How To Write An A Grade English Literature Essay (A Level) | Katie May

hi guys and welcome to today’s video so today I’m going to do another English revision video I’m going to tell you how to write basically a good essay I’ve got like a few hints and tips that I found in my a level folder so obviously some of them are a towards students who are on AQA that’s the board that I study but I’m also going to I found some of my old essays as well so I thought I would show you some of the extracts from so that’s why I picked out all of the ones that were basically a great essays so I’ve got on my phone here my notes so I’m just going to run you through basically the things that we were told to do in essays to make sure that you’ve got everything so the first thing I do is when you get an extract is obviously read it you want to figure out what the subject is about so what is the content actually about such a first tip so just that’s like your starting point for all of your analysis so next you want to work out whether it’s prose poetry or a drama so this way obviously all of them have different structures so there’s different things to talk about obviously in poetry you’ve got things like I am Bic pen talent and rhyming and rhythm whereas in prose you’ve got paragraph structure and then also like chapter structure whether it’s linear or whether it’s kind of skipping around place and then in drama office you’ve got through talking and then also like the state directions as well so yeah I’ve got written down here as well the next thing is structure so obviously that is how everything is laid out you want to make sure you’re talking about why the author has laid out in this way while is given like this character this to do flight etcetera etcetera next you want to look at the language that the author is using so this means maybe they’re using a semantic field so for example in Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare uses this field of light light and dark that’s a really massive one if you want to talk about why they’re using that very language do that send for example again like the Romantic poets use a lot of fantastical and like nature images so you want to talk about why they’ve chosen to use those and what impact that has on the audience and what message they’re trying to get across by using the language that they’re using then you want to think about the tone and the mood of the text you’re reading so you want to talk about is it happy or is it sad and what is the impact on you as a reader what are you feeling and what do you think the author intended you to feel when you were reading this because obviously the authors got in mind what they want their reader to be thinking about and what impact they want it to have on their readers lights day and then one of the most important ones is context so what time was the play written and what impact does that have to like religious empire equality impacts in terms of like women and gay right that kind of thing and then sometimes you also want to think about why the writer wrote it so if there’s like a bigger picture if they’re trying to get across a message maybe like a political message or a social message think about what they were trying to do to the time they were writing it okay so then the next note I’ve got to share with you is basically this I’m not sure of other examples mark in the same way but for a QA you’re like I think marks out of 40 and it’s split so each one has ten marks with a 1 a 2 a 3 and a o 4 and that’s assessment objective 1 2 3 4 so a 1 is the structure of your essay so that’s like how it flows whether you structured it well whether it goes like make sure that you’re not jumping around all the place so you want to link one point to the next point to the next point and so on you don’t want to like write something about this quotation and then like write about another quotation and then come back to that first quotation later on you want to make sure that it’s all very like Kohi is and kind of make sense in the structure it’s in so then a2 is your analysis or form structure and language so the form is whether it’s a novel play or poetry and structure is how they structure that so in for example in poetry that’s like is it a sonnet or is it like a hike you’ll have they just kind of done their own thing and like how they’ve structured it is a be a deal is it does it have a rhyming scheme then in place again the structure is like how who’s talking when who’s got the majority of the speech are their stage direction you want to talk about all of that in that one and then obviously structure in novels is paragraph length sentence length and then if you’re using it as wider reading like is the novel linear or is it in flashbacks like that kind of thing you want to make sure you’re talking about so then a oh three is wider reading and critics obviously can’t do critics in your exam because you don’t know what text you’re going to be given or certainly we’d in in our exam so you can you can use them and you should use them in your coursework whereas the wider reading it’s about everything you’ve read and you want to read across like the different genres and then also the difference like play poems novels except chess so this is how you link know that you already have from texts you’ve studied previously to the unseen text in your exam and then a four is context so this is historical social and literary context so historical is obviously what time period was the person writing in so for example Shakespeare is a really good example actually because he was living in the Elizabethan and the Jack deianeira surroundings in the Elizabethan era his plays were a little bit more upbeat but when he went into the Jacobean era and James was extremely paranoid losing the throne so there was a lot of plays ruin about that to please the King and then social context is as I said before like what’s going on in terms of religion and equality and kind of thing like what’s going on in terms of workplaces as well at is it the Industrial Revolution or two after is it before and then literary context is basically who else is writing at the time what are they writing is the person that you’re looking at writing in a different way or are they kind of sticking with the themes of the time then I’ve also got on here