As in all previous sessions, the literary questions proved more popular and again inspired the greater proportion of good to excellent essays.
Criterion A is most often the greatest challenge. Many weaker essays struggle to establish more than a superficial or partial awareness of the implications of the question and often also struggle to provide supporting examples. In some cases it appears that the question has not been read accurately and thus the answer moves in a questionable direction. Additionally, and as in the past, effective paragraphing needs to be emphasized. Also, many need reminding that an effective essay requires structure and organization, along with the employment of relevant, effectively integrated examples. Finally, a note on handwriting: many examiners commented on the growing frequency of scripts that are very difficult to read. Many examiners again commented on the growing frequency of illegible, sloppy, faint, or painfully tiny handwriting.
Hence – Your aim is to respond to the question: Your essay is an argument – a thesis. Do not just agree with the opening statement and add examples. Argue – and start each paragraph referring to the wording of the question and show how you are looking at the author’s method and practice.
Each paragraph must be discussion of writers’ choices – use of literary features to evoke Macbeth’s villainy, use of contrast with other characters to emphasise his essential moral nature. (Nb by whose moral standards are we judging anyway?)
Start after your introduction with a paragraph justifying your two choices and briefly contextualising them.
Then open your discussion of the first
Then contrast if you can with the second
YES – you need close reference and QUOTATIONS – you must analyse them. How does Kumalo appear as an effective character? Why might this be important?
At the end, you must CONCLUDE – make sure it shows you are considering your reaction to the question. Are you making a judgment as to the effectiveness of either or both authors in their response to a given theme?
As practice, now write an opening thesis (your introduction) on an essay asking you to discuss the importance of heroes in literature:
- Does a work of literature have to have a hero? Discuss with reference to two or more examples.
Then write the start of the first paragraph evaluating the two examples you have chosen.