What the examiner will look for: When marking your essay, the examiner will look to see whether you have appreciated and explored the: ; ideas attitudes and tone structure and form techniques used by the poets When answering an exam question, keep these five criteria in mind. Question! Now consider the exam question. Highlight and underline key words and requirements: How is the theme of death presented in the two poems? Choose two of the poems you are studying to try this exercise (you might need to replace ‘death’ with a different theme, depending on the collection of poetry you are focusing on).Order now
When planning an answer it is a good idea to look at each poem in turn and to note down examples or quotations relevant to each of the following criteria. Try drawing a table like the one below: Death* Ideas Attitudes & Tones Structure & Form Techniques Effect/ purpose Poem 1 Poem 2 Can you find two or three quotations (single words or short phrases) to put in each box? Make sure that you appreciate and explore the examples you choose. Notice which poetic devices or techniques have been used and then suggest why. Think about why a poet might have used these particular words and phrases.
How do they elate to the main ideas or themes? This will help you to write good quality poetry essays. Throughout your essay, move from one poem to the other in every paragraph. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence which summaries how each poem is related to your point: ; Both poems demonstrate… Although the first poem has a positive tone, the second poem… ; Each of the poems takes a slightly different approach… ;The two poems contrast in… There is a similar description of… In both poems. In the body of the paragraph make sure you compare ideas from both poems.
Support your points with short quotations from each poem. You should also include close analysis of individual quotations. Examine the words used and think about the wider connotations of these. Look for similarities and differences between the two poems you are using. Finish each paragraph with a concluding sentence that sums up the point you’ve made about both poems. Try not to write about one poem then the other without explicitly comparing the two. Just putting the two poems in the same paragraph is not enough.
Make sure you use key words like ‘similar’ and ‘different’, and connecting phrases like ‘on the other hand’ and ‘likewise’. Conclusion A strong conclusion to an essay should leave an examiner with a positive attitude to your work. What would you write in your conclusion that draws all your points together? Try to think about both poems and, most importantly, your feelings and attitudes. What do you think about the poems and what they have to say? What is the Examiner looking for in a response to the Poetry? The exam is designed to test your ability to do the following things: textual evidence?
Can you explore language, structure and form and how they contribute to the meaning of texts? Can you compare the ways that ideas, themes and relationships are presented in the memos by selecting pertinent details from the texts? Can you respond to the poems critically, in detail, and sensitively? In other words you need to: Write a detailed and nuanced comparison of the poems considering how the language and form contribute to the overall meaning of the poems, and the relationships, themes and ideas that the poets are trying to present to the audience.
What is the Examiner looking for in an A* response to the Poetry? An A* response is characterized by a conceptualized, insightful and imaginative approach to the texts that combines an analytical and exploratory use of detail in ACH poem individually with evaluative comparison across both poems discussed in the answer. Essentially, an A* response will set itself apart from the hundreds of other responses because it has an individual and unique approach that shows the writer has developed their own individual ideas about the texts.
This approach is characterized by a confident engagement with the themes, ideas, relationships and technical construction of the poems. Equally, the writer of an A* response will show comparative skill; making links and cross referencing the poems using telling detail to form the basis of insightful comparisons between the poems. At first this may appear daunting but with a ruthless and systematic approach it can be achieved. Essentially, the key to performing at this level is having your own ideas; if you can form your own opinions about each of the poems then you will be able to write this kind of essay.
The real skill here is to marry the ideas that you have with a written style that allows you to showcase them in the examination. You might begin and end your response with some theoretical discussion of the concept in the title question. In the case of this question, the concept is death, therefore you might begin our essay in the following way: The finality of death is presented in very different ways throughout the two poems and ; it forms a central concern of the poets and each one focuses on different aspects such that we might come to see the poems as exploring the process of death.
That is, while in Mid-Term Break, Haney centers the narrative of his poem on the nature of grief – the longer term impact of a ‘death’ – conversely, Gillian Slacker’s The Field Mouse is concerned with the genocidal murder of people during the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans during the sass. Points to Note It important that you write in an imaginative way showing that you have a personal engagement with the poems; this will ensure that your ideas are individual and set you apart from the many other responses.
You must use carefully selected quotations from the poems that are embedded into the body of your essay. You want to avoid a situation where each paragraph is punctuated by huge quotations which are not gaining you credit; carefully selected words or phrases which are embedded into the body of your argument will work much more efficiently. You must develop your ideas fully based on the textual details that you use, this ill ensure that you are rewarded for insight and exploration which is a necessary characteristic of an A* response. It is important to engage with the texts as poems; that is, you need to show you understand that poetic form and technique are central to how the meaning of the poems is derived. In order to do this, it is important to learn key terms and concepts related to the creation of poems. You need to write in a consistently comparative way – an A* rest compare the poems simultaneously in the same paragraph of the r Although you only need to ‘hit’ each criteria once in your essay, a tend to repeatedly ‘hit’ the criteria throughout. Coif Stage 1: The Introduction Your introduction needs to do the following: Address the terms of the question referring directly to the key word question; Some conceptual discussion of the key concept in the title question, An initial comparison of how the key concept in the title question is each poem – you need to make sure you include in this the titles an poets you are going to discuss. Stage 2: Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph needs to do the following.