JJ's extra session for Stasiland SAC preparation
Friday, February 28th, 2014
A sample topic:
Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall, Stasiland exposes that many in the former GDR still harbour a sense of incarceration and entrapment. Discuss.
"Discuss" means: look at both sides of the argument but ultimately choose one to support more than the other.
Paragraphs are based on "hooks" in the topic - parts of the topic that MUST be responded to.
You may totally disagree with a topic but you still need to prove that it is NOT true.
In the above topic, what MUST we have paragraphs on:
Now, is there a "rebuttal" or "exceptions" point/argument you'd like to make?
Now, form topic sentences based on those ideas and order them logically.
Usually, paragraphs are ordered from obvious to not so obvious. We usually finish with the rebuttal/exceptions paragraph.
Sometimes you might be able to discuss the topic through a chronological treatment of time/history, or paragraphs might be based on:
Character types (but not single characters) e.g.
Stasi, victims, those who want to forget the past etc.;
Parts of the central idea in the topic e.g. memory = awful experiences, forgetting, remembering;
Purposes of the text in relation to the topic e.g. to expose the horror of the Stasi's treatment of ordinary citizens, to show the long-term effects on sufferers; to show how it is possible to progress in life despite this.
So, for our practice topic, organise the three above ideas into a logical sequence, using clear, simple, full sentences that outline ideas only. Do not name characters or events yet:
Add linking words/cohesive ties to show the progression of points e.g.
Sadly, Unfortunately, Therefore, Consequently, Most obviously, Clearly, This leads to, Undeniably, More heartbreaking perhaps isÃ¢ÂÂ¦...