ENGLISH EXAM IN 3 DAYS! HELP! (1 Viewer)

SweatyAsian#1

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So I have my final English exam for Year 11 in 3 days. I'm basically asking for any advice on how to write a good essay in response to a given extract and 2-3 texts we have studied. I already completed my TEE Tables, analysed and understood all the themes and ideas of the texts.
My main concern is the structure of my essay, like bodies, how to integrate the extract into my response, best amount of techniques, how many paragraphs, etc. As most of you know, English doesn't really teach us how to structure our responses, just gain information.

If you have any advice, I would gladly appreciate it and if you have any resources/past essays that scored high for W.H. Auden's texts "O What is that Sound which so thrills the Ear", "1st September, 1939" or "In memory of W.B. Yeats", you're a legend :)

Thank you!
 

jimmysmith560

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It's good that you are prepared in terms of thoroughly understanding the themes and ideas raised in your texts. In terms of your essay structure, I believe the following would be a good way of structuring your entire essay:

Introduction:

You can start your introduction with a statement that introduces your argument (also known as a thesis), then providing a summary of the key ideas that your essay will explore which will support your argument.

Body:

Your body paragraphs should start with a sentence that presents a key idea and connects it to your thesis. You may choose to either explain your point further after the first sentence and then providing specific examples supporting your points through techniques and quotes to support your argument, or list relevant techniques and quotes used and then explain your point as well as how the techniques and quotes you included support the point you're emphasising. Once you have finished explaining and listing specific examples, you will need to end your body paragraph, and you can do so by writing a linking statement, which is a sentence that quickly summarises your paragraph and connects it to the rest of your essay.

In terms of the number of techniques you should be using, there probably isn't a particular number that would be considered best. However, I believe a good thing you can do to determine the best number of techniques to use in your own essay is to assess the effectiveness of your analysis. Suppose you are writing a body paragraph and have successfully listed and explained two techniques/quotes. You can go through this particular paragraph and determine if you've sufficiently elaborated on your point. If not, adding and explaining an extra technique/quote would assist in developing a more comprehensive analysis.

The number of paragraphs to write should be determined according to each individual major idea you raise in your essay. Introducing a new idea means you should be starting with a new paragraph and apply the above again as you did with your first paragraph. I think that generally, 3 body paragraphs is the optimal number to have for English essays.

Conclusion:

While your conclusion has to be concise, it needs to emphasise your comprehensive analysis simultaneously. Doing this implies the need for three elements:
  • A thesis that restates the main argument
  • A brief summary to recap the points you have raised throughout your essay to support your main argument.
  • A final statement to reinforce your main argument, which also concludes your essay.

I hope this helps! :D
 

SweatyAsian#1

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It's good that you are prepared in terms of thoroughly understanding the themes and ideas raised in your texts. In terms of your essay structure, I believe the following would be a good way of structuring your entire essay:

Introduction:

You can start your introduction with a statement that introduces your argument (also known as a thesis), then providing a summary of the key ideas that your essay will explore which will support your argument.

Body:

Your body paragraphs should start with a sentence that presents a key idea and connects it to your thesis. You may choose to either explain your point further after the first sentence and then providing specific examples supporting your points through techniques and quotes to support your argument, or list relevant techniques and quotes used and then explain your point as well as how the techniques and quotes you included support the point you're emphasising. Once you have finished explaining and listing specific examples, you will need to end your body paragraph, and you can do so by writing a linking statement, which is a sentence that quickly summarises your paragraph and connects it to the rest of your essay.

In terms of the number of techniques you should be using, there probably isn't a particular number that would be considered best. However, I believe a good thing you can do to determine the best number of techniques to use in your own essay is to assess the effectiveness of your analysis. Suppose you are writing a body paragraph and have successfully listed and explained two techniques/quotes. You can go through this particular paragraph and determine if you've sufficiently elaborated on your point. If not, adding and explaining an extra technique/quote would assist in developing a more comprehensive analysis.

The number of paragraphs to write should be determined according to each individual major idea you raise in your essay. Introducing a new idea means you should be starting with a new paragraph and apply the above again as you did with your first paragraph. I think that generally, 3 body paragraphs is the optimal number to have for English essays.

Conclusion:

While your conclusion has to be concise, it needs to emphasise your comprehensive analysis simultaneously. Doing this implies the need for three elements:
  • A thesis that restates the main argument
  • A brief summary to recap the points you have raised throughout your essay to support your main argument.
  • A final statement to reinforce your main argument, which also concludes your essay.

I hope this helps! :D
Thanks jimmysmith,
Also, I wanted to clarify with the body paragraph structure, how do I write (how did you write) 3 body paragraphs when comparing 2 texts? I normally do 1 paragraph for each text with a different idea/theme. Should I do 2 paragraphs on 2 texts (4 total) but little depth but broad coverage, or 2 paragraphs total on 2 texts with 1 idea/theme each (high depth, 4 techniques per).
I want to do 3 paragraphs but I can't seem to find the best way of integrating 2 texts into 3 paragraphs without repeating my past content, whilst not being too brief or having an imbalance of analysis (More analysis on 1 text than other).

Any personal solutions Mr jimmysmith?
 

may22

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Thanks jimmysmith,
Also, I wanted to clarify with the body paragraph structure, how do I write (how did you write) 3 body paragraphs when comparing 2 texts? I normally do 1 paragraph for each text with a different idea/theme. Should I do 2 paragraphs on 2 texts (4 total) but little depth but broad coverage, or 2 paragraphs total on 2 texts with 1 idea/theme each (high depth, 4 techniques per).
I want to do 3 paragraphs but I can't seem to find the best way of integrating 2 texts into 3 paragraphs without repeating my past content, whilst not being too brief or having an imbalance of analysis (More analysis on 1 text than other).

Any personal solutions Mr jimmysmith?
If you’re meant to be comparing the texts, it should be done throughout the essay, so it would be better to look at both texts in 3 paragraphs.

Draw on similar themes/values. Don’t forget that you can also talk about contrasting ideas.

(I haven’t studied any of your texts but I hope this helped anyway)
 

jimmysmith560

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Thanks jimmysmith,
Also, I wanted to clarify with the body paragraph structure, how do I write (how did you write) 3 body paragraphs when comparing 2 texts? I normally do 1 paragraph for each text with a different idea/theme. Should I do 2 paragraphs on 2 texts (4 total) but little depth but broad coverage, or 2 paragraphs total on 2 texts with 1 idea/theme each (high depth, 4 techniques per).
I want to do 3 paragraphs but I can't seem to find the best way of integrating 2 texts into 3 paragraphs without repeating my past content, whilst not being too brief or having an imbalance of analysis (More analysis on 1 text than other).

Any personal solutions Mr jimmysmith?
With respect to quality (comprehensive analysis) vs quantity (number of ideas and body paragraphs) I think it would be advisable to prioritise quality, i.e. the ability to provide extensive analysis on a few particular points, rather than quantity, i.e. exploring more points but in less detail as the latter may not constitute effective analysis, whereas the former allows you to go in depth with your argument, ultimately allowing you to establish a much clearer connection with your main argument. With 3 body paragraphs, if you wish to compare 2 texts, one paragraph can explore a major difference between the two texts, and how this relates the to main argument. The following paragraph can also do the same and explore another major difference between the two texts, and then establish a connection with the main argument. The third paragraph is where you can explore a similarity between the two texts, support your point with examples from both texts and lastly, establish/reinforce the connection with the main argument.

As mentioned above, comparison entails both similarities and differences.
 

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