How do I write a good 'How far do you agree' essay answer?

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The first thing to decide is how far you do agree with whatever claim it is about whatever text. In very general terms, there will be three answers:

(1) I completely agree.

(2) I completely disagree.

(3) I'm somewhere inbetween.

If your answer is (1) or (2), your essay is going to focus very heavily on the side of the argument you agree with, but it is important to not just assert your point of view. The trick to a good essay in these cases is to also consider the other view and to explain and argue throughout your essay why it is that your view is the right one. You need to end being able to conclude that you completely agree/disagree because it would be wrong to disagree/agree. Showing awareness of other interpretations is the way to access the top marks.

If your answer is (3) then you need to basically do the same as above, but of course your conclusion will be somewhere in the middle. This requires that you agree for reasons but disagree for reasons y. Your cocnlusion is likely to look something like this:

"In conclusion, whilst I agree that Bronte presents as a violent emotion, I also think it is shown to be tender at times, and that it is the relationship and balance between the violence and tenderness of love and other aspects of the novel which allow Bronte to use the theme of love so powerfully."

The points which I have vaguely addressed in that conclusion would have to have been argued for throughout the essay. I find a good way to pan out these arguments is to write a brief plan which includes an introduction/conclusion so that you know what you want to argue for, and then to list the relevant points and order them into a structure which will argue for your stance.

So, things to remember:

Agree/Disagree/Somewhere between.

Consider both sides of the argument.

Always explain why your side of the argument wins out -- in every paragraph.

Introduce and conclude your answer very clearly (the argumentation is in the body).

Oliver W. A Level Philosophy tutor, A Level English tutor, A Level En...

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is an online A Level English Literature tutor with MyTutor studying at Warwick University

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