Please print your own copies of the following documents – you will need them for the year ahead:
A fantastic blog post from a PhD student and teacher at Edinburgh, giving advice on how to write successful critical essays at undergraduate level – not far off the expectations for this Advanced Higher course.
- Need to establish a clear overall argument/evaluative stance – what is the significance of the scene Arnold describes? What themes/concepts are explored? How does he do this?
- Only a couple of you actually mentioned pathetic fallacy as a technique – TECHNIQUES ARE ESSENTIAL!!!
- Not many people picked up on the shift in atmosphere, moving from positive imagery to a sense of loss as the poem progresses.
- Some of you thought this was a war poem – interesting interpretation, but it’s not.
- Also, a lot of people shied away from the structure here – don’t be afraid of it, as dealing with it head on can really enhance your analysis, i.e. the ‘muddled’ rhyme scheme here is actually a mixed up sonnet in the first section of the poem, not only breaking with tradition, but creating a sense of disharmony and uncertainty.
- Lots of people not annotating their poems – so helpful, please try to do this, as well as plan.
- Some responses particularly short and lacking depth – what you have is fine, but there’s nowhere near enough of it. You have an hour and a half. Get to it.
A comprehensive list of definitions here, to help you with textual analysis (and literary study) revision:
To help your critical analysis, and future revision, here’s a collection of the Plath presentations you all delivered before the holidays.