How should I revise English?

It may seem like a stupid question, but how do you learn a book?

The best advice I can give is the following........

1) READ IT! Ideally you should read it once before you study it in lessons, and at least once again afterwards. If you do this then you will automatically increase your understanding of the text as you will notice more of the text's techniques once you already know its plot and meaning.

2) DIVIDE THE TEXT INTO 3/4 THEMES. In whatever way takes your fancy; typed up notes, mind maps or something else. Under each heading you should have ten to twelve quotes which illustrate the theme, and explain techniques used in the sentence to do this. Then briefly mention context.

For example if I was revising Of Mice And Men I might choose 'The American Dream' as a theme, and underneath it I would have the following quote: 

' "O.K Someday - we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an'a cow and some pigs and -".'

Then I'd write a few lines explaining what this quote shows, even if it isn't relevant to the theme....

- The relationship dynamic between Lennie and George, where George is always is a position of responsibility as Lennie acts like a child.

- The humbleness of their dreams- they aren't looking for riches or wealth beyond their wildest dreams but simply to have their own home and to be self-sufficient.

- It's always George who tells this to Lennie- George later reveals he is weary of telling it. By the end he realises they won't ever achieve their dream.

Finally I'd add a note on context .....

In 1930s America itinerant workers made up a large part of the population as farmland was overused and subsequently lost its fertility. As a result farmers lost their jobs and had to take up work wherever they could find it. George and Lennie are examples of these.

3) PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Try having a go at past papers and ask your teacher to mark them to see how you do. By the exam you should have done a couple, and at least one in timed conditions.


Jessica  H. A Level French tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor, A Le...

2 years ago

Answered by Jessica , a GCSE English Literature tutor with MyTutor

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


Sheridan G. A Level History tutor, 13 plus  History tutor, GCSE Histo...
View profile
£18 /hr

Sheridan G.

Degree: History and International Relations (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 1 more

English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“I am a History and International Relations student at the University of Exeter. I have a real passion for both subjectsand would love to transfer some of this enthusiasm through my tutoring. Moreover, having also completedEnglish and D...”

MyTutor guarantee

PremiumTanisha S. GCSE English Language tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor...
View profile
£24 /hr

Tanisha S.

Degree: Philosophy and French (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: English Literature, French+ 2 more

English Literature
English Language

“My main aim is to build the student's confidence in their chosen subject, and to work with them to discover methods of teaching which enable them to fulfill their potential.”

Irini P. GCSE French tutor, A Level French tutor, GCSE Spanish tutor,...
View profile
£18 /hr

Irini P.

Degree: French and Spanish-Modern Languages (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Spanish+ 2 more

English Literature
Extended Project Qualification

“Budding linguist at Durham University, here to help you achieve perfection!”

About the author

Jessica  H. A Level French tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor, A Le...
View profile

Jessica H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Modern Languages (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English Literature, French+ 1 more

English Literature
Extended Project Qualification

“Hi! I'm Jess, a first year modern languages student at Durham university. I'm ready to help boost your grades in French and English or help you write a personal statement.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Jessica

How should I revise English?

Why do past participles that take 'avoir' sometimes agree with the noun?

Other GCSE English Literature questions

How should I structure an essay?

How can I ensure my essay stands out?

What are the four sentence moods and what do they signify?

How do I structure the paragraphs in my essays?

View GCSE English Literature tutors


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