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    I'm really struggling with how to answer the open ended questions (I'm doing Gatsby and Death of a Salesman). I'm around 16-18/25 right now but I really want to push for band 5! I struggle with getting to grips with the question.

    Any tips, advice or essay structures (in particular) would be so appreciated! x
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    Hi,

    I do a different exam board so I would like to offer help but just primarily clarify what you mean by 'open-ended question'. Are you referring to the question about overall themes/motifs in the novels? I assume you are but my wider novel question is out of 40 so I just wanted to clarify before I go any further


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    (Original post by Clintbarton)
    Hi,

    I do a different exam board so I would like to offer help but just primarily clarify what you mean by 'open-ended question'. Are you referring to the question about overall themes/motifs in the novels? I assume you are but my wider novel question is out of 40 so I just wanted to clarify before I go any further


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you so much! Yes I am. For clarification, an example question is 'explore the view that it is difficult to decide who is most villainous in The Great Gatsby'.
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    Great!
    So the wider analysis on the whole novel usually covers all of the AO's. This basically means you have to have

    • clear quotations
    • explanations and analysis. This is really important and marks are lost because there isn't enough in-depth discussion. A really good way to achieve a good mark on this AO is by using the phrase 'the author does this because...' Or 'to create the effect of' and to make sure that that is present in every paragraph.
    • critical analysis. Bringing in alternate readings - such as feminist critics, Marxist critics or a psychoanalytical approach to the text. Name dropping can be useful (for example saying the critic Fred Smith says...) but it's not necessary. Criticisms should be integrated into the text and used after the quote for further explanation and analysis.
    • literary theory. This is literally as easy as saying 'the metaphor' or 'the simile'. They just want clarification that you know that you're studying a novel as opposed to a poetry extract, for example.
    • context. It's independent to each novel but unavoidable in all texts. Learn the history of the period and why the text was written.

    A lot of the marks come from prose and confidence in your discussion though. Honestly it's all about articulation and how well you get your point across. It's not a persuasive essay by any means but if you can challenge the examiner to see your point of view and back it up with sufficient evidence then you are more likely to get higher marks than going for the safe points that everyone else will be going for. Saying that though, don't be completely tenuous in your discussions!

    You need a really good vocabulary. If you're not good with written expression and articulation then memorise a few stock phrases that you know will be unavoidable - such as for context or for explaining a point - that will help you get your grade up.

    Always always always refer back to the question!!! I have read so many essays where the essay is good in prose and content but has no relevance to the question. (I read one the other day about a character called Christophine from Wide Sargasso Sea that my AS class are studying and they were discussing completely the wrong characters!!) Make sure all of your points are relevant and really well explained. At the end of the day your essay is your argument for your interpretation, and though the examiner might not agree with you on your perspective, if they can see where you're coming from and you're substantially evidenced, then you have a greater chance of better grades.

    I have attached a picture that can help with essay structure. To improve just do loads and loads of mocks. As many as you possibly can, to time. If they can get marked by your teacher then great but if not it is just really good practice. Exhaust all options too, so you're prepared for any question that might come up. Learn quotes and critical views for all of the themes, motifs and major characters.

    Hope this was helpful.

    Good luck! Name:  ImageUploadedByStudent Room1462548760.365596.jpg
Views: 210
Size:  33.9 KB


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    (Original post by Clintbarton)
    Great!
    So the wider analysis on the whole novel usually covers all of the AO's. This basically means you have to have

    • clear quotations
    • explanations and analysis. This is really important and marks are lost because there isn't enough in-depth discussion. A really good way to achieve a good mark on this AO is by using the phrase 'the author does this because...' Or 'to create the effect of' and to make sure that that is present in every paragraph.
    • critical analysis. Bringing in alternate readings - such as feminist critics, Marxist critics or a psychoanalytical approach to the text. Name dropping can be useful (for example saying the critic Fred Smith says...) but it's not necessary. Criticisms should be integrated into the text and used after the quote for further explanation and analysis.
    • literary theory. This is literally as easy as saying 'the metaphor' or 'the simile'. They just want clarification that you know that you're studying a novel as opposed to a poetry extract, for example.
    • context. It's independent to each novel but unavoidable in all texts. Learn the history of the period and why the text was written.

    A lot of the marks come from prose and confidence in your discussion though. Honestly it's all about articulation and how well you get your point across. It's not a persuasive essay by any means but if you can challenge the examiner to see your point of view and back it up with sufficient evidence then you are more likely to get higher marks than going for the safe points that everyone else will be going for. Saying that though, don't be completely tenuous in your discussions!

    You need a really good vocabulary. If you're not good with written expression and articulation then memorise a few stock phrases that you know will be unavoidable - such as for context or for explaining a point - that will help you get your grade up.

    Always always always refer back to the question!!! I have read so many essays where the essay is good in prose and content but has no relevance to the question. (I read one the other day about a character called Christophine from Wide Sargasso Sea that my AS class are studying and they were discussing completely the wrong characters!!) Make sure all of your points are relevant and really well explained. At the end of the day your essay is your argument for your interpretation, and though the examiner might not agree with you on your perspective, if they can see where you're coming from and you're substantially evidenced, then you have a greater chance of better grades.

    I have attached a picture that can help with essay structure. To improve just do loads and loads of mocks. As many as you possibly can, to time. If they can get marked by your teacher then great but if not it is just really good practice. Exhaust all options too, so you're prepared for any question that might come up. Learn quotes and critical views for all of the themes, motifs and major characters.

    Hope this was helpful.

    Good luck! Name:  ImageUploadedByStudent Room1462548760.365596.jpg
Views: 210
Size:  33.9 KB


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    You've just broken down everything so clearly for me, I don't think I can thank you enough - you've quite literally saved my exam! This is so, so useful - thank you so very much!! xx
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    (Original post by abcdeffy)
    You've just broken down everything so clearly for me, I don't think I can thank you enough - you've quite literally saved my exam! This is so, so useful - thank you so very much!! xx
    You're very welcome! Go ace those practice papers and memorise the hell out of quotes.

    Good luck!


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