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English Literature A Level Shakespeare essay help!

Hey! I do Othello for English Literature AQA A level but the structure is driving me up the wall. How much should you write about the extract? How should you divide between the extract and the rest of the play? Do you compare between the extract and wider play in each paragraph or do a set amount on each? How many quotes should you pull from the extract? How many quotes should you remember for the exam? What do you put in the introduction? Sorry for the frantic questioning, I've restarted this essay twice over and cried that many times too lol, any help would be appreciated!!!
Reply 1
Original post by Rach2712
Hey! I do Othello for English Literature AQA A level but the structure is driving me up the wall. How much should you write about the extract? How should you divide between the extract and the rest of the play? Do you compare between the extract and wider play in each paragraph or do a set amount on each? How many quotes should you pull from the extract? How many quotes should you remember for the exam? What do you put in the introduction? Sorry for the frantic questioning, I've restarted this essay twice over and cried that many times too lol, any help would be appreciated!!!


The intro should talk about what happens before said extract , during , and then after as a result .

In your main body paragraphs, focus mainly on the extract provided , drawing similarities or differences (any other links ) to the wider text where relevant . This should of course be backed up by quotes .
I wouldn’t worry too much about meeting a quota for having a certain number of quotes as your essay will not flow naturally, just don’t overdo it . I’d be happy to give you feedback as someone who achieved an A*
Original post by Rach2712
Hey! I do Othello for English Literature AQA A level but the structure is driving me up the wall. How much should you write about the extract? How should you divide between the extract and the rest of the play? Do you compare between the extract and wider play in each paragraph or do a set amount on each? How many quotes should you pull from the extract? How many quotes should you remember for the exam? What do you put in the introduction? Sorry for the frantic questioning, I've restarted this essay twice over and cried that many times too lol, any help would be appreciated!!!


Here are some possibilities that I would suggest you consider. I had the same thoughts during my time studying A Level Literature too and eventually got an A*.

As a general rule, your first paragraph should ideally always be about the given extract.

1) Introduction, paragraph about extract 1, paragraph about extract 2, paragraph about rest of play 1, paragraph about rest of play 2 and conclusion.

The above structure is good because you get to explore the extract in depth as well as equally exploring other parts in the play in depth too.

2) Introduction, paragraph about extract 1, paragraph about extract 2, paragraph about extract 3, paragraph about extract 4 and conclusion.

The above structure may seem all one sided at first, but for each paragraph you would also compare it to elsewhere in the play too. This applies to the first structure as well.

So, I would recommend the below structure:
1) Paragraph about extract (main quote from extract and second quote from elsewhere in the play to compare).

2) Same as the above.

3) Paragraph about elsewhere in the play (main quote first and then another quote to compare)

4) Same as the above.

I hope this helps!
Reply 3
Original post by Rach2712
Hey! I do Othello for English Literature AQA A level but the structure is driving me up the wall. How much should you write about the extract? How should you divide between the extract and the rest of the play? Do you compare between the extract and wider play in each paragraph or do a set amount on each? How many quotes should you pull from the extract? How many quotes should you remember for the exam? What do you put in the introduction? Sorry for the frantic questioning, I've restarted this essay twice over and cried that many times too lol, any help would be appreciated!!!

Calm down. If you have studied it that thoroughly you will be fine.

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