MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

677 views

How can you effectively talk about language and form in an essay?

One of the hardest but most important things to get to grips with when writing an essay is to be able to talk about language and form. It is important to talk about some aspect of this at least once in order to cover all of the assessment objectives. If there is nothing obvious, or the form seems so much like anything else that there's nothing to say, just break it down by answering a few questions: is the narration in first person? Or is it an omniscient narrator? If it's in first person, does it feel more realistic and personal? At this point, you can look at the type of language. Is it formal or informal? Is the narrator using colloquialisms (slang phrases that are specific to a character) or is the grammar purposefully bad? If any of these are - or AREN'T - present, there will be a passage of writing that backs up what you're saying. There are two very important things you must do once you have identified a feature like this in a text: firstly, quote an example which concisely backs up your point. If you don't, you will get marked down, and you have to also appreciate that the marker is unlikely to have a book to hand so is relying solely on the information you give them. Secondly, play the 'so what?' game. For example, if you were writing about John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men', you might make the point that the physical descriptions of Lenny and George are extremely different. Having provided evidence, you shouldn't leave that point standing but go: so what? So what if their description is different? How does that affect the book? You might then answer your question by saying 'Lenny and George's opposites highlight their mutual need for one another, with all of their flaws and benefits adding together to make them useful workers when together.' So what? Go even further: 'this emphasises exactly how close the two are, which makes the ending of the novel even more tragic.' So what? 'By providing such an emotive conclusion, Steinbeck conveys the sad futility of the American Dream to the reader with effective resonance.' That may seem like a tricky and overdone method, but it really works. Once you get used to doing it through practice, it will become natural. The best way of structuring the answer is through P.E.E. Your teachers will probably have mentioned that to you before, but Point-Evidence-Explanation makes sure you hit all of the objectives and provide a clear argument. By using this method, you can go deep into the micro-features of a book like language and form, and link it in to the larger themes in the book.
Ben B. A Level English tutor, GCSE English tutor, 13 Plus  English tu...

1 year ago

Answered by Ben, who has applied to tutor GCSE English with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

173 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£30 /hr

Emily C.

Degree: Romantic and Victorian Literature (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English, Extended Project Qualification+ 4 more

English
Extended Project Qualification
English and World Literature
English Literature
Classical Civilisation
-Personal Statements-

“I am studying for a master’s degree in Romantic & Victorian Literature at Durham University. I love literature and hopefully after the session you will too!”

£36 /hr

Bryony S.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:English, English and World Literature+ 2 more

English
English and World Literature
English Literature
English Language

“Hi there! I'm Bryony, I'm a passionate English 2nd year student at the University of Exeter with great enthusiasm and teaching ability. ”

£22 /hr

Jessica T.

Degree: MA Viking and Anglo Saxon Studies (Masters) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:English, Latin+ 4 more

English
Latin
History
English Language
Classical Civilisation
-Personal Statements-

“About Me Hi, my name is Jess. I am currently doing a Masters at Nottingham University in Viking and Anglo Saxon studies. This sounds like it would be a history course, but it’s actually with the English department as it is very langu...”

About the author

£18 /hr

Ben B.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:English, Human Biology+ 5 more

English
Human Biology
Geography
English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“About Me: I am a student at Bristol University where I am reading English. I will help you to form your own ideas and put them into practice, whilst making the texts digestible but most importantlyEXCITING. I am very organised and fr...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other GCSE English questions

How do I structure my essays?

How should I structure my essay?

How do poetic techniques (or sound devices) emphasise the poet's message?

I just arrived to the UK and I cannot keep up with my English classes. What can I do?

View GCSE English tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok