the examples below).
The following notes were done as part of a group with my friends Saif and Abdellah. They have permitted me to uploaded them here to be used as a resource for everyone.
Flashcards on The Importance of Being Earnest
Download: TIOBE Cards
Flashcards on Poetry From “Songs of Ourselves”
Part 1 = Horses, Pike, Hunting Snake, The Cockroach, Pied Beauty, Summer Farm, A Birthday
Download: Poetry Part 1 Cards
Part 2 = The City Planners, The Planners, Where I Come From, The Woodspurge, Sonnet: Composed Upon Westminister Bridge, A Different History, Continuum
Download: Poetry Part 2 Cards
Flashcards on Short Stories From “Stories of Ourselves”
Stories = The Son’s Veto, Her First Ball, The Fly in the Ointment, The Custody of the Pumpkin, The Destructors, A Horse and Two Goats, The Rain Horse, My Greatest Ambition, Sandpiper, At Hiruharama
Download: Short Story Cards