Preparing for the Poetry Exam

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How to get Marks

* Give your own thoughts and opinions on the poems and supporting them with quotes from the text.


Explain features like form, structure and language.


Describe the similarities and differences between poems.


Good spelling and punctuation.

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How to Write an A* Answer - Part 1

* Know your texts In Depth

  - Select key bits of the text and focus on writing about them in depth.

* Look Closely at Language

  - Use technical terms wherever you can.

  - Always develop your ideas.

  - Analyse the effects of key words.

  - Use synonyms to help explain the poet's language.

* Give Alternative Interpretations

  - Be original with your ideas.

  - Back up your arguments with plenty of evidence from the poem.

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How to Write an A* Answer - Part 2

* Always Support Your Ideas with Details from the Text

  - Choose your quotes carefully - they have to be relavent to the point you're making.

  - Don't quote large chunks of text - it's not necessary and it wastes time.

  - Don't reel off long lists of quotes without explaining them.

* Show some Wider Knowledge

  - Including context looks impressive - it's not necessary though.

  - Ensure that any context you do use is relavent to your answer.

* Use Sophisticated Language

  - It should be concise and accurate - no vague words (e.g. a lot = a wide range)

  - Don't repeat the same words - vary how you say things.

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How to Write an A* Answer - Part 3

* Vary your Sentence Structures

  - Use simple sentences to introduce a point, then more complex ones to expand on it.

  - Use a variety of punctuation, including colons and semi-colons where appropriate.

* Your Writing should Flow Around your Quotes

 - Embed quotes nicely into the sentence.

* Proof-Read your Work

  - Leave five minutes at the end to proof-read your work to avoid errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.

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