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    I've recently been completing the 30 mark power and conflict poetry comparison question but after numerous attempts and numerous mock questions my teacher has marked I have concluded I cannot get more than 22. I usually get around 19-22 but am aiming for an 8, so will probably need 24-25. Does anyone have a definite structure that I know if I can replicate perfectly in the exam it can almost guarantee me the 30 marks. Using PEEL doesn't usually work, I need to talk about tone, context, structure, form, intentions and constructs. Does anyone have a structure that implements all this and more? I don't mind if it has a ridiculous acronym like TCSFICCC, I just need one that covers everything!

    Thanks!
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    i always apply this for my poetry comparisons:
    first i mention what two poem is about and that the poet uses a variety of language and structure techniques
    then i write about structure and language in separate paragraphs
    finally in conclusion i conclude that both writers effect
    i usually get level 5 with this structure
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    s.m30 - unfortunately literature cannot be reduced to a mathematical formula. Remember that scene in "Dead Poets' Society" when Robin Williams gets the boys to rip up their text books because a so-called scholar attempts to 'structure' what a poem is? That's your problem. I'd suggest that you are so focused on finding the perfect formula/structure that will work that you are scoring average marks, rather than learning your texts thoroughly, understanding them, and being able to apply that knowledge to any question that arises.

    Here are some points that might help:

    (1) know the texts really well. If you can learn the poems off by heart, all the better. If not, learn the key quotes.
    (2) understand the mechanics of how a poem works - the meter, the rhyme scheme, the devices the poet uses. If you want to get some extra marks, read some additional texts or read up on that poet and get a sense of whether the text is typical or atypical of the work they write. For example - Ted Hughes writes a lot about nature and animals, his 'birthday letters" collection which dealt with his first marriage and was very personal was therefore a departure from his earlier work.
    (3) use the correct terminology - e.g. know the difference between a simile and a metaphor. Pay attention to word choice and why a word sounds a particular way. What effect is the writer trying to produce?
    (4) understand the overarching themes of the work.

    In critiquing two works, you will need to compare and contrast. A very simple structure that always works is this:

    Intro: here is the question, and here are the key issues at stake. I'll consider these questions in relation to poem A (by someone) and poem B (by someone else).

    first para: introductory sentence which sets out what the para will cover.
    for example: "Both poems are spoken directly to a third person. In the case of Poem A, the poet addresses his wife. this can be seen when (quote). In the case of poem B, the poet addresses an unseen presence, which we can guess may be a ghost. (quote).
    (so we have drawn a parallel here. Perhaps we also need to make a distinction?)
    In poem A, because we have a clear image of the poet's wife, we feel a level of intimacy with her (quote). Whereas, with poem B - we have a more insubstantial presence (quote) which means we feel more detached because we do not perceive the addressee to be a real person.

    second para: the poems can also be seen to mirror one another in the way they deal with the theme of lost love. (and so, again you will offer quotes- comparisons and contrasts).

    Then you will reach a conclusion, summing up your arguments.

    Things you can do to raise your game:
    - learn the quotes that will back up your argument. this means learning the material thoroughly. There are no short cuts. You need to learn it like an actor learns their lines. This means you will always have a suitable quote to draw on. Candidates fall down because they learn 5 or 6 quotes and these quotes do not demonstrate their argument properly.

    - construct a good argument. say what the poems have in common (likely to be big stuff like themes) and also how they differ (which will be the finer detail - who is speaking, how they feel, how it is expressed). Do not give opinions unless you have evidence (quotes) to back these up.

    - use good linking words: 'In contrast", "By comparison", "However,"/ "Likewise", "Similarly", "The poet also uses this technique".

    - expand the argument. it is easy for a candidate to repeat what the teacher has told them: "Philip Larkin uses the metaphor of high windows in the poem, which evoke a church." Show that you are capable of more thought:
    "Philip Larkin uses the image of high windows in the poem, which evoke a church. The image produces the effect that we, the reader, feel dwarfed by the windows, replicating a feeling of awe that one might feel when entering a church."
    You have thought through why the poet has used the image and how it makes the reader feel. remember, literature is not painting by numbers, it is meant to stir the emotions, the thoughts. be sensitive to this. Good luck
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    (Original post by LiyoS)
    s.m30 - unfortunately literature cannot be reduced to a mathematical formula. Remember that scene in "Dead Poets' Society" when Robin Williams gets the boys to rip up their text books because a so-called scholar attempts to 'structure' what a poem is? That's your problem. I'd suggest that you are so focused on finding the perfect formula/structure that will work that you are scoring average marks, rather than learning your texts thoroughly, understanding them, and being able to apply that knowledge to any question that arises.

