Revision for AQA English Language and Literature B - Talk in Life and Literature
An essay that focuses on analysis usually contain one or more key words such as describe, examine, explore.
These questions ask you to evaluate: they require you to give your opinion, to make a judgment call. This means you can't sit on the fence. You have to take a stand. Students sometimes say they have no idea about the text, but if pressed will offer a comment that gets everyone laughing. This is what I call a ‘BIG IDEA’ and it's important. Once you have an idea, you can turn it into a thesis statement. All you do is put your idea into academic language. The best essays come from an idea that interests you and connects to the material in the extract that you have to write about in the exam.
Big Idea: I think Horatio was a big wuss. Thesis Statement: It could be argued that Horatio’s role is that of confidant and chorus.
Big Idea: Hamlet was well OTT. Thesis statement: Hamlet is not just the archetypal revenge hero; he is the most introspective, the most melancholic, the most pensive hero ever.
Be confident - your ideas about Hamlet are worth reading, and your essay will be easier to write if you are saying what you truly think.