which you can’t see but the checklist for good essay writing so I’m just going to read these out to you so you’ve got good structural ideas so again that’s how you’ll structure in your own essay well for our argument and points so in your exam honestly take that 10-15 minutes to read through the text highlight them and you know let’s write little notes about what you think it might mean where you’re going to write out before you actually go for it and kind of decide which order you’re going to analyze it and like what you’re going to analyze against each other because obviously in my exam it was pretty much always compare and contrast the way the two writers other blah blah blah so you’re always wanting to compare and like basically way they’re tapped out against each other to see who’s doing what then make sure you’re using relevant quotations and that they’re explained and analyzed don’t just stick in a quote because you can make sure that you’re picking good quotes that you know how to analyze and you know you can analyze in depth as well then I’ve got use of relevant contact so again that is the context of the times that the writer was writing in and then also the context of how audiences today might see that you want to do different viewpoints on the text that’s really important there you want to make sure that you are linking to other texting or by the reading and make sure you’re pointing out whether they’re similar or whether they’re different and then you want unlike why the author is picked to write in a novel or play or a poem so obviously some of the contact from that is that novels run around at the very beginning of literature it’s more poetry and drama and then it slowly became into novels like our most prominent literary thing at the moment is novels that’s what most people read and write obviously we still have poets and there still plays but the majority of people lean towards the novel you also want to make sure that you start off with an introduction so you want to you want to compare the two types or whatever question is I’m going to read you out like a little bit of what I’ve done in a minute so you can see the kind of light interception that I normally do but you want to make sure you’re comparing the text very like two sentences like one sentence reached at about how that text Matt Reiser is approaching the topic of the question that you can give them so then you want to make sure you’re putting in your wider reading and you want to be sure that you’re comparing both the structure and the language of those texts to the unseen texts you’ve been given and then in your very last paragraph you want to make sure that you answer the question so you should be doing this throughout you should probably do it like at least at the end of every paragraph that’s kind of like what you should be doing so the examiner always knows that you’ve got the question in mind but make sure that you definitely definitely definitely answer the question right at the very end in your conclusion paragraph so which writer does this better and make sure you’re writing this writer does this better in his blooder because blah blah blah compared to so and says food is blood in their blood ler if that makes them probably didn’t make them so then within the paragraphs you once you’ve picked your quotation you want to make sure that you’re doing your point so so-and-so showing that they are blah blah with this quotation so in stay with this quotation they don’t ever say with this quote or this quotation that’s not like great it of like the point you’re trying to the argument you’re trying to make with quotation to back it up then you’re going to analyze that quotation so it’s point evidence analysis and you want to make sure that you’re doing that you should really do our teachers to us do point evidence analysis then like evidence analysis so the second evidence and analysis might be your wider reading or it might be your going into like the subject a little bit more with a quote further on or from the other taxi or comparing energy so I thought that kind of show what I would do that I would read some of one my eighth grade essays from when I was doing my a-levels so this one I’m just going to read you like the introduction and like the first paragraph and then also I’ll just go on to the conclusion class can see what I wrote and like walk and gain a grade so this one is between atonement by Ian McEwan and a fellow by Shakespeare so the question was compare and contrast how the writers present the frustrations of romantic love within their tech so I’ve written for my introduction Ian McEwan’s atonement present clear romantic frustration between the characters of Cecilia and Robbie here the two seem unaware to begin with what has caused this frustration between them Shakespeare’s Othello on the other hand picks a growing frustration between husband and wife with Desdemona unaware of what she’s done wrong to create this feeling between hire and half that was my introductions you can see it’s like very short and it’s just one sentence for each of the text to answer the question to begin with and then I’m going to go on to analyze and say why I think that so in my first paragraph paragraph or see like explanation so I think I’ll read you two paragraphs because I’ve got one for attainment then one for a cell oh and then obviously it is a bit longer man quite a lot longer but then I’ll read you the conclusion as well so you’ve got like a little bit of to see what kind of thing I’ve written so a novel and play so my tournament paragraph starts with make you a right to payment in a sir person narratives by the times it appears from different people’s perspectives within this narrative this could be a reason from that you and choosing to write your story as a novel as there is far more flexibility and the use of different perspectives in a novel than in a play for example it comes from the serious perspective when McEwen writes he had a way of wrong flipping her whenever he could this quotation demonstrates our own frustrations within the pair’s relationship neither Sicilian nor Robbie has yet declared Philips one another and they appear to be in an awkward stage of discovering what their feelings are for each other in Robbie’s attempts to seem eligible for Cecelia he ends up