A Level English Literature Making a thesis for your essays Feedback from your last essays Write down your peer and teacher feedback Check whether you have met any of your previous targets Take note of your targets from the last uneven question to ensure that you meet them in the timed essay on Thursday Whole class targets: You must range throughout the novel Make your argument crystal clear in your intro and in all your topic sentences You are not marked for AO2 in this question Use academic language and discourse markers (see your English folder for ideas) Writing a debate essay Understand the term ‘thesis’ (theory or argument) Create a thesis from an essay question Create main body structure from supporting points Using a mindmap to plan Essay Questions / Introductions All essays titles are a kind of question. They are asking for your opinion about something. However, if your essay title doesn't appear to be a question, it can be turned into one. For example, if you were given the title, 'Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of ambition in Macbeth', you could think about this as, 'How and why does Shakespeare present the theme of ambition in Macbeth?‘ When considered as a question, you will often find it is easier to generate that all-important single main point of view - the main idea upon which you will then base the remainder of your essay. Here is an example of a main idea succinctly stated (i.e. thesis statement) that could be used to create an argument essay from the above question: Shakespeare presents the theme of ambition in Macbeth through the play's two major characters, Lord and Lady Macbeth, and this theme is brought to a terrible conclusion as the play progresses.' Are the men in The Kite Runner more convincingly portrayed than the women? First, turn the question into a statement Then, reverse or negate the statement You now have two statements The men in The Kite Runner are more convincingly portrayed than the women The women in The Kite Runner are more convincingly portrayed than the men Create different statements by making these two stronger or weaker, more or less certain, more or less specific. The narrator is himself a man and as such we are party to his innermost thoughts ,… A lthough the character of Soraya is not as vividly painted as Hassan, she possesses an inner strength,… Afghanistan is a male-dominated country so . . . . There are few women in the novel, and they are portrayed stereotypically as mother, whore, wife Look at all the statements you have… There are few women in the novel, and they are portrayed stereotypically as mother, whore, wife ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… The narrator is himself a man and as such we are party to his innermost thoughts Which do you agree with? Where do you stand? When you decide on an argument (or thesis), you then need to give reasons (or points) saying why. There are few women in the novel, and they are portrayed stereotypically as mother, whore, wife . . . Each of the points supporting your thesis can be turned into a paragraph in the main body of your essay. How? Another way to plan your essay is to create a mindmap after you have questioned the question How do you evaluate an interpretation? A feminist might view the lack of women as being a flaw in the novel, however it is more plausible that . . . Read the script you have been given: underline where the writer has evaluated an interpretation Are the men in The Kite Runner more convincingly portrayed than the women? Now create a thesis in your groups for one of the following questions: “Assef is nothing more than an evil thug.” How do you respond to Assef’s character and role in The Kite Runner as a whole? How far do you agree with the view that The Kite Runner is a celebration of the bonds of brotherhood? It is impossible to sympathise with Amir despite his heroism in rescuing Sohrab. How do you respond to this view? Rahim Khan has been described as a “true hero and yet too good to be true”. How do you respond to Rahim Khan’s character and role in The Kite Runner? In pairs, take one point and write a paragraph. Remember the AOs! Agree the characters of Amir, Baba, Hassan, Ali, General Taheri, Rahim Khan, Assef, Ali, etc • the introspective first person male narrator • the most painful relationships being those between brothers, male friends, male enemies and fathers and sons, etc • the guilt felt by Baba and Amir • the background war story and the adventure story which is dominated by men • the fact that women are only seen as mothers or wives, etc. Disagree • Soraya and her inner strength • • minor female characters who are courageous and who have voices however small, etc • • the way that some male characters have female characteristics, etc. Why might the women’s characters be less delineated than the men’s? Does it say anything about Amir? Afghan society? Can you make a paragraph out of the notes from the debate?