Explore 2 poems IG - MrF-EFC

Literature: Explorative essay
Follow these instructions for advice
on how to write an effective
comparative essay
Your title:
• Explore the ways in which two poets show
their attitude towards human nature in the
poems The Cockroach and Hunting Snake.
Refer to examples from the texts for your
evidence using PQC.
Examiner’s report, Literature paper
• The distinguishing mark of a really good response
is what is referred to in the Mark Scheme as ‘
critical understanding‘
’, i.e. a sense of why a writer
chooses a particular word or image in order to
create a particular effect. It was very pleasing to
see how many candidates were able to look at
language analytically and not only identify a
particular technique or figure of speech but also
comment on the effect created for the reader or
How much should I write?
• This is an exam-style question, and you would
therefore be expected to write solidly for 45
minutes under timed test conditions, but that
is when you have PRACTISED all this!
• For this essay, aim to write 2.5 sides of
handwritten paper (1.5 if typed) –
approximately 6 paragraphs including a strong
introduction and conclusion.
• It is a PERSONAL RESPONSE that the
examiners are looking for, but you must also
include close exploration of how different
effects contribute to meaning.
Before you start
• Write out the title, highlight the key words.
• Choose your poems. Before you start writing,
try to say for each one exactly what the
relationship is between humans and the
natural world.
• Find three or four good quotations from each.
• Why are these particularly good examples of
how the writer explores this relationship?
Writing your introduction
• Your introduction should make a powerful
impression on the examiner.
• It should address the keywords in the
question, and mention both the name of the
poet and the title of the poem.
• Try starting with ‘in’. That way you are forced
to make a point, e.g. ‘In Where I Come From
by Elizabeth Brewster, the writer makes a
powerful connection between…..(keywords)’
Literary techniques
• In films, directors can use sound effects or
lighting to evoke a feeling from the audience.
In the same way, writers employ figurative
language and literary techniques.
• It isn’t interesting to comment on when these
effects are used; focus instead on how it
makes you feel, how it brings the poem to life
for the reader.
• Don’t make any new points in your conclusion,
and don’t quote from the poems.
• Consider the overall effect of both poems
(think of your own, simple answer to the
question at the start)
• Is it, in your opinion, effective? (say YES, by
the way!)
For further help…
• EnglishBiz, Improve your poetry grades:
GCSE Bitesize, Comparing poems:
GCSE Bitesize, Writing about poetry:

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