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I dont get english lit

Ok so Ido english lit aqa, but I dont understand how to structure paragraghs properly. Like how do you write a thesis and so on. I need this for my paper 1 coming next week, and power and conflict poetry.
Reply 1
Original post by agreed-scream
Ok so Ido english lit aqa, but I dont understand how to structure paragraghs properly. Like how do you write a thesis and so on. I need this for my paper 1 coming next week, and power and conflict poetry.

I dont know how your school does it but we follow a PEE structure. So eg. Mr Birling (sos I haven't done poetry yet).
First I'll do a small introduction eg:
JB. Priestley uses the character of Mr Birling as a microcosm to represent the upper class capitalists are only concerned for their own wealth and that they show no responsibility over their employees.
Then i'll do a point that relevant to the question and I'll make sure its backed up by an appropriate quote. My quotes go in ascending order, so start of the play, middle of the play and end of the play.
In the Stage Directions, Priestley presents Mr Birling as a greedy man. This is seen through the quote 'heavy looking'.
Once I have my point and quote, I normally expand my quote stating what the relevance of the quote is, why is it used.
Then afterwards you could give an alternative reading or the authorial intent. After you expand one quote, move on to another. Try to do 3-4 quotes and quality is more important than quantity.
Reply 2
Original post by agreed-scream
Ok so Ido english lit aqa, but I dont understand how to structure paragraghs properly. Like how do you write a thesis and so on. I need this for my paper 1 coming next week, and power and conflict poetry.

This is very difficult, and was my problem too when I studied this many years ago. My professor at the time had published quite a few books, and he told me that two students could publish the same hypothesis - and there is very little new under the sun - and get widely varying marks. One could flunk and the other get an A, simply due to the differences in the way in which something is presented. And many students think they are researchers, which is almost never true. They are students, and the aim of much they do is to master the academic form.

The structure of academic article is very different from a newspaper text. First, the subject is defined, then there is a main part and finally a conclusion. There could be several headings in between. You should use these headings and make sure that they seem necessary and follow in a logical sequence. And that under each heading there are no digressions. And you should also make sure that you answer the question you pose in your intro and nothing else, and that you answer what you are asked, and NOT what you may find interesting.

Find a well written article in your genre and look at its structure. And also, even though there is a huge amount of pressure on you to appear very clever, even though they shower you with pretentious drivel and cite obscure and irrelevant eggheads from history, you should never quote anything you do not understand. Clarity is in fact much more impressive in academia than anything else.

And therefore you must never try to model yourself on Gillian Beer or Walter Houghton, writers whose metatexts are overwhelming. Their texts are written for people who are allready familiar with all their citations and references, bookworms who are probably very old. Because no young student will have had the time to have ackquired knowledge of so many names.

Finally, you must look at what they call style manuals, that is how footnotes and references are added. There are several standards, the most famous style manuals are MLA and Harvard.

Especially in the humanties you will find a lot of pretentious drivel. The natural sciences by their very evidence based nature will produce different texts. In the humanties, there are so many ideologies, and so few accepted facts that the form becomes the way in which many compensate and inflate what they are saying. And professors do this as well, because they are also under pressure. They need funding for this and that, and the competition is absolutely fierce. Therefore they pursue citations like teenagers pursue facebook likes. So they are not only pretentious because of snobbery, it is their environment which causes them to adopt strategies with various degrees enthousiasm. Some will tell you what I say, but they can do little about the world as it is.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by agreed-scream
Ok so Ido english lit aqa, but I dont understand how to structure paragraghs properly. Like how do you write a thesis and so on. I need this for my paper 1 coming next week, and power and conflict poetry.

hello, im assuming this is for gcse, so here's how i structure my power and conflict essays:

leave a small blank space (1989 era) for your introduction. it's easier to write it at the end when you're in the flow of things

imagine a battenberg cake. ive never eaten one but imagine what it looks like

each coloured square is a poem, the jam is the comparison, and the outside bit is idk your writing or something

(ive uploaded a picture of all of this to make it make sense, sorry about the abominable handwriting)


you now need to choose a few methods, and a few content points

so for methods- you could talk about rhyme scheme, structure, who's pov, word choice etc.

for content points (i just refer to it as vibe because i need everything in normal language) you could do attitudes, context, tone, setting...

try to avoid comparing the way you might in other humanities or it starts to sound like a spot the difference, be subtle with it and make sure to refer to the significance of the point you're making

my teacher used to be an examiner and she told me that she didn't really bother with conclusions unless they had some kind of quote or point in them

then once you're done, go back to the start, and write your introduction

i have memory problems so i like to write down everything i can remember at the beginning so i dont get mixed up.

