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How can I quickly analyse an unseen poem in an exam?

Read

Firstly, it is important to read the poem at least twice. 

Plan

Then, you must begin to plan. The first stages of this may involve annotating the poem, where you can pick out any points to do with Language, Structure, Form or Themes and Imagery.

Next, write down the four main points you wish to make as well as relevant quotation from the poem for each point. After this, you should outline the techniques used by the author - found in the quotation you have selected - to make your point. These need to be a selection of points from the Language, Structure, Form and Imagery/Themes categories. A good structure to follow in your plan is PEE; Point, Evidence, Evaluation.

Write

Start with an introduction, but do not just simply tell the examiner what the poem is about. Instead, open by explaining the themes of the poem, then outline the four main points that you have included in your plan.

Next, write your four points - remeber to only write one point per paragraph.

Lastly, you must conclude. Sum up your arguments but do not include any new analysis or any ideas you have not used in the body of your essay.

Check

Try and leave at least three-five minutes to check over what you have written. In particular, check for spelling and gramatical errors as it would be a shame to lose marks here if the analysis in your essay is good.

Sophia R. GCSE English and World Literature tutor, GCSE Maths tutor

11 months ago

Answered by Sophia, who has applied to tutor GCSE English and World Literature with MyTutor


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Kate P.

Degree: English Literature (Doctorate) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, Religious Studies+ 5 more

English and World Literature
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“About Me I'm Kate, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, studying English Literature.  I'm passionate about all things literary, particularly poetry and the modern novel.  My not-so-secret love is children's literature - my u...”

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Degree: French and German (Bachelors) - Oxford, The Queen's College University

Subjects offered: English and World Literature, Science+ 9 more

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“Hi there! I am a second year linguist at Oxford University. Although French and German are my speciality, I take a strong interest in all facets of education: arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. In order to excel in one's ...”

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Degree: English and American Studies (Doctorate) - Manchester University

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English and World Literature
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“Hello! My name is Federica and I am a second-year PhD student in English and American Studies at the University of Manchester. Originally, I come from Rome (Italy) where I studied comparative literatures and languages at the University...”

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Subjects offered: English and World Literature, Maths

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