English getting you down? If you’re going through Hard Times, these English resources will give you a lift. They’ll put some sparkle in your Shakespeare – and help you write exceptional essays.
If you want to…enhance your literary vocabulary
Here’s a list of 20 figures of speech. Some of them are as easy as pie, like the simile. Others, like the anaphora, you may not have heard of and you may want to include. It’s probably best to think of these devices like parmesan cheese. A good sprinkling is impressive; go too far and your pasta is ruined. The examiners will easily sniff you out if you’re disguising a lack of content with flamboyant words.
If you want to…write a great newspaper article
Newspaper articles are a common feature of GCSE English courses. Trusty BBC Bitesize offers some very helpful information on how to write one. Clear, friendly advice accompanied by a picture of an orange fish – what’s not to like?
If you want to…analyse poetry like a pro
There are no pictures of fish with this one. There are no pictures at all, in fact. But give it a chance. It will help you probe poems and approach them from different angles. Never again do you need to be stuck for words. Follow the advice of the article and you’ll always have something interesting to say (in the context of a poem, at least).
If you want to…write dazzling essays
This guide is for the truly committed student. But, if you’re willing for forgo an hour of Facebook, it can help you write a truly exceptional essay.
(Bear in mind this was written primarily for university students who only study English. With your French/Maths/trombone classes as well, you might want to take the advice with a pinch of salt and stick to what’s manageable.)
If you want to…explore the gardens of Paradise Lost
Not literally, of course. But Darkness Visible is an excellent resource for shedding light on this common A-Level text. Click on the forbidden fruit to reach true understanding of politics, religion and everything else to do with Milton.
If you want to…write about Middle English
This website will help you stun your teachers. It’s full of sophisticated information about how to analyse difficult Middle English. It also has a handy section on applying to Oxford, in case you’re now so enthused about English that you want to study it for a degree.
If you want to…bring your lessons to life
There’s nothing quite like seeing something on stage. Watch blood dripping from King Duncan’s neck and suddenly Shakespeare will seem a whole lot more interesting. Shakespeare’s Globe entertains audiences throughout the year. There are lots of other theatres too. Your set text need never be the same again.
If you want to…learn anything about Shakespeare
On the subject of Shakespeare, this is a website which tells you just about everything you need to know. Quizzes, facts, plot summaries – everything you could possibly need to help with, all in one neat website.
Written by Bryony Glover
After more resources? Take a look at the first post in our English resources series: