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How do I structure each argument in my English Literature essay?

To maximise your marks and get your point across quickly but effectively in an English essay, you should follow this simple rule for each paragraph: P.E.E.

1. Point – this is essentially a topic sentence and in it you should establish the point of argument which you intend to make in this essay. It is a clear signpost to markers of what you are going to say and allows you get straight to the point.

2. Evidence – having introduced your argument you must support it with evidence so that it is clear that the point you are making is valid and justified. This evidence could be an extract from a novel or poem or whatever text you are studying, or could be an argument/comment from a critic. If the latter is the case, make sure that you say who the argument is from, so that you are not claiming their ideas as your own. This is called plagiarism and will lead to a reduction in your marks.

3. Explanation – here you expand on your point and explain why the evidence you have given makes your point. Here you must NOT WAFFLE, but be succinct and very sure of your argument; you should not allow the reader any space to disagree with you, so make sure you spell out your argument as if the reader knows nothing about your topic.

Once you have practiced with this method, it will be like second nature to you. Your essays will be clear, and you will maximise your marks by showing the marker than you have met all of their criteria for a great essay! 

Lara H. A Level History tutor, GCSE History tutor, GCSE English Liter...

1 year ago

Answered by Lara, who has applied to tutor GCSE English Literature with MyTutor


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Holly H.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

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“My name is Holly and I'm currently reading English Literature at Jesus College, Cambridge University. I graduated from school in Durham in 2014, with 3 A* grades in English, Philosophy and History. I chose to take a gap year, which I ...”

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Lara H.

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Degree: History (BA) (Bachelors) - Exeter University

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