spacingoutagainx
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heyy, i was wondering if anyone can explain the difference between a level essay writing and gcse essay writing. also, is there anything i can before september in order to improve my essay writing? i plan on doing history and english literature, i got a 6 in literature and 5 in history (although i do think this was under predicted).

any tips and advice would be really helpful, thank you
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Gabbalicious
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I do A-Level English Lit, Maths, and French. Two of them are essay-writing subjects.

I'd say the biggest difference I noticed was that the essays get much less formulaic, and much more thesis-like. There's a much bigger focus on your understanding of, not just the text, but the author, the context it was written in, etc.

Fear not - like most things, it is a skill that you can level up with enough time and patience. Your teachers will make sure to take it slow and ease you into the A-Level style of writing.
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spacingoutagainx
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(Original post by Gabbalicious)
I do A-Level English Lit, Maths, and French. Two of them are essay-writing subjects.

I'd say the biggest difference I noticed was that the essays get much less formulaic, and much more thesis-like. There's a much bigger focus on your understanding of, not just the text, but the author, the context it was written in, etc.

Fear not - like most things, it is a skill that you can level up with enough time and patience. Your teachers will make sure to take it slow and ease you into the A-Level style of writing.
ohh okay, that’s helpful. is there anything i can do right now to plan for it? i am intending on improving my essay writing before the 7th
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Gabbalicious
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If you know what texts you'll be looking at next year, start looking at those. You don't have to read them (otherwise you'll be bored when you do that in class), but basic knowledge of what the text is about will help you a lot down the line.

Personally I've found that practice makes perfect with improving essay writing. Pick a theme, character, or topic from a text you've studied and write in timed conditions, taking time to plan and keeping the different AO's and marking criteria in mind. If your focus is less on writing and more on idea-generating, then simply planning the essay will suffice.

This is likely stuff you've already done tons of for your GCSE preparation, and that's for a good reason. It truly does help.

And for an added challenge, avoid making your essays formulaic (if you think they are anyway). Of course, your essays need to have a logical structure that flows throughout, but see how much you can stray away from that style and tend more towards writing the thesis-like essays you'll become accustomed to soon.

Apologies if any of this advice sounded ineffective or convoluted - I'm a sixth form student too so I'm still figuring this all out myself lol. Try and find a balance of what is efficient and also what feels best for you.
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spacingoutagainx
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(Original post by Gabbalicious)
If you know what texts you'll be looking at next year, start looking at those. You don't have to read them (otherwise you'll be bored when you do that in class), but basic knowledge of what the text is about will help you a lot down the line.

Personally I've found that practice makes perfect with improving essay writing. Pick a theme, character, or topic from a text you've studied and write in timed conditions, taking time to plan and keeping the different AO's and marking criteria in mind. If your focus is less on writing and more on idea-generating, then simply planning the essay will suffice.

This is likely stuff you've already done tons of for your GCSE preparation, and that's for a good reason. It truly does help.

And for an added challenge, avoid making your essays formulaic (if you think they are anyway). Of course, your essays need to have a logical structure that flows throughout, but see how much you can stray away from that style and tend more towards writing the thesis-like essays you'll become accustomed to soon.

Apologies if any of this advice sounded ineffective or convoluted - I'm a sixth form student too so I'm still figuring this all out myself lol. Try and find a balance of what is efficient and also what feels best for you.
i asked my teacher about that, she recommended reading other works by the authors we’re going to be looking at.

before i go back, i intend on having some essay plans in mind and through youtube videos, an idea on how to improve my general essay writing.

what do you mean by making my essays formulaic?
what are thesis-like essays?

noo, don’t worry. i’m finding this all helpful, thank you so much!
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Gabbalicious
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By formulaic, I'm referring to essays where perhaps you were given sentence starters or writing frames to use consistently in all of your essays. This may or may not apply to you, depending on how you were taught to write essays. For example, perhaps you were taught to put any context at the end of the paragraph only, or strictly talk about the form of a poem in the last paragraph only.

Frames and sentence starters are good starting points, but the best essays seem to diverge from this. Personally I've found that making my essays less formulaic allows me to demonstrate understanding of the text much easier, without restricting myself.

As for 'thesis-like' essays, I mean to be critical and evaluative in your essays.

For example, if you were asked to write an essay about the theme of power and betrayal in Macbeth, you'd include the obvious stuff (Gunpowder Plot, Divine Right of Kings, etc.)

But to make your essay thesis-like, you'd want to discuss how that particular theme plays out in the text, how it affects the story and characters, and the writer's intention with that theme. To top it off, evaluate how effectively the writer incorporated said theme, and the effect it has on the reader and the text as a complete whole.

It's also good to evaluate the chosen medium of the text (play, novella, poem) and how that medium plays a part in the writer's intentions.

Once you start taking these into account in your writing, you should see steady improvements.
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