Writing the AICE General Paper:AN OVERVIEW AICE: GP-9/Pavich 2012-2013 Credits: Jill Pavich, NBCT email@example.com AICE: General Paper (8004), grade 9 @ Boca Raton Community High School
PowerPoint Credits (2012): • Jill Pavich, NBCT • Boca Raton Community High School, team collaboration • Sources: • Teaching the General Paper: Strategies That Work, By Teachers, For Teachers. National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. Edited by Caroline Ho, Peter Teo, Tay May Yin (2006) Currently out of print • Cambridge International Exams, AICE Program at Cambridge University • www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/uppersec/alevel
Learning the Ways of GP Day 1 Initial activity
Brainstorm #1 Packet Page 2 • You will have a maximum of 10 minutes to complete this preliminary brainstorm. • Choose ONE of the following two prompts below and brainstorm ideas that you would include in an essay on that given topic. 1. “People always respond to crisis when it’s too late.” Do you agree? 2. How far is it possible for societies to provide equal opportunities for all their citizens??
Brainstorm #1: • Take a look at your brainstorm; now share some of your ideas with the class. • Consider the ideas we’ve shared…what ideas (those we’ve listed on the board), would sound super clever in an essay? Which are our favorites? • Why? What characteristics do these ideas have in common that would make them the “best” points to raise in an essay?
Brainstorming: LESSON #1… • When writing a GP essay, the best way to prove your point is to have, well, PROOF!! • Proof exists in the form of examples, and examples must be CONCRETE in order for the reader to “see” your point! (Events that actually exist in space and time!) Abstract ART might be fun, but abstract LANGUAGE just muddles up clear communication!
CONCRETE EXAMPLES: • Arguing that… ‘People Respond to Crisis When it’s TooLate’: • Hurricane Katrina • 9/11 terrorist attack • Global warming • Arguing that… ‘Equal Opportunities for Citizens Exists’: • Title IX • 14th Amendment • Women’s voting rights
CONCRETE EXAMPLES Con’t: • TURN TO YOUR PARTNER: • Now come up with as many concreteexamples as you can to prove the opposite side of the arguments we discussed on the previous slide. • “It’s possible for people to respond to crisis BEFORE it’s too late. For example…” • “Society DOESN’T always provide equal opportunity for all citizens. For instance, …”
What is “GP” ??? DayS 2-3 The cambridge test… what does it look like? What does it want from me?
What is AICE? What is GP? • AICE: • Advanced International Certificate of Education • GP: • General Paper • Which means that your “Paper,” or essay, is about “General” topics that span the curriculum, from science and math all the way to literature and the arts. • Topics for composition: • Historical, social, economic, political and philosophical. • Science, including its history, philosophy, general principles and applications. • Environmental issues and mathematical topics. • Literature and language, arts and crafts.
AIMS of the AICE: GP Have students read and then paraphrase • You are taking this class: • …to increase your academic skills so you can: thinkrationally, persuadelogically, analyzecarefully, interpretaccurately and evaluatefairly! • …to learn more about the global topics that drive your society because, eventually, you will be the adults in charge of it! • …to become a mature thinker who can clearly express him/herself in any situation! • …to better understand and appreciate individual, societal and cultural diversity/differences! • …and to become an independent, critical reader and writer!
AIMS OF THE GP… • What is the point of this class again? • Put it into your own words… Those of you that can articulate it back to me best will WIN my favor for the day (and maybe a bonus point or two or some other guilty treat ;-)
The Exam: A Sample Test Observation Packet Page 3 • Administered in MAY/June and Oct./Nov. • WRITTEN examination, 2 ESSAYS in 2 HOURS • The exam paper is divided into sections, each section comprising five questions (thus giving you 15options!!!). • Candidates must choose two questions, each from a different section. • Each essay is weighted at 50% of the final mark. • Each essay written carries up to 30 marks for Contentand up to 20 marks for Use of English/ Conventions.
SECTION 1: Historical, Social, Economic, Political and Philosophical • the role of history and war; terrorism • the role of the individual in society – the family, marriage, peer pressure, social class • cultural changes – youth and drug culture • education and welfare • sport, leisure, international competition • wealth; changes in work practice • the importance and impact of tourism on a country – implications for the economy, employment • public transport, environmental concerns • aid provision • the State and its institutions; development of State, democracy post-imperialism, nationalism • minority groups, pressure groups • freedom of speech, action, thought • Judiciary • matters of conscience, faith, tolerance, equality.
SECTION 2: Science, Geography, Math • medical dilemmas and issues of research and ethics; concept of progress in science • drug manufacture and provision • diet, health education • old and new industries • spin-offs from space industry; weaponry • information and communications technology; the Internet • environmentalconcerns; renewableenergyresources; climate change • migration; population dynamics • feeding the global population; farming techniques for the twenty-first century • public transport and travel • the uses and applications of mathematics in everyday life.
