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How to Write a Text Response
AIM
Your aim is to show that you can:
* Analyse and understand the topic
* Know the plot and characters
* Know the themes, message and key issues
* Understand the topic in relation to the text, characters and key themes * Draw upon appropriate evidence from the text and use quotations to support your argument. Throughout your essay you should show that you can:

* Write a sustained interpretation
* Develop a point of view
* Support that view through close textual references and analysis (quotes and examples) Your essay should show that you have developed a clear understanding of: * ‘Tag’ words that frame the topic: Discuss. Do you agree? How? Why? Do…? Does…? * Planning and structuring an essay

* How to incorporate quotations into your essay; how to modify quotations * Writing strong introductions that engage with the topic * Using topic sentences that relate to the topic
* Explaining and justifying each argument
* Using specific evidence and explaining (qualifying) the evidence * Linking evidence to the topic and to the next paragraph * Reading strong and firm conclusions
* Developing vocabulary (metalanguage) with which to discuss the text * Planning by composing main arguments relevant to the topic that will serve as the topic sentences for each paragraph of the essay.  

PLANNING THE ESSAY
Stage 1: Analyse the topic or question
* Define key words and phrases
Read the question carefully and underline key words, phrases and concepts; these are the issues in the topic/question that you will need to address. Briefly list the significance of these key words/concepts, showing their relevance to the text. * Topic Focus

In your own words, rewrite the topic to show how well you have interpreted it. This will help you with your main arguments. * Key Questions
From your topic/question analysis, list key questions you need to address and focus on to answer the question. * Briefly answer each of your questions. The questions combined with the answers will give you material for your essay. * Decide on appropriate and relevant evidence and quotations from the text that can support the issues in the topic/question. * Use your key questions to formulate your main arguments.   Stage 2: Plan the essay|

* Outline in point form the main ideas for each paragraph * Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence (main argument) * Include supporting arguments * Include key quotations that support your arguments where applicable. * Follow TEEL  STRATEGIES FOR WRITING THE ESSAYINTRODUCTION: A well written introduction is the generator of a successful essay. It should deal closely with the issues in the topic that your essay will concentrate on. The opening paragraph must provide a clear and definite response to the topic. An efficient introduction should: * Clarify and define key terms and phrases by discussing the main issues that will be tackled * Articulate your main argument in a confident and assured manner; show a strong sense of authorial control. DO NOT: * Simply repeat the topic in your opening sentence. * Simply agree or disagree. * Disregard the topic all together and rewrite a pre-planned essay that is largely irrelevant to the topic. * Begin your introduction with: “In my opinion this statement is true…”, “I agree with the above statement”, or “In this essay I will talk about…”, and other such like expressions. Such phrasing is both unnecessary and begins the essay on a negative note. So, a well-considered and thoughtful introduction should contain at least 3-4 key ideas that can be developed into substantial and intelligent paragraphs in their own right. Also, intelligent discussions explore the topic in depth. In other words, they do not reduce the statement or questions to an either, or, scenario. Both sides will be...
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