igcse english literature essay structure

igcse english literature essay structure

How to Structure an IGCSE English Literature Essay

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1. Introduction

However, to introduce you to punting, guys, here is generally what it should look like: you should have a topic sentence that then relates to your question or your thesis. You should have a point that you are making in each paragraph, at least one point that you are then backing up with a quotation, and then you are analyzing this quotation. That’s the box-standard. Essentially, in your introduction, this is the part of the essay where you introduce your topic and grab people’s attention. And this is something that’s really important because this is where the examiner decides whether they want to give you marks or not. More often than not, it’s where they decide not to give you marks. And I assure you, they read it. They read it after between every one to two essays. So, that’s about every 2,000-4,000 words, they’re reading about 100-200 words of your essays.

So, what do you need to do to get good marks in your literature essay? Or in your writing exam? Well, there are some general rules. What we’re going to do in this one, though, is focus mainly on the structure of body paragraphs. So, the body paragraphs are the main part of the essay. They are the paragraphs in which you display your knowledge and understanding, where you reflect this through sophisticated analysis and language, and where you put in all the relevant literary devices and your interpretations of them. Now, one of the most common questions that students ask me when it comes to literature essay structure is what it should look like. Generally, this is what I say, and this is particularly tailored to an IGCSE syllabus. So, you should have your typical introduction and conclusion, which is very box-standard, but then, you should have an A-star structure to your body paragraph, which we’ll go into for a little more detail in the second video. Today, we’re just focusing on the introduction, so we won’t go into that.

2. Analysis of Literary Text

Paragraph 7 – Analysis of Literary Text (SC). What can you say about the author’s language? What is the author’s style? What words stand out in the language? What is the function of author language? Look at the lexical field in the narrative with elements of the text. Paragraph 8 – Analysis of Literary Text (T). Do you remember what was the problem? What caused this problem? What causes the problem? A confrontation, a change of scene? Paragraph 9 – Themes in literary text. Express the theme of the poem and the overall theme of the text. Conclusion – conclusion that summarises. Finally, the reflection of 1 or 2 sentences.

Introduction – refers to the paper. Paragraph 1 – Introduction – giving the background so that it clarifies something in the poem or the text. Paragraph 2 – Exploring some lines of the text. Paragraph 3 – What is the text about? General introduction, which is well connected to the second paragraph. This leads to the third topic. Paragraph 4 – What is happening? Discuss the poem details like the setting, description, what’s going on, characters, compilation. Paragraph 5 – Analysis of literary text (A, T and C) Characterisation. What is happening with the characters? Any character who changed? The text starts to become more difficult for the character. What is happening with the character and how? Paragraph 6 – Analysis of Literary Text (The T). What technological uses can the author identify? Are the utensils important to the plot? Describe some of the tools that the author uses with direct links to the text.

3. Incorporating Literary Devices

Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter sound in closely positioned words. Here is an example of alliteration in poetry: Do you dust the dust made by disuse? Through use of alliteration, Weir creates an entrancing and dreamy atmosphere in the poem, enhanced by the convenience of the consonant “d”. Alliteration induces the reader to slow and pay attention, thus creating a dreamy feeling of silence. Furthermore, the use of the word as a repetition of the sound of implies that dust is merely more dirt accumulated from structures that have prolonged periods of disuse, and therefore brings the notion of quiet, making it succumb to the re. The onomatopoeia’s quiet, whispering sound is ideal for expressing the emotion.

Incorporating literary devices in your essay shows a deep understanding of the text. They are not added in as a last-minute touch but are integrated throughout the entire essay. The inclusion of literary devices in a structured manner allows the essay to reach its full potential, evoking an electric atmosphere as the examiner reads the text. By far the most prevalent literary devices utilised in English Literature textbooks are similes and metaphors. Other well-known and frequently utilised devices include alliteration, onomatopoeia, connotations and the use of rhyme and metre in poetry.

4. Developing Arguments

You may make a point based on the fact of the story but the point is not based on a new understanding. Begin your essay with script. Have each paragraph developing your initial argument coding the source. One can start with an introductory paragraph indicating from where you are and what your intention is in this essay. Develop your argument paragraph by paragraph, point by point. In the conclusion you may want to state exactly what you have done in the essay, in the last paragraph and in the line as an introduction, so everything the reader has found this essay was true to this end. It is based on questions and answers. Longer section, open question in the poem text. Use a question to illuminate the poem. This helps to explore the meaning of the question and how it works in the context of the poem. In this example you are exploring the meaning of the final line and its suggestion that no one can stop death from occurring. Your essay must contain a lot of short quotations to help support your argument. A lot of references lead to a lot of higher level marks. Your main emphasis is analysis; not just what you are talking about.

As part of a good English Literature essay you should develop a clear argument. There are many ways how one can use the title to present an argument about the text. In your essay do not just write the same arguments that everybody writes. Also, let yourself to explore meaning. Avoid saying “the poem is about”. Therefore you should talk about the poem as a work of literature and explore how it works as a text. Do not re-tell the story.

5. Conclusion

In answering the question, “To what extent do you consider the character of Valjean from Les Miserables to be a saint or a sinner?”, the two extremes must undoubtedly be capitalized and discussed. At the chopping block of the guillotine would be societies and the reader’s perception of Valjean. With his saintly aura, his character stands unrotten and saintly in the eyes of Cossette, the poor and the various innocent bystanders of Toulon. The saintly and a scapegoat are both nodal aspects of Valjean’s character portrayed during the novel. With his status as “Monsieur Madeleine” in Montreuil-sur-mer, he takes the guilt of a theft for the sake of saving the women and his sister’s business. In a similar manner, he becomes the scapegoat for saving a trapped farmer as well. Helpfulness and kindness that make him seem angelic are mistaken for generosity and risking his employment.

When introducing a conclusion, close with a strong statement that you have effectively answered the question and bring it to a logical ending point to avoid weak openings such as “In conclusion…” Conclusions should be a synthesis of the body and answer the original question. Do not introduce new ideas, but rather, sum up topics previously addressed to maintain focus and control of the question. Providing facts and figures in a conclusion is usually not required. Personal or minor details such as your feelings are unnecessary; a conclusion should remain subjective. The body has been written and re-written, altered, and edited several times because it has to give a balanced view of both themes in detail. The introductory and the concluding paragraphs varied to avoid an unvarying, formulaic piece of writing that marks are determined upon. All adjectives and verbs were carefully chosen to fit the weight and gravity of the topic or character being discussed. Weak adjectives such as “very” were avoided.

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