SECTION 3: Literature , Language, Arts and Crafts • literature, biography, diary, science fiction • language – heritage, tradition, dialect • the global media – tv, radio, satellite; influence and controls; effects on lifestyle, culture and habits • cultural dilution and diversification; advertising; role models • censorship; privacy; the right to know; freedom of the press, etc. uses and abuses • traditional arts and crafts; creativity; national heritage/preservation; effects of tourism • architecture; painting; fashion; photography; sculpture; music; heritage, etc.
ESSAY STYLES • Expository…you will learn to EXPLAIN something • Persuasive…you will learn to logically ARGUE something • Discursive…you will learn to CONSIDER BOTH SIDES of something before you judge it
THREE Basic Essay Styles Packet Page 4 • EXPOSITORY • GOAL: to provide information; to objectively EXPLAIN, define, clarify or interpret… • UNIQUENESSES: doesn’t require an argument! Just tell it like it is! • Examples of Expository prompts: • What does the theatre offer that the cinema does not? (Section 3) • PERSUASIVE • GOAL: to take a specific stance on an issue in order to CONVINCE the reader to adopt your way of thinking; to anticipate and refute opposing arguments • UNIQUENESSES: biased! Takes ONE side and defends that side ONLY!! Never supports the opposition, not even for a minute. • Examples of Persuasive prompts: • Should teenagers be more actively involved in politics? (Section 1)
Essay Styles Con’t… • The third style of essay is, perhaps, brand new to you… • DISCURSIVE(most advanced…6 paragraphs, oh my!) • GOAL: asks you to consider BOTH sides of a single issue, objectively analyzing each before arriving at any kind of value judgment. • Basic Layout: Begin with a neutral introduction, provide evidence for the case, provide evidence against the case, conclude by either adopting one side of the argument or maintaining a neutral (middle-of-the-road) standpoint. • Examples of Discursive prompts: • To what extent is your society effectively dealing with crime? (Section 1) • How far is globalization affecting family life in your country? (Section 1)
Pairs Activity: Prompt Identification Packet Page 3 • View the Sample Test and carefully consider each prompt. • Discussing your thoughts with a partner, determine whether the prompt is: • EXPOSITORY, • PERSUASIVE, or • DISCURSIVE • Underline any key words that help you to arrive at your answer. • Write your answer in the left-hand margin of the test next to the prompt.
Prompt Identification: Section 1 • “Violence is the only effective weapon available to people who are oppressed.” To what extent do you agree? • “Politics have no appeal to the younger generation since it has no impact on their lives.” Discuss. • Violence in modern society is on the rise. Explain why. • “History repeats itself.” Do you agree? • “To be different is to be condemned by society.” How far do you agree?
KEY: Section 1 • “Violence is the only effective weapon available to people who are oppressed.” To what extent do you agree? (Discursive) • “Politics have no appeal to the younger generation since it has no impact on their lives.” Discuss. (Discursive) • Violence in modern society is on the rise. Explain why. (Expository) • “History repeats itself.” Do you agree? (Persuasive) • “To be different is to be condemned by society.” How far do you agree? (Discursive)
Prompt Identification: Section 2 • What is the biggest threat to our world today and why? • Human beings should look forward to the next century with pessimism, not optimism. Discuss. • Should every country have the right to possess weapons of war? • Explain the impact of technology on the environment. • How important is numeracy in today’s society?
KEY: Section 2 • What is the biggest threat to our world today and why? (Expository) • Human beings should look forward to the next century with pessimism, not optimism. Discuss. (Discursive) • Should every country have the right to possess weapons of war? (Persuasive) • Explain the impact of technology on the environment. (Expository) • How important is numeracy in today’s society? (Discursive)
Prompt Identification: Section 3 • “A book has one purpose: to entertain.” Evaluate this statement. • What music appeals to you and why? • To what extent does art broaden our horizons? • “Libraries are not necessary in a modern world.” What is your view? • Assess the claim that an uncensored press is dangerous.
KEY: Section 3 • “A book has one purpose: to entertain.”Evaluate this statement. (Discursive) • What music appeals to you and why? (Expository) • To what extent does art broaden our horizons? (Discursive) • “Libraries are not necessary in a modern world.” What is your view? (Persuasive) • Assess the claim that an uncensored press is dangerous. (Discursive)
Essay Prompts…THE RULES Packet Page 5 • Here are your GOLDEN RULES when getting ready to respond to a prompt: • GOLDEN RULE #1… • Once a Discursive, always a Discursive. • You cannot downgradea discursive essay to a single-sided persuasive! Would you want to downgrade from a suite to a twin-bed hotel room?! • GOLDEN RULE #2… • Persuasive is fine but add to refine! • In writing a persuasive, if you find that there truly are two viable sides to the argument, you are more than welcome to upgradeto discursive! • GOLDEN RULE #3… • It might be expository, but there’s always a little fight in there… • In essence, every time we put the pen to paper we drum up a bias of some sort…don’tletthisdistractyou…it’s natural! • I.e. What are the main environmental problems in the world and how effectively are they being handled? (expository, but your selection of global problems is automatically biased!)
