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best personal study?


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#1 sweetchick01

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 04:25 PM

Just been told to look for books for our personal study next year... can anyone suggest anything really good as there is just too much to choose from??? please help unsure.gif

#2 Yurimaru

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 06:45 PM

Choose something you enjoyed reading! I did Gatsby for mine, lots to write about, plus loads of notes available too. Margaret Atwood is good as well - Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid's Tale are particularly good. If you want to do dystopian fiction, 1984 or Brave New World are good. Another author I thought was really good, and whom my English teacher has recommended is Angela Carter - the short stories in 'The Bloody Chamber' are really good, and would probably make a good personal study.
Oh weep for Adonais—he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep,
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;

#3 Pete

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 07:03 AM

Since you have to come up with a question that's specific to the book, choose something that you can really write about. I chose 1984, not only because it's a great book, but also because I've read it before so I know what happens, which means I can study it more rather than read it for enjoyment. Or, if you want to do a book you haven't read yet, my English teacher suggests reading the last chapter first so you're not reading the book to get to the ending. But I agree with Yurimaru in that you should choose something that you enjoy as to keep your attention.

#4 dehny

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 02:34 PM

Trainspotting, always worth doing
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Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
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#5 Ali89

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 03:02 PM

I found 'Northern Lights' by Philip Pullman a great one to do for personal study last year. It's not a particularly demanding text in terms of complicity and it's full of symbolism and other things to write about.

#6 loved-up-loon

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE(Pete @ Jun 13 2006, 08:03 AM) View Post

I chose 1984,

Oh so did I! Was a really good book. Just pick a book that you will enjoy reading/have already read as you will have more motivation to study if it you enjoy it rather than doing it on a book you find really boring and dull.
Grrrrrr!!

#7 Yurimaru

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:47 PM

QUOTE(loved-up-loon @ Jun 13 2006, 04:08 PM) View Post

Just pick a book that you will enjoy reading/have already read as you will have more motivation to study if it you enjoy it rather than doing it on a book you find really boring and dull.


Agreed - but check with your English teacher to make sure that the book you choose is complex enough that you can write in depth about it.
Oh weep for Adonais—he is dead!
Wake, melancholy Mother, wake and weep!
Yet wherefore? Quench within their burning bed
Thy fiery tears, and let thy loud heart keep,
Like his, a mute and uncomplaining sleep;

#8 Alz

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:03 AM

QUOTE(Ali89 @ Jun 13 2006, 04:02 PM) View Post

I found 'Northern Lights' by Philip Pullman a great one to do for personal study last year. It's not a particularly demanding text in terms of complicity and it's full of symbolism and other things to write about.


I agree with Ali. Whilst Northern Lights is a compelling and detailed book, in the end, it's written for children, so you'll have little trouble picking up on the numerous themes throughout the book. I would have did my personal study on it, if I'd read it back then.

I did my personal study on 'Attack of the Crab Monsters' by Lawrence Raab, which was an interesting poem about the hidden consequences of scienctific experiements.

#9 Dr-F

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:54 PM

For both Int 2 in fourth year and Higher last year, our teachers told us to avoid doing novels such as 1984, Trainspotting, Animal Farm, The Great Gatsby, etc as they have become almost cliche, and many people become complacent thinking they can rely on outside resources alone when studying them, only to find at the last minute that they need to research/understand them better. If your school gets moderated (as mine was for Higher), and the examiner cracks on with reading yet another personal study about 1984, they're not going to take the time to get as involved/try and pass it if it's borderline as they would if it was another novel which hasn't been overdone. Even though that sounds biased, remember that they are human, and they do get bored of reading the same things every year.

If you do choose one of these novels, try and make sure to do the work, take your own notes and ultimately gain your own, unique understanding of the novel instead of regurgitating someone else's at sparknotes.com, or any other outside resource. That's what the personal study is all about: analysing and evaluating a text on your own merit. Having said that, don't disregard/ignore such resources completely, as they allow you to make sure you are not comletely off with your analysis, and to better understand aspects of the text you are unclear about.

#10 **Bernadette**

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:55 PM

I did Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. It is all about racism and stuff so there is a lot to write about.

#11 ice_illusion

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:03 PM

I did Popular Music by Mikeal Niemi becuase I loved the book. It passed but thinking up a question was fairly difficult. I think I did something along the lines of how Niemi uses symbolism and themes to show how the characters change.

People at my school did Memoirs of a Geisha and said it was really good, although it might be getting overdone now. But it's probably still ok.

#12 verticalforce

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 04:38 PM

I'm thinking of doing Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Probably (very) cliche but i think it will be a good text to do a book review on. Besides, there are hundreds of resources available... biggrin.gif

#13 sweetchick01

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 06:57 PM

Great expectations is meant to be a really good read. i think i have finally narrowed it down to Little Women or Pride and Prejudice. who else is just starting S5, and what books are you choosing?

#14 verticalforce

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 10:21 PM

I haven't actually read great Expectations before, so, we'll see how it goes lol.

Hopefully the story is not too complicated to do a review on.

Don't know about other people, but I completely loathed English.... my-weakest-subject ever..... and i don't feel like studying for it, which makes the matter worst. sad.gif

#15 sweetchick01

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 09:05 PM

i'm the exact same all my essays always let me down. hopefully a good book will give me lots to right about and help boost the marks.

#16 verticalforce

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:11 PM

Ok...after 200 pages of reading into it, I can safely declared that Great Expectations is the most boring book i have ever read from the entire course of my life!

I mean.. oh my god.... is there something wrong with me? I thought this is dicken's finest work?

#17 TempName123

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:17 PM

i did a bill bryson book for mine last yr. great funny wee books and passed fine biggrin.gif

i did the lost continent

#18 ScotlandGirl

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 07:02 PM

I did mine on 'The Great Gatsby' and passed first time, which only 5 people in my class did. Slightly worrying!

But anyway, Gatsby is a good choice since it's short (a key factor for me lol) and there's loads in it. Who cares if it's been done loads of times; they're not looking for anything off-the-wall. Your essay just has to be Higher standard!

#19 Michael

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 07:26 PM

I suggest 1984, was an excellent book and theres tons to write about.

#20 CFarrell

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 09:31 PM

I chose The Fixer by Bernard Malamud for mine, its an excellent book, full of themes about racism and stuff, but Im not sure exactly what sort of question to use. I read something the school librarian gave me on a CD about it, an interview with the autor about it, and he was going on about the prison motif behind it and how prison makes a man become a bigger man and stuff.

Has anyone here read it? And can any of you suggest a good type of question for a book thats filled with very obvious themes.





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