‘MACBETH’ PLANNING THE ESSAY PLANNING YOUR ESSAY • Before you write your essay, it is essential that you plan your essay thoroughly • You need to think carefully about the question and the way you are going to respond to it. • This helps to ensure that you: • Answer the question properly • Stay on track with your paragraphs • Include evidence to support your points and • write a great essay! STEP ONE- KEY WORDS • Write out the question and underline or circle the key words in the question. • What do these words mean? Look them up if you are not sure what they mean. • Can you think of other words that mean the same thing (synonyms)? Make a list of them on your planning sheet. • Your turn: • The lust for power can lead to the destruction of individuals and society. Discuss. STEP TWO – UNDERSTANDING THE QUESTION • Write out what you think the question means in your own words. You can use the synonyms you came up with before. • This helps to make sure that you understand exactly what the question is asking you to do. • Also, identify the type of question you are responding to: • • • • Character Theme Author’s views and values Structures, features and conventions Your turn: • Type of question? • Rewrite in your own words: The lust for power can lead to the destruction of individuals and society. Discuss. STEP THREE- BRAINSTORMING • Brainstorm the question carefully and thoroughly • Write down any themes, characters, scenes, quotes etc. that come to mind when thinking about the question • You can use a visual diagram or thinking tool to map out and order your ideas • Thinking tool examples: • Flowchart e.g. At the beginning middle End STEP THREE- BRAINSTORMING CONT. idea • Concept map idea idea CHANGES idea idea • Venn diagram (for comparisons) • Fishbone diagram Macbeth at start Macbeth at end Your turn: The lust for power can lead to the destruction of individuals and society. Discuss. Brainstorm without the play: themes, characters, scenes, quotes etc. STEP FOUR- FORM YOUR CONTENTION • In one sentence, write out your response to the essay question. • You can either: (depending of 3 or 4 body paragraphs) • • • • Totally agree(yes, yes, yes) Partially agree (mostly agree with a ‘however’ paragraph) Totally disagree (no, no, no) Partially disagree (mostly disagree with a ‘however’ paragraph) • That means you could choose to partially dis/agree with the question to provide an alternative point and your contention must show this • State your opinion but do not use the word ‘I’. Try to use different vocabulary in your contention to the words in the question (not essential) Your turn: CLEVER CONTENTIONS The lust for power can lead to the destruction of individuals and society. Discuss. • Make your contention crystal clear; try not to use ‘however’ or equivalents such as ‘except’ or ‘but’ as these can make contentions confusing • To include a ‘however’ response, try approaching the writing of your contention in a less simplistic way – not just yes or no e.g. • “It is only when ambition becomes the sole drive of a character, that it leads to the downfall of not only themselves, but the whole of society”. This implies that other characters might have ambition, but that it hasn’t taken over and so their life/ the order of the world is in tact. STEP FIVE – FORM ARGUMENTS • Once you have your contention, brainstorm three/ four points that will back up your contention (three/ four reasons why your contention is true) • If you are including a ‘however’ paragraph, ensure you develop an argument for this idea as well • These arguments will become your body paragraphs • Use your thinking notes from your brainstorming step STEP FIVE – FORM ARGUMENTS CONT. • Remember the difference between arguments and evidence • The evidence is what the author says: literal • The leaves are red and yellow. What colour are the leaves? • The argument is what that evidence proves: inferential • The leaves are red and yellow. What season is it? • Think of an argument and (for now) start it with: this evidence proves that… • At a later stage, you can develop these into topic sentences • Your turn: FORMING ARGUMENTS CONT. IDEAS RATHER THAN EVIDENCE BASED Scene/ Evidence Argument based on an idea • Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Individuals lose their sense of self • Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plus Macbeth and Banquo Relationships can be corrupted • Duncan’s murder results in wild horses etc., weather, Scotland’s downfall The natural order is disturbed if the Chain of Being is disturbed • However: Banquo and Malcolm However: maintain perspective/ other important things in life than just power e.g. friendship, family, etc. ARGUMENTS CONT. APPROACHING TEEEEL • Student sample: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth lust for power which leads to the destruction of themselves as individuals. Destruction of individuals • What is the argument? Macbeth and Lady Macbeth • What is the evidence? • We shouldn’t have evidence in a topic sentence, should we?! • How could we make this a TEEEEL argument? Some characters destroy their lives in their desperate attempts to gain and maintain a position of power. • Now, what is the evidence for a TEEEEL paragraph? E.g. