This is one of the main difficulties I found when studying for my A Level English Literature exam, so I really understand any confusion about how to go about answering these types of questions.Demonstrating in depth knowledge of your key texts is essential in exam answers, even if not addressed in the question, as it shows that you are really familiar and knowledgeable about the text and will therefore just make your answer more impressive.Obviously if the exam question specifically asks you about certain chapter or theme, such as a question focusing on Mr Darcy's letter in Chapter 35 of 'Pride and Prejudice', then you must address this for the bulk of your answer but there are some easy ways to slip in small examples of your wider knowledge.One way to do this could be to relate characters/events/narrative techniques to those in different parts of the novel, and show how they impact or develop what is in the section the question focuses on.Another similar way to do this is to situate the chapter or theme in context (either within the novel, the life or other works of the author, or perhaps the historical or social context of the text), which could be in the introduction to the essay or interspersed throughout the essay. This method is also particularly effective as including some well-placed historical or social context demonstrates that you are aware of the world outside the text and how that impacts it, which can impress examiners.A third method to show a deep knowledge of the text is to include some close language analysis in your answer. Some analysis of word choice, writing style, techniques such as alliteration, assonance etc, shows a level of engagement with the text deeper than the level of simply plot, character or theme. Furthermore, linking any language features in the section the question focuses on to similar excerpts in other areas of the novel also illustrates a knowledge of the text as a whole.
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