Transitioning Your English Essay into the A Stratosphere

August 20, 2018 | GradeMiners
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You’ve been writing essays for quite a while now since you were in high school and still haven’t made that transition from a C or B to that elusive A grade. You’ve probably tried different techniques over time, but they don’t seem to work. As the experts will tell you, superb papers have unique qualities that distinguish them from average and mediocre ones. It’s even harder to do well on an English essay because of the increased attention to details such as structure, citation, grammar, and the need to explore the literary text from cover to cover. All these might be aggravated by the fact that English may not necessarily be your first or native language. You might be stellar at expressive writing in Swahili, but the Queen’s language isn’t your forte.

Thankfully, all isn’t gloom. Reading this article will help shed light on what you’ve probably been doing wrong and how to do it right.

Proper research is Key to a Great Paper

English Literature as a discipline explores content, contexts, and subjects as they relate to human nature. In other words, if you’ve been given a set book to explore, the foundation of that A-level paper that you desperately want is hard, solid research. You need to pay keen attention to every little detail in the text, from the characters, the timelines, the plot, the settings, stylistic devices and every other nook and cranny of the book. This isn’t just to fill yourself with information that you don’t comprehend. Very often, you’ll be asked to give your own insights on those various devices used in the text, and you may also need to explore other related texts to reinforce your arguments and make them rich in scope and depth. Therefore, the first step to creating stellar papers is to do your research comprehensively with no shortcuts.

Close reading of the text while going through your notes, homework and other material provided in class will help you sift out information and provide guidance on what exactly your professor requires of your English essay.

Answer the Question

Too many students assume that reproducing the text as it appears in the set book will get them those elusive grades. You might be able to convince your professor that you did read the book from cover to cover, but providing the required answer is a whole different story. For example, assume you’ve been supplied with an essay prompt that reads:

Describe how class struggle is depicted through specific characters and situations in Orwell’s Animal Farm.

If you’re facing such a literature question, the last thing you want to do is regurgitate information without any basis or proper direction. This is assuming you have actually read Animal Farm and are familiar with the use of allegory and animalism in the text. Your instructor will see right through any attempts to circumvent the question with padded responses and use of lengthy sentences that have no meaning.

The first step to answering this question is to derive a thesis statement which should guide the rest of your responses and arguments. This thesis which forms part of your introduction informs the reader that you have understood the question and are now about to understand the issue at hand. The introduction is a crucial part of your essay and is the best place to get those much-needed points. In the case of the Animal Farm, you could also set your answer in its proper context, for example, mention how Orwell uses the book as a symbolism for the class struggles of the 19th-century Russian society and its various characters such as the Tsar, the Bolsheviks, Lenin, etc.

Evidence is Ultimate Key

The thesis directly leads to your evidence, and your English essay should have as much evidence as possible if you want your essay to stand out. The best way to introduce your argument or evidence is through focus sentences which tie back to your initial thesis statement. You should also wrap up individual paragraphs and use logical transitions in-between to ensure that your essay flows seamlessly. The evidence should be reasonable and relevant, and you should elaborate on the concept that you are expounding on vis-à-vis the averment as you understand it. Remember that your essay builds a three-tier relationship, i.e. between you, the author and the reader, and you are the primary conduit for information flow within the tier. Let your arguments have logic and depth, and be succinct in your presentation. What the instructor will be looking for is to be convinced that you have understood the concept fully and that you can also provide an original analysis and relate different concepts with technical bits of the text.

The final part of creating an English essay that stands out is to have flawless and simple grammar. Don’t bombard the instructor with words that they need to countercheck with a dictionary unless you are absolutely confident in your skills and knowledge. Adhere to formal writing unless the instructions say otherwise, therefore no awkward phrases, digressive humour or contractions such as ‘isn’t’, ‘don’t’ ‘can’t’ etc.

GradeMiners.com for All Your Writing Help

It is important that your essay stays original, insightful, well-written, relates well with human nature beyond the text, provides adequate evidence and illustrations, and most importantly, fully answers the question that has been asked. You should use the best examples from the primary and related texts. The structure should also be adherent to what the instruction rubric outlines. All these are the markings of an A-level paper, and the teacher will certainly love reading your essay and award you that grade that has seemed quite elusive. If you are totally unable to DIY, GradeMiners.com provides some of the best writing services in the UK and anywhere online, and should be your first stop in case you want to make the transition into A+ English essays.

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