Evans Abor
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#1
How do you approach such a question?


‘Dickinson uses her poetry to explore death and dying.’

How far, and in what ways, do you agree with this comment? You should refer to three poems in your answer.
0
reply
Hannah020602
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 months ago
#2
I don't know what collection you are doing or details but I will give you (from an A* English lit student) my method for approaching this question.

Firstly, pick your poems. It's useful to know the collection you're studying well so that in an exam situation you can quickly come up with this. For me I ended up having around six poems I knew really well that could be applied to many different questions.

Whilst picking your poems you want to come up with a thesis for your essay. This is essentially a statement you are trying to prove throughout your essay with multiple points (I would usually aim for around three detailed points) and for me was often general to literature, perhaps of the era of the poet, that I then used the poetry to back up. For example with the question you could say "Literature is often used to explore the fascination and fear of death" and then in your essay you would go on to say why Dickinson's poetry does this with evidence.

For your essay I would say base it off a PEEL structure, no one is ever too big for PEEL. You don't necessarily want to make your essay sound methodical and boring but to have it in the back of your mind is never a bad thing. I would also have a little checklist in my head of things I wanted to include in my essay, e.g: context, close textual analysis, literary terminology, critical opinions, wider reading, and alternative interpretations. I may have added a few other things to this list but it's nearly been a year now so I would have a look at the mark scheme for your board and take things from there.

In regards to comparing three poems, it can definitely be a lot to handle, and the best advice I can give there is to practice, it gets easier the more essays you do.

Your introduction should be punchy, introducing your thesis as a powerful statement sets your intentions for your essay, and you should link back to this statement in the 'link' part of your paragraphs. The same goes for your conclusion, repeat that statement again along with a précis of the points you have made. Neither of these paragraphs need to be particularly long. Also, I used to like to include a bit of wider reading in my opening paragraph, I would, for example in an essay where I was arguing the importance of poetry to demonstrate the strength of love, quote Jane Austen's Darcy: "Poetry is the food of love" and then explained what Austen could be intending through this statement and how it linked to the poems from the question. Having a couple of vague statements like "Poetry is the food of love" is very useful, the same goes for critical opinions.

So there you have it, I apologise for the length but this is my advice on essay writing for English Lit, this would pretty regularly get me 23/24 out of 25 so I believe it to be steadfast.

Hope it helps!
Last edited by Hannah020602; 3 months ago
1
reply
Evans Abor
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#3
(Original post by Hannah020602)
I don't know what collection you are doing or details but I will give you (from an A* English lit student) my method for approaching this question.

Firstly, pick your poems. It's useful to know the collection you're studying well so that in an exam situation you can quickly come up with this. For me I ended up having around six poems I knew really well that could be applied to many different questions.

Whilst picking your poems you want to come up with a thesis for your essay. This is essentially a statement you are trying to prove throughout your essay with multiple points (I would usually aim for around three detailed points) and for me was often general to literature, perhaps of the era of the poet, that I then used the poetry to back up. For example with the question you could say "Literature is often used to explore the fascination and fear of death" and then in your essay you would go on to say why Dickinson's poetry does this with evidence.

For your essay I would say base it off a PEEL structure, no one is ever too big for PEEL. You don't necessarily want to make your essay sound methodical and boring but to have it in the back of your mind is never a bad thing. I would also have a little checklist in my head of things I wanted to include in my essay, e.g: context, close textual analysis, literary terminology, critical opinions, wider reading, and alternative interpretations. I may have added a few other things to this list but it's nearly been a year now so I would have a look at the mark scheme for your board and take things from there.

In regards to comparing three poems, it can definitely be a lot to handle, and the best advice I can give there is to practice, it gets easier the more essays you do.

Your introduction should be punchy, introducing your thesis as a powerful statement sets your intentions for your essay, and you should link back to this statement in the 'link' part of your paragraphs. The same goes for your conclusion, repeat that statement again along with a précis of the points you have made. Neither of these paragraphs need to be particularly long. Also, I used to like to include a bit of wider reading in my opening paragraph, I would, for example in an essay where I was arguing the importance of poetry to demonstrate the strength of love, quote Jane Austen's Darcy: "Poetry is the food of love" and then explained what Austen could be intending through this statement and how it linked to the poems from the question. Having a couple of vague statements like "Poetry is the food of love" is very useful, the same goes for critical opinions.

So there you have it, I apologise for the length but this is my advice on essay writing for English Lit, this would pretty regularly get me 23/24 out of 25 so I believe it to be steadfast.

Hope it helps!
Thanks, Hannah!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How do you prefer to get careers advice?

I like to speak to my friends and family (23)
10.27%
I like to do my own research online using careers specific websites (133)
59.38%
I like speaking to the careers advisors at school, college or uni (30)
13.39%
I prefer to listen watch videos or listen to podcasts of people in my chosen career (33)
14.73%
Something else (let us know in the thread) (5)
2.23%

Watched Threads

View All