MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

133 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...

3 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

58 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£24 /hr

Emma S.

Degree: English and Related Literature (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: English Literature, French+ 2 more

English Literature
French
English and World Literature
English Language

“I'm Emma, an English and Related Literature student at the (often cold, but always cheerful) University of York. ”

£20 /hr

Ashley M.

Degree: Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: English Literature, English Language+ 2 more

English Literature
English Language
Drama

“I am a student studying Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance at the University of York, following recently completing A-Levels in Performance Studies, Drama and Theatre and English Literature! I have lots of experience working ...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Eleanor C.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Psychology

English Literature
Psychology

“About me An enthusiastic and friendly individual hoping to become a teacher with expereince working with children of primary and secondary school age. A first year English Literature student at the University of York with a timetable ...”

MyTutor guarantee

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 do I plan an essay for an A Level English Literature question?

How should I tackle an unseen poem in my exam?

How do I write and structure a coherent, perceptive essay paragraph?

What is a critical analysis?

View A Level English Literature tutors

Cookies:

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

mtw:mercury1:status:ok