Monday 27 July 2020

Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch

It is factual and detailed description of a person known or unknown, famous or obscure, motivating personality or a person of acquaintance.
It includes the person's life, education, career, personality traits, contribution, achievements, awards, etc.
It involves optimum use of comprehension, knowledge of sentence structure, grammatical accuracy and rich vocabulary.
The Description of the person has to be precise with use of correct vocabulary, specific terms and suitable adjectives.
One must be attentive while reading or listening to the information given with the question.
One must not avoid/miss any fact or imformation provided with the question nor add any information.

The purpose of writing bio sketch is to describe a person, to spread awareness or motivate the readers.

1. Title - mostly the name of the person described ( keep the title in centre and underlined)
2. Content (1-2 paragraphs)
3. Closing (assessing the personality or the most important trait or contribution)

Phrases that may be used :

Towering personality
An epitome of hard work/kindness/truth/honesty
The true example of friendship/leadership/scientific ingenuity
He/she made a great contribution in the sphere of sports/science/music/dance/cinema/art/politics .................
One of the finest gems of Indian cinema/music/dance/literature/ art ………
An image of purity/sincerity/hard work/determination …….... 
An evershining name in he world of science/art/literature .........

Sample of Biographical Sketch

Q. In the box below some points / cues are given on Walt Disney. Write a biographical sketch of Walt Disney using the information. Don’t add any information.

Walt Disney
Birth - December 5, 1901 in Hermosa, Illinois – since childhood  - interested in drawing and painting  - sold pictures to neighbours, family friends – attended McKinley High School, Chicago - drawing and photography classes - courses at the Chicago Art Institute -  joined the Red Cross – along with Harman screened cartoons at local City theatre - were hugely popular -  acquired his own studio - series of seven minute fairy tales, called Alice in Cartoonland - with his brother moved to Hollywood - master creator of Mickey Mouse. 

Ans.  Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Hermosa, Illinois. Since his childhood he showed interest in drawing and painting and started drawing and painting as well as selling pictures to his neighbours and family friends. Disney attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he took drawing and photography classes. He joined courses at the Chicago Art Institute. He also joined the Red Cross.
Walt and Harman collaborated with a local City theatre to screen their cartoons. The cartoons were hugely popular, and Disney was able to acquire his own studio where they did a series of seven minute fairy tales that was called Alice in Cartoonland. Disney with his brother Roy moved to Hollywood. Now, he is recognised as the master creator of Mickey Mouse, the love of all children.  

Saturday 25 July 2020

Analytical Paragraph

Analytical Paragraph (Data Interpretation)

It is factual and analytical description of figures, facts, bars, tables, pie charts, graphs, charts or data based on a topic/issue.
It is more analytical form of factual description.
It requires ---
1. awareness and good understanding of the data, 
2. comparative study of figures and
3. calculation of two or more figures for arriving at an inference.
Interpretation has to be precise using right vocabulary or specific terms and suitable adjectives.
One must not avoid/miss any fact provided with the question nor add any information.


The purpose of data interpretation is to analyse, describe and compare the data/figures to arrive at an inference and propose a solution/suggestion.

                            Video on Analytical Paragraph

Format / Layout

1. Introductory statement (based on the question)
2. Content 
3. Closing / conclusion (overall analysis)

Phrases used to improve the quality of Interpretation

As shown in the above graph/table/chart …………..
As per the trends shown in the chart …………………
If we compare the data shown by lines/graph…………..
The above chart shows the sales of …………………….
The line graph clearly indicates the escalating prices/production/sales ……..
A consistent growth is indicated in ………………………
As a contrast, a steep fall is visible in …………………
A sudden rise can be seen in ............................
Net production has risen sharply in ……………………...
Overall sales witnessed almost no change in the year/years ……….
In the month/year/decade production reached its peak …………
Sales halved/doubled/tripled/quadrupled/ increased fivefold in …….
There has been a steady growth in the years ........................
If we calculate the expenses of .................................., it is little less than half of the entire expenditure.

Video on Letter of Complaint

Samples of Descriptive Writing

Q1. In the table given below the data of production of sugar by 6 major units in India is shown in various months. Interpret the data in your own words.

Ans. The above table shows the production of sugar by 6 production units denoted by A B C D E F in the months April, May, June, July and August. As we can see, the highest production is made by unit A in almost all the months, that too with a huge margin. The table demonstrates that Unit B has been steady throughout the season and better than other units in the months of April and May with 180 and 179 million tonnes of sugar respectively, but as a contrast in the month of August its production has seen a fall. Visibly, the production of C and D has been better than that of Unit B in the months of June, July and August, but the average production by C is better than all other units and only second to Unit A. The production of Units E and F has been consistent but lower than other units in all the months while Unit F has made the least production of sugar.
To conclude, the production of sugar by Unit A is the highest, Unit F being the lowest and Unit C little better than the rest. If we calculate the average, the production by the units B, C and D is at the middle slab and Units E and F at the lowest one.

Video on Letter of Enquiry

Q2. The data of rainfall in the years 2012-2017 is presented in the bar graph given below. Interpret the data in your own words.

