Essay structure

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ameliepohl11!
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Report Thread starter 11 months ago
#1
Hi guys,

I have just finished school and my brother is in year 10. He has just done his mocks and was unhappy with his grade. I am trying to help him get his grade up but I cannot remember everything. I wrote a checklist (see below) is there anything you guys would add? I would really appreciate any feedback because it is so important he gets a pass. Feel free to use the checklist as well if it is any good. I didn't do too bad in English but essay structure comes really naturally to me now after doing 3 essay based subjects for A-level and I struggle to explain things that come quite easily to me.

Grade 5 or above essay checklist (30 marks)

TIMINGS:
3 paragraphs
12 mins per paragraph
About 5 mins each for the intro, plan and conclusion.


4 paragraphs
10 mins per paragraph
About 3/4 mins each for the intro, plan and conclusion.

PLAN: This needs to be quick and take about 5 minutes max. Plan for 3 (Long) or 4 paragraphs. You need to make sure you have at least one point that discusses a theme, a character, the extract and the whole play. Some of these can be combined. E.g. Shakespeare presents ambition through Lady Macbeth's ability to be manipulative. Here you are discussing a theme and a character.

INTRODUCTION: Really quick summary of all the points you decided to talk about in your plan. Shouldn’t really be longer than 2 or 3 sentences.

PARAGRAPHS: Make a point that links to the title of the essay question. All your points are in your plan.
Back it up with evidence in the form of the quote. The quote needs to be embedded. You also need to explain what is happening in the play during the quote. For example who is saying what to whom. E.g. Lady Macbeth said to Macbeth ‘to wear a heart so white’.
Now you need to explain the quote. It would be good to identify language devices. E.g. the adjective white suggests… instead of the word white suggests. If you can, pick a quote that uses a literary device such as ‘look like th’ innocent flower’. Explaining a simile shows a higher level of skill than explaining an adjective. For higher marks, think why did Shakespeare/ the author use that literary device. Now, link back to the question. E.g. Lady Macbeth said to Macbeth ‘to wear a heart so white’. How does this answer the title of the essay question?
If you plan to write 3 long paragraphs, you could perhaps now use another quote that supports your initial point. If you want to write 4 paragraphs that are shorter, it is time to move on.

CONCLUSION:
If you have followed your plan this can be quite easy. Go back to your plan and summarise all the points you made (if not go through the first sentence of each paragraph to get a reminder of your points). You need to link back to the question. If you can, impress the examiner. Tell them something they have not heard before that will make your essay memorable and not like everyone else's.

THINGS TO INCLUDE TO SECURE A GRADE 5:
The list of things below are really important and can push you into the next grade. If you think of any ideas that could be used for one of these points, then it is important to use them. Include the idea and then return to the PETER structure. Try and do one of each of the things listed below in your essay if you can.
LINK TO THE TIME PERIOD OR CONTEXT: E.g. Lady Macbeth is the leader in the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. This shows Lady Macbeth is overthrowing traditional Jacobean gender roles. Then explain how this links back to the question. E.g. For the question, How is ambition presented in the play? This shows Lady Macbeth is so ambitious she is willing to overthrow traditional Jacobean gender roles.
ARGUE AGAINST YOUR POINT: This can be quite challenging but to hit the top bands you need to show you recognise the other side of the argument. E.g for the essay question, How is ambition presented in the play? Try and say something against what the clear argument is. Most kids will say Macbeth is ambitious and you can say this too for a whole paragraph. However, maybe for a second point in a paragraph you could say some members of the audience will think Macbeth is not ambitious because Lady Macbeth has to motivate him. Basically, for at least a few sentences in your essay, argue against what most people are going to be saying. This will make you stand out to the examiner and get them interested.
AUDIENCE: How does what Shakespeare has written or the quote he has used make you feel? What does it make you think? What is Shakespeare trying to make you think by saying that? This is quite hard but will help get you a good grade. E.g. "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it." This made me think Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth to act innocent but be deceptive. I think Shakespeare said this to show how devious Macbeth is going to be. I think this will make the audience feel a sense of anticipation about what Macbeth is going to do. Remember - you should not say ‘I think’.
STRUCTURE: All of this section is quite challenging but this one can be quite easy. Think about where the quote is placed in the play and what that means. You told me the quote ‘Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you Have done to this’ was from the beginning of the play. What does Lady Macbeth saying this at the beginning of the play mean? You can use terms like foreshadowing here.

REMEMBER:
Write a lot about little.
Embed quotes.
Link back to the question.
No tentative wording.
Do not say ‘I think’.
Make yourself stand out to the examiner - don’t say what everyone else is saying.

Dictionary:
Tentative - No words like ‘could show’, ‘might show’ and ‘potentially could explain’. Say ‘this shows’ or ‘this clearly demonstrates’. This shows you are confident in what you are saying.
Embedded - Do not say the quote ‘blah blah blah’ shows. Try to use the quote in a sentence. For example Lady Macbeth said to Macbeth ‘blah blah blah’ and this shows that…
Last edited by ameliepohl11!; 11 months ago
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Zuzuuuu
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#2
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#2
I love you man for writing this
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Zuzuuuu
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#3
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#3
Sorry girl**
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ameliepohl11!
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Zuzuuuu)
I love you man for writing this
haha thank u!
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