English Literature Coursework? So confused...wth? Watch

Cherry82
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Hi,
I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but I really put in hours and effort into my English Literature essay yet my teacher who marked it responded that it made no sense, it lacked structure and that it's too vague? I made sure that I use P.E.E.L etc with various techniques etc. She really hurt my feelings lol, she didn't even say one good thing about it when I know for a fact, it isn't that bad. I have a question, in English Lit AS I thought vocabulary was key so I tried to broaden my by using various words. She said how I should just stick to normal words, nothing big because it wouldn't make sense. I don't want to be writing at GCSE level, an example she said instead of using salient- she would cross it out for important. AHH I'm so confused. Nothing good was said, only the negatives. Sorry for venting out it's just I'm so frustrated!
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Hi,
I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but I really put in hours and effort into my English Literature essay yet my teacher who marked it responded that it made no sense, it lacked structure and that it's too vague? I made sure that I use P.E.E.L etc with various techniques etc. She really hurt my feelings lol, she didn't even say one good thing about it when I know for a fact, it isn't that bad. I have a question, in English Lit AS I thought vocabulary was key so I tried to broaden my by using various words. She said how I should just stick to normal words, nothing big because it wouldn't make sense. I don't want to be writing at GCSE level, an example she said instead of using salient- she would cross it out for important. AHH I'm so confused. Nothing good was said, only the negatives. Sorry for venting out it's just I'm so frustrated!
Heya, I'm going to put this in the English forum for you as you should get more responses there.You should also check out the forum to see if there's any other threads there which might be helpful to you!http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=82
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Cherry82
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(Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
Heya, I'm going to put this in the English forum for you as you should get more responses there.You should also check out the forum to see if there's any other threads there which might be helpful to you!http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=82
Thanks
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Skyy9432
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Hi,
I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but I really put in hours and effort into my English Literature essay yet my teacher who marked it responded that it made no sense, it lacked structure and that it's too vague? I made sure that I use P.E.E.L etc with various techniques etc. She really hurt my feelings lol, she didn't even say one good thing about it when I know for a fact, it isn't that bad. I have a question, in English Lit AS I thought vocabulary was key so I tried to broaden my by using various words. She said how I should just stick to normal words, nothing big because it wouldn't make sense. I don't want to be writing at GCSE level, an example she said instead of using salient- she would cross it out for important. AHH I'm so confused. Nothing good was said, only the negatives. Sorry for venting out it's just I'm so frustrated!
Without reading your essay it's hard to understand exactly what went wrong, but I think I get what your teacher is saying. (MASSIVE apologies if I get it completely wrong.

This is something I was told at A-Level and even University, but don't overcomplicate your wording. I get that you want to sound all informed and educated by using 'big words' as many may call them.

The thing about an essay is, you're trying to communicate your ideas. Don't distract the reader from the point by making them get a dictionary every 5 seconds, if there's a simpler way of saying something, say that instead. The only exception I could think of is if the 'big word' you're using is far more specific in regards to what you are discussing.

Don't over-complicate your writing for the sake of it. Keep it easy to read and straight to the point. Hope I helped!
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Hi,
I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but I really put in hours and effort into my English Literature essay yet my teacher who marked it responded that it made no sense, it lacked structure and that it's too vague? I made sure that I use P.E.E.L etc with various techniques etc. She really hurt my feelings lol, she didn't even say one good thing about it when I know for a fact, it isn't that bad. I have a question, in English Lit AS I thought vocabulary was key so I tried to broaden my by using various words. She said how I should just stick to normal words, nothing big because it wouldn't make sense. I don't want to be writing at GCSE level, an example she said instead of using salient- she would cross it out for important. AHH I'm so confused. Nothing good was said, only the negatives. Sorry for venting out it's just I'm so frustrated!
Completely agree with what the other person said. At A2 level in Lang, I wrote perfectly got all marks for AO1 (written, technical accuracy, with coherent sentences) and A02 (terminology, theories, etc). However I was very poor at this for A2 Lit. My teacher (Who taught be both for Lit and Lang) simply said my essay skills are really good, almost brilliant but it's being wasted by my "flowery language". My language was super wordy, it didn't make any sense because it was over technical. I never had a problem with using unfamiliar words, for me personally it was sentence structure.

