The areas I suggest you need to develop to be able to compose a quality formal essay are:-
a) Choosing and following a tested formal strategy.
b) Understanding the components of a critical essay question and being able to break the question down into a sequence you can address in a critical essay.
c) Not being tempted to take a favourite essay - that gained a high mark from your teacher - or indeed any prepared essay answer - and shaping it to fit the question set. If you want to fail that is the clearest guaranteed route I know of. Any marker worth their salt will immediately recognise what you are trying to do.
c2) The point of the critical essay question is to set you a question that tests you understanding of the text. All exam boards are aware of the stress of composing an answer under exam conditions. All exam boards are sensitive to that when marking. What they are looking for are three things:-
i) Do you know the Text.
ii) What are your views regarding the issue raised in the question.
iii) Address the question; shows that you have read the text; it also indicates you have a view regarding the text - and by doing that it is more likely than noy that you are going to pass.
d) Having successfuly addressed a to c and you should pass.
e) Assuming you are looking for the highest possible grade then you need to deal with this. Every exam board has to decide - given a variety of responses on a question - what criteria do they use to distinguish the finest essay from the pass essay from the insufficient to pass essay.
f) Every exam board is looking for a to c but in order to grade one essay from another they look for the quality of these elements - listed below - within every response:-
i) Knowledge and understanding of the text - as well as the application of that knowledge.
ii) The Breadth and depth of the analysis of both the question set and the evidence being presented by you the student.
iii) The quality and the quantity of the evaluation you make. The SQA are on record as saying that in exam conditions they will accept implied evaluation as opposed to formal evaluation. Since you are preparing ahead of the exam I always suggest that you prepare formal evaluation.iv) The visibility of skills weaknesses. Skills weaknesses are expected in the lowest grades. They are not expected in the highest grades. Depending on their number - especially in quality answers - their presence may well reduce the final grade.
Therefore - as I hope you will have realised - there is a great deal to answering the question asked: how do I write a successful critical essay.
I apprepciate that what I have written is a great deal to take in. Therefore I have provided a link to a booklet I have written on the sibject. I write for the Scottish system, however what the SQA have to say on the subject of critical essay writing is in tune with the English Exam Boards. The booklet takes you through all I have said in greater detail with examples of what I have been talking about. The language English Exam Boards may differ but the ideas are essentially the same.
The link to the unit will disappear on Sunday.
Link to File:-
Hope that is of help to you.
The basics are still the same.
1) Read the text. If you do not know the text you really are on hiding to nothing.
2) Hve an opinion about the:-
I. Theme(s) of the work
ii. The Characters
iii. The writer's style - his/her language, imagery, structure etc.
3) Many students ask what are the tips for a question on X work. There are no new questions. It is Character, Theme, Setting, Theme, Style. The questions are just expressed differently. All you need to do is work out what is it they are asking for.
4) All that Boards are looking for is for a student to tell them what it is THEY think about the issue in the question.They are not looking for a PHD response, they just what to know if you have read the text and do you understand the question and what are your views on the question
To be fair it is not too much to ask.
How well you incorporate knowledge of the text, analysis of the text and evaluation of the text into your response will determine what level of mark you receive.
1. Pick a topic (here are very helpful and good topics for informative essays
2. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.
3. Write your thesis statement.
4. Write the body.
5. Write the introduction.
6. Write the conclusion.
7. Add the finishing touches.