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Tips for writing A1 Essays - Paper 1, Paper 2 and WL1

This is all REALLY helpful, but I do have a question. How do you phrase your thesis into a question? Should'nt the thesis statement BE a statement? Could you give me some examples, because I'm really not understanding this. Nonetheless, thanks so much for all of this, it truly is helpful!

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This is all REALLY helpful, but I do have a question. How do you phrase your thesis into a question? Should'nt the thesis statement BE a statement? Could you give me some examples, because I'm really not understanding this. Nonetheless, thanks so much for all of this, it truly is helpful!

Well to my knowledge, the concept of a thesis statement exists only in N. American high schools, and it's not really = a question (perhaps a better word for question in this instance would be 'title'). Thesis statements seem to me to be basically a person saying "In my view X is X" -- like for instance "In book A and book B, both main characters are controlled by a powerful mother figure". The aim of the WL isn't to state something and then explain how, it's got to be a comparison and the title has got to imply that. So rather than that 'thesis statement', a good title would be: "A comparison of the impact of the mother figure on character 1 and character 2 in book A and book B".

It's quite a subtle difference, but you'll end up writing a much more focused, deeper and more comparative essay if you can word the title more as question which you then go on to answer rather than just a statement. Among other things, it adds extra levels to your argument because you can then do a proper comparison with contrast as well as just similarities, as well as giving your essay the right tone: you are using examples to 'argue' effectively. You argue how they are similar and how they are dissimilar in terms of how they are used and how they appear etc. and then your conclusion should be a balanced reflection of the arguments of your essay.

Blank assertions like that of a thesis statement can't lead to any of those things.

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Good list of advice, Alice, just thought I'd add one thing.

Present the characters. Don't write "X eats a potato together with Y". Instead write "The 16-year-old protagonist X eats a potato together with his best friend and neighbour, the blonde Englishman Y". This is how you show knowledge of works, criterion B.

Edited by Tilia
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Thank you Sandwich, the tips really helped in my A1 exams (papers 1 and 2). However I encountered a problem in writing my paper 2 this morning. I'd like to ask, for paper 2 right, let's say I have 3 points to talk about (say A, B, C) and 4 different works (say J, K, L, M). What if point A can only be related to work J, K, L; point B can only be related to work K, L, M; and point C be can only be related to work J and L? Can I still use the 4 works? Or must every single work be related to every point?

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You can still use all 4 works :P Obviously, though, you should aim for points which enable you to compare between at least 2 at once and it's more economical to make points comparing as many texts as you want to mention.

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Thanks a lot this really helped, however I still don't really understand how to structure paper 2?

Thanks

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Just wanted to add to a few things. Setting can be more than just the surroundings, it can be cultural specifics as well as some other things it's too early to remember at this time.

Details is generally broke down into Details of speech/appearance/thought/action (and it helps to be specific) and are usually used in characterizing something. Or creating a setting. Usually :yes:

You have characterization as a technique. The characters themselves can be techniques, but the way they are characterized could be broken down more to either the details, or the syntax or diction. I've always taken characterization as the effect instead of a technique. Could be just me though.

Imagery is can count for any sense as well, just just creating a picture. Book I'm reading now for example uses phonetic text instead of actual spelling creating the imagery of the sounds.

Motifs might be a good technique to add to the things to know section. They make themes and knowing how to find them and find them really early in the book will help in finding themes. Always good to find hints at themes quickly and then watch them grow ;)

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I was hoping points 4 and 6 explained it okay re: Paper 2. Which bit are you unsure about? I'm happy to elaborate :P

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Hey there, I was wondering if anyone had any handy lists or links (or something to that effect) of good vocab to use when writing Paper 1? I often find it quite difficult trying to describe the atmosphere, tone and/or style of the poem/prose because my range of vocab is pretty basic.

Thanks!

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Can somebody tell me where I can find some past English A1 and world literature papers ?It will help me for text analysis. One more thing how works are devided into several parts and what each part called? e.g Part1 works: Literature in translation................

