Advice for Essay Writing
Presentation & Structure
* Stick to the question.
* Answer both parts of the question. This is not only essential to secure a good mark; it will help you expand your points – to offer analysis. * Don’t get bogged down in re-telling plot details. If you do this, you are showing the marker that you have an excellent memory, not that you can analyse a literary work. Two useful quotes on this topic: ‘Assume the marker knows the text.’
‘Remember less. Think more.’
* Always introduce the title and author of the text in you opening paragraph. Titles of texts should be underlined or ‘put in inverted commas.’ * Cite at least one example per paragraph. Examples should primarily come only from the text studied. * Follow a clear paragraph structure:
* PEEL/SEXY/SERQEL is good at this level
* A paragraph should be focused on one topic
* Be specific about the context of the text.
* Never misspell a writer’s name, a character’s name, the title of a text. To do so would be like telling the marker that you don’t know the text very well. * Person: write in the third person.
Scout is not racist. This is partly due to the enlightened house she has grown up in… * TENSE: write in the present tense. Even though To Kill a Mockingbird was written in 1960, the novel describes small town life in a Southern state on America. * Use a formal tone when writing about literature. A Level 2 NCEA essay should not sound like a friendly conversation! * Try to leave 3-4 minutes to check your writing. Check:
* your sentence length
* your punctuation, especially capitals and apostrophes * your spelling
* Re-read the text/s, if possible. I realise that this is not always a desired or viable option, but it is one of the best ways of re-familiarizing yourself with the text/s. * Don’t answer the ‘wrong question’. That is, give some thought to whether or not the...
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