National 5 english critical essay confusion.

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scotland44
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I am doing To kill a mockingbird and in my prelims i was lucky and i predicted the question and memorized a practise essay i wrote. Now how am I meant to prepare if i dont even know the question. There are loads of quotes about setting that i couldnt use in a character question and loads of quotes about character i couldnt use in a setting question. How can i memorise all these quotes. Also each year for prose there has been intertesing, realistic, in conflict and memorable character. Could i take a risk and predict its character sympthy question ? thanks
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username3779536
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Hey!
I'm doing a critical essay on a different book but I can see where you are coming from. As far as questions go, I'd suggest writing a few essays for a variation of a character question, keep the introduction simple and similar, the points in the same structure etc. Do the same for key incidents and theme questions etc. As some may say, you can never do enough practise essays.
I've been given a book to help study with, so I stuck postits on pages with a good quote, I'd keep a solid number of quotes - but not too many. Trying to memorise too many would simply leave your head spinning and could cause you to forget more, pick a solid few - perhaps 5-7.
Predicting questions can be risky so I'd simply suggest creating a skeleton essay plan that you could adapt to suit certain questions.
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scotland44
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(Original post by WestDragon)
Hey!
I'm doing a critical essay on a different book but I can see where you are coming from. As far as questions go, I'd suggest writing a few essays for a variation of a character question, keep the introduction simple and similar, the points in the same structure etc. Do the same for key incidents and theme questions etc. As some may say, you can never do enough practise essays.
I've been given a book to help study with, so I stuck postits on pages with a good quote, I'd keep a solid number of quotes - but not too many. Trying to memorise too many would simply leave your head spinning and could cause you to forget more, pick a solid few - perhaps 5-7.
Predicting questions can be risky so I'd simply suggest creating a skeleton essay plan that you could adapt to suit certain questions.
Thanks so much. Do you have any tips on creating the skeleton essay plan and what do you mean by that? I have wrote an essay on character sympathy and that is all
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username3779536
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(Original post by scotland44)
Thanks so much. Do you have any tips on creating the skeleton essay plan and what do you mean by that? I have wrote an essay on character sympathy and that is all
Well, for my essay plan, I mainly stick to analysing examples of three techniques - characterisation, development of ideas and the exploration of themes. Having this as a general basis allows me to expand dependent on the question. For example if it was a sympathy question I'd select the quotes of the character in question, theme is quite general throughout the book and can help support my ideas, along with the ideas. By leaving this quite open and having a good number of quotes, this could be tweaked for a conflict question etc. I also have a backup couple of techniques, such as key incident and setting.

For my basic plan on a word document, I have an introduction - topic sentence can be edited, basic summary and techniques mentioned.
This is followed by my three paragraphs and a space for a conclusion paragraph.

This is the method that works for me, of course it may be slightly different for you, with the different novel but the idea should stay the same.
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ROC10
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(Original post by scotland44)
I am doing To kill a mockingbird and in my prelims i was lucky and i predicted the question and memorized a practise essay i wrote. Now how am I meant to prepare if i dont even know the question. There are loads of quotes about setting that i couldnt use in a character question and loads of quotes about character i couldnt use in a setting question. How can i memorise all these quotes. Also each year for prose there has been intertesing, realistic, in conflict and memorable character. Could i take a risk and predict its character sympthy question ? thanks
I also did TKMB for my N5 English (four years ago now!) and I always found that the bildungsroman aspect was often a good focus for essays (i.e. the development of Scout's character throughout). I remember writing a very good practise essay on that topic and the teacher liked it as very few people had successfully written an essay on that side of it. I really enjoyed studying TKMB and it covers so many themes and ideas so you're usually pretty well-covered for any question. Just make sure you know the novel well!

Hope this helps!
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