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How do I structure an essay?

One useful way of structuring an essay is to divide it into sections as follows:

Introduction: This should use words from the question and briefly summarise what you will argue/examine/discuss throughout the essay. In this you may briefly quote a critic and state what your own view is.

Paragraph 1: Language: This is your chance to closely analyse the language of the given text. For example you may choose a short qoute and take one word and explain its meaning as a literary device. You can also focus on punctuation here and show off your knowledge. Then link this analysis back to the question and how it effects your overall argument. 

Structure: Here you should analyse how the structure of a poem for example effects the theme in question is relevant to the question. Here you may comment on the rhythm or the use of other literary devices. Link back to question.

Form: Is this a poem, short story, novel, blog etc? How does this texts form effect the question you are answering? 

Context: Here you can show off your background reading with historical context or literary context by qouting critics and the like, then link back and make relevant to question. 

Do this within every paragraph with a sentence opener highliting theme of paragraph and conclude the paragraph by linking to the question.

Then as you proceed through the essay argue for or against so that your views are clearly structured.

To conclude ensure that you relate to the question and draw upon some findings within the essay. 

Marianne E. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature...

9 months ago

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


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