How to get my GCSE inspector calls essay to a grade 9?

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Louisexchandler
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Hey there I had ago at another essay and would like some feedback on the unfinished version (I am aware that I would need to write more in the exam). I am having a panic about English lit and would like some help in raising my essay to the top grades. I am aware that is not the best out there. Thank you so much for any help given.


On a superficial level, Priestley constructs Mrs Birling (the embodiment of the Edwardian elite in 1912) as fleckless and irresponsible. Through this, Priestley’s character of Mrs Birling is central to symbolising the lack of responsibility held by the upper class to the lower class. Perhaps, on a more profound level, Priestley manufactured Mrs Birling as a character to be sympathised with. Capitalism is an ideology of nature to Mrs Birling (or even, arguably the human race itself) and therefore an element she cannot alter. She is so undoctrined with the principles of capitalism that she is unable to abandon the conservative views which she evidently holds. Though this isn’t justifiable of her behaviour, particulatly in abandoning Eva Smith, it allows the audience to see that maybe Mrs Birling too is a victim of society.

Priestly uses structure and form to convey the importance of wealth to Mrs Birling. In the exposition, the house of the Birlings is described as ‘fairly large’ but ‘not cosy and homelike’ which suggests the significance of wealth to Mrs Birling and conveys her upper class societal status. The fact that Priestly mentions this first, conveys the priorities of the upper class. Furthermore, the fact that it is not ‘cosy and homelike’ conveys that all is not well and hints at the attempts to conceal certain elements of their family life. Priestly is allowing the audience to understand how Mrs Birling (a member of the upper class) along with the rest of the Birlings are likely to treat those of lower class.

Sybil Birling, having been off stage with Sheila since the celebratory dinner, is unaware of the unfolding events regarding the inspectors interrogation. In act 2, her dramatic entrance (typical in a well made play) aids in portraying her ignorance to sense the mood. She walks in ‘briskly and self confidently, quite out of key’. Although, Priestly uses this stage direction to convey her failure to sense the atmosphere in this scene, it also perhaps reflects her failure to sense the mood of family life for example, she is unable to see Erics drinking problem or take any responsibility for the death of Eva Smith. Another ignorance. In the eyes of Mrs Birling, her only responsibility is maintaining her family’s social standing without regard to the needs of general society.
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WWEKANE
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Hi im currently in year 11 and I think this is amazing but i guess my opinion wont really help as im a grade 4 student. I just wanted some advice of you as im self taught as my teacher doesn't appear to half my lessons and I get no advice at school. When in a lit exam do you need to analyse language or is it more about telling what happened in the story and how it presents a character. My teacher(when he decides to appear) said that you need to analyse language but his format of analysing is like that of a english language paper so I was just wondering what do I do to improve. Less remembering statements and more knowing the story? Thanks would mean so much if you could help. Hope you get your nine
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Louisexchandler
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(Original post by WWEKANE)
Hi im currently in year 11 and I think this is amazing but i guess my opinion wont really help as im a grade 4 student. I just wanted some advice of you as im self taught as my teacher doesn't appear to half my lessons and I get no advice at school. When in a lit exam do you need to analyse language or is it more about telling what happened in the story and how it presents a character. My teacher(when he decides to appear) said that you need to analyse language but his format of analysing is like that of a english language paper so I was just wondering what do I do to improve. Less remembering statements and more knowing the story? Thanks would mean so much if you could help. Hope you get your nine
Hey
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry your teacher is bad but hope some of this information helps

As far as I am aware in the English exam you are marked on:
analysis of context (6 marks)
To get the highest marks you should link it fluently
point and quotes (12 marks)
analysis - including Priestleys intentions (12 marks)

I am advised to focus on analysing form and structure for example the use of stage directions in a well made play. These are less likely to be commented on by weaker candidates and give you the edge. Furthermore, I have also been advised to follow a line of hypothesis; this basically just means that you follow a line of argument. You do need to know the story so you can mention the different acts and can comment on events chronologically.

