universal forms

Back to School: How to Get an A*/8 or 9 in an English Lit Essay!

Happy September, everyone!

As we all get our gears in motion to start a new year, I thought I would share my top tips for scoring the highest marks in English Literature essays. 

(P.S. Lots of these tips are applicable to other subjects too)


1. Don’t write about the character as if they are real

Unfortunately, this is a common error in English Lit essays. It is absolutely imperative to remember that a character is not a person, but is a construct of the writer in order to present an idea or theme. No matter the question, you should be linking your answer back to the writer’s ideas and theme of the text, even if it doesn’t seem obvious what the theme is on the first inspection of the question. Using the author’s name frequently in your essay will demonstrate that you recognise the character is not a real person - ‘Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle as…’

2. Don’t analyse the plot

Avoid analysing the plot or when things happen in the text. Don’t write ‘When X happens it makes us think Y’. Instead:

  • Analyse the writer’s use of language, structure and form to create meaning
  • Do a close language analysis of specific words/phrases, including a sound analysis (plosives, assonance, etc.)
  • Do a structural analysis of what happens when and why that’s important (Freytag’s pyramid)
  • Do an analysis of form (stage directions, dramatic monologue, etc.)

3. Keep your answer relevant throughout

You need to be explicitly answering the question - not going off on a tangent nor trying to change the question to suit an answer that you want to write. One way of avoiding this is by starting each paragraph with a topic sentence, summarising what that paragraph is going to be about and how it answers the question. Another method is simply by rewording the question into your answer at the start and end of every paragraph. At least. For greater impact, include synonyms of the word, which can also help with the readability of your answer.

4. Avoid PEE/PEEL/etc. where you can

Thousands of students are taught the same, basic Point-Evidence-Explain (or variant) analytical paragraph structure. If you want to stand out, show academic strength, and achieve the highest marks then you must break free from the chains of PEE! (This also applies for your introduction format. ‘In this essay, I will argue…’ gets pretty dull after reading it 100 times)

For my students, I will be teaching them to write What-How-Why paragraphs:

WHAT has the writer done?

HOW have they done it?

WHY have they done it/is it effective?

This way, your focus is always on why the writer has chosen to use that specific language/structure/form, but it allows you to be creative in crafting your response. Being able to discuss the ‘why’ of literature is the key to unlocking the highest grades. Reading through examiners’ reports this summer has made one thing clear - it is not enough to merely spot linguistic devices or structural features. You must explain why the writer has chosen them and why that is an effective choice (or not).

5. Avoid sweeping statements about context

The main advice here is to only include comments about the context of the text if it adds to the analytical point that you are making. They should not be a bolt-on sentence, but they should enhance your answer.

Further, sweeping claims like ‘All Jacobean women were oppressed by society’ is far too vague. On the other hand, a comment like ‘Lady Macbeth is a disturbing example of womanhood because she denies her gender at a time where the role of a woman was clear-cut, even patriarchal, in Jacobean society’ suggests that you have a greater understanding of how context can influence the writer’s choices.

6. A plan is your best friend

Always, always make time to plan your answer. A method I recommend is, first, circling the key words in the question (character/theme, what you are asked to do, where in the text you are asked to look, etc.). Secondly, write all of your ideas down onto the page, highlighting parts from the extract if you have that in front of you. Finally, select a judicious number of points that you are going to talk about (quality not quantity here) and number the order in which you are going to make them.

If you are writing a comparative essay, each paragraph must start and end with a comparative point about whatever it is you are comparing (characters/themes/etc.) I suggest the following format:

X is presented in both text A and text B. However, in A the author uses device 1 and 2 to demonstrate X. On the other hand, in B, the author demonstrates X via use of device 2 and 3.’ Then write one paragraph for each text. Repeat this again for another similarity. And again for a third - if you think that is appropriate.


Click HERE if you want more top tips/resources/essay advice/study motivation!!

Click HERE if you want more top tips/resources/essay advice/study motivation!!


Photo credit @eintsein 🌻

So I had a dream where Keith was a peaceful Galran lost on Earth and he bonds™ with Lance; These are a few tidbits I vaguely remember

I felt the mighty need to draw Paddy, she’s way too adorable. Obviously, her senpai is there too.

buzzfeed.com
This RA Read A Freshman A Bedtime Story For His Birthday And Became An Incredibly Pure Meme
The story was Leo the Late Bloomer.
By Kassy Cho

“He read it all upside down so I could see all the pictures. It was impressive,” Kochamba said.

He added that Boddie “definitely read it theatrically” and that “good storytelling is a performance art form.”

anonymous asked:

Jasper has a praise kink

she just realized it too lol

Rest

Uhh so this was in my drafts which I havent checked in weeks and totally forgot about? Anyway seeing as the fic I was supposed to be posting today got deleted,,, yall can have this one from like 5 months ago instead lmao.


Tony really should have noticed sooner.


On the surface, nothing seemed wrong. Steve was fine. A little ragged, maybe, but fine. He acted in the same way, smiled at Tony no differently, scolded Clint no less.

Fine.

(Beware the read more, mobile users!)