but remember:

this is a guide for power and conflict poetry

shakespeare, 19th century novel, the other category (inspector calls one), and unseen poetry need to be answered differently.


hope this helps!!
Reply 4
Original post by maryamaishah
hello, im assuming this is for gcse, so here's how i structure my power and conflict essays:

leave a small blank space (1989 era) for your introduction. it's easier to write it at the end when you're in the flow of things

imagine a battenberg cake. ive never eaten one but imagine what it looks like

each coloured square is a poem, the jam is the comparison, and the outside bit is idk your writing or something

(ive uploaded a picture of all of this to make it make sense, sorry about the abominable handwriting)


you now need to choose a few methods, and a few content points

so for methods- you could talk about rhyme scheme, structure, who's pov, word choice etc.

for content points (i just refer to it as vibe because i need everything in normal language) you could do attitudes, context, tone, setting...

try to avoid comparing the way you might in other humanities or it starts to sound like a spot the difference, be subtle with it and make sure to refer to the significance of the point you're making

my teacher used to be an examiner and she told me that she didn't really bother with conclusions unless they had some kind of quote or point in them

then once you're done, go back to the start, and write your introduction

i have memory problems so i like to write down everything i can remember at the beginning so i dont get mixed up.

but remember:

this is a guide for power and conflict poetry

shakespeare, 19th century novel, the other category (inspector calls one), and unseen poetry need to be answered differently.


hope this helps!!

Thank you!
Reply 5
Thanks for all the advice does anyone have like example essays?
Original post by agreed-scream
Thank you!

do you want advice for the other sections- i do macbeth, a christmas carol, and an inspector calls- if you do, just tag me!!
Reply 7
Original post by maryamaishah
do you want advice for the other sections- i do macbeth, a christmas carol, and an inspector calls- if you do, just tag me!!

Hey, how do you answer Christmas Carol questions especially the theme ones. Also, how do you answer theme questions on An Inspector Calls.
Original post by agreed-scream
Ok so Ido english lit aqa, but I dont understand how to structure paragraghs properly. Like how do you write a thesis and so on. I need this for my paper 1 coming next week, and power and conflict poetry.

#1: intro - starts with thesis
#2 - quote 1 + analysis (about 3 to 4 quote annotation key ideas
#3 - quote 2
#4 - quote 3
#5 - conclusion - key thesis wrap
Original post by J ~ I§U
Hey, how do you answer Christmas Carol questions especially the theme ones. Also, how do you answer theme questions on An Inspector Calls.

ok so for acc it's almost always theme questions. its highly unlikely we'll get a how far question.
what you want to do is take the theme, and take maybe three or four plot points relating to that theme (one of these should be the extract)- those are going to be your points.
ive just seen someone say use three or four quotes, do not do that. you're talking about the text as a whole, not just one section- coming from a grade 9 student.

if we take poverty as an example (though this structure can literally just be tweaked to any question), what i would do is:

write my introduction: just do a brief of poverty in acc, how it changes, and make a brief reference to the extract (doesn't have to be long, just like a quick 'as seen in the extract', the way you might in science or geography)

my personal preference is to walk my way through the novel for themes, because they change throughout and so my first paragraph for acc is always scrooge at the beginning and how dickens establishes him, his attitudes, political beliefs etc, but deliberately overly highlighting the poverty parts. like oh yes his nephew is unnamed but LOOK AT THIS 'PORTLY GENTLEMAN' AND OH MY GOODNESS LOOK HOW SCROOGE VIEWS THE POOR AS SURPLUS DUMP SOME CONTEXT IN HERE AND YOUVE GOT UR AO WHATEVER IT IS! LOOK AT HOW MISERLY HE IS POOR BOB

i am the president and founder of the marley hate club so i skip him unless forced to by the extract

brief pause to remind you that they never say how much of the extract to use. my teacher told me it tends to be either a great extract with an awful question, or the other way around (she then gave us a list of awful questions with awful extracts for revision!)

this means you can use the extract as much or as little as you want. if you're absolutely disgusted, just pick a word or two to quote and analyse and then get out of there asap

with acc it's then normally easiest to work your way through the ghosts according to the themes, so for poverty i would do scrooge as a child in a school with 'broken windows' and 'not getting enough to eat', leading to his fear of poverty. then belle to show what fear of poverty has done to him- he will never find love or start a family of his own, and even though belle's family is quite poor and 'rude', theyre still happy and 'tumultuous' and scrooge would have 'given' anything to be with them blah blah blah. maybe something about financial language in the breakup scene

the next ghost shows scrooge the cratchit family: scrooge is forced to confront the current effects of poverty on people and realise that this is often his fault. look how poor the cratchits are. look how difficult they have it. follow this with ignorance and want- physical manifestations of the consequences of poverty. look at them! analyse their quotes! poor law amendment of 1834! scrooge's political views thrown back at him and he realises how vile they are!

