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A Guide to Paragraphing Essays

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009


Harry The Spider Is My Friend…


I teach lots of students, both young and old, who find that writing does not come easy to them.

Essay questions scare them… especially the ones that appear on examination papers.

I always introduce them to Harry the Spider. He helps them learn how to make the task of writing an essay easier.

Harry likes working on speeches, letters, newspaper articles and lots of other assignments that teachers give out all the time.

Before long, my students are more relaxed about the whole process. They find examination questions less frightening.

Harry ALWAYS helps them. He NEVER lets them down! That’s why Harry the Spider is my friend.

To prove the point, below I have gathered together a number of questions that have been set by AQA at GCSE over the past couple of years.

I will get Harry the Spider to work on two examples to show you how he helps, then you can have a bash with the others… either in class or at home for revision…to see how the technique works.

I have sampled questions from Foundation and Higher Tiers to see how Harry can help. I have taken the first two questions at random to explain the plan of attack.

I have had teachers from other subjects observing in my lessons when I have introduced this method to my students and they have told me that they will use it too in their subjects, so this guide can help you elsewhere in the curriculum.

Let’s begin!

1. Writing to Analyse, Review, Comment

A magazine is planning an article on jobs.

The Editor is asking young people to write to him with their views on the following statement:

Pay is the most important thing about a job.?

Write a letter to the Editor in which you analyse what you think is most important in a job.


  • to keep your audience in mind
  • to write accurately and express yourself clearly.

Harry says you should use a highlighter pen to mark the important bits of the question. Using a highlighter will make reading...

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