A guide on how you could go about structuring your notes, plans and responses for Textual Analysis and Literary Study. This could also be a handy approach to take for your dissertations.
Have a look at the SQA’s Understanding Standards website – it’s got example scripts and commentary from markers, so you can see what kind of thing scores well, and what needs more work.
This will help prepare you for your Literary Study essay next week.
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.