How to write an A-B grade essay at A2?
- 0 votes
Hi guys, I've been struggling to write a decent English Literature essay for quite a while now. I am studying these Gothic texts: Frankenstein, Bloody Chamber and The Changeling. My main struggle is structuring the essays, I find it really hard to make the end of a paragraph flow to the next one. Also, is there a specific structure that I could follow similar to the PEE but at A2 level instead of GCSE? Thank you for your time.
- 4 votes
I am doing A2 at the moment, too. I have done The Bloody Chamber, Frankenstein and Dr Faustus as part of my Edexcel A2 English coursework.
I tend to use this structure when writing each paragraph:
- State my point a the opening sentence
- Use the text to support it
- Elaborate using varied interpretations/contextual factors/reader response, LFS etc
- Include a second text for comparison/contrast/similarities
- Repeat step 3
- Reiterate my point in relation to the question
It is pretty similar to PEE as this is a standard format. This technique typically gives me A/A* as long as I include elements from all of the AO's.
As for fluidity, I'm not brilliant at this myself however at A2 it is normal that each paragraph is different from the last however still answers the question. This is really what brings fluidity - stating your point in relation to the question. Also make sure you're not jumping from one thing to something completely different. For example I wrote one paragraph on the dominance of women in TBC, contrasted it with the inferior role of women in Frankenstein and then in the next paragraph spoke aout "the beast in women" in TBC and primal desires.
Sorry if this is a bit confusing, don't be afraid to ask me anything about what I've written, I'd be happy to help.
- 1 vote
I am doing A2 English Literature too, with pretty much the same advice as Grace, but I may be able to offer input on fluidity of structure.
I use numerous ways of structuring my essays:
- Use an ABABAB structure. So I am doing 'Wuthering Heights', 'Macbeth' and 'The Bloody Chamber'. For a straight-forward question of agree/disagree I would do Text A agree, Text A disagree, Text B agree, Text B disagree etc...the fluidity comes with the smart starters, so I would use 'Firstly, Text A supports this statement because...' and then counter it in the following paragraph: 'However, the text is limited in this assertion by...' This can then be enhanced by doing a mini-conclusion at the end of the Text's second paragraph which either disputes or agrees with the question; you need to think of it like you are leading a blind person (examiner) through an obstacle course: you need to hold their hand and lead them closely through your essay. Strange analogy but it helps me :P. The conclusion would then be evaluating the three texts in accordance to the question: 'as previously discussed, Text A agrees because of this, as does Text B, however, Text C differs because of this.' Be careful not to merely repeat the essay but instead EVALUATE it; the inclusion of context and authorial intent leads to a good A*/Band 6 conclusion ---- a 'contextual flourish' as my teacher calls it :) It links in your A04 and A03, whilst also gaining you Band 6 in A01.
- Second structure I use is 'Thesis A versus Thesis B' with an overall Thesis C conclusion. I use this structure when the question is more open and does not fit so well into the agree/disagree argument. This is great for fluidity becuase you choose themes throughout all of the texts and pit them together, so you end up with two monster paragraphs that discuss all three texts and a conclusion that ticks that 'evaluation' box on the mark scheme. A common theme is 'Religion versus Science' - a great one for context and the Gothic - or 'nature versus nurture' is a good one that pops up in my texts. Consider typical Gothic techniques to find more themes, so the supernatural leads me to a conflict of 'real versus imagined'. This structure, if done right, raises your register significantly.
Just a word of caution; if you are trying a different structure you need to be prepared to do more practice essays: they do not necessarily need to be timed at first because you should be focusing more on getting used to the new way of writing.
The introduction should always state your line of argument whilst also mentioning the texts you are writing about.
Hope this has helped and made sense; ask me for more clarification if need be.
Good luck either way :)
- 0 votes
Ehh, man, when you will go to university, it's gonna be the last problem you think about... I also worked hard on the essays until we were asked to write assignment work... It was horrible. I didn't know what to write because assignment work was different from a simple essay. So I also, as before, turned to the services of these guys https://domypapers.com/assignments/, who wrote me even assignment work. By the way, after they sent me the work on time, I read it, added a couple of my ideas and even understood how to write assignments :)