How to … write a conclusion

godbyes
“Goodbye (sniff): I loved your essay so much I read it twice!”

If beginnings feel tricky (until you read this, naturally), then signing off an essay can feel just as daunting, and it’s equally important.  Faced with the time pressure of writing an additional half paragraph of analysis only to finish mid-

 

-sentence, or writing a strong conclusion, I know which one I’d choose every time.

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How to … write an introduction

readiness is all
‘the readiness is all’  Hamlet V.ii

It’s that time of year again.

OCR A Level English Literature (paper 1):  Thursday, 23 May, 13:30hrs

AQA GCSE English Literature (paper 1):  Wednesday, 15 May, 13:30hrs

as well as mocks for Y10 and Y12 students … and the most daunting thing of all is starting your answer. (For tips on how to end your essay, click here)

“Do I need an introduction?  Why?  What should be in it?”

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KISSing Macbeth

lego witches
image: Klyph Ra’h Ben Sun

Can you do anything to help Brian?  He’s got a Macbeth exam coming up,‘ said my Dearest Partner of Greatness.

Brian is not his real name.  He’s a nephew.  Being a typically feckless Y10 lad, none of us have any idea whether he has read the play, or seen it, or what type of test / exam he has coming up, or when it might be.  We doubt Brian knows himself.

So what’s to do, for someone with a target of 4 (for overseas visitors, the highest target at GCSE is 9, and 4 tends to be the grade employers ask for as a minimum) and a complete disinterest in English?

Time to work my magic, and on my birthday, too!  Time, in fact, for a mindmap – it’s almost a present being asked to do one, because I LOVE a nice mindmap.

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Model Answer: GCSE Macbeth (I.i)

 

macbeth_witches_by_melodypam-d333guu-e1514319273212
you SHOULD be women …

“Don’t tell them, SHOW them.”

 

Last week, as an interesting experiment (interesting to me as much as to anyone else), I set my two KS4 classes the same question, to see how they fared with a little competition.

 

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To scheme, or not to scheme …

Should I oppose the slings and arrows of teaching the same thing year in, year out?

Julius Caesar SOW

… THAT is the question occupying my thoughts at the moment.

No, this isn’t a Machiavellian masterplan for world domination (although see below, perhaps it’s just part of one).

What you see above is the bare bones of a 12-week (forty-eight lesson!) Scheme of Work on Julius Caesar that I’ve been toying with producing over the summer.  I’m hoping for advice – not just on the skeleton of the scheme (although that would be highly appreciated), but on whether or not to bother …

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Pay attention, there’s a test (part 2)

At 18, students ought to be able to handle History plays, but the exam boards don’t seem to like them?

BH KS5 texts

Following my recent KS4 post, I extended my research to A Level – that is the exams taken by 18-year olds before they hit university.  Again, I’d love to hear from students or teachers, especially in other countries.  Here are a few thoughts of my own:

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Crimes Against Shakespeare 011: beware Shakesphobia

Don’t Panic, as Douglas Adams might say. Together we can beat this awful disease.

BH shakespeare-signature-shutterstock2

This is a PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING brought to you by the Boar’s Head, Eastcheap.

There is a deadly, debilitating disease sweeping schools in the UK.  Parents, teachers, and especially students need to be informed.  Many people do not realise they have it until it is too late.  Treatment can be lengthy, and painful, and some patients (err, I mean students) never recover.

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