    Here are some points that might help:

    (1) know the texts really well. If you can learn the poems off by heart, all the better. If not, learn the key quotes.
    (2) understand the mechanics of how a poem works - the meter, the rhyme scheme, the devices the poet uses. If you want to get some extra marks, read some additional texts or read up on that poet and get a sense of whether the text is typical or atypical of the work they write. For example - Ted Hughes writes a lot about nature and animals, his 'birthday letters" collection which dealt with his first marriage and was very personal was therefore a departure from his earlier work.
    (3) use the correct terminology - e.g. know the difference between a simile and a metaphor. Pay attention to word choice and why a word sounds a particular way. What effect is the writer trying to produce?
    (4) understand the overarching themes of the work.

    In critiquing two works, you will need to compare and contrast. A very simple structure that always works is this:

    Intro: here is the question, and here are the key issues at stake. I'll consider these questions in relation to poem A (by someone) and poem B (by someone else).

    first para: introductory sentence which sets out what the para will cover.
    for example: "Both poems are spoken directly to a third person. In the case of Poem A, the poet addresses his wife. this can be seen when (quote). In the case of poem B, the poet addresses an unseen presence, which we can guess may be a ghost. (quote).
    (so we have drawn a parallel here. Perhaps we also need to make a distinction?)
    In poem A, because we have a clear image of the poet's wife, we feel a level of intimacy with her (quote). Whereas, with poem B - we have a more insubstantial presence (quote) which means we feel more detached because we do not perceive the addressee to be a real person.

    second para: the poems can also be seen to mirror one another in the way they deal with the theme of lost love. (and so, again you will offer quotes- comparisons and contrasts).

    Then you will reach a conclusion, summing up your arguments.

    Things you can do to raise your game:
    - learn the quotes that will back up your argument. this means learning the material thoroughly. There are no short cuts. You need to learn it like an actor learns their lines. This means you will always have a suitable quote to draw on. Candidates fall down because they learn 5 or 6 quotes and these quotes do not demonstrate their argument properly.

    - construct a good argument. say what the poems have in common (likely to be big stuff like themes) and also how they differ (which will be the finer detail - who is speaking, how they feel, how it is expressed). Do not give opinions unless you have evidence (quotes) to back these up.

    - use good linking words: 'In contrast", "By comparison", "However,"/ "Likewise", "Similarly", "The poet also uses this technique".

    - expand the argument. it is easy for a candidate to repeat what the teacher has told them: "Philip Larkin uses the metaphor of high windows in the poem, which evoke a church." Show that you are capable of more thought:
    "Philip Larkin uses the image of high windows in the poem, which evoke a church. The image produces the effect that we, the reader, feel dwarfed by the windows, replicating a feeling of awe that one might feel when entering a church."
    You have thought through why the poet has used the image and how it makes the reader feel. remember, literature is not painting by numbers, it is meant to stir the emotions, the thoughts. be sensitive to this. Good luck

    Thanks! Will this structure enable me to get a grade 8/9? I'm currently working at a 6/7 and need to improve on that drastically!
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    I do not use PEEL however it will acomodate your needs - indeed any formal critical essay structure will do so.
    To answer on structure and language - and ant other feature - each of those is a new P. For example if you want to discuss structure then you create a new P statement which contains the points you want to make. Of, course you will need an E - i.e. your quote - and in your second E will be your analysis of what it is you want to discuss about the structure.

    The format will accomdate any of your analytical ideas of the text - be that theme based or technical based like language. Each point you want to talk about becomes your new P - followed by an E E L

    Hope that helps.
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    i make sustit grids for my poems:
    s- subject matter/context
    u- unusual language features (it can be any language feature tbh)
    s- structure features
    t- themes
    i- imagery (a bit like language, not always necessary)
    t- tone (effect on reader/mood)
 
 
 
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