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How to answer an essay question... The Crucible

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Where to start? A step-by-step guide to answering an essay question

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How to answer an essay question... The Crucible

  1. 1. How to answer an essay question Or… how to write an analytical essay
  2. 2. The essay question… broken into parts. Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible employs effective dramatic and literary devices* to develop complex relationships between multifaceted characters. The audience is challenged to lay blame on specific characters. But, who (if anyone) is really to blame for the tragic events which unfold?
  3. 3. STEP 1… UNPACK the essay question: Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible employs effective dramatic and literary devices* to develop complex relationships between multifaceted characters. The audience is challenged to lay blame on specific characters. But, who (if anyone) is really to blame for the tragic events which unfold?
  4. 4. STEP 1 – UNPACK THE QUESTION (Cont.) • HOW = what language/dramatic forms and features – DEVELOP COMPLEX RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MULTIFACETED CHARACTERS = Characterisation • PERSPECTIVE = viewpoint / view / evaluation / opinion / side • IS CHALLENGED = an individual who is ________________________________ • BLAME= _______________________________ _______________________________________ • TRAGIC = literary theory of tragedy, ie: implication there is a “tragic hero”
  5. 5. STEP 2 – REWRITE THE QUESTION IN THE FULL… PLAIN-ENGLISH… VERSION: Miller uses literary device of characterisation to create complex characters and relationships. The audience is manipulated (by the characterisation) to dislike and find fault with Abigail, Parris and Danforth. Is anyone to blame for the events that unfold? Does Miller develop a specific tragic hero (theory of Tragedy)?
  6. 6. STEP 3 – WRITE THE THESIS STATEMENT
  7. 7. STEP 3 = write a thesis statement
  8. 8. THESIS STATEMENT
  9. 9. How do you start your thesis statement? Where do you start? You go back to the question! Use the words in the actual essay question and – use these words to write your answer to the question. STEP 3 = write a thesis statement
  10. 10. STEP 3 – WRITE THE THESIS STATEMENT Using the vocabulary and sentence structure of the original question…. ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ __________________________________________.
  11. 11. STEP 4. Check your thesis statement to make sure it “matches” the marking criteria! Then… write a minimum of 4 “supporting statements” which back-up and prove your thesis statement Essay Question – Marking Criteria: _______________________________________ In your answer, you will be assessed on how well you: • Compose a clear and concise thesis statement • Develop a convincing argument, in which you provide specific supporting statements clearly • Support all your arguments/discussion with a methodical analysis of evidence and quotations from the play _________________________________________
  12. 12. • The Supporting Statements which you choose will be listed in your essay introduction • Each Supporting Statement is the basis of each Topic Sentence of the essay ‘body paragraphs’ (analytic paragraphs) • Your Thesis Statement (in your introduction) is the basis of each Link Sentence (final conclusive sentence) which ends each ‘body paragraph. • Your conclusion is composed of your Link Sentences and a final re-statement of your thesis. STEP 5. Write a minimum of 4 “supporting statements” which back-up and prove your thesis statement

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