When you make a point, refer to the text and give an example to back up what you say. The best way to do this is to use a quotation from the text. Quotations Remember to include quotations, but not too many and don't make them too long. A good quotation can be a line or two long or just a few words from a line. Do not copy out whole long sections from texts as this is wasting time. Selection Don't retell the plot of the story.
The important thing is to be selective in the way you use the text. Answer the question It sounds obvious, but it's so easy to forget the question and write the essay you did in the mock. When you have finished a paragraph read it through and ask yourself. Conclusion At the end, try to draw all the strands of your various points together.
This should be the part of your essay that answers the question most directly and forcefully. Keep checking the question. An explanation of how the evidence you have used explains your point. Returning once more to the textile metaphor, this is the part of the essay in which you take the threads of the argument you have mentioned in your introduction and flesh them out to make part of the picture. Conclusion: At A level you are not required to write a long conclusion, really it only needs a couple of lines.
However, summarizing and qualifying your argument is essential for a good essay. The metaphor of the textile has always helped me to structure my essays, but there may be other metaphors that help you to think through the structure. You might imagine an essay as a piece of detective work in which we have to find evidence in the text to explain a particular idea, or you may imagine it as a puzzle. Whatever your approach, the more you practice writing good essay plans the better your structure will be!
Looking for more help? Mention specific places by name, and communicate the facts accurately. Your teacher will be assessing not just your knowledge, but your ability to support what you say with relevant information that proves it. You can do this by organising the content of your essay into categories, considering different factors in turn, such as the scale of the issue, and the timeframe and environment involved.
Discuss the various factors involved logically, one by one, such as the environmental impact of climate change or a natural disaster such as a tsunami or volcanic eruption , followed by its physical, economic, social and political implications.
Acknowledging the numerous nuances of the situation will demonstrate your appreciation of its complexity and show that you are thinking at a high level. Classical Civilisations You can study art and sculpture to learn more about the civilisations that produced them. As the study of the ancient world primarily ancient Rome and Greece , Classical Civilisations combines archaeology and history, looking both at what survives materially from small finds, to art and sculpture, to temples and what survives in the way of texts by ancient authors.
A good essay for this subject analyses, evaluates and interprets. The historical elements of the subject will require the same set of skills we discussed for History earlier, while the archaeological components of this subject require slightly different skills.
With your archaeologist hat on, your job becomes similar to that of a detective, piecing together clues.
Archaeology crosses over into science, and with that comes scientific considerations such as how archaeological evidence has been gathered — the methods used, their reliability, whether or not they could have been tampered with, how accurately they were recorded, and so on. And, as with any subject, looking at both sides of any argument is crucial to good grades.
Science subjects It would not be appropriate to mention how fantastic you think the Hubble Space Telescope is. While the fundamentals of scientific essay writing are the same as any other subject — having a logical structure, well-developed argument, and so on — there are a few subject-specific considerations to bear in mind, and some common pitfalls to watch out for.
Psychology Psychology, though a science subject, has some overlap with the humanities — some Psychology degrees are BAs rather than BScs.
And, as with any subject, looking at both sides of any argument is crucial to good grades. Geography is a subject that crosses the divide between the sciences and the humanities , considering both physical processes and human activities and their effects on the world around us. When writing your essay you should devote one or two paragraphs to each idea from your plan. The metaphor of the textile has always helped me to structure my essays, but there may be other metaphors that help you to think through the structure. Focus on using as wide a variety of vocabulary and tenses as you can. In that, like a textile, an essay is constructed from different threads of arguments that each connect and weave together in order to make a grander picture.
This should be the part of your essay that answers the question most directly and forcefully. The next step is to plan your essay. If you ask me, there are three stages to writing a degree level essay for English— researching , planning and writing.
Classical Civilisations You can study art and sculpture to learn more about the civilisations that produced them.
Spend about 5 or 10 minutes planning as this will help you make sure you have chosen the right question because then you know you have lots of material to cover.
In the Heathcliff example, you could quote specific words and phrases that show similarities in the way Heathcliff is described and the way in which the moorland landscape and weather are described. Most essays consist of three to five paragraphs or sections, addressing different schools of thought , and arguing for and against a hypothesis to come to a conclusion. With your archaeologist hat on, your job becomes similar to that of a detective, piecing together clues. Selection Don't retell the plot of the story. In this article, we look at the particular skills needed to write great essays for individual A-level subjects, so that you can familiarise yourself with what you need to do to excel in whatever A-levels you happen to be studying.
Quotations Remember to include quotations, but not too many and don't make them too long. Paragraphing Make sure you use them as it makes your writing clearer for you and the examiner. How do I structure an English literature essay at A-Level? For an A you need to be analytical and exploratory. Focus on using as wide a variety of vocabulary and tenses as you can.