Mock HL feedback from NJA
· Structure could be much better from all. Say “Guiding Question” – show how you will be addressing them but do this briskly, concisely, precisely. Signpost. Signpost. Signpost.
· A bit of preamble is great as long as it takes no more than 30 secs and (i) gives an overview of your ‘take’ on the poem “This is a meditation on the inevitability of death which focuses on X in order to foreground y …” (ii) puts the poem (v briefly) in context – VITAL if it is an extract.
· Don’t lead with quotations.
· Embed quotations. So many of you start quoting at the beginning of a line as if it’s the start of a sentence – shows a deep misunderstanding of the poem and the rules of engagement for poetry.
· Be more precise and concise. Be more precise and concise. Be more precise and concise.
· Use technical terms (far more) and answer the questions HOW and WHY.
· Tackle the hard bits of the poems. Be tentative if necessary.
· Ensure coverage of every stanza.
· Get to 8 mins and then stop (with a 10ish second thoughtful and relevant conclusion pulling together strings).
· But if you don’t (quite get to 8), let me ask you questions rather than repeating what you’ve already said.
· Look at your annotations – did they help you? What could you do better?
· Sound as if you love the poem – be enthusiastic.
· Actively interrogate the text during the IOC
· Know the poems better. You have a week. Make it work. Do the hard work.
· This was either easily the strongest or easily the weakest section of your various IOCs.
· The difference was simple: where people knew the texts they were often brilliant; where they didn’t they were often poor. Conclusion: know the texts. Do the work.
· Learn a few quotations (would be – and was yesterday – very impressive) but fundamentally just know the text.
· Engage in the discussion and enjoy it. The discussions that went best were genuinely enjoyable (for me too).