Writing a comparison of ‘Brothers’ and ‘Sister Maude’ In the exam, you will have a choice of two questions on the poems that you have studied from the ‘Relationships’ section of the anthology. They will be phrased like this: Compare the ways in which family relationships are portrayed in ‘Brothers’ and one other poem of your choice. Let’s say you chose ‘Sister Maude’ as the other poem, and decided to focus on sibling relationships. You would then need to write six paragraphs comparing the presentation of sibling relationships in those two poems, following the exam board mark scheme. Each paragraph needs to do all of the following: 1) Make a point related to the task (also known as a topic sentence) about one of the poems. 2) Back this up with a quotation, identifying a language or structural feature used in that quotation. 3) Explain why the writer has chosen to use this technique and the effect it has on the reader. 4) Link this back to the overarching themes/ideas in the poem. 5) Make a precise point of comparison with the other poem.
6) Back this comparative point up with an example from the other poem and some analysis. This can be summarised as:
2) Evidence and analysis
3) Zoom In
4) Zoom Out
6) Comparative evidence and analysis
You should alternate your main focus between the poems: for example, if the first paragraph begins with close analysis of ‘Brothers’, the second should begin with close analysis of ‘Sister Maude’, the third ‘Brothers’ and so on.
For example, these might be your first two paragraphs in answer to the question in the box at the top of the previous page: In ‘Brothers’ it is clear from the very first word, ‘Saddled’, that the speaker in the poem (the older brother) is deeply irritated at having to look after his younger brother. (POINT AND EVIDENCE) Forster has used the verb ‘saddled’ colloquially, meaning that you are stuck with someone or something (ANALYSIS); it has connotations of...
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