When looking at style in terms of lexis and syntax, you should consider what kinds of word are being used and their register. Does one particular part of speech play a particularly significant role? Are there a lot of adjectives or verbs?

Cambridge IGCSE English Literature: 'Songs of Ourselves': practice questions for all poems

Is the lexis conversational? How does the choice of words relate to characterisation?

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In terms of syntax, pay attention to sentence type and structure. Are there questions or exclamations?

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Is the syntax simple or complex or convoluted? Is it ornate? If you are studying the texts in translation, it may be difficult to comment on aspects of style. If the translation is a good one, however, it may be possible to draw attention to the tone and register of the language, as well as the rhythm of the passage as a whole. You should look for any imagery, for key and recurrent motifs, for key and repeated words, and for any tropes.

English Literature: How to Write a Poetry Essay

What is the significance of the images or motifs? How are they arranged or developed through the poem?


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How do images or repeated words relate to each other? Can you gather them into thematic clusters? Are there any other tropes — exaggeration, paradox etc. As with a prose passage, when looking at style in terms of lexis and syntax you should consider what kinds of word are being used and their register e. When dealing with poetry, you should also look at other formal aspects, such as rhyme or sound play, stanza organisation, rhythm and metre, enjambment and internal rhyme see the separate handout for information on this. But you may fruitfully look for repeated sound clusters — especially around the stressed vowel, rather than at the beginning of words — and try and see how these highlight and link key words this is much more common than onomatopoeia.

How to Get Grade 9 When Comparing Poems Using the AQA Mark Scheme

Stanza organisation and rhyme scheme can help you to identify the compositional structure of the poem, and any change in these will be significant and is likely to accompany and highlight changes on other levels. A brief conclusion to round off your commentary enables you to summarise the way that you have illuminated what the poem or passage is about and how it works. For students reading texts in the original, points about content can be made without always giving the words in the original language, e.


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Points about style should be made by quoting words or phrases in the original, but with an English translation in brackets if there is some ambiguity of meaning. Writing a commentary about a historical document is an exercise in many ways similar to working on a commentary on a passage from prose and poem. However, in your commentary on a historical document you will need to determine.

A commentary is an exercise in close and detailed textual analysis. This qualification is very highly rated by schools and universities and is recommended for students who would like to study any essay-based analytical A-level such as English language, English literature, History, Politics or Classical Civilization.

Sample GCSE English Literature poetry essay | Teaching English

You will explore texts from a variety of places and times and be able to see how writers respond to and reflect the events and movements that were taking place at the time they were writing. You will study a nineteenth century novel, a play by Shakespeare in addition to a modern drama text and a poetry anthology. You will also develop the skills to analyze literary texts that you have never seen before.

The course will develop your ability to read critically as well as to appreciate the different components of literary texts and literary criticism. Section A - Unseen Poetry: one mark essay on an unseen poem Section B - Anthology Poetry: one mark essay comparing two anthology poems Section C - Modern Prose: one mark essay question on a set text. Essay 1: a response to a modern drama text Essay 2: a response to a literary heritage text. Poetry anthology You will study a wide range of classic and contemporary poetry from the Edexcel Anthology.