comparative prose essays

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fuc_academia
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
ive literally never written a comparative prose essay for a level and im so confused on how to structure it!! How do i do consistent comparatives as well as giving enough coverage on both texts?! My mock is in two weeks and there is no guidance at my school, please help!!
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H.dy
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#2
Report 4 months ago
#2
LONG RESPONSE because I don't wanna see another person have to suffer from a lack of school support.

For me, this is a paper 2 question and my texts are Revolutionary Road (prose) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (drama). I think that if you're able to write an essay on the poetry side of the course (I'm assuming you have one), then the structure is pretty much identical.
25 marks, about an hour to write it so you dedicate up to 10 minutes to plan this response. That can be brain dumping all the relevant quotes you know and finally deciding which ones you'd like to use, or straight up regurgitating the points you've premade on an essay that fits the theme. You will want to use 3 points of comparison, so at least 6 quotes from both texts
Now for the introduction: Arguably the most effective method to use is to first discuss the what the writers wanted to say about the theme, or whatever the question is talking about. For example "[Theme] is a heavily discussed theme throughout [literary era] and Author X and Playwright Y both set out to challenge the impact [theme] has on society, and expose it's lack of requirement in the society they live in". This example is clearly talking about a theme that doesn't sit well with the writers, and one that writers of that period also tried to challenge. It's great if you share this opinion with them as you can use your own opinion to help form an argument. Next you say they do this by presenting the 3 points you want to make and what they are implying by using these points.

Then you begin your comparisons like normal: point always at the beginning, and then the evidence, analysis, context, alternate/critical viewpoints if you have any, then the comparative phrases. Each comparison can take up 2 paragraphs or just one big one if you prefer. You want to have 1 counterpoint, opposing your main argument but you just rinse and repeat the structure.

The conclusion is a recap of what you've written about, so summarise it and you can bring in the context once again, sort of mirroring the beginning of your intro.

Key things to remember are:
-Your intro is always important as it gives the marker an idea as to how intelligent this response is in regard to your understanding of the texts. You wanna show them that without even beginning your argument you know these texts inside out and what the writers wanted to tell their audience about
-Memorising critics comments on the texts and mentioning them is such an easy way to pick up marks, it's as easy as remembering quotes. Just find some suitable ones you can use interchangeably within different essay (i think learn max 3 per text, just make sure they aren't too specific, you wanna be able to use them to fit your argument)
-Remember to hit all the Assessment Objectives as it's so easy to miss things out and you'll end up cursing yourself when you're one mark away from a band 5 response lol
-This is from a emotional standpoint, but try to have some honesty with yourself when writing this essay. Do you think they answer the question fully? Do they make sense or are you going off track? Do you really think this way? Arguing for something you truly believe in and not choosing the easy arguments for convenience is such a powerful thing to consider because you will use more effort to defend your beliefs.
-PLEASE refer back to the statement/question. Too many kids in my class don't realise that all you have to do is literally use the keywords in the statement/question and you've linked it back, giving yourself such free marks (I tend to do this at the end of a paragraph, just stick it right on the end lol)

From one English Lit student to another, good luck w ur mocks and I hope you don't end up cramping your hand after like 15 mins like me lol.
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H.dy
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#3
Report 4 months ago
#3
Also if u want me to read anything you've written I can scrutinise it like a harsh teacher if u send it to me. Only thing I can't help with is letting you know if there are better quotes if we do different texts, but I can still help w everything else
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fuc_academia
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#4
Report Thread starter 4 minutes ago
#4
Oh my god im so sorry I totally forgot id even signed up to this website! Thank you SO much for taking the time to write such a detailed response to my question! You'll be pleased to know I actually got full marks in that mock exam hahahaha so the revision and stress payed off!
I definitely will refer back to this next time we do a prose question as it was really helpful, thanks again!
I'm doing a Faustus mock next week, you don't happen to have anything helpful on that, do you?!?!?? I find the play EXHAUSTING to read AND write about so I'm really not sure how this one will go hahahaha
thank you so much

(Original post by H.dy)
LONG RESPONSE because I don't wanna see another person have to suffer from a lack of school support.

For me, this is a paper 2 question and my texts are Revolutionary Road (prose) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (drama). I think that if you're able to write an essay on the poetry side of the course (I'm assuming you have one), then the structure is pretty much identical.
25 marks, about an hour to write it so you dedicate up to 10 minutes to plan this response. That can be brain dumping all the relevant quotes you know and finally deciding which ones you'd like to use, or straight up regurgitating the points you've premade on an essay that fits the theme. You will want to use 3 points of comparison, so at least 6 quotes from both texts
Now for the introduction: Arguably the most effective method to use is to first discuss the what the writers wanted to say about the theme, or whatever the question is talking about. For example "[Theme] is a heavily discussed theme throughout [literary era] and Author X and Playwright Y both set out to challenge the impact [theme] has on society, and expose it's lack of requirement in the society they live in". This example is clearly talking about a theme that doesn't sit well with the writers, and one that writers of that period also tried to challenge. It's great if you share this opinion with them as you can use your own opinion to help form an argument. Next you say they do this by presenting the 3 points you want to make and what they are implying by using these points.

Then you begin your comparisons like normal: point always at the beginning, and then the evidence, analysis, context, alternate/critical viewpoints if you have any, then the comparative phrases. Each comparison can take up 2 paragraphs or just one big one if you prefer. You want to have 1 counterpoint, opposing your main argument but you just rinse and repeat the structure.

The conclusion is a recap of what you've written about, so summarise it and you can bring in the context once again, sort of mirroring the beginning of your intro.

Key things to remember are:
-Your intro is always important as it gives the marker an idea as to how intelligent this response is in regard to your understanding of the texts. You wanna show them that without even beginning your argument you know these texts inside out and what the writers wanted to tell their audience about
-Memorising critics comments on the texts and mentioning them is such an easy way to pick up marks, it's as easy as remembering quotes. Just find some suitable ones you can use interchangeably within different essay (i think learn max 3 per text, just make sure they aren't too specific, you wanna be able to use them to fit your argument)
-Remember to hit all the Assessment Objectives as it's so easy to miss things out and you'll end up cursing yourself when you're one mark away from a band 5 response lol
-This is from a emotional standpoint, but try to have some honesty with yourself when writing this essay. Do you think they answer the question fully? Do they make sense or are you going off track? Do you really think this way? Arguing for something you truly believe in and not choosing the easy arguments for convenience is such a powerful thing to consider because you will use more effort to defend your beliefs.
-PLEASE refer back to the statement/question. Too many kids in my class don't realise that all you have to do is literally use the keywords in the statement/question and you've linked it back, giving yourself such free marks (I tend to do this at the end of a paragraph, just stick it right on the end lol)

From one English Lit student to another, good luck w ur mocks and I hope you don't end up cramping your hand after like 15 mins like me lol.
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