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A Level AQA English Literature Coursework

We started our coursework last week, and we submit a paragraph every Sunday. I'm doing A Doll's House and Frankenstein, I need help with the 2nd paragraph. Apparently for the second phase it should talk about critics (positive and negative). Can someone also give me the structure of this essay, please? I really want to get a grade A for the first time.

Thank you
(edited 1 year ago)
Please tell us more.
What is the question/statement you’re exploring in the essay?
Reply 3
Original post by trisha135
What is the question/statement you’re exploring in the essay?

My title isn't strong; I need to reword it again
Compare how both Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879) and Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) clarifies the role of women in the 19th to the 21st century.
I would recommend to weave your critics within your points rather than making a whole paragraph dedicated to critics. For example, your second paragraph could be about how Ibsen shows a woman's role is more than just a wife and daughter. You would make that point then add your quotes from the book and then your critics. That is way better than making one paragraph just for critics. There is no set structure but I would say for each specific point you make start or new part of the book you talk about start a paragraph and add your critics as you go.
I did my essay between last year and this year and I'm happy with my grade. However, I'm not confident in sharing this info with you because I'm an inexperienced, struggling Y13 student, so PLEASE TAKE THIS ADVICE A GRAIN OF SALT :smile:

Intro: One sentence or two about what you're going to explore in the essay. What do both writers do similarly, or differently?
- Make it vague, so you can flesh out the argument in the body of the essay and still have something to say in the conclusion.
- Add in the years that the novels were published in brackets, just to show your knowledge.
- The first time you mention the writers, use their full name, then use their last name onwards.
Continue with a brief description of novel 1, then novel 2.
- You can introduce some context here.
Finish with what you're going to explore in the essay (In exploring the role of women in the 19th and 20th century in order to comment on/convey a sense of/reinforce/reflect on their own societies and social issues/blah blah, both writers foreground ..., ..., ... [list the main ideas you'll explore in the next paragraphs])
-I was able to do the body of my essay, then come back to the intro when I knew, clearly, what I wanted to explore so you shouldn't expect your first paragraph to be perfect straight away.*

MAIN BODY OF ESSAY: My teacher recommended that we do 3 paragraphs exploring 3 main ideas relating to our question.

Conclusion: Can say something about your overall views about women in society.
Then use past ideas to comment on what both writers do.
Focus on what novel 1 does, then back to novel 2, then go back to comparing them (include context you've used before as well, you don't have to mention critics again)
- By this point you should have clear ideas and a nuanced, developed argument so you're just reinforcing everything you've said before in a clear and concise manner.
- Look at past paragraphs and reword sentences if you can't figure out how to reinforce the idea any differently.

I would make a plan/outline of the whole essay from now, so you're not struggling to come up with something every weekend. I'm hoping that this is just a first draft that your teacher will check over before you rewrite and submit the final essay?
I have read 'Frankenstein', but I don't have clear ideas on it, and I haven't read 'A Doll's House', so I don't know if I can provide much help there but I'm just gonna list some things that I think might be of use:

- modern v contemporary woman
- social issues/events (ie. misogyny, sexism, feminist movements, patriarchal society)
- writer's reflecting on their own society, and incorporating their individual experiences as men/women in a patriarchal society.
- feminism
- social expectations of women and men
- abuse/exploitation of women

You could compare that Shelley takes a more contemporary approach in her portrayal of women as they are often used at the disposal of men (ie. the Monster threatening Frankenstein to make a female for him because of his loneliness, Justine's wrongful execution, Elizabeth used to act as a motherly figure, as well as sister, and wife to Frankenstein - his mother says that Elizabeth “must supply my place” before dying) As I said, I don't know about the other novel, so you'd have to find differences or similarities to compare it to.
I referenced critics throughout the whole essay, in every paragraph apart from the intro and conclusion. You can find them by using 'Google Scholar', Jstor, The British Library website, or just searching up articles about the writers and books on google. Listen to podcasts for general ideas. Use a bunch of quotes, you need a lot of evidence to back whatever you're arguing. Even if it's just short phrases.

I know this is a lot to read, ooops, but I hope it was helpful and good luck! Ask your teacher more questions and for resources if necessary - they may have helpful info that they haven't shared yet, or example essays from past years.

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