Holly T. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature tu...

Holly T.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: History (Bachelors) - University College London University

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About me

About Me:

I am a History student at University College London. I have a passion for writing, particularly that which expresses an argument, and I hope that my tutorials will help you to develop your technique, and crucially, find your individual style and gain confidence in literary expression.

I am very patient and friendly. I have lots of teaching experience, both on a informal level, helping my peers with their assignments, but also on a professional level, most recently tutoring first-year History undergraduates at my university.

The Sessions:

You will dictate the content covered during every session. Writing is a very personal thing and it is therefore important that your individual style is developed, as well as your technical abilities and contextual understanding, in order for your writing to be genuine and reflect you accurately. 

The sessions will progress at your pace and we will not digress from topics until you fully understand them. We will not move onto practice exam questions until we have covered all of the basics and you feel comfortable with how to apply this knowledge in practice. 

The historical topics that I am particularly familiar with (include but are not limited to).....

- Twentieth-century Civil Rights in America (often an A Level topic)

- The Korean and Vietnamese Wars (often and A Level topic)

- Challenging authority in Britain from around 1760-1830 (sometimes an A Level topic)

- The Enlightenment and the French Revolution in the 17th century

- Political thought throughout history

- Modern (twentieth-century) China (sometimes an A Level topic)

These are topics that I can give specialised teaching on, however the principles of writing a good essay with a strong argument are applicable to all periods and all types of historical analysis, and the same essay writing principles also apply to English Literature at GCSE and A Level too.

I will use many different ways to explain concepts as everyone learns differently. These will include diagrams, analogies, imagery, and powerpoint presentations. 

I hope that you will find the sessions fun and interactive. The one-to-one format will mean that you can tailor the session to help you the best, ask as many questions as you desire, and get personalised feedback. 

Applying for a History undergraduate course?

Having been through the process I know how stressful this can be and I am more than happy to provide support and advice with this. 

What Next?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a ‘Webmail’ or book a ‘Meet the Tutor Session’! (Both accessible through this website.) Tell me your exam board and what you’re struggling with.

I look forward to meeting you!

Subjects offered

History A Level £20 /hr
English Literature GCSE £18 /hr
History GCSE £18 /hr


English LiteratureA-levelA2A
Music Cambridge Pre-UA-levelA2A
Textiles AS LevelA-levelA2A
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General Availability

Currently unavailable: for regular students

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Questions Holly has answered

How should I structure a History essay?

How to structure a History essay Structuring an essay can seem a daunting task, but it is absolutely fundamental to ensuring that your argument is strong. Once you become confident with it you will be able to apply this structural formula to many different types of essay questions, which will...

How to structure a History essay

Structuring an essay can seem a daunting task, but it is absolutely fundamental to ensuring that your argument is strong. Once you become confident with it you will be able to apply this structural formula to many different types of essay questions, which will be invaluable to you when under time limited exam conditions.


This is the opening paragraph of your essay. It should outline clearly your thesis/argument, followed by a summary of your main points or factors (e.g. economic, political, social, etc.) Although it is nice to set the scene with some contextual information, this is not vital to an introduction, and context is put to much better use throughout the body of the essay to support your argument. Instead of beginning with some vague contextual information, SIGNPOST THE QUESTION! By this I mean show that you understand what the question is asking. Not only does this demonstrate your understanding to the examiner, in a tense exam situtation it helps you to focus your mind on what the question is asking and gets you into the swing of using the terms of the question.

Always use the terms of the question consistently. A high level answer might query the terms of the question, and integrate this challenge into their argument.

If the question is an 'evaluate' or 'assess' question, you will be expected to express an opinion as to which factor or point is the most significant and important one. However, if the question is a 'discuss' question, it is enough simply to explore the issues raised by the question or statement, or for a high level answer, to reformulate the question in your mind as 'what does X mean when they say Y?' or 'what does this statement imply and is it a valid statement?'

Main paragraphs

Each paragraph focuses on each of the main point or factors mentioned in your introduction. They should be clearly defined points or factors that are signposted by concise topic sentences.

Paragraphs should not be narratives (i.e. chronlogical accounts of what happened), but should use the relevant evidence to support the point of the paragraph, and ultimately, your overall argument.

When planning your essay, think about how you want to prioritise the points or factors to create the most convincing argument. You might want to start with the strongest or most important point or factor first, or you may wish to build up to a climatic ending. For a high level answer, the paragraphs should flow smoothly into one another with connecting phrases, however this is particularly advanced, and you should aim to successfully order paragraphs first.

Exam boards provide their own mark schemes but commonly award candidates for following a P.E.E structure...

P- Point. State your point, relate it to your argument and relate it to the question. E.g. The main reason for X was Y because Z.

E- Explain. Unpack the point clearly using terms consistently. E.g. Z was a result of A, B, C and culminated in Y.

E- Evidence. Support your claims with facts, statistic, sources, or case studies. E.g. A is exemplified in D... B is evident in E... C can be seen in F. Proving therefore that A, B, C resulted in Z which culminted in Y.

Make sure to ALWAYS LINK BACK TO THE QUESTION/ YOUR ARGUMENT at the end of every paragraph. Although this may seem contrived, it makes it very easy for the examiner to give you the marks that you deserve. Once you have mastered a successful structure you can present it in a more sophisticated way.

For a high level answer, use inter-comparative points. That is, use the less important points or factors as comparisons for your most significant point or factor, to constantly demonstrate why that is the most significant point or factor. E.g. Z was a minor cause of X when compared to the extent to which Y heightened X.


This should be an opinionated summary of your argument and should reflect the contents of your introduction. Make your argument clear and supplment it with what you think is the most important piece of supporting evidence.

Coursework: Often historians will rewrite their introductions because their conclusions differ to what they expected them to be. If you are completing a coursework exercise and have time to do this, it can vastly improve the consistency of your argument. Another tip is to copy and paste your introduction, each paragraph's topic sentence and closing sentence, and your conclusion into a separate document to check that, 1) you can understand your argument just by reading these passages of text, and 2) your argument flows smoothly and logically from one paragraph to the next.

Often people struggle with how to end the essay. A clever way of doing this in an exam (but perhaps not in coursework) is to pose a further question or an afterthought which has not featured strongly in your essay. E.g. taking issue with the terms of the question (e.g. are they anachronistic?), or for a particularly high level, commenting briefly on the topic from a historigraphical perspective (e.g. is there some difficulty with viewing this historical event in this certain way?)

Do not forget to re-read your essays! For coursework essays it would be ideal to leave at least a day (preferably more) between writing and editing so that you can view the essay with fresh eyes. When doing this you will often find confusing sentences, unexplained concepts and typos, that you had completely overlooked before.

Following this structural formula you should find that you essays are more persuasive and clearer, allowing you to answer a veriety of different types of questions much more confidently, and ensuring that the examiner can clearly see how you are meeting the marking criteria.

Remember: practice makes perfect and the more confident you are, the more enjoyable it will be!

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11 months ago

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