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth ARGUMENTS CONT. IDEAS VS. EVIDENCE • If you can’t think of an ideas-based argument for your topic sentence: • Stick with your contention and evidence for your topic sentence e.g. “Macbeth and Lady Macbeth lust for power which leads to the destruction of themselves as individuals”. • If you can think of an ideas-based argument for your topic sentence: • This adds an extra layer to your thinking and puts you ahead of the curve! E.g. “Many characters destroy their lives in their desperate attempts to gain and maintain a position of power”. STEP SIX – FINDING EVIDENCE • Finally, choose the quotes that best support the points you have made • Make sure you have at least 2 quotes per paragraph and at least one quote for every time to make a claim or statement about a character or refer to a specific scene. However, you should be aiming for 3 quotes per paragraph by this stage to add more depth to your argument • Write the quotes out in full so that you can work with them and then try to embed them when you write your essay • Remember: 10 words or less • To smoothly embed quotes, you can use: …  : • Your turn: Brainstorm with the play: The lust for power can lead to the destruction of individuals and society. Discuss. STEP SEVEN -PLANNING YOUR INTRODUCTION • Your introduction should explain your response to the question and outline your reasons • You must make sure that whatever you mention in your introduction is explained in your body paragraphs PLANNING THE INTRODUCTION • Things to include: • Mention the name of the text (in single quotation marks‘Macbeth’) and the author’s first and surname (surname only from then on) as well as the fact that it is a play • State your contention clearly: • E.g. William Shakespeare demonstrates/highlights how/that...[insert contention] • Outline the main points from your planning (your body paragraphs).This could be done by listing them in one sentence or a sentence that introduces each point: • This is revealed/developed through/by [list main points]. • Optional but recommended: Mention the author’s views/values shown in the text: • Shakespeare illustrates that ...[insert what you think the author’s message is – in relation to the question] INTRODUCTION SAMPLE • ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare explores the idea that power can corrupt… • A lust for power is explored through the play ‘Macbeth’… 1. First argument 2. Second argument 3. Third argument • Shakespeare suggests that it can be difficult to rein in ambition… STEP EIGHT -PLANNING YOUR BODY PARAGRAPHS/ REBUTTAL • Your body paragraphs are where you really explore and explain your ideas • You need to structure them according to TEEEEL to ensure your ideas make sense • They must contain evidence from the text to show that the author agrees with your viewpoints • Remember, you may wish to include a ‘however’ paragraph PLANNING THE BODY PARAGRAPHS • Things to include: think TEEEEL (repeat explanation/ evidence) • Paragraph starter • E.g. Firstly, furthermore, conversely, additionally, although, despite, etc. • Topic sentence • State the contention and the specific argument for that paragraph • Explanation • Using your own words, explore your argument in more detail • Evidence • Prove your argument with a quote or specific scene which demonstrates this idea • Paragraph finisher • E.g. Clearly, thus, ultimately • Linking sentence • Restate how this argument supports your contention • Possibly, discuss the author’s views and values about this idea BODY PARAGRAPH SAMPLE • Topic sentence: • Firstly, some characters destroy their lives in their desperate attempts to gain and maintain a position of power. • Evidence: • Macbeth is initially a man who “smack[s] of honour” and Lady Macbeth is also “honoured” in King Duncan’s eyes. • Explanation: • They both hold a high position of power within the Great Chain of Being. Macbeth holds the position of Thane of Glamis and his battle prowess is celebrated with the reward of the title: Thane of Cawdor. Upon hearing the Witches prophesies however, Macbeth and his wife begin to take drastic measures to ensure greater power rather than allowing time and fate to take its course. • Evidence: • As a result of their treacherous murders that upset the Chain, Macbeth “shall sleep no more” and Lady Macbeth’s “slumbery agitation” is highlighted by her sleep-walking and sleep-talking. • Explanation: • Sleep, Shakespeare’s symbol of innocence, no longer plays a part in Macbeth nor Lady Macbeth’s life. Their souls are corrupted and therefore cannot partake in this natural act. • Linking sentence: • Clearly, Shakespeare highlights the dangers of losing one’s self to the perils of an ambition driven life. He argues that “measure, time, and place” should be allowed to take their course. STEP NINE -PLANNING YOUR CONCLUSION • You must make sure that whatever you mention in your conclusion has already been explained in your body paragraphs – this is to ensure that your essay has responded to the question • Restate your contention and the arguments that support this viewpoint and tie them all together • It should contain varied vocabulary and sentence structures to those that have been used earlier in your essay • It must NOT introduce new information • It could examine the author’s views and values about this topic • It should draw a conclusion / make an observation CONCLUSION SAMPLE • ‘Macbeth’ underlines the importance… 1. First argument 2. Second argument 3. Third argument • Whilst ambition is important, Shakespeare promotes the idea that it must be balanced alongside other priorities… STEP TEN – POLISHING METALANGUAGE AND EDITING • Q: Do I need to use words like ‘protagonist’? • A: Yes! • Metalanguage is: • language used to describe language • the labels we use to help understand the concepts we are talking about • It includes words such as: • Character, protagonist, antagonist • Narrative structure: orientation, exposition, rising action, turning point, complication, falling action, resolution • Setting, plot, characterisation, novel (not book, story etc.), author, author’s views and values • Symbol, motif • Structures, features, conventions: Act, Scene, Line, soliloquy, aside, metaphors, similes, imagery, exaggeration,, sentence length and structure, assonance, atmosphere, tone, onomatopoeia, adjectives, adverbs, allusion etc. • Try to use this metalanguage to analyse Shakespeare’s use of techniques (symbolism, imagery etc.) and the effects on the audience • Editing • Spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, fluency, expression, relevance etc.