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Viewing entries from category: Essays

A Students’ Guide to Writing an Effective A Level Essay »

Steve Campsall | Friday January 12, 2018

Categories: Archived Resources, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, AQA A Level Generic Skills, AQA A Level Skills Resources, EDEXCEL A Level, Edexcel A Level Generic Skills, Edexcel A Level Skills Resources, OCR A Level, OCR A Level Generic Skills, OCR A Level Skills Resources, WJEC A Level, WJEC A Level Generic Skills, WJEC A Level Skills Resources, Hot Entries, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays


Teacher’s Note

What follows is a guide written for students that, I hope, will help them write more effective essays. Even an essay that gains a lowly grade will often be the result of a substantial amount of time and effort from the student; and the chances are that he or she felt all along that their writing was ‘going wrong’ somehow – but press on they must, on to what must at times seem like the bitter end. How frustrating and perhaps even belittling this process can be for the student – and how much, too, it likely reduces that...

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GCSE English Literature Guide to Robert Cormier’s Heroes »

Shirley Bierman | Wednesday June 11, 2014

Categories: KS4, WJEC Eduqas GCSE, Hot Entries, Prose, Heroes, Writing, Essays, Prose Analysis, WJEC GCSE English Literature, Unit 2a Literary Heritage, Drama and Prose

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Exam Board

  • WJEC Unit 2a: Literary heritage drama and contemporary prose
  • Individual Texts in Context
  • External Assessment 40% - 2 hour exam

Students will need to answer two questions on the set text out of a choice of three questions but Part (i) is compulsory with either/ or for Part (ii) or Part(iii). The first part of the question will require a close reading of an extract with the second question offering a choice of tasks labelled (ii) and (iii) relating to the text as a whole. Part (i) will be worth 10 marks...

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A Level English Literature Guide to Jane Austen’s Novel Persuasion »

Steph Atkinson | Wednesday April 02, 2014

Categories: Prose, Analysing Prose, Persuasion, Writing, Essays, Literary Analysis, Linguistic Analysis, Prose Analysis, AQA A Level English Language & Literature A, ELLA2, ELLA4, AQA A Level English Language & Literature B, ELLB2, ELLB4, EDEXCEL A Level English Language & Literature, 6EL02, 6EL04, OCR A Level English Language & Literature, F671, WJEC A Level English Language & Literature, WJEC A Level English Literature, LT2, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, EDEXCEL A Level, OCR A Level, WJEC A Level

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Persuasion is a fascinating and accessible novel with rather less typical Austen aspects, such as love lost and rediscovered, that provide students with an interesting and fascinating read; it provides also, if they are more widely read, an interesting counterpoint to her other, perhaps more famous, works.

A feature of this teaching guide is to provide plenty of exemplification, through the close textual analysis of Persuasion, looking at aspects of language, form and structure as well as context, genre and...

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GCSE English Literature Student’s Guide to An Inspector Calls »

Shirley Bierman | Wednesday April 02, 2014

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, EDEXCEL GCSE, EDEXCEL iGCSE, EDEXCEL iGCSE English Language, EDEXCEL iGCSE English Literature, Paper 1 Prose and Drama, OCR GCSE, Drama, An Inspector Calls , Hot Entries, Writing, Analytical Writing, Drama Analysis, Essays, AQA English Literature, Unit 1 Exploring Modern Texts, Edexcel English Literature, Unit 3 Shakespeare and Contemporary Drama, OCR GCSE English Literature, Unit A662

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Focusing on the analysis of form, structure and language

For any text you study for your GCSE English Literature coursework, controlled assessments or exam, to gain a high grade, the exam board’s mark scheme requires you to analyse and discuss effective aspects of form, structure and language. Many teachers call this “FSL”. In practice, most students cope well with analysing and discussing the useful effects created by language choices; but many struggle with discussing the effects of structure; and many more...

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A Level English Literature Guide to Unit 4 LITA4 »

Ruth Owen | Monday November 11, 2013

Categories: Drama, A Street Car Named Desire, Hamlet, Measure For Measure, Othello, Hot Entries, Prose, Enduring Love, Notes on a Scandal, Revolutionary Road, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays, Literary Analysis, AQA A Level English Literature A, LITA4, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level

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LITA4 Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study

This unit of study provides an excellent opportunity to explore the theme of love through literature, which is also the topic of your examined unit, Unit 3, LITA3

You are required to write a sustained essay on three texts of your own choice, one of which must be a play by Shakespeare. The three texts must be linked by either the theme of ‘Love through the Ages’ or by any other theme of your own choice but agreed with your teacher.

