To get that A in English.. Poetry Analysis

Here are some of the things that will help you to achieve the higher grades and hopefully improve your analysis skills and all of those last minute things to drill into your head. :)

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From an A* Paper..

A previous A* paper has proved that candidates CAN achieve full marks, using these techniques:

- Why did you choose those two poems?
- What do the titles suggest?
- What are literal meanings you could derive from the poems?
- What emotions are being shown in the poem? How?
- What has been used symbolically and what imagery is generated?
- What impact do certain words or literary techniques have on you as a reader?
- What do certain words used suggest in terms of context (culture, historical, poets background)?

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From an A* Paper...

- In what ways are the poems similar? (Purpose? Techniques? Tone? Voice?)
- What connotations are there in the poems? (Religious?)
- Are there any running themes in the poem? (Anonymity, religion, mystery?)
- What is being emphasised? How? (fonts, punctuation?)
- 3 or 4 interpretations of each quote from the poem.
- Explode quotes!(meaning analyse each word at a time to create deeper meaning)
- Structural effects? Their impact?
- What is being described? What could it really mean?
- Positivity? Negativity? Where? Why?

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From an A* paper...

- Phonetic spelling? How would the poem sound?
- Language techniques? Effects? (Onomatopoeia, lists of threes)
- Is there an underlying emotion? Urgency? Sadness?
- What is the pace of the poem? Does it have any effect of the meaning?
- Is there tension being built? How? Why?
- Background of the poem/ author? Does it have any effect?

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From an A* Paper...

When doing original writing (i highly recommend doing describe, it is the easiest option to gain high marks in), use these techniques and skills:
- Try to manipulate the reader to see what you are seeing, cause them to feel the emotion. This gets you massive marks.
- Use at least 6 pieces of punctuation, including a semi colon, a colon and an exclamation point if you are aiming for high A - A* boundaries, and a large range of vocabulary.
- Use literal techniques - lists of threes, metaphors, onomatopoeias.
- Imagery should be used to full effect for maximum impact.

- Use all five senses to describe the situation.
- Do NOT start to write a story, this will lose you marks tremendously, you are meant to be describing a certain event or scenario. Be careful not to start turning a descriptive text into a narrative!
- Use rhetorical questions, if you can, to involve the reader.

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From an A* Paper

Last little tips for the english exam:

- Don't panic if the questions become difficult. Keep yourself calm, breathe, think about what its asking, then respond. Its an exam, remember - its not supposed to be easy.
- Always read the question carefully - plenty of people fail to get the marks they need because they answered a question which was not asked for in the exam! Take a highlighter and highlight the important points in the question, to make sure you know what you are doing.
- If worst comes to worst and you genuinely get lost, just delve into the question with everything you got. You can do it - some of the best things come about as accidents, so just throw yourself into the question and come up with something off the wall - originality does improve your grade.
- If a point you made is quite obscure, make sure you explain yourself well, otherwise the examiner may be totally lost when marking it and not give you points you deserve.
- Stay positive and try your hardest! The best you can do is your best! :)

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what exam board is this for?

happy child.


AQA.. but im not actually finished yet. this is just some things to remember, im just looking over this paper that got full marks and just seeing what they did.



Thank you really helpful :D

self-confessed worrier :/


thanks :) great pep talk before i sit it next week :) thank you :) some really helpful tips here :)



where did you find the paper



this is amazingggg!

Thank you soo soo soooooo much! :)

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