chimichanga22
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Hi year 13 student here and was wondering if anyone has any tips for writing/structuring A-A* grade essays for the film essay in particular... even a checklist of everything that needs to be included to reach top marks would be useful. Just have noooo idea what they want from me and always get it wrong thanks !
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by chimichanga22)
Hi year 13 student here and was wondering if anyone has any tips for writing/structuring A-A* grade essays for the film essay in particular... even a checklist of everything that needs to be included to reach top marks would be useful. Just have noooo idea what they want from me and always get it wrong thanks !
I once replied to a similar post to yours - I've copied my reply below. The reference is specifically to La Haine but you can probably work your way around that. You'll find that whatever the film is that you're studying there are only so many themes they can ask you about; just look at old papers or ask your teacher. If you'd like any more specific advice, just re-post on this thread as I'm sure that this is a topic that other people will find useful.

Firstly, make sure you know La Haine really, really well. Re-watch the film as part of your revision.

Then re-read all your notes and all your essays on La Haine as part of your revision.

Most essay titles for La Haine will come under one of three categories, so you could organise your ideas along these lines:

- Characterisation and relationships, including how people/relationships develop through the film
- Racism, social exclusion and other social issues (eg. family, la banlieue...)
- Film techniques

An important thing to remember is to make sure you respect the required essay length. If you write too little, your essay will not be detailed enough; if you write too much, the examiners will "lose" the last part of your essay. So practise writing essays that are of the correct length!

Make sure that you address the question and don't just tell the story. The examiners are after a) analysis and b) your personal response. They know the film, you don't need to tell them what happens.

Remember that planning your essay is vital preparation, and that your essay needs to have a concise introduction, then have a clear progression of ideas that culminate in your conclusion. One way of revising this is to do lots of essay plans for La Haine titles that you can find on the internet: write out your introductions and conclusions, as these tend to be the hardest parts, and do the body of your essay as a series of bullet points.

And, finally, make sure you know the relevant vocabulary and that you can conjugate the irregular verbs you are most likely to need (such as inclure, promouvoir, boire, s'attendre à...). Accuracy is also important in this essay, so don't neglect basics like verb/subject agreements, adjectival agreements, correct use of bien / bon, mieux / meilleur etc. Have a look through the essays you've already written and analyse where you make mistakes; then try and do something about it!
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