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7 Secrets to A* for Poetry Questions

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

There are few common mistakes that should be avoided when answering questions on Poetry:

1. Avoid being general and vague in the introduction. An introduction (like of the other paragraphs) should address the topic question. Summarise the meaning of the poem and the poet’s attitude in no more than 3-4 lines. Alternatively, an introduction could be used to clarify what key terms of the question mean.

2. Do not be narrative. No marks are given to re-tell the story from the text!

3. The selection of the quotations is probably the most important aspect of the essay response. If the quotations used are not related to the question, then the explanation and analysis of them will not be either.

4. Always make sure that every paragraph answers the question. Avoid writing what you know about the poem. Each part of your essay should answer the essay question.

5. Always respond to the whole text and avoid unnecessary words in general. Have a neutral third person writing style. Do not personalize the essay with phrases such as “I feel….” Etc.

6. Always remember to comment on the structural devices in addition to commenting on the effects created by the poet’s use of language. It is an important part of assessment objective to consider the ways in which the poet communicates meaning through how they have laid out the poem.

7. The conclusion should be relevant and should summarise your personal response to the task and text. It should not repeat the points that has already being made.

All the very best and enjoy revision!!!

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