However, I would suggest the same thing: just simplify your understanding by writing in simplistic ways. You don't need to sound formulaic and educated that it almost reads as an academic piece of writing. You just need to express your writing with clarity through using words that fit into the sentence as a whole. Some words work better to make the sentence fit nicer. Important and salient are both good. But salient is a word that doesn't fit into every sentence and important seem the most fitting in pretty much all types of sentences and syntax.

What you're doing is over-simplifying. All you need to remember is, "is that word making the whole sentence make sense, or it is changing the whole meaning of my understanding", "is there a simpler word I can use that expresses clarity rather than formality"? Those are the questions you should consider when writing your essays.

Hope this has helped.
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Cherry82
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(Original post by Skyy9432)
Without reading your essay it's hard to understand exactly what went wrong, but I think I get what your teacher is saying. (MASSIVE apologies if I get it completely wrong.

This is something I was told at A-Level and even University, but don't overcomplicate your wording. I get that you want to sound all informed and educated by using 'big words' as many may call them.

The thing about an essay is, you're trying to communicate your ideas. Don't distract the reader from the point by making them get a dictionary every 5 seconds, if there's a simpler way of saying something, say that instead. The only exception I could think of is if the 'big word' you're using is far more specific in regards to what you are discussing.

Don't over-complicate your writing for the sake of it. Keep it easy to read and straight to the point. Hope I helped!
Wow, what an eye opener. Thank you. So simple is best? I just fear that I may sound too colloquial and informal. I've avoided using the 'can't and don't etc but is it still formal or sophisticated if I do not do this? Thanks again, your response is much appreciated
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Cherry82
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(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
Completely agree with what the other person said. At A2 level in Lang, I wrote perfectly got all marks for AO1 (written, technical accuracy, with coherent sentences) and A02 (terminology, theories, etc). However I was very poor at this for A2 Lit. My teacher (Who taught be both for Lit and Lang) simply said my essay skills are really good, almost brilliant but it's being wasted by my "flowery language". My language was super wordy, it didn't make any sense because it was over technical. I never had a problem with using unfamiliar words, for me personally it was sentence structure.

However, I would suggest the same thing: just simplify your understanding by writing in simplistic ways. You don't need to sound formulaic and educated that it almost reads as an academic piece of writing. You just need to express your writing with clarity through using words that fit into the sentence as a whole. Some words work better to make the sentence fit nicer. Important and salient are both good. But salient is a word that doesn't fit into every sentence and important seem the most fitting in pretty much all types of sentences and syntax.

What you're doing is over-simplifying. All you need to remember is, "is that word making the whole sentence make sense, or it is changing the whole meaning of my understanding", "is there a simpler word I can use that expresses clarity rather than formality"? Those are the questions you should consider when writing your essays.

Hope this has helped.
I've realised that all along, my idea to A level English Lit has been false. Thank you, I used to think the more complex the better but I guess I was wrong. Again, I am not trying to sound arrogant but whenever I try to be simple my instincts kick in warning me that I am doing everything wrong, for me it seems too easy or straightforward and because I hear AS lit- I believe it should be extremely difficult or advanced. So grateful for your response, now I understand things better. Guess I have to make another draft.
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Skyy9432
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(Original post by Cherry82)
Wow, what an eye opener. Thank you. So simple is best? I just fear that I may sound too colloquial and informal. I've avoided using the 'can't and don't etc but is it still formal or sophisticated if I do not do this? Thanks again, your response is much appreciated
Yep, simple is best. I completely understand your frustration about sounding too colloquial and 'dumbing down' your writing. But like I said in the other post, your essay's sole purpose is to communicate your ideas. "Flowery language", like the other guy mentioned, is usually a camouflage for a badly made point.

If you're trying to say that X is Y, don't write up the whole alphabet in it's original Latin form your point is X = Y so say X = Y.
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Cherry82
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(Original post by Skyy9432)
Yep, simple is best. I completely understand your frustration about sounding too colloquial and 'dumbing down' your writing. But like I said in the other post, your essay's sole purpose is to communicate your ideas. "Flowery language", like the other guy mentioned, is usually a camouflage for a badly made point.

If you're trying to say that X is Y, don't write up the whole alphabet in it's original Latin form your point is X = Y so say X = Y.
I understand, thanks again.
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