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How should I tackle an unseen piece of text in an exam?

-Read through three times.

-Identify the form of the text. Is it prose? Is it a poem? Is it an advert? Is it even a picture?

-From this point attack the text depending on what form it is in.

-If poem identify form (sonnet, free verse etc). Then identify poetic techniques from meter, to language.

-If prose identify key features such as narrative voice, language and metaphor.

-Use these literary techniques you have found to form meaning from the text. Once a meaning has been found use this as the basis of your essays argument and use the techniques as evidence.

Timothy G. GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE Physics tutor

12 months ago

Answered by Timothy, a GCSE English Literature tutor with MyTutor


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“Hi, my name is Tim and I am currently studying English Literature at Bristol University.Since I was young I have been enthusiastic about literature and the English language. I believe literature to be one of the cornerstones of human...”

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