Graduate Center English Doctoral Program

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Graduate Center English Doctoral Program

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Orals Techniques?

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  • #13182
    Sarah Ruth Jacobs
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    Hey, is anyone else preparing for orals? My date is Sept 24 and my list is a bit unreal. I went to one or two of the GC’s oral workshops…what they taught me was 1) You can only fail if you don’t say anything at all (I’m dubious on that point) 2) You have the option of opening with a brief statement 3) You choose the order 4) If you’re really good you can fool the testers into a conversation to take the pressure off yourself 5) Almost no one reads *everything* on the list 6) How you read the list dictates how you think about it.

    So these are my strategies so far:
    1) Digital notes, 1-4 pages per title. Encompassing: a) Key words/terms b) Major arguments c) Examples
    2) Zotero timeline showing when everything was written to help me with a chronology
    3) I will read the books most important to me very closely, and will skim those that aren’t so vital
    4) Read one list at a time?
    5) Read one book at a time?
    6) As the test date approaches, 1-2 weeks before I will STOP reading and start reviewing my notes and making connections.

    Thoughts?

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