The two texts other than the...

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AQA A Level English Literature Guide to LITB3 Section A: Text & Genres Exam Techniques »

Steve Campsall | Wednesday May 15, 2013

Categories: Hot Entries, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Drama Analysis, Essays, Literary Analysis, Persuasive Writing, Poetry Analysis, Prose Analysis, Rhetoric Analysis, Speech Analysis, AQA A Level English Literature B, LITB3, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level

  • Throughout this guide, a past exam-style question based on the play Macbeth has been used to illustrate ideas, but these have been written in a way that will allow you easily to transfer the idea to any other exam text, whether another ‘Gothic’ text or Pastoral.
  • To achieve a high grade in your exam answer, one major precondition exists:
    • That you know your text well.

If that condition has been met, through classroom and personal study along with research via the Internet or other study guides, then this guide should help you achieve the...

[ read full article ] »

GCSE Essay Writing Skills »

Steve Campsall | Wednesday December 05, 2012

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, EDEXCEL GCSE, Edexcel GCSE Generic Skills, Edexcel GCSE Skills Resources, OCR GCSE, WJEC Eduqas GCSE, Hot Entries, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays, AQA GCSE Generic Skills, AQA GCSE Skills Resources, OCR GCSE Generic Skills, OCR GCSE Skills Resources, WJEC GCSE Generic Skills, WJEC GCSE Skills Resources


It is because we cannot see the reader that writing needs to be different from speech. A reader is distant and so we cannot notice any misunderstandings or loss of interest that occur as they read. This creates a need for clarity in writing that isn’t so important in speech. The style and structure we adopt for example needs to be more formal; and the need to create and maintain interest means that writing should be lively. In the case of school essays, the reader is the teacher or examiner who awards marks and a grade, something that can...

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A GCSE Student’s Guide to The Woman in Black »

Mandy Lloyd | Thursday October 11, 2012

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, Hot Entries, Prose, The Woman in Black, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays, Literary Analysis, Prose Analysis, AQA English Literature, Unit 1 Exploring Modern Texts

Guide Navigation

1. Introduction
2. Narrative Viewpoint
3. Structure
4. Social / Historical Context
5. Language
6. Top Ten Quotations
7. Exam Preparation
8. Using Quotations
9. Sample Exam Response



This short popular novel is a ghost story with gothic elements. The Woman in Black was originally published in 1983 and a successful cinema adaptation was produced in 2012 starring Daniel Radcliffe (directed by James Watkins with screenplay by Jane Goldman).

In an interview, Susan Hill described ghost stories as follows:

...[ read full article ] »

Developing Writing Skills: Essays and Analytical Writing »

Beth Kemp | Monday June 13, 2011

Categories: Hot Entries, Writing, Analytical Writing, Essays, Teaching Ideas & Skills Development

This is arguably the key skill in English A Level specifications, and it’s often one that is difficult to develop.  Students, after having been successful enough in their GCSEs to progress to AS Level, often feel they know how to write essays and are offended when bad habits are pointed out or corrected, especially when these are bad habits which derive from ‘frames’ used at GCSE level.

It can be helpful to approach essay development with an insistence on the academic nature of A Level writing, to emphasise how advanced it is in...

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AQA GCSE English Literature | Student Guide to Poetry Essays »

Steve Campsall | Wednesday March 16, 2011

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, AQA GCSE Pre-2015 Resources, AQA GCSE Generic Skills, AQA GCSE Skills Resources, AQA English Literature, Unit 2 Poetry Across Time, Hot Entries, Poetry, Writing, Essays, Poetry Analysis

This guide is aimed at GCSE English and English Literature students in Year 11 and, although based on poetry, it contains much of value regarding general essay writing skills and the use of the key essay writing “P.E.E / P.Q.C” technique.

Its strength perhaps is that it is based on an average student’s writing rather than that of a top grade student, as is often the case with published exemplars. This, it is hoped, will allow students of a variety of abilities to feel comfortable with the essay and not feel belittled by its qualities.