Learning the Ways of GP DAY 4 How to Interpret the prompt What does it want me to talk about?
Interpreting the Prompt • Just because you’ve managed to decode the style of the essay doesn’t mean the hard part of selecting a prompt is over just yet…now you must be clear on what the prompt is asking you to say...
TIPS for INTERPRETING the TASK… • Sometimes these GP prompts are a lot BROADER than they initially seem… • Do you consider art to be an unaffordable luxury? • ART seems limited at first, but look closer…how many branches of ART exist? Let’s name as many as we can… • However, sometimes GP prompts require very specific, specialized knowledge, which can also LIMIT you as a writer… • Can nuclear power ever satisfy our global energy needs? • Hmm…looks like you’ll need to know a specific thing or two about nuclear energy, eh?
PRACTICE INTERPRETING: Packet Page 5 • Read the prompt below very carefully and answer the following questions: • What STYLE of essay is it? How do you know? • What words in the prompt are actually pretty BROAD? • Are there any words in the prompt that are pretty specific, those that set LIMITS to the content of your essay? • How far are minority groups treated fairly in your society?
Prompt Interpretation BROAD: gender, ethnicity/ racial background, sexual orientation, educational background, etc. DISCURSIVE Style required How far are minority groups treated fairly in your country? LIMITED: Discuss U.S.A. only! (unless you distinguish another location as your “birth country” perhaps…) CLARIFY: Whose definition of “fair”? (i.e. the Consitution’s)
Prompt Interpretation Practice Packet Page 3 • Take a second look at the test…using a highlighter or a different-colored pen, identify valuable TRIGGERWORDSthat open up OR setlimits to the prompt. • WIDE-OPEN INTERPRETATION/BROAD TERMS: • Should teenagers be more actively involved in politics? • Teens in America? China? Cuba? Canada? • Politics regarding the elections? Human rights? Education? The environment? • LIMITS SET/LIMITING TERMS: • Consider the case for and against stem cell research. • Very specific…you may only talk about stem cell research, no other kind of scientific innovation. • Other words that tend to LIMIT: • always, only, alone, certain, most, etc.
Prompt Picking: Terms to Consider Closely • “Violence is the only effective weapon available to people who are oppressed.” To what extent do you agree? • “Politics have no appeal to the younger generation since it has no impact on their lives.” Discuss. • Violence in modern society is on the rise. Explain why. • “History repeats itself.” Do you agree? • “To be different is to be condemned by society.” How far do you agree? • What is the biggest threat to our world today and why? • Human beings should look forward to the next century with pessimism, not optimism. Discuss. • Should every country have the right to possess weapons of war? • Explain the impact of technology on the environment. • How important is numeracy to today’s society? • “A book has one purpose: to entertain.” Evaluate this statement. • What musicappeals to you and why? • To what extent does art broaden our horizons? • “Libraries are not necessary in a modern world.” What is your view? • Assess the claim that an uncensored press is dangerous.
Interpreting: Defining Essay Parameters Some people believe that all wars are unjust; or that war is justifiable under certain circumstances. Discuss your view. • What do you mean by WAR in YOUR essay? • Physical war: Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, WWII • Verbal war: Iran, North Korea (nuclear weapons communication); Tibetan Monks (religious freedom; peaceable protest) • What do you mean by JUST vs. UNJUST? • Just: for the greater good, for utilitarian purposes, for democratic reasons, to further humanity, to prevent disaster? • Unjust: the sacrifice of people/resources isn’t worth it, worth avoiding because it impedes upon rights, or because it hinders progress? • What do you mean by CIRCUMSTANCES? • Financial gain, delicacy of human life, progress of society, preservation of tradition/law/morals Packet Page 6
Partner Practice: Defining Parameters Packet Page 7: Defining Parameters A. Technology is more a curse than a blessing in the workplace. Do you agree? • Prompt Style? • Identify and interpret BROAD terms. • Identify and interpret terms that would LIMIT your essay. Discuss the possibilities! B. In what ways can advertising be useful and entertaining? C. How far do the media have the right to probe into a person’s private life?
Defining the Parameters of an Essay • vv • Technology • Curse • Blessing • Workplace • Advertising • Useful • Entertaining • Media • Person • Private Life A. Technology is more a curse than a blessing in the workplace. Do you agree? B. In what ways can advertising be useful and entertaining? C. How far do the media have the right to probe into a person’s private life?
