How should I revise English?

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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.

GOOD LUCK!

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

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is an online GCSE English Literature tutor with MyTutor studying at Durham University

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