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Sandwich, your post may have just well saved my (procrastinating lazy) ass! :props:

I took English a1 HL under the assumption that literally being good at writing essays was enough... then I realized that I didn't know how to analyze texts well enough to put my thoughts into coherent enough sentences that would eventually combine to you know, make up my Exam papers.

I have slaved over the last few months to spruse up my WL's (though still not sure if they were up to par) and my IOC to hopefully get the marks I desire, BUT I am now totally clueless about my actual exams which are , well, in exactly 2 months (Ok no wait, less...damn this denial). so, THANK YOU!

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Just wanted to add to a few things. Setting can be more than just the surroundings, it can be cultural specifics as well as some other things it's too early to remember at this time.

Details is generally broke down into Details of speech/appearance/thought/action (and it helps to be specific) and are usually used in characterizing something. Or creating a setting. Usually tongue.gif

You have characterization as a technique. The characters themselves can be techniques, but the way they are characterized could be broken down more to either the details, or the syntax or diction. I've always taken characterization as the effect instead of a technique. Could be just me though.

Imagery is can count for any sense as well, just just creating a picture. Book I'm reading now for example uses phonetic text instead of actual spelling creating the imagery of the sounds.

Motifs might be a good technique to add to the things to know section. They make themes and knowing how to find them and find them really early in the book will help in finding themes. Always good to find hints at themes quickly and then watch them grow smile.gif

Going off comment about setting, With our Paper 2 Texts and just in general we're always taught to look for cultural/social setting if there are any idicators because it can sometimes be really helpful when trying to understand any Text if you first understand the background to the cultural/social setting in order to follow the story and understand in a larger context how the themes might apply. Like for example in Running in the Family by Micheal Ondaatje it's really helpful to understand that Sri Lanka during the post colonialism time [after the British left] there was a lot of confusion in terms of identity (and search for Indentity is one the main themes of this text). So initially the reader might just pick up on Ondaatje's search for his own indentity, but there's a lot of stuff that references to post-colonialism and the whole nation's search for identity because if you just sort of understand what nations go through in general you can connect that to alot of what he writes.

And in an unseen text sometimes they give a lot of cues as to where the passage is taking place and it can be sometimes hugely helpful to realize whether its an Eastern setting or Western because there's a difference in the writing styles as well as cultural/social beliefs, setting, customs, etc which can affect your impression of the text. :)

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guys just wondering as I can't seem to find this elsewhere, but what are the new world lit grade boundaries?? I mean, now that we do one out of 25 instead of two out of 20. Thanks! (Most specifically I just want to know how much for a 6 and how much for a 7. I assume around the regions of 22-25 = 7; 18-22 = 6.)

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This is all REALLY helpful, but I do have a question. How do you phrase your thesis into a question? Should'nt the thesis statement BE a statement? Could you give me some examples, because I'm really not understanding this. Nonetheless, thanks so much for all of this, it truly is helpful!

I had the same issue with my IOP. My topic was 'The way in which loss is presented in 4 of Heaney's works', so my question was 'How does Heaney present the theme of loss in 4 of his works?'. You basically take your statement, and reword it slightly so it makes sense as a question.

Another example would be that my friend was doing how Gatsby is presented in The Great Gatsby, so his question was 'How is Gatsby presented by other characters in TGG'

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Hey there, I was wondering if anyone had any handy lists or links (or something to that effect) of good vocab to use when writing Paper 1? I often find it quite difficult trying to describe the atmosphere, tone and/or style of the poem/prose because my range of vocab is pretty basic.

Thanks!

I don't know if this is still relevant for you but if someone else saw this and wanted some help with vocab for textual analysis in A1 papers,

these are some really helpful links;

 

Vocabulary for text analysis and text production - WordPress ...

 

http://englischlehrer.de/language/vocab_text.php

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I'd recommend a "less is more" approach. Make it simple but not obviously simple. However the simplicity will have to dive deep into the poem. Structure it by idea change and try to find the little hidden unfindable meanings.

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