Ans. The above graph compares the rainfall in the entire season from June to September with rainfall in the month of August during the period of 2012 - 2017.  We observe that year 2013 is the highest in terms of rainfall in the season and 2016 is the year with second most rainfall. The least rainfall was recorded in year 2015 and the rest being the same.
Comparing the data given we clearly observe the maximum variation in the rainfall in 2013 receiving the highest rainfall in the season and second lowest in August with 900 mm and 250 mm respectively.  We also observe that the rainfall in 2015 was lowest during the season as well as in August with 700 mm and 190 mm respectively. The most rainfall that happened in the month of august was in the year 2012 which was 300 mm. If we compare the years 2012, 2016 and 2017, we observe that though the total rainfall is about the same where there are variations in the months of August which is 300, 265 and 280 mm. respectively. In a nutshell, the rainfall received in all the years is quite similar ranging from 880-900 mm. leaving the year 2015 as an exception.

Past Tense

Friday 17 July 2020

Legend of the Northland

A Legend of The Northland
By Phoebe Cary

Analysis of the poem: 

§  The poem ‘The Legend of Northland’ is composed by Phoebe Cary who is an American poetess.
§  This is a ballad. It narrates a story in short stanzas containing four lines each. It is divided into 16 stanzas that tell us a story.
§  The story is a part of the folk culture of small region. It is the story of the Northern area, which is near North Pole. The poet doesn’t specify the exact place but ‘Northland’ means the area in the northernmost part of the earth.
§  The word ‘legend’ refers to a historical or very old story that has been orally passed from generation to generation.
§  The tone of the poem is didactic as the poet wants to teach the readers a lesson or a moral.
§  A very significant message is conveyed through the poem that we should not be selfish and greedy. We need to be helpful, kind, generous and sympathetic towards others.

Summary / Synopsis

·       The poem opens with the scene of a beautiful place in northern part of the world where a woman was baking cakes.
·       In Northland the days are short because the sun’s rays reach for very little time and during winter, the duration of the night is much longer that the people can’t sleep them through.
·       The region experiences severe cold conditions as it snows most of the time there. The people, there use reindeers to pull their sledges and the children look like polar bear cubs as they wear clothes made of the fur and the skin of the bear.
·       The elders tell a strange and interesting story about the young ones. However, the poet does not believe that the story is true but it gives an important message.
·       The story goes like this – Saint Peter goes around the world giving sermons, spiritual lectures to the people. Once, while giving lectures, he reached the door of a cottage where a small woman was making cakes in the fireplace. Saint Peter was very hungry as he hadn’t had a meal for days and was feeling weak. So, he approached the woman and asked for one cake out of many baked by her.
·       The woman was selfish and she could not give him a cake from the store. In its place, she made a very small cake for Saint Peter but when she placed the cake for baking she thought that was too big to give away. The miserly woman then again started making a smaller cake but couldn’t give any cake to Saint Peter. She felt that when she ate them they seemed to be small but they seemed to be too big to be given away that’s why she put all the cakes on her kitchen shelf and didn’t give any to Saint Peter. This shows she was very selfish lady who thinks too much about her gains, pleasure and pains
·       Saint Peter got angry and cursed the woman because she was selfish, greedy and did not deserve to live as a human being. He cursed the woman to become a bird (woodpecker) who had to build its nest and found it food by boring into the wood and to collect very little food by working the entire day.
·       The woman became a woodpecker and flew through the chimney. The woman’s body became black due to fire and smoke of chimney and her red head dress remained there as the red cap of the woodpecker. The people in the countryside tell this story seeing woodpecker in the surroundings and the school kids who hear the tale can find the bird in the jungle.


Poetic Devices

Away, away in the Northland – Repetition
Where the hours of the day are few – Repetition
And the nights are so long in winter – Assonance
That they cannot sleep them through – Alliteration
To the sledges, when it snows – Alliteration & Imagery  
And the children look like bear's cubs – Simile & Imagery
Where they harness the swift reindeer – Imagery
In their funny, furry clothes – Imagery
In their funny, furry clothes – Alliteration
They tell them a curious story – Assonance 
And yet you may learn a lesson – Alliteration
If I tell the tale to you – Alliteration
And being faint with fasting – Alliteration
 To give him a single one – Assonance
 And rolled and rolled it flat – Repetition
And rolled and rolled it flat – Repetition
To dwell in a human form                             
To have both food and shelter                                - Anaphora
And rolled and rolled it flat                                                  
And baked it thin as a wafer                                    - Anaphora
 you shall build as the birds do – Simile
By boring, and boring, and boring – Repetition
All day in the hard, dry wood – Consonance 
Black as a coal in the flame – Simile
 she lives in the trees till this very day – Assonance
she lives in the trees till this very day – Consonance

Rhyme Scheme
ABCB for each stanza

This folklore brings out a very significant message that we need to be helpful and sympathetic towards the poor and needy people. We should not be selfish and greedy and must not think about only our needs, desires, gain, loss and pleasure and pain. The poem gives a message to nurture human values of love, kindness and compassion for the entire mankind.

Video on Road not Taken