Tips and Scoring Day 5… Cambridge’s “recycling” program The essay rubric Learning reflection activities
Seeing Double: Prompt Recycling Packet Page 8 • Want to know a TOP SECRET bit of information? • If AICE recycles the prompt, how can YOU recycle the content?? __________________________________________ • Technology is more a curse than a blessing in the workplace. Do you agree? • Discuss the view that the Internet can be more harmful than helpful. • Are mobile phones more of a nuisance than a benefit? • ‘The benefits of technology can only be enjoyed by the rich.’ Do you agree? • In what ways can the use of modern technology improve learning? • To what extent has technology affected your country’s development? • The AICE: GP Exam RECYCLES prompts!! (How ‘green’ of them…!)
SCORING Packet Pg. 8-10: Rubrics • The AICE: General Paper exam grades you on two aspects of the final product essay: • CONTENT (30 points) • CONVENTIONS (20 points)……………………..2 ESSAYS = 100pts max • So do your facts need to be accurate? YES!!! • Do you need to cross all t’s and dot all i’s? YES!!!! • BAND 1 = BEST • BAND 5 = WORST • View the RUBRICS in your packet for a quick understanding of the scoring process; annotate according to your teacher’s instructions. • Score the sampleessays your teacher shares with you!
DISCUSS: Preliminary OBSERVATIONS • What style of prompt appeared most often on a single test? • Based on this observation, what conclusions about AICE: GP can you draw? • Did you initially catch the complexities of some of the prompts as a result of specified wording? • From the list, how many prompts would you feel comfortable writing about? • What do you feel confident about? Worried about? • How, would you imagine, might be some of the best ways to prepare for this exam? • What else would you like to add? Ask?
A Return to Brainstorm #1 1. “People always respond to crisis when it’s too late.” Do you agree? 2. How far is it possible for societies to provide equal opportunities for all their citizens?? • Let’s go back to that initial Brainstorm #1 now that you are much more aware of the GP approach… • With your partner, try to add more specificideasto your brainstorm…Use a SEPARATE COLOR to add ideas. • For Homework, continue to add more ideas…research examples that could apply by using reputable websites or other text references such as the newspaper or news magazines.
AICE/8004:General Paper-9 Writing the DISCURSIVE essay: Let’s Get Started!! LP’s:approx. 1wk
GP Plan of Attack • FOUR ESSENTIAL STEPS TO SUCCESS: • Know your Prompt: select prompts where you are absolutely certain of the meaning of every word and of the particular demands and emphasis of the question. • Plan Ahead/Brainstorm: draw up an essay plan that sets up your main points in a logical sequence. Consistently move from general point to specific example. • Think Globally: support major points with illustrative examples drawn from appropriate local, national or international sources. • Minimize Errors/Revise: Leave at least 10 minutes to run through a mechanicalcheckof English in each sentence.
The Discursive Essay:* * * BRAINSTORMING
TEST YOUR PROMPT CHOICES FIRST… • Once you’ve broken down the broad/limiting word choice of the prompt, run a quick test to make SURE you have enough to say about the prompt… • On the prompt sheet itself, draw up a few quick T-Charts to determine how many ideas you have; THEN you can begin logically organizing them through the “official” discursivebrainstorm process we’re about to learn…
The Split-Web Brainstorm View the prompts; draft a quick T-Chart right on the test to see if you have enough to say before you begin your official brainstorming… Once you feel confident in the prompt you picked, take out a clean sheet of paper. Turn it “Landscape” style. Write the prompt in a box in the center of the page. Now fold the paper in half to create two columns. Each of these columns will house ideas that either agree or disagree with the prompt’s content. (+) (-) Prompt
Basic Brainstorm Approach in 3Easy Steps: • Work HARDto generate ideas…then, work SMART! • WORK HARD: • (1)…Think of specific ideas (people, groups, situations, events, etc) that relate to the prompt you’ve selected and jot them in the proper columns either for or against (+, -). • WORK SMART: • (2)…Step back from these randomly scattered ideas and start categorizing them…use the Hand Approach themes to help you • (3)…Look for connections among the ideas in your essay based on theme and any comparisons or contrasts you can make among the more specific ideas… • Number the ideas in a LOGICAL ORDER • Jot a note to yourself regarding the connection between those ideas so you don’t forget how they seamlessly relate…
Animated Generic Brainstorm: • In the next slide, notice there are many random ideas scattered about the brainstorm at first. Initially, you will be jotting down ideas at random also. (WORK HARD to think of ideas) • The key is to step back from them once they’re out and begin seeing bigger picture connections among them…how can you move “seamlessly” from one idea to the next…what “big ideas” or themes do your examples have in common that will help you meaningfully shift from paragraph to paragraph? (WORK SMART by finding meaning among your thoughts)
(+) (-) 3 4 TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details 5 1 TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details PROMPT 2 6 TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details TOPIC primary example * details secondary example * details