(Original post by Quick-use)
I did Higher last year, and I would always have 3 sides of A4. Your length should be around that for a good mark - everything else depends on your points and analysis.
The structure is quite important. You need, from the very beginning, a thesis. From looking at the question, what can you say about your text? From having read your text, you need to have decided on the messages from the themes (THE MESSAGES OF YOUR TEXT). For Romeo and Juliet
it could be: one should not be too passionate to an opposite and love another wholly whilst disregarding all other ties as this will lead to the inevitable downfall of one
Now, for example, say I have a question on:
Discuss passion within a play that you have studied.
From looking at that, I would, in relation to my text and its themes, have thought up a message: how does passion (from the question) relate to my text? And what does it tell us?
My overall message would be: If one is too passionate to an opposite then one will wholly disregard all other ties and this will lead a clash of ties until the inevitable downfall of one
I would then split my paragraphs to convey this.
Para 1 - one is too passionate to an opposite
Para 2 - one will wholly disregard all other ties
Para 3 - clash of ties
Para 4 - inevitable downfall of one
Voila. Your message needs to span the whole text, and like a story (of your message) it needs a beginning (being too passionate), a middle (clash of ties - the conflict) and an end (inevitable downfall of one). MESSAGES ARE FROM THE THEMES, THEREFORE YOUR ESSAY NEEDS TO CENTRE AROUND YOUR THEMES AS IF YOU'RE ALWAYS DISCUSSING THEM.
You need to be quite specific sometimes too. For example, I could've made my first point: one is too passionate. This would mean just simply describing Romeo's passion in the beginning. But, that is just describing. It doesn't say
much. Therefore, make your points something that CLEARLY
conveys your messages.
You cannot, throughout your whole essay, keep on mentioning PASSION: passion is prominent here, here, here and some there as well. No. It's not a list. You need your own messages of the text from looking at passion in the play!
I use, and tell others, to use: PEEEEL
oint - the statement of what you want to prove - Undeniably, the character of Romeo is wholly passionate for Juliet of the warring Montague family.
vidence - quote/technique to back yourself up. These allow 'suggestions', thus analysis
xplain - What does your quote/technique mean?
vidence - repeat above - the reason I do this is to allow more analysis = stronger argument
xplain - as said above
ink - How do all your explanations
(suggestions) relate to your P
oint, and what does this paragraph, bluntly, say about the theme and what we can learn from it?
Indeed, Romeo is too passionate and consequently this means that he disregards his other ties.
Use words like 'indeed', 'consequently' etc as it shows linking of points - you're going smoothly from one point to another.
It all connects.
TECHNIQUES are very important - these allow one to analyse. Techniques = analysis = stronger analysis = A.
Make sure to use very big and sophisticated words: It cannot be denied that Romeo's inherent desire leaves him forever insatiable. <----- sophisticated language is NEEDED.
Your introduction needs to outline your points - your argument. For example,
Passion is most telling of William Shakespeare's messages within Romeo and Juliet
. The character of Romeo and Juliet, opposites, fall in love with one another and this goes against society until it eventually results in their death. This allows Shakespeare to convey his integral messages: if one is too passionate then one will wholly disregard all other ties resulting in a clash of ties until the inevitable downfall of one. This allows the portrayal of the themes of fate and passion. Shakespeare is able to do this through his masterful use of dramatic devices such as motif, symbolism and climax.
For your conclusions, connect all your Link
sentences together and try to give advice to the reader in response to your message:
In conclusion, passion leaves one heavily flawed. If one is too passionate then surely this will mean that one is unable to think adequately and moderately. Indeed, one's conscience thought will be overshadowed until one acts on passion alone. There will be a conflict of desire: free will or the will of the state? If like Romeo one chooses free will, then this will go against the will of the state and it cannot be denied that this selfish option will leave everyone unhappy: eventual death is an outcome. However, humanity can do nothing but choose this option: we are flawed, and like Romeo, we can do nothing but be passionate - it is inevitable.
Therefore, when you read your texts and revise, DECIDE on your messages. In the exam, this should come quickly and you'll be able to adopt it to any question (hopefully). Also, sort your technique/quotations under different themes. This allows easier revision, and in the exam you can decide about the question: will these two themes be better for this question, or this one? And you'll know EVERYTHING under those themes.
EACH theme gives a different message and obviously these can be combined: like I did for this example of discussing Fate and Passion.