Writing a Level One Exam Essay

Here are a few ideas about writing an exam essay for those of you in Year 11.

When writing a literature essay you should:

  • select topics carefully to ensure so that you can deal with the demands of the topic before beginning
  • •take note of the key words in bold to guide your answers
  • •keep to the topic
  • •avoid trying to use rote-learned essays from previous years’ papers
  • •use the planning space provided and structure your ideas
  • •support your ideas with appropriate evidence / examples from the text
  • •provide sufficient evidence to enable you to achieve the standard, using the suggested minimum word length as a guide
  • •understand the requirements of the standard eg in the short texts essay you must answer on at least two texts, and your answers need to show sufficient balance across both texts
  • answer both parts of the topic and refrain from presenting only a plot summary
  • •proof-read your answers, particularly for extended texts. Often poor punctuation lets a student down.
  • avoid including detailed examples as “add ons” using only commas, resulting in rambling “run on” sentences. Don’t use too many conjunctions to amplify ideas, as this may result in long, grammatically incorrect sentences.
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