How do I write a good essay for my English Literature GCSE?

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Essay writing, for coursework but especially for exams, can seem stressful, but there are some simple steps to writing good essay answers every time.

Here are some of my top tips:

1. Always start with a plan! Even if you are in an exam, look at your question, make sure you understand it well and then make a few bullet points about the important things you need to say. This way, you won't run out of ideas half way through or forget any of your great ideas in the rush of the essay.

2. Remember to write an introduction. Give a bit of background that you know (e.g. who wrote the book/poem you are writing about, when/where they wrote it, and who the main characters are). Then state your purpose for the essay (e.g. This essay will show that the theme of death and loss is central to this piece of poetry.)

3. Divide your points up into clear paragraphs. Organise your ideas so that whoever marks your work can see that you have lots of different points to make.

4. End with a conclusion. Always try to summarise your main points and make sure you fully answer the question you have been set in the conclusion. This will show your teachers that you have really understood what they asked and that you deserve the top marks!

Every essay is different, but if you understand the question and follow a good structure like this one, you are sure to do well!

Abigail D. A Level Arabic tutor, A Level Spanish tutor, GCSE English ...

About the author

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

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