How do I link different extracts of texts?

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English Literature exams, for the most part, will require some form of cross examination. The A2 examinations demand students rigour in making links between various genres. Making tenuous links such as, "both have a bad guy" (which I have seen done) will not achieve the top marks. 

How should you go about achieving the top grades when linking two (or more) extracts in an exam situation? This is what I did to achieve full marks:

Read through the extracts as thoroughly as possible given the time constraints. 

Look for similarities in form, character, theme, imagery and narrator. 

Look for differences in form, character, theme, imagery and narrator. 

Build an introduction summarising your interpretations and the links that you're going to make, and end with an engaging sentence and a topic sentence easier said than done, but with pracise you'll ace it!

For example

Link 1: Character 

Link 2: Form

Link 3  Theme: How  both character and form generate this

Conclusion

Restate your topic sentence and clarify your overall link, don't begin any new arguments here.

Here are some strong connectives which may prove useful: 

alternatively
anyway
but
by contrast
differs from
elsewhere
even so
however
in contrast
in fact
in other respects
in spite of this
in that respect
instead
nevertheless
on the contrary
on the other hand
rather
though
whereas

accordingly

as a result

as exemplified by
consequently
for example
for instance
for one thing
including
provided that
since
so
such as
then
therefore
these include
through
unless
without

yet 

Top tip: Do past papers and use these to work out how much time you should spend on each section: analysis, planning, writing. Stick to the timings and you'll do well. 

Good luck! 

Emily P. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English tutor, GCSE H...

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is an online A Level English tutor with MyTutor studying at Exeter University

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