What to Add at Editing Essays | Critical and Close Studies

  • Thesis

    • The thesis should be a part of every paragraph by the way you interpret textual events.
    • For critical studies your thesis will be related to your personal reading to the text.
    • You will want to include textual integrity and universality in your thesis, but your whole thesis cannot be: it has universality.
    • It must be more specific and personal than that.
  • References to the Module rubric

    • Check your essay for references to the rubric.
    • Keep in mind that although not all rubric ideas may be mentioned in the essay question, you will still be marked according to the rubric.
    • You are expected to interpret your questions in the context of the rubric, so it’s a good idea to use some key terms to direct your markers towards your awareness of this fact.
  • Techniques and quotes

    • Go back through your texts and notes and see if you can pack some more quotes in, especially those which are more detailed or more relevant.
    • More quotes is always the answer when it comes to Critical Studies.
  • Jargon

    • You may know more about narrative conventions or poetry techniques or so on than when you planned your essay.
    • Substitute in more specific terms for general ones, and make sure you have emphasised the techniques with a good state, explain, support structure.
    • Go back through your texts and notes and see if you can pack some more quotes in, especially those which are more detailed or more relevant.
    • More quotes is always the answer when it comes to Critical Studies.
  • Phrasing

    • You can tell a boring story in an interesting way if you present it well enough.
    • With this in mind, you should use language to make your essay interesting to read.
    • Use exciting adjectives, keep the main points towards the start of sentences, and paragraph for new ideas so your essay has a rhythm to it.  
    •  Vary the length of sentences – short sentences for emphasis, long sentences for building to a point.
    • You should alternate between these sentence types, especially if you tend to favour one or the other.
  • Literary background

    • This is especially important for Critical study essays.
    • Every opportunity you have reinforce the point you’re making by considering the literature context – e.g. Victorian, Post-Modernist, you should do so.
    • Any cultural understanding you’ve come across since you wrote your essay should also be mentioned when it is relevant – usually in discussions of characterisation.
  • Critics, Text-types and Frames

    • Emphasise your discussion of text-type features, quotes from critics, and considerations of minority reference frames with an air of understanding.
    • Make sure you use these comfortably rather than stiffly – to do so may require a little time surfing Wikipedia.