Good luck
Let me know if you need any further help.
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WWEKANE
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Thank you ever so much really needed this. God bless
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WWEKANE
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May I ask which websites/books are good to use. Your points are amazing? We have 6 weeks and im so scared
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WWEKANE
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ignore question mark sorry
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eeeli
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Your essay is good, don't be so hard on yourself! Your points and contextual analysis about Mrs Birling are great. However you should definitely add some quotes that Mrs Birling actually says to back up each of the points you make further, with language techniques and their effect on an audience. And as opposed to arranging paragraphs by technique, try arranging them by thesis statement. Make a concise point about Mrs Birling, and use textual references to back it up. Choose quotes carefully - say a lot about a little, and make sure there are language techniques you can discuss. Your vocabulary is really nice, but try not to go too ambitious and complicated with your language as it starts to detract from what you are saying - there's not many marks available for vocabulary anyway. I think there are a few words which you have got mixed up - did you mean feckless instead of fleckless, and indoctrinated instead of undoctrined? Writing in this very sophisticated way isn't a bad thing, just make sure you can do it quickly, accurately, and that it doesn't hinder your meaning. One (slightly picky I know) thing is that you've sometimes misspelled the writer's name as Priestly; it should be Priestley. In terms of writing more, make sure you extend your paragraphs with more analysis as opposed to writing more short paragraphs. I hope this doesn't come off as harsh, it's all meant constructively and I'm not trying to put you down at all.
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eeeli
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(Original post by WWEKANE)
Hi im currently in year 11 and I think this is amazing but i guess my opinion wont really help as im a grade 4 student. I just wanted some advice of you as im self taught as my teacher doesn't appear to half my lessons and I get no advice at school. When in a lit exam do you need to analyse language or is it more about telling what happened in the story and how it presents a character. My teacher(when he decides to appear) said that you need to analyse language but his format of analysing is like that of a english language paper so I was just wondering what do I do to improve. Less remembering statements and more knowing the story? Thanks would mean so much if you could help. Hope you get your nine
Analysing language is the most important - don't retell the story!! It is pretty similar to language papers, except you can add context. (Using An Inspector Calls as an example here) Find out about things like social class, roles of women etc. in the time frame the book is set in, and also find out about Priestley's political views and why he wrote the play. Work that into your answers. You want to make a strong point about a character, find quotes to back it up, explain the effects of the techniques in the quote on an audience/reader, and link it to context. It helps to know the story but the exam board don't want you to just retell it in the exam, they want analysis. If events have an effect on a character's presentation, by all means explain that, but don't solely focus your essay on what happens in the story as it isn't seen as analytical by exam markers so won't get you marks.
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Emmaaa02
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(Original post by WWEKANE)
May I ask which websites/books are good to use. Your points are amazing? We have 6 weeks and im so scared
We have 9 weeks??
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hanna786
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honestly your essay is great and im sure you'll be hitting an 8/9 grade as im a grade 6 student i think your writing is at a very good standard

what is the question?is it on the whole play or is it for a specific character?

my teacher usually advices me to look deeper into the quote e.g- Mr Birling dehumanises the workers as he clearly states the workers are 'cheap labour'. the word 'cheap' in specific shows Mr Birling sees the workers as an object...

anyways i hope this helps you, im currently preparing for GCSE's and we are have just finished covering Mr Birling and now we are starting to cover Mrs Birling.
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Nathan 04
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Needs to be a mixture of both, this is for people who haven't sat there exams yet; provide a good starting sentence that is clear to the purpose of your point/paragraph. Use helpful quotes that can suggest 3 ideas from each with context from the story line. Never use more than 2 or 3 per paragraph and relate them to each other. Quality not quantity will get you marks and always link your ideas together. Last is audience. Talk about time context and how it would affect the society of that period and perhaps ours today.Year 10 hope one found helpful.
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