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How shall I approach the unseen Paper 1 poem/prose?

The choice between the prose and the poem is important so read both thoroughly and do not go into the exam with a preconceived idea of what to choose as one may be signifcantly better than the other.

Reading the poem/prose really carefully and planning for at least 10 minutes is my best advice. Taking a few extra minutes to read and plan can mean that you complete an accurate, well thought out essay rather than realising with twenty minutes to go and that you have misinterpreted the piece.

Triangulation using the title, a key literary feature and the content is how I located the meaning of the prose/poem and formed my introduction. Working through the piece chronologically and then expanding on literary features was how I structured my essay but there are obviously several ways to do this. Practicing unseen commentaries is time consuming but well worth it as you become more confident and more efficient in wiritng plans and executing the essay.

Charlotte L. IB English and World Literature tutor, IB History of Art...

1 year ago

Answered by Charlotte, an IB English and World Literature tutor with MyTutor


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Degree: English and Philosophy (Bachelors) - York University

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Charlotte L.

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Degree: History of Art and English Literature (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, History of Art+ 4 more

English and World Literature
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“I have always had a passion for stories. Each painting, each novel, each leader, each cell has a story to tell and the more we learn the more they inspire us andspark our imaginations. Having studied English Literature, History of Art...”

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