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Aescwine
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Is anyone doing the Iliad retake? Could you give me a few tips on essay structure?
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Aescwine)
Is anyone doing the Iliad retake? Could you give me a few tips on essay structure?
Heya, I'm just going to pop this in the Classics forum for you as you should get more responses there.
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BluWacky
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(Original post by Aescwine)
Is anyone doing the Iliad retake? Could you give me a few tips on essay structure?
I don't think I have any tips that are specific to the Iliad paper - essay writing is essay writing - but the advice I give to my pupils for this module is:

i) INTRODUCTION - know your conclusion before you start so you can introduce your answer here, and give a very brief summary of the points you think will help you come to that conclusion.

ii) Remember, every question will enable you to take at LEAST two sides. If it's a "how important is _____ in the Iliad" question, you can consider times when it is important and times when it isn't. If you're given a statement to comment on - like "Patroclus contributes very little to the Iliad." - you will be expected to show times when he doesn't contribute much and times when he does. An argument showing BALANCE - assessing and evaluating conflicting views on the same theme - is the key to scoring higher band marks.

iii) Rather than simply bashing out miniature essays for each bullet point you're given and wrapping them in an intro and conclusion, try planning your essay out thematically.

So for instance, in the Patroclus example above, I might decide to write a section where I talk about him being a pivotal figure in terms of moving the plot forward - so I would refer to book 16 onwards in particular, his death as the catalysis for Achilles's character development and the foundation of his "wrath", book 23's funeral games being entirely about him etc. It's possible you would be given all these things as bullet points - but I'm not going to look at the list and go through them in that order, I'm going to employ them all in service to my thematic argument.

I could then go on to talking about his relative unimportance - no real appearance for several books, plays no part in several key scenes etc. etc. - but again, talking thematically rather than by bullet point.

AQA like to see thematic essays more than checklist ones. It suggests an ability to construct an argument and use points in service to it, rather than just going "in the first bullet point this happens, which shows he is important, but you can also take it this way, which shows he isn't important". Not every bullet point is as important as every other one - cherry pick when and how to use them!

iv) You probably have your own acronym for argument structure but I always go with PEAL - make a Point, use Evidence from the text to support it, offer Analysis of that evidence (i.e. explain how it supports your point) and in doing so Link it back to the question. You can "switch this up a bit" - toss in lots of evidence which all adds up to one piece of analysis, or several chains of Evidence-Analysis, or whatever - but it's a fairly basic guideline for any kind of essay writing or answering any question at all, in fact (particularly the 10 markers - yes, it's linguistic analysis rather than broader thematic discussion, but you're still required to make a Point, use Evidence from the source, and Analyse it...)

v) CONCLUSION - sum up your argument effectively and say why you've reached that conclusion - basically, it's like your introduction, except now you've shown why. If you've not reached a definitive conclusion, then say so - say that the issue is too complex or something along those lines - but if you've decided one way or the other on the issue at stake make sure you say WHY you think the evidence is stronger on one side.

That's a bit waffley - but the key points are:

i) INTRO
ii) PEAL-type paragraphs based around themes
iii) CONCLUSION

Hope this helps a bit...
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by BluWacky)
I don't think I have any tips that are specific to the Iliad paper - essay writing is essay writing - but the advice I give to my pupils for this module is:

i) INTRODUCTION - know your conclusion before you start so you can introduce your answer here, and give a very brief summary of the points you think will help you come to that conclusion.

ii) Remember, every question will enable you to take at LEAST two sides. If it's a "how important is _____ in the Iliad" question, you can consider times when it is important and times when it isn't. If you're given a statement to comment on - like "Patroclus contributes very little to the Iliad." - you will be expected to show times when he doesn't contribute much and times when he does. An argument showing BALANCE - assessing and evaluating conflicting views on the same theme - is the key to scoring higher band marks.

iii) Rather than simply bashing out miniature essays for each bullet point you're given and wrapping them in an intro and conclusion, try planning your essay out thematically.

So for instance, in the Patroclus example above, I might decide to write a section where I talk about him being a pivotal figure in terms of moving the plot forward - so I would refer to book 16 onwards in particular, his death as the catalysis for Achilles's character development and the foundation of his "wrath", book 23's funeral games being entirely about him etc. It's possible you would be given all these things as bullet points - but I'm not going to look at the list and go through them in that order, I'm going to employ them all in service to my thematic argument.

I could then go on to talking about his relative unimportance - no real appearance for several books, plays no part in several key scenes etc. etc. - but again, talking thematically rather than by bullet point.

