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Paper 2 Essay Writing Guide

Novels
When writing about novels you should consider all of the following:

Is it written in the first or third person effect?


Literary techniques (metaphor, personification, simile, alliteration,
plosive/fricative consonants, repetition, onomatopoeia etc)
Look at sentence and paragraph, chapter length.
Punctuation.
Narrative or dialogue.
Writers diction and syntax (choice of language/vocabulary and sentence
structure)
Characterisation
Setting
Themes
Description
Message (Does it seem political/moral)
Genre /Style
Context (Social, Historical, Political etc.)
Symbolism

EFFECT,EFFECT, EFFECT, EFFECT, EFFECT.


If the writer has not included some of these things consider whether that is important.
For example if it is all dialogue and no narrative, that might be relevant.
Important things to focus on with the criteria in mind:
HOW it is written?
What is the EFFECT on the reader
Context In relation to the title
ANALYSE DO NOT SUMMARISE OR REWRITE THE STORY IN ANY WAY!
You MUST use quotes and should remember that little and often is better than a huge
chunk of quoted text. It is not possible to focus on the detail if you quote too much at
once. Try and embed your quotes. (Make them part of your own sentence)
Remember the writer!
Use PEEL Point, Example, Explain, Link

Useful Phrases
Xs use of..demonstrates/indicates to the reader..
Xs use of.could be seen to reflect.
X demonstrates.through his use of.
As a reader, we can empathise/understand/engage with..through Xs use
of
X is able to manipulate the pace/reader/emotions ofthrough his use
of
can be interpreted ashowever, a stronger interpretation
could be..
There is a suggestion of.which could be interpreted
as.
.is clearly indicated, however, a more subtle interpretation suggests
that..
By using/expressing/describing.X is clearly indicating his
belief that.
Xs reference to..is an indication of/comment on.which
reflects the situation at the time.
Xs belief that is reflected in his portrayal of
One interpretation might suggest that Xs opinion of..is reflected in his portrayal
of

Example (Literature always has a political purpose; it is never simply to entertain. With
reference to the two novels that you have studied, to what extent do you agree with this
statement?)
Orwells belief that societies should heed the rising communist powers in Russia is reflected
in his portrayal of Big Brother. OBrians claim that You must love Big Brother demonstrates
the extent to which a totalitarian society can brainwash the citizens. The Partys policy of
thought control emphasizes Orwells concerns further and leaves the reader, along with
Winston and Julia, aware that the most that can be hoped for is to die hating them; this is
regarded as the only freedom available. Orwells dystopian setting and subjective third person

narrative serves as a vehicle in which he is able to convey to the reader his fears of the
political situation in post WWII Europe.
Potential Themes/Topics in Paper 2

Politics
Strengths/Weaknesses
Conflicts
Social Class
Relationships
Striving to make the world a better place
Closure/Resolution
Characterisation
Journeys
Fate
Setting
Greed
Human Behaviour
Moral/Ethical Dilemmas
Honour
Power
Victors and Victims
Individuals and Society
Guilt/Blame
Family
Place and Time (Context)
Failures in Communication
Strong Females
Fear and Hope
Characters we can identify with
Dark and Light
Suggestion/Subtext
Education and Learning
Coincidence/Chance
Character Motivation
Ideas that are universal
Life is a game played between chaos and death
Credible protagonists
Gaining, maintaining or losing paradise
Good and Bad being a matter of perception
Human Spirit
Expectations
Courage
The importance of names
Significance of Children and Childhood
Change in status of Characters
Hope and possibility
Reality

Social/Political purpose