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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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Adham S.

Degree: MPhil General Linguistics and Comparative Philology (Masters) - Oxford, St Anne's College University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Spanish+ 8 more

English Literature
Spanish
Portuguese
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French
English Language
Arabic
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“I am currently pursuing the MPhil in Linguistics and Philology at St Anne's, Oxford, having graduated in 2013 with a first in Linguistics and Georgian from SOAS, University of London.Language and languages have always been my keenest ...”

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Holly K.

Degree: English literature (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Psychology+ 5 more

English Literature
Psychology
Extended Project Qualification
English Language
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“About me: I am an English Literature student at Durham University, having sat English at GCSE and A-Level, as well as doing an Extended Project Qualification on literature. I am a firm believer that the beauty of English lies in the f...”

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Emily P.

Degree: MA Literary Studies (Masters) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 3 more

English Literature
History
Extended Project Qualification
English Language
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“My name is Emily. I love books and pop culture and love to teach people about English. I am a student at the University of Exeter, and having completed my bachelor's degree, I am now studying for my Masters. I am motivated, cheerful, ...”

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Lara H.

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

Subjects offered: English Literature, Religious Studies+ 1 more

English Literature
Religious Studies
History

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