Sunday, 14 September 2014

One bizarre trick to improve your essay writing marks

OK, although I'm a teacher I'm going to share the number one way to improve your essay writing mark. I know not many students know this trick because I've marked and edited thousands of essays and I can tell from the content that students haven't done this one simple thing to improve their marks:
READ THE WORK!
Now, I don't mean hurriedly rushing through a novel the day before you expect to write an essay. I mean taking your time to read and enjoy the book. After all, the novel wasn't written for the purpose of torturing you in your English class. It was written by someone who had something to say.
Take your time to read the novel and try to digest what the author was trying to tell you. You can do this in bed, on the beach, on public transit, or even in the library. Just do it!
If you've read this far, then you deserve something more in-depth to assist you. What if you are reading the book and having trouble figuring out what the hell it is all about anyway? That's when sources such as eNotes.com come in handy. Once you have some familiarity with the plot, you can read the notes for help as to what the main themes are, and explanations of how the plot is developing.
One of the main things I'm trying to teach my own students is to use evidence from the book. That means when you want to make a point, you should either quote from the book or cite a page number to show you know what you are talking about. Any time you tell the reader of your essay about a plot point in the novel, you need to make a direct reference from the book. There is nothing worse than an essay about a novel that is nothing more than a running plot summary.