AQA like to see thematic essays more than checklist ones. It suggests an ability to construct an argument and use points in service to it, rather than just going "in the first bullet point this happens, which shows he is important, but you can also take it this way, which shows he isn't important". Not every bullet point is as important as every other one - cherry pick when and how to use them!

iv) You probably have your own acronym for argument structure but I always go with PEAL - make a Point, use Evidence from the text to support it, offer Analysis of that evidence (i.e. explain how it supports your point) and in doing so Link it back to the question. You can "switch this up a bit" - toss in lots of evidence which all adds up to one piece of analysis, or several chains of Evidence-Analysis, or whatever - but it's a fairly basic guideline for any kind of essay writing or answering any question at all, in fact (particularly the 10 markers - yes, it's linguistic analysis rather than broader thematic discussion, but you're still required to make a Point, use Evidence from the source, and Analyse it...)

v) CONCLUSION - sum up your argument effectively and say why you've reached that conclusion - basically, it's like your introduction, except now you've shown why. If you've not reached a definitive conclusion, then say so - say that the issue is too complex or something along those lines - but if you've decided one way or the other on the issue at stake make sure you say WHY you think the evidence is stronger on one side.

That's a bit waffley - but the key points are:

i) INTRO
ii) PEAL-type paragraphs based around themes
iii) CONCLUSION

Hope this helps a bit...
PRSOM, great advice, thanks you.
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mercieo
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Is anyone doing roman society and thought as I really need help on which quotes are best to memorise!
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Aescwine
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(Original post by BluWacky)
I don't think I have any tips that are specific to the Iliad paper - essay writing is essay writing - but the advice I give to my pupils for this module is:

i) INTRODUCTION - know your conclusion before you start so you can introduce your answer here, and give a very brief summary of the points you think will help you come to that conclusion.

ii) Remember, every question will enable you to take at LEAST two sides. If it's a "how important is _____ in the Iliad" question, you can consider times when it is important and times when it isn't. If you're given a statement to comment on - like "Patroclus contributes very little to the Iliad." - you will be expected to show times when he doesn't contribute much and times when he does. An argument showing BALANCE - assessing and evaluating conflicting views on the same theme - is the key to scoring higher band marks.

iii) Rather than simply bashing out miniature essays for each bullet point you're given and wrapping them in an intro and conclusion, try planning your essay out thematically.

So for instance, in the Patroclus example above, I might decide to write a section where I talk about him being a pivotal figure in terms of moving the plot forward - so I would refer to book 16 onwards in particular, his death as the catalysis for Achilles's character development and the foundation of his "wrath", book 23's funeral games being entirely about him etc. It's possible you would be given all these things as bullet points - but I'm not going to look at the list and go through them in that order, I'm going to employ them all in service to my thematic argument.

I could then go on to talking about his relative unimportance - no real appearance for several books, plays no part in several key scenes etc. etc. - but again, talking thematically rather than by bullet point.

AQA like to see thematic essays more than checklist ones. It suggests an ability to construct an argument and use points in service to it, rather than just going "in the first bullet point this happens, which shows he is important, but you can also take it this way, which shows he isn't important". Not every bullet point is as important as every other one - cherry pick when and how to use them!

iv) You probably have your own acronym for argument structure but I always go with PEAL - make a Point, use Evidence from the text to support it, offer Analysis of that evidence (i.e. explain how it supports your point) and in doing so Link it back to the question. You can "switch this up a bit" - toss in lots of evidence which all adds up to one piece of analysis, or several chains of Evidence-Analysis, or whatever - but it's a fairly basic guideline for any kind of essay writing or answering any question at all, in fact (particularly the 10 markers - yes, it's linguistic analysis rather than broader thematic discussion, but you're still required to make a Point, use Evidence from the source, and Analyse it...)

v) CONCLUSION - sum up your argument effectively and say why you've reached that conclusion - basically, it's like your introduction, except now you've shown why. If you've not reached a definitive conclusion, then say so - say that the issue is too complex or something along those lines - but if you've decided one way or the other on the issue at stake make sure you say WHY you think the evidence is stronger on one side.

That's a bit waffley - but the key points are:

i) INTRO
ii) PEAL-type paragraphs based around themes
iii) CONCLUSION

Hope this helps a bit...
Thank you, this is really helpful. I'm actually retaking this module, and I've got my Augustus & Aeneid exams soon, so if you had any advice on structuring them that'd be great (I'd imagine it's similar for the Aeneid, only you have to do contextual links as well?). M

My problem in ClassCiv always seems to be that I have the required knowledge, but my analysis isn't great and I tend to be a bit too descriptive.
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