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Before you start writing your English literature paper – keep these points in mind


Writing answers in examinations is an important aspect of anyone’s career. One has to impress the examiner in such a way that maximum marks are awarded for the answers attempted by the examinee. Failing to do so may result in lesser than expected marks or anything else other than what the examinee might be expecting. Well, this article is for those students who are studying English literature as their major. And this is a kind of heart-to-heart talk because I have also been a student of English literature for many years. So, what are the points that you can consider while attempting an answer in your English literature examination? Keep reading this article.

Plan the answer: An answer has, generally, three parts to it – it begins; it continues; it ends. That means, it should have a beginning, a development and a conclusion. All the parts should be connected and logically flowing in a direction, a direction that points to a convincing conclusion where the examiner must see what you began, explained and concluded.

Take care of the word limits: When you plan your answer, you should keep a note of the word limit that your question paper suggests. While a few always want to go beyond the specified limit of words, it does not bode well with the examiners any day. They want to see the answers well within the specified word limit and that also shows an examinee knows how to put his or her opinion within the rules of engagement. So, always keep your answers within the limit.

Keep quotes and references handy: If you are a versatile reader, it should be easy for you. Always remember the key points in a drama, a novel or a short story. For poems, do try and remember a few lines, important ones, that you can use in the answers when the time comes. Answers decorated with references and text from the specified work of literature always impress the examiners more than an answer written dry and plain. So, this part becomes important. Your memory should be supercharged with lines from the texts you have read.

If you want to understand the ideas to make your answers in English literature appropriate, subtle and mark-fetching, you should read opinions from the experts themselves. You can follow this link to understand the ways you can enhance your answer writing practices. Here it is: How to write answers in English literature


Always remember one thing, no expert can make you what you are. You can only read and learn from the opinions of others. At the end of the day, it is you who is going to attempt those answers in the examination hall. So, always read the primary text to understand it the best way. And then make sure you read the secondary texts to understand what other literary personalities think about a particular work or idea. That will help a lot and you can utilise it when it comes to validating your opinions and perspectives. All the best!


Chitra for The Book Blog

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