Keep reading

  • them: whats your favorite movie trilogy?
  • me: Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) DIR. ZACHARY EDWARD SNYDER

fireminer  asked:

When did the Arcade really become something? Was it before or after the Pinball machines became popular?

Arcades actually go back to the early 1900s in the US, where they were called Penny Arcades, and while they had slot machines and pinball, they also had things like love testers and Edison kinetiscopes where you could watch a woman take her clothes off.

People are often surprised to hear that the pinball machine didn’t have flippers until 1947 and they weren’t even at the bottom of the playfield until the early 1960s. Pinball (at least in the form it currently exists) is a lot newer than you think and is barely a decade older than the arrival of video games. The original form of pinball was basically a game of chance where a ball was dropped only to ding off metal pins at random and fall down holes with different payouts, very much like the modern game of pachinko.

Because Pinball was for gambling, there was a huge moral crusade against them in the early part of this century. On a personal note, my grandma used to tell me to stay away from “hooch, wild women, and pinball” (sorry Nani, I failed you on all three).

New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia declared war on pinball, and vowed to smash every single pinball machine that existed. Technically, pinball has only been legal in New York City since 1976.

What the Penny Arcades of the turn of the century actually had to offer wasn’t quite as important as who visited them, who the audience was for them: they were designed as cheap entertainment for the huge wave of American immigrants in big cities who had a little bit of money to spend. A major part of the reason movies were always a universal art form accessible to everyone (as opposed to something like ballet or theater) is that they had their origins with kinetiscope amusements consumed by immigrants in penny arcades, along with the nickelodeons that showed things like sports reels for boxing matches aimed at working class sports fans.

If I could be allowed a little digression, this is always why something like “upscale” movie theater chains like the Alamo Drafthouse make my skin crawl. Movies should be for the poor and for everyone, not for people who can shell out $14 for a bad order of hot wings, or a milkshake with wine in it. It’s a sinister sign of how wealth is massively concentrated in our new gilded age that these upscale theater chains target a shrinking percentage of the population with disposable income instead of the impoverished masses. The selling point of upscale movie theaters is that they automatically kick out anyone making noise, too, to create a “genteel” movie experience free of riff-raff, which I think is the kind of snotty crap a bad guy in a Rodney Dangerfield comedy would do. Recently, Alamo made waves for having all female showings of Wonder Woman. I have nothing against this idea (why would anyone be offended by this when you can see the movie in a thousand places?), but it comes off as phony grandstanding when done by a chain who’s sole reason for existing is delivering an experience for rich people. The living version of this image below: 

Returning to the original point, the key thing to remember about video games is this: in the beginning, they didn’t start off in the arcades, but were marketed toward bars and bowling alleys. This is why the marketing for these games in the early days was extremely adult. It kind of reminds me of how, come 2007 or so, the discussion around the Nintendo Wii was that it was a toy that could get you laid. Little by little, video games started to creep into the arcades.

The tipping point where the momentum shifted toward video games over pinball in the arcade was definitely Space Invaders in ’78, which was so wildly successful it showed that arcade video games were here to stay, and that they were a bigger moneymaker than the pinball machines were. There’s a story that Japan had a shortage of the ¥100 coin because of Space Invaders, which unfortunately is just too cool to be true, but it does go to show how it was a new cultural force that came in. 

Why British Youth Have More to Worry About Than Americans

I’ve never realised how good American kids have it when it comes to the stress of being accepted into a university. Americans take what is basically the entrance tests– the ACTs/SATs– during their junior year (Year 12 for the Brits), and can pretty much gauge where they can get into and with how much effort they can get in with, especially since almost every school has a range of scores that accurately reflect the middle 50% of the student body. The tests themselves are pretty easy to prepare for, seeing as they always have the same subjects (English, Math, Reading, and Science for ACT; Math, Critical Reading, and Writing for SAT) and they are MULTIPLE CHOICE. Oh, and it’s not uncommon for a student to take the ACTs/SATs anywhere from 2 to 6 times.

British students have it SOOO much worse. They have to prepare for their “entrance exams,” aka A Levels, for two years in a single, dedicated subject, like Economics or History. It’s nowhere near practical for a student to retake the exam, especially if they took the A Levels and the AS Levels in one session at the end of their final year in school. And JESUS CHRIST the exams are no where close to being as easy as a multiple choice test. Those exams are written. Entire pages of my exam answer document have been dedicated to a single question. Then, just to add insult to injury, while us Americans are packing and prepping for the university we got accepted to in APRIL, British kids are just waiting to see if they made the grades to GET IN!!! It gets even worse when you mention that some Americans start their University courses before British kids EVEN KNOW IF THEY’RE GOING TO UNIVERSITY!!!  And God forbid the horror that befalls those who don’t get the grades they need for their choice university and have to go through clearing…

In all, I have so much respect for British students. They have far more strenuous testing conditions and far more stress to deal with. I wish you the best on your results!

anonymous asked:

i noticed how the ships that were at the site for nora's video looked like legs so it's got me thinking, did the diamond ships used to form like a giant body or something? I mean we won't know until then (if ever) but it seems to be pointing to such a thing.

Eyyy!

So now we have arms, a head and maybe torso, and legs.

Form Voltron!