How to get Better at Essay Writing | How to study for Critical and Close Studies

How to get better at Essay writing is something you learn by example. Look at what your teachers comment on in your essays, and note what kinds of things they applaud and those they scratch out. When you are just starting out, ask someone whose editing skills you trust – a parent, teacher or friend – to go through and edit your essay for you, so you can look at what they do and emulate it next time. And if they help you – be grateful – critical comments are more important than kind words.

  • How to Get Better at Editing

    • Read example essays
    • Critics’ essays and reviews online, your friends’ essays at school and exemplar essays passed out by your teacher will teach you phrasing and jargon.
    • This is the first step of “How to get Better at Essay Writing”.
  • How to Study for Critical and Close Studies

    • When you aren’t sure how you should be studying for English, work through this checklist.
    • Start with Number One and work your way down.
  • Write The Five Core Essays:

    • On textual integrity, universal themes, characters/personas/relationships, critical readings (Adv only) and on how you would alter the text to create meaning (Adv only).
    • Follow the structure given in your essay guide!
  • Write at least 1 page of study notes each on:

    • language, text-type techniques, character/persona/ relationships and ALL possible themes – not just the ones you like talking about.
    • Write them as extra essay paragraphs, typed and saved on your computer.
    • Sometimes you can just insert one of these paragraphs into a core essay when it is more suitable for the question.
  • You should have at least 2 pages of extra quotes for your set text typed and saved on your computer.

    • You might even associate each quote with a technique or classify what kind of question they would be useful to answer.
  • You should have at least 1 page of extra quotes from critics typed and saved on your computer.

    • Use various critics. You might even classify what kind of question they would be useful to answer.
  • Answer at least 10 practice essay questions which are widely varied from your typical question.

    • Don’t do these timed.
    • Use all-new quotes and ideas – don’t just edit an essay you’ve already written to fit the question.
    • Start by creating a skeleton essay plan.
    • Keep these essays on your computer – you may need to refer to them in the future.
  • Acquire and work through practice Paper 2 exams.

    • Do them timed.
    • When your time runs out, make notes on anything you could have done better.
    • Try to improve this in the next exam you do.
  • At the end of your study, edit your core essays using the editing guide.

    • After studying, you will find you have a lot more to say and some more sophisticated ideas for your core essays.

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