...[ read full article ] »

Supporting Materials for Writing an Argument Style Essay »

Steph Atkinson | Monday September 07, 2009

Categories: Hot Entries, Writing, Essays, AQA A Level, EDEXCEL A Level, OCR A Level, WJEC A Level

Exemplar Argument Style Essays for all English Literature and English Language & Literature Specifications

The following two essays were written by the author as part of her English Literature A Level. Although they address the requirements of a legacy A Level specification, these resources can be used in two main ways, whatever specification you are following:

  • as generic examples of argument-style essays. These two examples are accompanied by commentaries which follow each paragraph and trace how the writer has constructed and developed an...
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A Template to Understanding the Narrative Technique in Wuthering Heights »

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009

Categories: KS4, Narrative, Narrative Techniques, Prose, Wuthering Heights, Writing, Essays, Prose Analysis

By following this guide, students will be able to construct an argument based on Lockwood, the narrator of Wuthering Heights.

Lockwood, the narrator of Wuthering Heights is often dismissed as mere writing device. What do you think of him?

What do we know about Lockwood? His role as the ostensible narrator allows Bronte to include a GermanicRahmenerzahlung” approach to the piece. Simply stated, the novel Wuthering Heights is a “frame story”. One tale sits inside another like a picture sits in a frame. This type of narration was very...

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Who is Beelzebub in Lord of the Flies? »

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009

Categories: Prose, Lord Of The Flies, Writing, Essays, Prose Analysis, Speaking & Listening

The Task

The boys on the island busy themselves looking for a beast or demon. We are painfully aware of the irony here. There is indeed a devil on the island… or rather several and they are openly on view.

Looking closely at the action in Golding’s novel, who do you consider could be described as a demon?

Beelzebub (Hebrew בעל זבוב, with several variants) appears as the name of a god worshipped by the Philistines. In ancient contexts, there appears to have been little, if any, meaningful distinction between Beelzebub and Baal....

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Analyse the connections between Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors »

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009

Categories: Prose, Lord Of The Flies, Writing, Comparing & Contrasting, Essays

William Golding wrote his second novel entitled “The Inheritors” one year after “Lord of the Flies”. The action covers the extinction of the last remaining tribe of Neanderthal Men at the hands of the more sophisticated and malevolent Homo sapiens. What does “malevolent” mean?

The novel is written in such a way that the reader might assume the group to be modern humans as they gesture and speak simply among themselves and bury their dead with heartfelt, solemn rituals.

The plot follows the fate of one Neanderthal called Lok when...

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Measure for Measure: Essay Questions »

Ben Coulthard | Tuesday July 21, 2009

Categories: Drama, Measure For Measure, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Drama Analysis, Essays


1.Measure for Measure’ has plenty of examples of comedic character, plot and action - but the elements that lead to this are precisely those aspects of the play that gesture towards the important questions of judgement. The Duke’s cleverness is what elicits the comic procession of people kneeling to be forgiven at the end, and yet this scene is pathetic as well as comedic, because it reflects the sinful nature of all of the characters hitherto involved. Isabella’s decision to ‘side’ with Mariana in pleading for Angelo’s life...

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Essay Question on Lady Macbeth »

Jack Todhunter | Tuesday July 21, 2009

Categories: Drama, Macbeth, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Plays, Writing, Drama Analysis, Essays

What does Lady Macbeth do to help her husband kill King Duncan?

To sum up, what does she do/say?

Reads letter.
Rejoices in the news.
Worries about his nature.  (Why?)
Prays to the devil. (Why does she need to?)
Welcomes him home.
Chastises him. (How?)
Takes over.
Uses euphemisms to describe the regicide. (Why can’t she call a spade a spade? What does this reveal about her?)
Insults his masculinity. (How? Why?)
Talks of killing her own child.  (Why?)
Issues orders. (Where? How? What are they?)
Drugs guards.
Leaves out daggers for him....[ read full article ] »

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Improving Writing | Discourse Markers: A Teacher’s Guide and Toolkit »

Christine Sweeney
Tuesday December 07, 2010

Associated Resources

A ‘discourse marker’ is a word or phrase that helps to link written ideas. These words are generally more formal lexical items that find little use in speech – which is perhaps why they do not always come naturally to students.


Discourse markers can be used, for example, to link ideas that are similar (e.g. the adverbs, also and similarly); and they can be used to link ideas that are dissimilar...

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Lord of The Flies Essay Guide »

Jack Todhunter
Monday July 20, 2009


A Scaffolded Essay Guide to Lord of the Flies

At the beginning of the novel, Ralph stands on his head and celebrates the fact that there are no adult survivors.

This is a dream come true. How does this dream turn into a nightmare?

It is true that at the beginning of the novel that in conversation with Piggy that Ralph celebrates the fact that there are no adults on the island. I think he…

Within hours of celebrating the lack of adult supervision. Ralph assumes the role of…

The dream really turns into a...

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