MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

270 views

How should I go about analysing an unseen text?

The most important factors to analyse in any text are form, language, and structure. Form refers to the medium through which the text is presented - is it a poem? A chapter from a novel? An autobiography? A play? All these contexts will effect the way we percieve a text - a play for example, is intended to incite certain reactions in an audience, whereas an autobiography will want to impart certain truths (or fictions) in its individual readers. Form also refers to the genre of the text - Romantic; Renaissance; comedy; tragedy, etc. Form is important for thinking about authorial intent.

Structure refers to the technical construction of the text. This can mean the length of the text, the way it is laid out (particularly in poetry, which may use varying stanza lengths or techiques such as enjambment), the chronological order of the text (is a plot interrupted with lots of flashbacks?), and the narrative perspective.

Language, of course refers to the words used. One should consider here whether the author uses formal or colloquial language, what techniques he uses to get his words to have a certain effect (for example assonance and alliteration), whether the language reflects a certain time period, and how far metaphor and metonymy are employed to create double meanings.

Also key when looking at a brand new text, is to highlight the themes raised in the text. Explore how these themes are expressed, how they move the action along, and how far they relate to the genre of the text. Always bring in any contextual knowledge you have about the author, time period or genre. Be sure to analyse how far the author's work is in keeping with the genre within which it is categorised, or how far it represents an innovation in that genre. Above all be sure to read both the text and the question carefully and fully, to avoid making any mistakes in the wording.

Olivia B. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature t...

7 months ago

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


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

81 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£22 /hr

Rachel P.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - St. Andrews University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Religious Studies+ 1 more

English Literature
Religious Studies
English Language

“RACHEL About Me: Hi there, welcome to my profile! My name is Rachel and I am studying English Literature at the University of St. Andrews. Studying English at university has always been one of my greatest ambitions, so I'm excit...”

£22 /hr

Ben C.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Spanish+ 4 more

English Literature
Spanish
Philosophy
Maths
English Language

“About me Hello! I am an English student at Durham University. English has always been my favourite subject, and choosing to do it at university was a very easy decision for me. So, if you’re looking for English tuition then I’m your m...”

£24 /hr

Hester T.

Degree: English Language and Literature (Bachelors) - Oxford, St Edmund Hall University

Subjects offered:English Literature, English+ 2 more

English Literature
English
.ELAT
-Personal Statements-

“I am studying English at Oxford University. I come from a family of teachers and since I was 14 I taught kids the flute, later on I tutored students for GCSE English and I've also helped friends (and my little sisters and their friends)...”

About the author

Olivia B.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: English Literature (Masters) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Classical Civilisation

English Literature
Classical Civilisation

“My name is Olivia Bailey, and I am currently an MA student studying History of Art at the University of Bristol. Earlier this year I completed my BA degree in Ancient History, also at Bristol. I have always been heavily interested in ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level English Literature questions

How can I write an effective introduction?

How do I use critics in a coursework essay?

How do I ensure I include all the necessary components in my exam answer for me to tick all the boxes on the syllabus?

How should I go about planning an English Essay?

View A Level English Literature 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