causing her to think otherwise McEwan’s use of the term wrong footing implies the sense of fragility in the current state of their relationship it is though the relationship can be metaphorically described as a tightrope so any wrong footing would be detrimental to the couple this sense of delicacy is what first introduced the frustrations of romantic love into Atonement another reading of this quotation is of a childlike nature brie and Cecilia were friends children and it is often said that children purposely annoy those that they fancy by saying that Robbie would do something wrong by Cecilia whenever he could implies that he is trying to wrong for her and so brings up these ideas of childlike citation her frustration towards Robbie’s actions is supposed to arouse a feeling of love for him within her so that’s basically what I wrote for my opening paragraph with McEwen and if you haven’t read Tommen by the way read it for making book then I go on to my next paragraph on the other hand the frustration shown was in Shakespeare’s italics are orchestrated to pull Desdemona and the fellow apart the frustrations within the players solidified by Desdemona’s dropping of her handkerchief as a media picks it up to give to Iago what he will do with it have a nose not I Emilia is unaware of the chaos that husband will cause by having the handkerchief in his possession as fellow the play the handkerchief causes dramatic irony due to audience knowing exactly what Iago is doing in terms the breakdown of a shallow and Desdemona’s marriage in this sense some of the frustration created by Shakespeare is fallen to the new audience and not the paratis as the audience will be willing a Sally to find out what Iago is doing the frustration is that no one was in the play can CER Coast manipulation of relationship so as one sort of love at the time shakes I was writing and play was performed marriage we’ve been seen as entirely sacred and religious er good form of meddling makes it look to himself as though his wife has been cheating on him which would have been seen as a sin recruiting even more frustration within the audience as they know just Ramona has not sinned against her husband in any way then I’m going to read you the paragraph that I’ve put my wider reading in as well you can see how I bring that in and then I’m going to read the conclusion similarly in a celos the handkerchief is representative of a seller and Desdemona’s relationship amelia is aware of the history of this item between the couple and knows a frustration that will cause when it goes missing poor lady she’ll run mad when she shall like it despite this amelia still gives a handkerchief to her husband shakespeare’s use of the phrase she’ll run mad shows just how sentimental that handkerchief is to Desdemona the hang chief was a gift from a fellow to Desdemona the fellow himself had received it from his mother and was told that it was magical and would keep a marriage faithful and happy for this reason when Desdemona loses the handkerchief implies the losing of the relationship also and it is at this point that a late restart believes his wife has been unfaithful to him due to Desdemona losing the handkerchief many frustrations arrive between her and her husband as to whether she is telling the truth about her spoted infidelity Desdemona grows frustrated at the loss of her handkerchief as an alien stated she would she also grows frustrated at not knowing what is ailing her husband Iago uses the importance of the handkerchief to manipulate the situation to the outcome he want a modern example of this is in Roddy Doyle’s the woman who walks into doors when we are told the ways in which Charlie manipulated Paula he’d bring me a cup of tea or a snake I’d grab a head I’d grab anything and I forget I sometimes cry when I eat them Paula’s situation is so hopeless that when she’s given the opportunity to believe her husband treats are nicely she grabs her while this differs from a fellow so the manipulation is coming from somebody within the relationship themselves not just somebody on the outside the reader of Doyle’s novel may become frustrated that the character he has created of Paulette if they’re willing to get the abusive husband sets Hazari daily simply for chocolate bar yet this novel truly does read the frustrations of romantic love as Paula beliefs that husband loves her despite the abuse simply because he occasionally by headings he loved me he bought me things the frustration comes from every time he apologizes for hating her she believes it will be the last and instead of removing herself from the detrimental environment she is in she continues to love him despite everything he has done a modern reader may also become frustrated in fact that by being a modern woman poor or submissive to her husband so then I’m going to read you my closing paragraph today I have written overruled by both Shakespeare mixed even using symbolisms present romantic logic is done in very different ways Shakespeare’s presentation arouses more frustration within the audience than perhaps it does with the characters on stage whereas McEwan uses different methods to present sexual tension and frustration between his two characters so I really hope this video has helped you and if you want any more videos like this then please let me know in the comments down below I’ve actually got I found my a to course web as well the other day which was an a as well if you’d like me to go through like cause works and I’ll do that as well um yeah the course works pretty long but if you did find me reading outs on the paragraphs from my like any level essays helpful and please do let me know and I’ll do more of it in future as I also have like my eighth grade and father more like Maurice I’ll grade our rest papers as well that I can read out to you and kind of like take you through I am planning on doing a video on how I analyze Texas well soon I just need to pick a text and that take a passage and then I’m going to go through that I think I’ll do you like my last video I did like my brother Jen video and I think I’ll like set it up like that so you can see the text files and I’ll kind of like write and talk you through what I’m doing so I hope it all having a lousy day and I will see you next time please don’t forget to Like comment and subscribe