A+ Resources For Students
Higher and Standard Grade English Tips
Essay Writing For The Exam
A. Prose / drama questions mainly ask about:
- A character
- Structure – either a turning point in the story, the ending, or sometimes even the beginning.
For prose / drama questions:
- Use three points in the story– the beginning, an important turning point, the climax
- Use three quotes – one from each of these points
- Use one theme
- Use one main character
- Use one important relationship that this main character has
Be prepared to explain what you think the most important outcome of the story was.
For example: if you are writing about Othello, make sure you at least try to explain why Iago ‘wins’ and tricks Othello into killing Desdemona.
B. Poetry questions mainly ask about:
- A person / speaker
- Structure – the ending, a turning point, or the beginning of a poem.
For poetry questions:
- Divide the poem into about three main sections – this is easier if it is three stanzas long. Answer the sections out of order, e.g. middle, then start, then end.
- Use three main quotes, although you should remember a few words and details.
- Use one theme.
- Show if there is a point where the poem changes – the mood or the argument.
C. Each paragraph of a Higher essay should contain:
- Topic sentence (what the paragraph is about)
- Where the quote takes place / who said it
- What was written / said – the actual quote
- Analysis of the quote – show why it is interesting or important to the work as a whole
- Recap sentence which mentions the essay question you are answering
- Link sentence which prepares the reader for your next paragraph
Download one of the examples from misterking.co.uk.
- The essay should give you an idea of what the markers are looking for.
- The essay plan is an example of what you should have memorized.
As well as the facts about a novel, play or poem – the plot, characters, key scenes etc – you should have a rough idea of an essay structure when you go into an exam.
You should also know the quotes you will be using; where they occur; and why they are important.
For these reasons, you should create an A4 sheet for each essay, with an essay structure and the quotes.
Other Tips Pages
|Revision Tips:||GCSE English, GCSE Maths, GCSE Geography, GCSE Science, and Exam Revision Tips|
|Coursework Tips:||English (general), Higher and Standard Grade English, Maths and Science .|
|Other Tips:||Stress management and tele-tutoring.|