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How do I go about improving the structure and content of my essays?

Good question! The first place to start is to read through your marking criteria long before you start essay writing (and ideally early on in the year!) - this is what your examiner will have and will mean even before you start you're targeting them. 

Now when it comes to the moment of starting to write, read your question and underline the key words. Work out what the question is asking: is about themes? Characters? Form? Once you've got that pinned down, think about trying to answer the question in ONE SENTENCE. This will form the backbone of your plan. From this, develop 3-4 body paragraphs, making sure that you include everything you looked at on the marking criteria. 

Once you've got a good plan (which should take roughly a quarter of the time you have for the exam), then start writing! Keep focused, follow your plan and above all ANSWER the question. 

Rebecca H. Uni Admissions Test .ELAT tutor, Uni Admissions Test .MLAT...

10 months ago

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

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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
.ELAT
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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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Degree: History and English Literature (Masters) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 4 more

English Literature
History
English and World Literature
English Language
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“I am a first-year student currently studying English Literature, History and Politics at the University of Glasgow, working towards a Masters in History.English Literature and History are both huge passions of mine, both being subjec...”

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Kate M.

Degree: Combined Honours in Social Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Philosophy and Ethics+ 2 more

English Literature
Philosophy and Ethics
History
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“Hi! I’m Kate and I’m a student at Durham University. My degree is made up of History and Politics modules, as well as some English Literature, Anthropology, and Art History, so I’m well equipped to provide as indepth or broad an insig...”

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Rebecca H.

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Degree: English and a Modern Language (French) (Bachelors) - Oxford, St Anne's College University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Maths+ 4 more

English Literature
Maths
French
English Language
.MLAT (Modern Languages)
.ELAT

“About Me: I am an English and French student at Oxford University, currently on my year abroad teaching English. I'man unashamed Francophonile with a huge passion for literature and language, and I hope some my enthusiasm will rub off...”

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