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How do I plan an essay for an A Level English Literature question?

Firstly and ideally, some time should go into researching and choosing critical and textual material to use in your essay. 

Next: choose your arguements. Some people prefer to write the body of an essay first, then write their introductions and conclusion. It's completely up to you! (Sometimes it's easier to write the body of the essay then intro/conc. so you know you haven't wandered from what you've said you're going to write about)

Structure: (body of the essay) The structure of an essay should be simple, this is so an examiner/marker can follow your arguement easily. Start by making an overarching point, explaining how this point supports your answer to the question and then prove this with quotations and an explanation of the language/technical devices and critical support. By the end of each paragraph, you should link back to the question, in order to maintain a concise and clear arguement. 

PEQE (Point, Example/Quote, Explanation) is always a good code to go by. When quoting, remember to use textual and critical quotations. Then make it revelvant to the overarching point, as well as referencing the critical evidence that supports you! 

Introductions/Conclusions: These are the paragraphs that the examiner/marker reads first and last-so make them clear and concise. This gives a sense of confidence that is what the examiner/marker is looking for! It's always helpful to define what you mean, it could be defining your interpretation of the question and/or defining elements of your text that are important (date written, style, influences on the writer) Lastly, both of these paragraphs should support what you've written in the essay and reiterate why you've said what you've said. 

It's easier than you think! (Plus an excuse to use coloured pens, if you're into that sort of thing) 

Teddy B. Uni Admissions Test .ELAT tutor, GCSE English Literature tut...

1 year ago

Answered by Teddy, an A Level English Literature tutor with MyTutor


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“About me: I am currently studying for a master’s degree in Romantic and Victorian Literature at Durham University. I have always been a reader, enthralled with literature and I really hope that I can help you learn to love reading whi...”

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Teddy B.

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Degree: English (Bachelors) - Oxford, Somerville College University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History of Art+ 3 more

English Literature
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“About Me: I'm an English student, starting at Somerville College Oxford in October 2016.  Having finished my A Levels in the summer, I am up to date on exam techniques and requirements. I remember the stress of it all well and am here ...”

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