ghost of christmas yet to come: this is a scenario in which scrooge has died, and we learn that 1) the business of the rich is often no better than the criminality of the poor (the two nasty business men who laugh about his death, and the scene in the beetling shop) and 2) the poor are not surplus (tiny tim) but people like scrooge are

now show scrooge as a changed man and how he is so much better- for poverty, see how he gives charity and gives bob a raise and buys his family food

brief conclusion wrapping up your argument


this is a basic essay structure for acc. you could literally just say this stuff over and over with a few adjustments and get high marks, just be sophisticated about how you say it.

hope this helps!! (will do aic in a separate one bc this is quite long)
other quick tips:

if your teacher is unwilling, use chat gpt to mark your essays. send it the mark scheme, the question (extract not really needed), and the essay

a 'thesis' is just a line of argument, don't get yourself worked up about it

drop the authors name whenever possible

if you're like me and have trouble dropping long quotes, just put the words you're sure of in quote marks and get the general gist across

Original post by J ~ I§U
Hey, how do you answer Christmas Carol questions especially the theme ones. Also, how do you answer theme questions on An Inspector Calls.

Yh an inspector call theme of older vs younger generation would help
Original post by maryamaishah
ok so for acc it's almost always theme questions. its highly unlikely we'll get a how far question.
what you want to do is take the theme, and take maybe three or four plot points relating to that theme (one of these should be the extract)- those are going to be your points.
ive just seen someone say use three or four quotes, do not do that. you're talking about the text as a whole, not just one section- coming from a grade 9 student.
if we take poverty as an example (though this structure can literally just be tweaked to any question), what i would do is:

write my introduction: just do a brief of poverty in acc, how it changes, and make a brief reference to the extract (doesn't have to be long, just like a quick 'as seen in the extract', the way you might in science or geography)

my personal preference is to walk my way through the novel for themes, because they change throughout and so my first paragraph for acc is always scrooge at the beginning and how dickens establishes him, his attitudes, political beliefs etc, but deliberately overly highlighting the poverty parts. like oh yes his nephew is unnamed but LOOK AT THIS 'PORTLY GENTLEMAN' AND OH MY GOODNESS LOOK HOW SCROOGE VIEWS THE POOR AS SURPLUS DUMP SOME CONTEXT IN HERE AND YOUVE GOT UR AO WHATEVER IT IS! LOOK AT HOW MISERLY HE IS POOR BOB

i am the president and founder of the marley hate club so i skip him unless forced to by the extract

brief pause to remind you that they never say how much of the extract to use. my teacher told me it tends to be either a great extract with an awful question, or the other way around (she then gave us a list of awful questions with awful extracts for revision!)

this means you can use the extract as much or as little as you want. if you're absolutely disgusted, just pick a word or two to quote and analyse and then get out of there asap

with acc it's then normally easiest to work your way through the ghosts according to the themes, so for poverty i would do scrooge as a child in a school with 'broken windows' and 'not getting enough to eat', leading to his fear of poverty. then belle to show what fear of poverty has done to him- he will never find love or start a family of his own, and even though belle's family is quite poor and 'rude', theyre still happy and 'tumultuous' and scrooge would have 'given' anything to be with them blah blah blah. maybe something about financial language in the breakup scene

the next ghost shows scrooge the cratchit family: scrooge is forced to confront the current effects of poverty on people and realise that this is often his fault. look how poor the cratchits are. look how difficult they have it. follow this with ignorance and want- physical manifestations of the consequences of poverty. look at them! analyse their quotes! poor law amendment of 1834! scrooge's political views thrown back at him and he realises how vile they are!

ghost of christmas yet to come: this is a scenario in which scrooge has died, and we learn that 1) the business of the rich is often no better than the criminality of the poor (the two nasty business men who laugh about his death, and the scene in the beetling shop) and 2) the poor are not surplus (tiny tim) but people like scrooge are

now show scrooge as a changed man and how he is so much better- for poverty, see how he gives charity and gives bob a raise and buys his family food

brief conclusion wrapping up your argument


this is a basic essay structure for acc. you could literally just say this stuff over and over with a few adjustments and get high marks, just be sophisticated about how you say it.
hope this helps!! (will do aic in a separate one bc this is quite long)

Thank you

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