Questions you may be asked
You may get different types of questions for this text depending on your exam board.
Some may have an extract, and you could get asked questions about it:
- What the intentions of certain characters might be,
- Why the given scene is significant
- Exploring a particular theme and it's significance in the extract
Or your question could include many of these. Remember to stay focused on the extract
at all times. It's all very well that you've been hoping and praying for Act 4 Scene 2, but you need to let that rest if you are given a different extract.
evidence. Small soundbites, two or three words. Talk about why you've selected them. Not just because they sound poetic. Why didn't Shakespeare pick some other* words? Why did he choose those specifically? What was his aim in doing so? Did he want to make something clear to the audience at that point?
*easier to understand
Some people prefer these, others loath them. Here you may well have to remember some quotations of your own (if it's closed book) because you can't rely on an extract to deploy your evidence.
The most important thing is to ANSWER THE BLEEDING QUESTION!!!! (which will herein be known as ABQ
You read the question. Gut reaction, yes or no? If you sit on the fence then why? You can subvert the question, but you still need to answer it, which can be difficult when you are claiming that the question itself is based on a false premise*.
Follow your gut reaction with some reasons, this is your plan.
Set out a few key points of why you agree and also why you might disagree**.
Add a couple of key quotations to those points to back them up.
And HEY PRESTO!!! Plan finished.
If you want to continue to write out your plan in more detail because you're comfortable with that, then that's absolutely fine. But you don't have to if you believe that you can develop this idea throughout a paragraph without thinking absolutely everything through first - this saves you time.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO ABQ when you go for the shorter plan though. At the start of every paragraph, and at the end of every paragraph, remind the examiner what the question is. They should be able to tell simply from your answer what you have been asked.
*this is better done at A Level than GCSE, but we're not stopping you from experimenting, just don't get carried away.
**there are two ways of doing this. You can either introduce a limitation
to your point in each paragraph, to give it a balanced
you can have a whole paragraph moderating
your general answer to the question. NOTE: I have used the underlined words carefully, you are not agreeing or disagreeing with yourself at any point, because then your answer reads like a confused squirrel has written it. The aim is to show a level of reasoned judgement in your answer, which is what the examiners will be looking for.