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How to contextualise and show personal response for English Lit

was looking through the marking scheme and saw that personal response and contexualisation was highly valued. However isn't my analysis using author's intention and techniques considered a personal response? ( if you get what i mean) Not sure how to bring these in without sounding too technical/ forced or what exactly makes a personal response... personal? (like would reading more essays help?)

currently stuck at the 18-20/25 level for my essays because my teacher says it still lacks that personal response ( which wows ppl) which garners a high A.

Doing Hamlet, Caretaker (Pinter) , St Joan (Shaw) and regeneration ( Pat barker) if it helps.
(edited 10 months ago)
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. :frown: Are you sure you've posted in the right place? :smile: Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there. :redface:
Hi!
I think that contextualising also includes the things that are going on at the time of the book being written, so for example, I did 'The Handmaid's Tale' for A Level English Lit, which was written in 1985, around the time of the new wave of feminism and abortion arguments and the conservative Reagan administration. So in my essays I tended to just throw in some sort of historical knowledge.
For personal response, I suppose you could mention how it makes the reader feel or the feeling it is supposed to evoke in the intended audience? It's always a difficult one because we were never allowed to write 'I' in our responses, so you almost have to dance around what you think the writer intended to make the reader/audience feel.
I hope this helps somewhat!
Reply 3
Original post by TSR Jessica
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. :frown: Are you sure you've posted in the right place? :smile: Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there. :redface:


will try posting it there! thank you so much haha, im kind of unfamiliar with the schematics of this website since im new lol
Reply 4
Original post by LoverOfBooks
Hi!
I think that contextualising also includes the things that are going on at the time of the book being written, so for example, I did 'The Handmaid's Tale' for A Level English Lit, which was written in 1985, around the time of the new wave of feminism and abortion arguments and the conservative Reagan administration. So in my essays I tended to just throw in some sort of historical knowledge.
For personal response, I suppose you could mention how it makes the reader feel or the feeling it is supposed to evoke in the intended audience? It's always a difficult one because we were never allowed to write 'I' in our responses, so you almost have to dance around what you think the writer intended to make the reader/audience feel.
I hope this helps somewhat!


did you weave it into your bp or more of something for the conclusion?
I weaved it onto the main part of the essay, our layout for our paragraphs was: point, evidence, explain, and then include some context in the explain section. It didn’t have to be much, but just to show that you’d read around the text and knew why that particular event/point had been impactful during the time it was published. I don’t know how your exam board works, but we just had to make reference to context, so it was literally a couple of lines in one paragraph, just to tick it off the mark scheme.
And then I usually added the ‘this evokes to the reader that’ part at the end of the paragraph, almost as a concluding statement to the paragraph. Or if I wanted to give my opinion on a point throughout, I’d say something like ‘however, the reader could interpret this in a different way’ to present a different side of the argument.

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